11 Father’s Day Gifts for Every Type of Dad

iStock
iStock

Scrambling to find a last-minute Father’s Day gift? You’ve come to the right place. Whether your dad enjoys playing board games, grilling outdoors, or all of the above, there’s likely something for him on this list.

1. FOR THE DAD WHO WANTS TO START A FAMILY BAND.

Black Fender acoustic guitar.
Fender

Buying your dad a time-consuming new hobby is one way to show him how much you love him. This Fender acoustic guitar looks great, and once your dad learns how to play some real chords, it will sound great too. The CD-60SCE includes a built-in tuner and an "Easy-To-Play" neck, making it the perfect gift for beginning to intermediate level musicians.

Find it: Fender, $300

2. FOR THE FASHIONABLE DAD WHO’S IN TOUCH WITH HIS WILD SIDE

Plaid flannel with wildlife lining.
Pladra

If your dad can name his spirit animal without hesitation, this shirt is for him. The inside of this plaid flannel is lined with fabric depicting scenes from nature. In case your dad isn’t a bear person, there are other shirts emblazoned with fish, eagles, turkeys, and seals.

Find it: Pladra, $119

3. FOR THE ADVENTUROUS GRILLER DAD

Ribs cooking on a Himalayan salt block.
Amazon

Even master grillers can learn new tricks. After 20 minutes on the barbecue, this Himalayan salt block becomes a sizzling hot surface that imparts natural salt to whatever it cooks. What a steak cooked on the slab lacks in grill marks it makes up for in flavor.

Find it: Amazon, $18

4. FOR THE DAD WHO’S A CRAFT BEER FANATIC

Collection of craft beer bottles.
Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club

Though your beer-loving dad would probably be happy with a six-pack for Father’s Day, you can do better. Leave the beer selection up to the experts and buy him a membership to the Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club. Each month, members receive a dozen 12-ounce bottles from two boutique microbreweries in the U.S. The package includes a newsletter with tasting notes, potential food pairings, and profiles of the breweries.

Find it: Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club, $27.95 per month

5. FOR THE ACTIVE DAD

Ear pods mold to fit your ear.
Decibullz

Working out is hard enough—the last thing fitness fanatics need is a loose earbud disrupting their gym flow. That’s not a problem with these custom-fit earphones. Before popping them in, wearers must first run the thermoplastic molds under hot water and attach them to the pods. The pliable material is then ready to conform to the unique shape of any ear. So whether your dad does cardio to '90s hip hop or heavy metal, an uncomfortable listening experience won’t be an issue.

Find it: Decibullz, $35

6. FOR THE ASPIRING ASTRONOMER DAD

Handheld telescope with built-in star chart.
Amazon

With this gift, a clear night spent star gazing can quickly turn into an astronomy lesson. The handheld device can identify over 1500 stars. After setting the latitude, date, and time, users peer through the Stellarscope to study an accurate star map superimposed over the real night sky. It’s the perfect way for your dad to entertain himself while sitting by a campfire this summer.

Find it: Amazon, $33

7. FOR THE DAD WHO LOVES BOARD GAMES

Cover of the board game 'Wit's End.'
Amazon

At the next family game night, give your dad a chance to show off his intellect. Wit’s End remixes the traditional trivia board game format by phrasing questions as puzzles and brainteasers. Players race around the board navigating subjects like history, popular culture, geography, and science. The questions get tough, so don’t be surprised when your father’s competitive side starts to show.

Find it: Amazon, $29

8. FOR THE DAD WHO’S A PALEONTOLOGY NERD

Before and after shots of heat-sensitive disappearing dinosaur mug.
Amazon

If you can’t afford to get your dad an annual museum membership for Father's Day, this mug is a good alternative. At room temperature, it depicts a Tyrannosaurus rex stalking its prey. After the hot liquid is added, the dinosaurs fade into lifeless fossils in an exhibit.

Find it: Amazon, $15

9. FOR THE UTILITARIAN DAD

Inside of leather wallet iPhone case.
Amazon

The leather exterior of this iPhone case will appeal to your dad’s simple taste. But inside there’s a secret: The case comes with built-in pockets for holding bills, cards, or anything else that goes in a wallet. It also features a magnetic seal that opens easily and snaps tightly shut to keep contents secure.

Find it: Amazon, $17

10. FOR THE ECO-FRIENDLY COMMUTER DAD

Bike helmet with built-in safety lights.
Amazon

While your dad is out saving the environment by biking to work each day, make sure he doesn’t neglect his own safety. This tricked-out helmet will protect him on the road without compromising his style. The integrated turn signals connect to detachable handlebar controls and the red brake light illuminates automatically when the bike slows down. The gadgetry is also water-resistant, so your dad can keep up his eco-friendly habits rain or shine.

Find it: MoMA Store, $179

11. FOR THE DAD WHO LOVES BASEBALL

Wool cap knit from the yarn inside baseballs.
UncommonGoods

A piece of MLB history is knitted into each one of these beanies: the wool yarn used to make them comes from the insides of baseballs used in professional league games. All hats come with a story card detailing the game in which the ball appeared. So if all goes well for your dad’s favorite team this season, he’ll be superstitiously wearing the cap to ball games by October.

