25 Can't-Miss Father's Day Gift Ideas

iStock
iStock

Father’s Day is coming up fast. If the dads in your life are stingy about dropping gift-related hints, it's time to take matters into your own hands. Here are some shopping ideas to get you started.

1. OUTDOOR TRAVEL MUG

Stanley

If your dad is an experienced hiker, he already knows the importance of having the right tools on the trail. This air-tight mug is built for the mountains: The finger loop makes it easy to hold or clip onto a pack, and the grit guard keeps water free of contaminants. It also features a push-button lid so he can hydrate without breaking his stride.

Find it: Stanley, $30

2. PAC-MAN CUFFLINKS

Amazon

Help your dad look sharp while embracing his inner geek. These silver-colored cufflinks depict two of the most iconic characters in video games: Pac-Man and his ghost antagonist (whether it's Inky, Blinky, Pinky, or Clyde is hard to tell).

Find it: Amazon, $25

3. ONE-WAY-MIRROR BIRD FEEDER

Amazon

On days when your dad doesn’t feel like getting off the couch, he can still indulge his bird-watching hobby indoors. All he needs is this one-way-mirror bird feeder. It can be filled with up to one pound of seeds after it's secured to the outside of a window. Birds stopping by to eat only see their reflection while the people indoors get to enjoy nature up close.

Find it: Amazon, $35

4. AUTOMATIC SAND DRAWING MACHINE

ThinkGeek

This zen garden requires zero effort to maintain—just plug it in, adjust the dials, and watch a magnetic ball etch mesmerizing patterns on its own. The machine can be programmed to create symmetrical mandalas or draw random shapes in the sand. It makes a soothing addition to any desk, coffee table, or nightstand.

Find it: ThinkGeek, $40

5. WHISKEY TASTING KIT

UncommonGoods

Does your dad treat a glass of quality whiskey like a piece of fine art? This is the gift for him. The tasting kit includes a glass, a pen, and booklets for jotting down notes on the peatiness of a 1987 bourbon or similar impressions. If your dad isn’t yet the aficionado he one day hopes to be, he can refer to the glossary of whiskey "terms demystified" in each book.

Find it: UncommonGoods, $30

6. CARRY-ON LUGGAGE

Eagle Creek

Packing for your next family vacation will be a cinch with this luggage. It fits 36 liters of belongings and features extra panels, compartments, and outside straps for stuffing in as much as possible. Weighing less than five pounds empty, the compact bag fits perfectly into the overhead compartment of a plane—so your dad can travel the world without worrying about surprise checked-bag fees.

Find it: Eagle Creek, $183

7. LAVENDER NECK WRAP

amazon

Being a dad is a stressful job. Cozying up with a neck wrap filled with flaxseed and lavender is one way to indulge in some much-needed rest and relaxation. This cushion can be heated up in the microwave to relieve muscle tension or chilled in the freezer to treat puffy eyes and migraines.

Find it: Amazon, $30

8. GOLDFUSION GYM TOWEL

Rhone

If your dad has been using the same ratty gym towel for years, it may be time for an upgrade. Each GoldFusion gym towel is infused with nanoparticles of real gold, which the makers claim gives the fabric quick-drying and odor-resistant properties. It’s also softer and silkier than any towel handed out in a gym.

Find it: Rhone, $29

9. MAGNETIC WRISTBAND

Amazon

Home improvement projects are frustrating enough—make the process a little easier with this magnetic wristband. After it's strapped on, the surface can hold screws, nails, drill bits, bolts, or whatever small metal parts your dad needs in a spot that’s easy to reach.

Find it: Amazon, $25

10. PEPPER AND GARLIC JERKY KIT

Williams Sonoma

This kit makes a great weekend project for any meat lover. It includes a garlic pepper spice mixture and a cure made from saIt, sugar, and sodium nitrate. All your dad has to do is provide the beef and he’ll have a savory snack that lasts for months.

Find it: Williams Sonoma, $12

11. SMARTPHONE CAMERA REMOTE

Amazon

No more setting up camera timers and racing to squeeze into the photo in time. With the Muku Shuttr, your dad can snap a photo on his smartphone when he’s standing across the room. The device connects to a phone or tablet via Bluetooth so users can press the button and activate the camera instantaneously. It’s perfect for family photos—or artistic selfies if that’s your dad’s style.

Find it: Amazon, $39

12. SPOCK OVEN MITT

ThinkGeek

Your dad can live long and prosper through his next cooking project with this oven mitt shaped like his favorite Star Trek greeting. Protecting his hands while holding hot pans definitely sounds logical.

