15 Father's Day Gifts for Every Type of Dad (and Every Budget)

iStock/Halfpoint
iStock/Halfpoint

Father’s Day can really sneak up on you. Once May rolls into June, your thoughts turn to sandy beaches, county fairs, or long-overdue vacations. Then it suddenly hits you: Dear Old Dad’s big holiday is coming up—and you still haven’t found that perfect, unique gift for your father (or stepfather, or grandfather, or husband)! Never fear. We’re here to help. On this list of ideas, there’s a little something for every kind of papa, from sports dads to foodie fathers to game-night-loving patriarchs.

1. Matador Travel Accessories; $10 to $13

Having to travel in close proximity to screaming babies or roaring engines is never a pleasant experience. The good news is, you can preemptively spare your father’s eardrums from that kind of cacophonous racket before he embarks on his next vacation or business trip with a nice pair of earplugs. We like this travel kit from Matador, which includes memory foam earplugs rated at a 32 dB noise reduction plus a silicone carrying case that doubles as a zipper pull so Dad doesn't have to worry about misplacing them.

Matador's other travel accessories would also make a great gift for any travel pro: The company's space-saving Flat-Pak bottles squish flat so as not to take up room in dad's suitcase after he's run out of shampoo, while the innovative soap bar case somehow manages to be totally leakproof while still allowing the bar to dry through the fabric.

Buy it: Matador

2. The Sopranos Family Cookbook; $14

Grand Central Publishing, Amazon

This unique cookbook for pop culture geeks boasts a fun mixture of mouthwatering Italian recipes and colorful remarks from Artie Buco, Carmela Soprano, and other characters in the classic HBO series, which turned 20 in 2019. The Sopranos Family Cookbook is sure to be a hit with any dads out there who’ve got a taste for crime drama and/or lasagna.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Crossword Puzzle Coffee Mug; $16

The Unemployed Philosophers Guild, Amazon

Now Dad can enjoy his daily dose of caffeine with a puzzle on the side. The exterior of this ingenious mug from The Unemployed Philosophers Guild doubles as a blank crossword puzzle. Every month, your father can find the clues to a different puzzle online. Then he’ll inscribe the answers onto his favorite new piece of drinkware with a pencil.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Major League Ballparks Scratch-Off Chart; $25

Visiting all 30 major league ballparks is a popular bucket list entry for hardcore fans of America’s pastime. Using this scratch-off chart, your dad can track his progress while he tries to follow suit. And if baseball isn't his sport, fear not—Pop Chart also has scratch-off stadium charts for football fans and basketball arenas.

Buy it: Pop Chart

5. Insulated Beer Bottle Holder; $35

BottleKeeper, The Grommet

Koozies are for amateurs. Using this insulated bottle-shaped holster, your dad can keep a 12-ounce bottle of his favorite beer nice and cold for up to two hours straight. Oh, and did we mention that there’s a screw-on cap that’ll let him re-seal the bottle after it’s been opened? As Toby Keith says: Proceed to party.

Buy it: The Grommet

6. Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth; $42

Bodleian Library, Amazon

If your dad pines for Mirkwood or Hobbiton, he’ll want a copy of this beautiful book. A 416-page tribute to the father of modern fantasy, it’s replete with hundreds of J.R.R. Tolkien’s original sketches, watercolor paintings, and manuscripts. Plus, there’s a wonderful set of essays from archivists, scholars, and mythology experts.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Stanley Master Vacuum Bottle; $56

Stanley, Amazon

Whether your pops prefers iced coffee or steaming hot java, the Stanley Master Vacuum Bottle will have him covered—for days. The 1.4-quart model keeps hot drinks hot for 40 hours on end. As for chillier beverages, it’ll help them stay cold for 35 hours straight, or, if there's ice involved, 160 hours.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Dyna-Glo Compact Bullet Charcoal Smoker; $56

Dyna-Glow, Walmart

Nothing beats a good old-fashioned barbecue. Using the temperature gauge as a guide, your dad can smoke or grill all manner of delicious entrees on this compact charcoal-based unit. It might not be a bad idea to throw in some nice barbecue tools as a bonus gift.

Buy it: Walmart

9. Holy Stone RC Quadcopter Drone; $70

Holy Stone, Amazon

You’re never too old to enjoy flying remote-controlled gadgets—or to appreciate quality videos. The Holy Stone RC Quadcopter Drone lets dad create the latter by using the former. It’s a win-win.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Eagle Creek Backpack Cargo Hauler; $77

Eagle Creek, Amazon

So your old man’s the kind of guy who likes to roam around. More power to him. Get the man a spacious, 45-liter travel bag with detachable backpack straps, exterior pockets, and a lifetime warranty. The hardy bag is equally suited to wandering through a new city, embarking on a business trip, or throwing in the back of his truck on the way to the campsite.