Find it: UncommonGoods, $225

12 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of Easter Bunnies

This child clearly can't get enough Easter Bunny in her life.
This child clearly can't get enough Easter Bunny in her life.
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Every year, thousands of families, church groups, and event planners enlist entertainment companies to dispatch a costumed bunny for their Easter celebrations. These performers often endure oppressive heat, frightened children, and other indignities to bring joy to the season.

It can be a thankless job, which is why Mental Floss approached several hares and their handlers for some insight into what makes for a successful appearance, the numerous occupational hazards, and why they can be harassed while holding a giant carrot. Here’s a glimpse of what goes on under the ears.

1. They might be watching netflix under the mask.

Has a bunny ever seemed slow to respond to your child? He or she might be in the middle of a binge-watch. Jennifer Ellison, the sales and marketing manager for San Diego Kids’ Party Rentals and a bunny wrangler during the Easter season, says that extended party engagements might lead their furry foot soldiers to seek distractions while in costume. “We book the bunny by the hour and he is often booked for multiple hour blocks,” she says. “Listening to music definitely helps the time pass.” One of her bunny friends who does a lot of shopping mall appearances has even rigged up a harness that can cradle a smart phone. “It sits above the bunny's nose, resting right at eye level for the performer inside, easily allowing the performer to stream Netflix, scroll through Facebook, or check emails.”

2. They can’t walk on wet grass.

Bunnies that appear at private functions, like backyard parties or egg hunts, have to maintain the illusion of being a character and not a human in a furry costume. According to Albert Joseph, the owner of Albert Joseph Entertainment in San Francisco and a 30-year veteran of Easter engagements, one of the cardinal rules is never to set foot on wet grass. Why? “They wear regular shoes under their giant bunny feet,” he says. “If they step on wet grass and then walk on cement, they’ll make a human foot print, not a bunny print.”

3. There’s a reason they might not pick up your kid.

Bunnies might be amenable to posing for a photo with your child on their lap, but they’re probably not going to grab the little tyke and sweep them off their feet. According to Steve Rothenberg, a veteran performer and owner of Talk of the Town Entertainment in Rockville, Maryland, deadlifting a kid is against the rules. “The last thing you want is to lift them up and have them knock off your head,” he says.

4. Giant carrots will invite inappropriate behavior.

A person dressed as the Easter bunny.
As the 3-foot-long carrot proves, adults are easily the least mature guests at a child's Easter party.
lisafx/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Joseph’s warren of party bunnies usually come equipped with a 3-foot-long giant carrot as a prop. While children are amused by the oversized vegetable, the adults at the parties usually can’t help making observations. “Practically every visit, there’s always someone saying, ‘My, what a big carrot you have,’” he says.

On one occasion, Joseph attended a function at a retirement home. One of the women, who he estimated to be in her 80s, commented on his big feet in a lascivious manner. “She told me she was in room 37.”

5. Clothes make the bunny.

Easter bunny at the White House.
Every year, a well-dressed Easter bunny visits Washington, D.C. for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

While “naked” (i.e., unclothed) bunnies remain popular, Ellison’s lineup also includes Mr. Bunny, a “classy lad with a top hat and vest,” and a Mrs. Bunny sporting a purple dress. Why would kids care if a bunny has sartorial sense? “Kids can probably better relate to a giant, furry character if it's dressed like a human,” Ellison says. “[And] we just thought the costumes looked cute.”

6. They can’t wear dark clothing underneath.

If a bunny wants to wear a black shirt under his or her fur, it stands to reason there wouldn’t be any issue: It's all hidden from sight. But Joseph insists that his cast stick with white apparel only. In addition to being cooler, it serves a practical function. “There’s always an opportunity to see a little something around the neckline or near the feet,” he says. Light clothing helps preserve the character.

7. They use an upholstery cleaner for their heads.

Most bunny costumes can be tossed in any regular washing machine, with the feet going in a larger commercial-use unit. But the heads, which are typically massive and unwieldy, get special attention. “You know those upholstery cleaners you can rent from a grocery store?” Joseph asks. “We use those. There’s a wand attachment to it for cleaning carpet.”

8. There’s a trick to keeping cool.

Costumes made of fake fur in the spring can be a recipe for disaster—or at least some lightheadedness. While none of the bunnies we profiled had experienced fainting spells, Ellison says that the trick to staying cool is actually adding a layer underneath the outfit. “Light, breathable clothing underneath the suit usually does the trick, but some people choose to wear an ice vest under the suit as well.”

Many bunnies also work in intervals: 45 to 50 minutes “on,” and 10 to 15 minutes in a private area to cool off and drink water. “Clients are usually understanding and sympathetic of the bunny and will allow even more breaks if necessary,” Ellison says.