Find it: ThinkGeek, $15

13. EQUATION CLOCK

UncommonGoods

Math geeks should have fun with this sadistic timepiece. Each number on the face is presented as a roundabout equation. If losing track of time is a concern, the clock does come with a cheat sheet.

Find it: UncommonGoods, $30

14. COLD BREW COFFEE INFUSION BOTTLE

ThinkGeek

Instead of spending $4 on iced coffee from a cafe, your dad can brew his own at home with this infusion bottle. After it’s filled with water and ground coffee, the bottle sits for 12 hours in the fridge. In the morning, simply remove the built-in coffee filter and pour the drink into a glass or mug. Cold brew tastes smoother than hot coffee, but it’s also stronger—so remind your dad to dilute it to avoid a caffeine overload.

Find it: ThinkGeek, $20

15. DESKTOP GAMES

ThinkGeek

With these desktop games your dad will forget he’s at work—at least briefly. Each box comes with all the miniature sports gear needed to play an actual game. Whether your dad prefers golf, pool, or bowling, there’s a tabletop set for him.

Find it: ThinkGeek, $15

16. TITANIUM SUNGLASSES

Shwood

Here’s how you can convince your dad to finally ditch his plastic drugstore sunglasses: Buy him this pair from Shwood. The frame is cut from light-weight, vacuum-plated titanium. The arms that extend past the temples are made of hardwood—the maker’s signature touch.

Find it: Shwood, $189

17. BACKGAMMON SET

UncommonGoods

It would be a crime to let this backgammon set collect dust on a shelf. Crafted from real wood and brass with hand-printed designs, this game is meant to be taken out and shown off. The board folds up into a convenient traveling case, making it a great option for the beach, the park, or an extended rest stop during long road trips.

Find it: UncommonGoods, $120

18. WET SHAVE BOX SUBSCRIPTION

Wet Shave Club

Personal grooming doesn’t have to be a chore. A subscription with the Wet Shave club comes with monthly boxes of shaving supplies your dad will be eager to test out. Packages include blades, soaps, aftershaves, and other pampering products that vary month to month.

Find it: Wet Shave Club, $50 for first box

19. BEER CHILLING COASTER SET

UncommonGoods

Lukewarm beers have met their match. These coasters, hand-carved from New Hampshire granite, are built to keep bottles cool. Just store them in the fridge and pull them out when when it’s time to crack open a frosty beverage. The stone keep drinks chilled for up to 30 minutes.

Find it: UncommonGoods, $68

20. DARTH VADER SOCKS

Amazon

Hopefully your Father’s Day is less awkward than Luke Skywalker’s. These officially licensed Star Wars socks fit men’s shoe sizes 6 through 12.

Find it: Amazon, $12

21. BASEBALL TEAM NAMES POSTER

Pop Chart Lab

Ever wonder how many baseballs teams are named after royalty (11) or punctuation marks (two) or meteorological phenomena (15)? In this ambitious poster, Pop Chart Lab traces the etymologies of close to 600 major, minor, and international baseball teams. It goes beyond popular favorites like the Philadelphia Phillies to include slightly more obscure teams like the Holyoke Paperweights.

Find it: Pop Chart Lab, $29

22. EARBUD WRAP

Amazon

Give your dad the gift of tangle-free earbuds. Cords coil smoothly around this compact accessory and stay snapped in place. The wrap is made of durable leather, so it can survive long stretches of time spent banging around your dad’s pocket or desk drawer.

Find it: Amazon, $7

23. KATANA BOOKENDS

Amazon

If you're hesitant to buy your samurai-obsessed dad a real katana, this playful set is a safe alternative. Magnets and metal bookends tucked within the books given the sword the illusion of stabbing straight through to the other side. Thankfully no literature was harmed in the making of this gift.

Find it: Amazon, $19

24. PORTABLE BLUETOOTH SPEAKER

Amazon

Thanks to Bluetooth technology, your dad can listen to his favorite tunes in high quality no matter where he is. The Wonderboom from Ultimate Ears delivers loud, clean sound up to 100 feet away from the signal. It’s also waterproof, which makes it the obvious choice for a day at the beach.

Find it: Ultimate Ears, $100

25. CAMPING HAMMOCK

Amazon

A camping hammock offers all the serenity of sleeping under the stars without the hard ground or dirty sleeping bag. The nylon parachute material is strong enough to hold 600-pound loads and light enough to carry on long hikes. But if your dad doesn't have any camping trips planned, there’s nothing stopping him from setting it up in the backyard, perhaps for some eclipse action later this summer.

Find it: Amazon, $19

Amazon's Best Black Friday Deals: Tech, Video Games, Kitchen Appliances, Clothing, and More

Amazon
Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Black Friday is finally here, and Amazon is offering great deals on kitchen appliances, tech, video games, and plenty more. We will keep updating this page as sales come in, but for now, here are the best Amazon Black Friday sales to check out.

Kitchen

Instant Pot/Amazon

- Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-115 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker; $90 (save $40)

- Keurig K-Cafe Special Edition; $190 (save $30)

- Ninja OS301 Foodi 10-in-1 Pressure Cooker and Air Fryer; $125 (save $75)

- Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee and Espresso Machine by Breville; $120 (save $60)

- KitchenAid KSMSFTA Sifter with Scale Attachment; $95 (save $75)

- Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker; $60 (save $20)

- Cuisinart Bread Maker; $80 (save $97)

- Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker; $139 (save $60)

- Aicook Juicer Machine; $35 (save $15)

- JoyJolt Double Wall Insulated Espresso Mugs - Set of Two; $14 (save $10)

- Longzon Silicone Stretch Lids - Set of 14; $16 (save $11)

- HadinEEon Milk Frother; $37 (save $33)

Home Appliances

Roomba/Amazon

- iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum with Wi-Fi Connectivity; $179 (save $101)

- ASAKUKI 500ml Premium Essential Oil Diffuser; $22 (save $4)

- Facebook Portal Smart Video Calling 10 inch Touch Screen Display with Alexa; $129 (save $50)

- Bissell air320 Smart Air Purifier with HEPA and Carbon Filters; $280 (save $50)

- Oscillating Quiet Cooling Fan Tower; $59 (save $31)

- TaoTronics PTC 1500W Fast Quiet Heating Ceramic Tower; $55 (save $10)

- Vitamix 068051 FoodCycler 2 Liter Capacity; $300 (save $100)

- Ring Video Doorbell; $70 (save $30)

Video games

Sony

- Marvel's Spider-Man: Game of The Year Edition for PlayStation 4; $20 (save $20)

- The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening; $40 (save $20)

- Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity; $50 (save $10)

- Marvel's Avengers; $25 (save $33)

- The Last of Us Part II for PlayStation 4; $30 (save $30)

- LEGO Harry Potter: Collection; $15 (save $15)

- Ghost of Tsushima; $40 (save $20)

- BioShock: The Collection; $20 (save $30)

- The Sims 4; $24 (save $20)

- God of Warfor PlayStation 4; $10 (save $10)

- Days Gonefor PlayStation 4; $20 (save $6)

- Luigi's Mansion 3 for Nintendo Switch; $40 (save $20)

Computers and tablets

Microsoft/Amazon

- New Apple MacBook Pro 16 inches with 512 GB; $2149 (save $250)

- Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 with 13.5 inch Touch-Screen; $1200 (save $400)

- Lenovo ThinkPad T490 Laptop; $889 (save $111)

- Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet (64GB); $120 (save $70)

- Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet (32 GB); $130 (save $70)

- Apple iPad Mini (64 GB); $335 (save $64)

- Vankyo MatrixPad S2 Tablet; $120 (save $10)

Tech, gadgets, and TVs

Apple/Amazon

- Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS; $120 (save $79)

- Seneo Wireless Charger, 3 in 1 Wireless Charging Station; $16 (save $10)

- SAMSUNG 75-inch Class Crystal 4K Smart TV; $998 (save $200)

- Nixplay 2K Smart Digital Picture Frame 9.7 Inch Silver; $238 (save $92)

- All-New Amazon Echo Dot with Clock and Alexa (4th Gen); $39 (save $21)

- MACTREM LED Ring Light 6" with Tripod Stand; $16 (save $3)

- Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote; $28 (save $12)

- DR. J Professional HI-04 Mini Projector; $93 (save $37)

Headphones and speakers

Beats/Amazon

- Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones; $120 (Save $80)

- Apple AirPods Pro; $169 (save $50)

- Anker Soundcore Upgraded Bluetooth Speaker; $22 (save $8)

- Powerbeats Pro Wireless Earphones; $175 (save $75)

- JBL Boombox; $280 (save $120)

Movies and TV

HBO/Amazon

- Game of Thrones: The Complete Series; $115 (save $89)