9. Mints are essential.

Bunnies may favor carrots and grass, but their human operators need something other than that in order to deal with the humidity. Rothenberg says that his bunnies usually nibble on mints while working a crowd. “They’ll typically chew gum or have some kind of mint to keep their throat from drying out,” he says.

10. They use bunny handlers to prevent knockdowns.

A person dressed as the Easter bunny.
An Easter Bunny makes a young girl's day.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Any professional bunny knows that having an assistant watching their back is the best way to ensure an appearance goes smoothly. “Your vision is limited and you can’t really look to the left or right,” Rothenberg says. “Having an assistant prevents kids from running up behind you.”

11. They have damaged butts.

In order to ease apprehensive kids, Joseph advocates for his bunnies to squat near a child rather than bend over. “It gets them at a child’s level so they can touch and feel for themselves,” he says. “But a bunny that does a lot of squatting winds up needing their [costume] butts re-sewn. I’ve repaired a lot of them.” Joseph will also invite mothers to sit on the bunny’s lap so fearful children are more likely to approach. “You don’t want to prod the kid,” he says.

12. They’re not just for easter.

While bunny costume season is a fleeting few weeks, companies are happy to roll out their rabbits for other occasions. Once, Ellison sent out a bunny for a customer’s Alice in Wonderland-themed gathering. “The client wanted the White Rabbit, so we dressed up our bunny in a vest and top hat and gave him an over-sized pocket watch. It worked out great.”

This piece originally ran in 2017.

The 48 Most Frequently Banned Wedding Songs

Bogdan Kurylo/iStock via Getty Images
Bogdan Kurylo/iStock via Getty Images

Who among us hasn't attended a wedding and cringed at the playlist? In 2017, stats/polling site FiveThirtyEight asked more than two dozen professional DJs who had DJ’d around 200 weddings what songs couples ban from their weddings and, after surveying 182 wedding playlists, came up with a list of 48 songs. They gave each song a percentage, which represents the share of weddings that banned the song.

The first 10 on the list represent silly dances people like to do but shouldn’t do, like The Chicken Dance, The Macarena, and The Electric Slide. After that, the list starts to see overplayed songs like “Don’t Stop Believin',’” “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” “Dancing Queen,” and “Sweet Caroline,” and call-and-response songs like “Shout.” The list contains a mix of new and old hip-hop, R&B, and pop hits, and several songs ended up tied.

Interestingly, a few songs from FiveThirtyEight’s 2016 ultimate wedding playlist also appear on the banned list, including “Hey Ya!,” “Uptown Funk,” “Sweet Caroline,” and “Call Me Maybe.”

You may or may not agree with this list, but don’t feel bad if you decide to ban any of these songs from your own wedding playlist—chances are, someone out there agrees with you.

  1. “The Chicken Dance”

  1. “Cha-Cha Slide” // DJ Casper

  1. “Macarena” // Los Del Rio

  1. “Cupid Shuffle” // Cupid

  1. “YMCA” // Village People

  1. “Electric Boogie (Electric Slide)” // Marcia Griffiths

  1. “Hokey Pokey”

  1. “Wobble” // V.I.C.

  1. “Happy” // Pharrell Williams

  1. “Shout” // Isley Brothers

  1. “Love Shack” // The B-52's

  1. “We Are Family” // Sister Sledge

  1. “Blurred Lines” // Robin Thicke

  1. “Celebration” // Kool & The Gang

  1. Cotton Eye Joe” // Rednex

  1. “Dancing Queen” // ABBA

  1. “Don’t Stop Believin’” // Journey

  1. “Single Ladies” // BeyoncÉ

  1. “Sweet Caroline” // Neil Diamond

  1. “Turn Down for What” // DJ Snake & Lil Jon

  1. “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” // SilentÓ

  1. “Hot in Herre” // Nelly

  1. “Mony Mony” // Billy Idol

  1. “All About That Bass” // Meghan Trainor

  1. “Baby Got Back” // Sir Mix-a-Lot

  1. “Booti Call” // Blackstreet

  1. “Gangnam Style” // Psy

  1. “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” // Big & Rich

  1. “Stayin’ Alive” // Bee Gees

  1. “Sweet Home Alabama” // Lynyrd Skynyrd

  1. “Uptown Funk” // Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars

  1. “Wagon Wheel” // Nathan Carter

  1. “What Do You Mean?” // Justin Bieber

  1. “All of Me” // John Legend

  1. “Bohemian Rhapsody” // Queen

  1. “Brown Eyed Girl” // Van Morrison

  1. “Call Me Maybe” // Carly Rae Jepsen

  1. “Footloose” // Kenny Loggins

  1. “Get Low” // Lil Jon

  1. “Hey Ya!” // Outkast

  1. “Hotline Bling” // Drake

  1. “I Will Survive” // Gloria Gaynor

  1. “My Heart Will Go On” // CÉline Dion

  1. “SexyBack” // Justin Timberlake

  1. “Shake It Off” // Taylor Swift

  1. “Sugar” // Maroon 5

  1. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” // Bonnie Tyler

  1. “You Shook Me All Night Long” // AC/DC

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