- Jurassic World 5-Movie Set; $23 (save $37)

- Deadwood: The Complete Series; $42 (save $28)

- Back to the Future Trilogy; $15 (save $21)

Toys and Games

Amazon

- Awkward Family Photos Greatest Hits; $15 (save $10)

- Exploding Kittens Card Game; $10 (save $10)

- Cards Against Humanity: Hidden Gems Bundle; $14 (save $5)

- LOL Surprise OMG Remix Pop B.B. Fashion Doll; $29 (save $6)

- LEGO Ideas Ship in a Bottle 92177 Expert Building Kit; $56 (save $14)

Furniture

Casper/Amazon

- Casper Sleep Element Queen Mattress; $476 (save $119)

- ZINUS Alexis Deluxe Wood Platform Bed Frame; $135 (save $24)

- ROMOON Dresser Organizer with 5 Drawers; $59 (save $11) 

- AmazonBasics Room Darkening Blackout Window Curtains; $26 (save $5)

- Writing Desk by Caffoz; $119 (save $21)

- SPACE Seating Office Support Managers Chair; $112 (save $116)

- Rivet Globe Stick Table Lamp; $53 (save $17)

- Christopher Knight Home Merel Mid-Century Modern Club Chair; $188 (save $10)

- Walker Edison Furniture Industrial Rectangular Coffee Table; $121 (save $48)

Beauty

Haus/Amazon

- MySmile Teeth Whitening Kit with LED Light; $21 (save $12) 

- Cliganic USDA Organic Lip Balms Set of Six; $6 (save $4)

- HAUS LABORATORIES By Lady Gaga: LE RIOT LIP GLOSS; $7 (save $11)

- Native Deodorant for Men and Women Set of Three; $25 (save $11) 

- BAIMEI Rose Quartz Jade Roller & Gua Sha; $14 (save $3)

- Honest Beauty Clearing Night Serum with Pure Retinol and Salicylic Acid; $20 (save $8)

- WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Hair Conditioner Set; $30 (save $5) 

- La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser; $15 (save $5)

- wet n wild Bretman Rock Shadow Palette; $9 (save $6)

- EltaMD UV Daily Tinted Face Sunscreen Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid; $25 (save $6)

Clothes

Ganni/Amazon

- Ganni Women's Crispy Jacquard Dress; $200 (save $86) 

- The Drop Women's Maya Silky Slip Skirt; $36 (save $9)

- Steve Madden Women's Editor Boot; $80 (save $30)

- adidas Women's Roguera Cross Trainer; $40 (save $25)

- Line & Dot Women's Elizabeth Sweater; $74 (save $18)

- Levi's Men's Sherpa Trucker Jacket; $57 (save $41)

- Adidas Men's Essentials 3-Stripes Tapered Training Joggers Sweatpants; $28 (save $12)

- Timex Men's Weekender XL 43mm Watch; $32 (save $20)

- Ray-Ban Unisex-Adult Hexagonal Flat Lenses Sunglasses; $108 (save $46) 

- Reebok Men's Flashfilm Train Cross Trainer; $64 (save $16)

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10 Little Facts About Louisa May Alcott

Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Born on November 29, 1832, Louisa May Alcott led a fascinating life. Besides enchanting millions of readers with her novel Little Women, she worked as a Civil War nurse, fought against slavery, and registered women to vote. Here are 10 facts about the celebrated author.

1. Louisa May Alcott had many famous friends.

Louisa's parents, Bronson and Abigail Alcott, raised their four daughters in a politically active household in Massachusetts. As a child, Alcott briefly lived with her family in a failed Transcendentalist commune, helped her parents hide slaves who had escaped via the Underground Railroad, and had discussions about women’s rights with Margaret Fuller.

Throughout her life, she socialized with her father’s friends, including Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Although her family was always poor, Alcott had access to valuable learning experiences. She read books in Emerson’s library and learned about botany at Walden Pond with Thoreau, later writing a poem called "Thoreau’s Flute" for her friend. She also socialized with abolitionist Frederick Douglass and women’s suffrage activist Julia Ward Howe.

2. Louisa May Alcott's first nom de plume was Flora Fairfield.

As a teenager, Alcott worked a variety of teaching and servant jobs to earn money for her family. She first became a published writer at 19 years old, when a women’s magazine printed one of her poems. For reasons that are unclear, Alcott used a pen name—Flora Fairfield—rather than her real name, perhaps because she felt that she was still developing as a writer. But in 1854 at age 22, Alcott used her own name for the first time. She published Flower Fables, a collection of fairy tales she had written six years earlier for Emerson’s daughter, Ellen.

3. Louisa May Alcott secretly wrote pulp fiction.

Before writing Little Women, Alcott wrote Gothic pulp fiction under the nom de plume A.M. Barnard. Continuing her amusing penchant for alliteration, she wrote books and plays called Perilous Play and Pauline’s Passion and Punishment to make easy money. These sensational, melodramatic works are strikingly different than the more wholesome, righteous vibe she captured in Little Women, and she didn’t advertise her former writing as her own after Little Women became popular.

4. Louisa May Alcott wrote about her experience as a Civil War nurse.

In 1861, at the beginning of the U.S. Civil War, Alcott sewed Union uniforms in Concord and, the next year, enlisted as an army nurse. In a Washington, D.C. hotel-turned-hospital, she comforted dying soldiers and helped doctors perform amputations. During this time, she wrote about her experiences in her journal and in letters to her family. In 1863, she published Hospital Sketches, a fictionalized account, based on her letters, of her stressful yet meaningful experiences as a wartime nurse. The book became massively popular and was reprinted in 1869 with more material.

5. Louisa May Alcott suffered from mercury poisoning.

After a month and a half of nursing in D.C., Alcott caught typhoid fever and pneumonia. She received the standard treatment at the time—a toxic mercury compound called calomel. (Calomel was used in medicines through the 19th century.) Because of this exposure to mercury, Alcott suffered from symptoms of mercury poisoning for the rest of her life. She had a weakened immune system, vertigo, and had episodes of hallucinations. To combat the pain caused by the mercury poisoning (as well as a possible autoimmune disorder, such as lupus, that could have been triggered by it), she took opium. Alcott died of a stroke in 1888, at 55 years old.

6. Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women to help her father.

In 1867, Thomas Niles, an editor at a publishing house, asked Alcott if she wanted to write a novel for girls. Although she tried to get excited about the project, she thought she wouldn’t have much to write about girls because she was a tomboy. The next year, Alcott’s father was trying to convince Niles to publish his manuscript about philosophy. He told Niles that his daughter could write a book of fairy stories, but Niles still wanted a novel about girls. Niles told Alcott’s father that if he could get his daughter to write a (non-fairy) novel for girls, he would publish his philosophy manuscript. So to make her father happy and help his writing career, Alcott wrote about her adolescence growing up with her three sisters. Published in September 1868, the first part of Little Women was a huge success. The second part was published in 1869, and Alcott went on to write sequels such as Little Men (1871) and Jo’s Boys (1886).

7. Louisa May Alcott was an early suffragette.

In the 1870s, Alcott wrote for a women’s rights periodical and went door-to-door in Massachusetts to encourage women to vote. In 1879, the state passed a law that would allow women to vote in local elections on anything involving education and children—Alcott registered immediately, becoming the first woman registered in Concord to vote. Although met with resistance, she, along with 19 other women, cast ballots in an 1880 town meeting. The Nineteenth Amendment was finally ratified in 1920, decades after Alcott died.

8. Louisa May Alcott pretended to be her own servant to trick her fans.

After the success of Little Women, fans who connected with the book traveled to Concord to see where Alcott grew up. One month, Alcott had a hundred strangers knock on the door of Orchard House, her family’s home, hoping to see her. Because she didn’t like the attention, she sometimes pretended to be a servant when she answered the front door, hoping to trick fans into leaving.

9. Louisa May Alcott never had children, but she cared for her niece.

Although Alcott never married or had biological children, she took care of her orphaned niece. In 1879, Alcott’s youngest sister May died a month after giving birth to her daughter. As she was dying, May told her husband to send the baby, whom she had named Louisa in honor of Alcott, to her older sister. Nicknamed Lulu, the girl spent her childhood with Alcott, who wrote her stories and seemed a good fit for her high-spiritedness. Lulu was just 8 when Alcott died, at which point she went to live with her father in Switzerland.

10. Fans can visit Louisa May Alcott's home in Concord, Massachusetts.

At 399 Lexington Road in Concord, Massachusetts, tourists can visit Orchard House, the Alcott family home from 1858 to 1877. Orchard House is a designated National Historic Landmark, and visitors can take a guided tour to see where Alcott wrote and set Little Women . Visitors can also get a look at Alcott’s writing desk and the family’s original furniture and paintings.