Buy it: Amazon

11. LifeProof FRE Series Waterproof iPhone Cases; $80 to $100

Might as well admit it: Everyone—dads included—gets their phone wet now and then. Go ahead and give your dad the gift of peace of mind. LifeProof's FRE series protective cases are waterproof and can keep a fully submerged phone safe underwater for up to an hour. They’ll also shield your dad's phone from snow, dirt, and dust. And better yet, when a mobile device is encased in one of these babies, it can withstand getting dropped from heights of up to 6.5 feet. FRE cases are available for most smartphone models in a variety of colors.

Buy it: LifeProof

12. Jenga GIANT Premium Hardwood Game; $118

Jenga, Amazon

Family game night is a time-honored tradition in many a household. But that doesn’t mean you can’t up the ante. Your pops will get a real kick out of stacking these precision-cut wooden blocks into toddler-sized towers. The starting height is 2 feet, but with a delicate touch, your dad can arrange these Jenga blocks into a 5-foot monstrosity. Sounds like a good time.

Buy it: Amazon

13. Bordo Big Alarm 6000 Key Folding Lock; $200

No cycling dad should be without a good bike lock. Every year, somewhere from 800,000 to 2 million bicycles are stolen across the U.S. To keep his beloved bike from becoming another statistic, your dad can secure it with this quality folding lock. It uses 5-millimeter steel designed to foil any would-be thieves, with a casing system designed to keep his paint job looking pristine. And in the unlikely event that the lock fails, it has a sophisticated alarm system that can alert your dad from afar that his ride is leaving without him.

Buy it: Competitive Cyclist

14. iRobot Roomba 690; $297

Help your dad tackle basic housework in style—all without lifting a finger. The mid-range iRobot Roomba 690 won't break the bank, but still has plenty of high-tech features that will change your dad's life for the better. It boasts Wi-Fi connectivity so he can monitor its progress via smartphone or control it with Google Home or Alexa. It can be pre-scheduled to clean overnight or at specific times during the day, and features virtual wall technology that will allow your dad to block off stairs, doorways, or pet food bowls that might trip the vacuum up. That’ll free him up to kick back and relax while he waits for the floors to get tidy.

Buy it: Amazon or iRobot

15. Fromaggio Automated Home Cheesemaker, $318

Fromaggio, Indiegogo

A high-tech cheesemaking device that can fit on Dad’s kitchen counter? Yes, please. This beauty churns out delicious cheddars, mozzarellas, and provolones in as little as 30 minutes. And with Fromaggio’s handy smartphone app, your old man will be able to buy ingredients, find great recipes, and control the device from afar. The high-end countertop gadget won’t hit the market until 2020, but you can pre-order one today—a true cheese connoisseur like your dad will be willing to wait. In the meantime, we recommend you enroll your papa in Murray’s Cheese of the Month Club so he'll never be without gourmet cheese. (Between June 14 and June 16, you can get 10 percent off Murray's monthly cheese clubs with the code DADGIFTS10.)

Buy it: Indiegogo

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Friday’s Best Amazon Deals Include Digital Projectors, Ugly Christmas Sweaters, and Speakers

Amazon
Amazon
As a recurring feature, our team combs the web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, December 4. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

10 Harry Potter LEGO Sets to Get Fans This Holiday Season

Harry Potter/LEGO/Target
Harry Potter/LEGO/Target

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

The magic of Harry Potter continues to amaze children all over the globe, especially when the cherished series is combined with the LEGO brand. And if you have a builder on your list who's obsessed with the series, we've compiled a list of 10 great sets you can pick up for the holidays.

1. Diagon Alley; $400

Harry Potter/LEGO

This set includes more than 5000 pieces to use to build storefronts, props, and the interiors of Diagon Alley. From Flourish and Blotts to Fred and George Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, you’ll be able to go shopping here every day.

Buy it: LEGO

2. Attack on the Burrows; $100

Harry Potter/LEGO/Target

Many fans will remember when the Death Eaters attacked the Weasley home in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009). This set helps fans build their topsy-turvy house just before Bellatrix arrives to destroy it all.

Buy it: Target

3. Hogwarts Astronomy Tower; $100

Harry Potter/LEGO

The Hogwarts Astronomy Tower is a truly iconic location. Just below the top of the tower, fans can build the Ravenclaw dormitories and common room. Below is Professor Slughorn’s potions office, where he keeps many secrets.

Buy it: LEGO

4. Quidditch Match; $40

Harry Potter/LEGO

Throughout Harry’s time at Hogwarts, not only has he managed to save the school every year, but he also carved out plenty of time to play Quidditch. This set lets fans build the pitch, complete with viewing stands for each house; three goal posts; and all the tools needed to play the game, like a Quaffle, a Bludger, and, of course, a Golden Snitch.

Buy it: LEGO

5. LEGO Harry Potter Advent Calendar; $40

Harry Potter/LEGO

As we start to inch closer to Christmas day, many like to celebrate with Advent calendars. This Advent calendar made by LEGO features elements from the Potter films, including minifigures and props.

Buy it: LEGO

6. Hogwarts Castle; $400

Harry Potter/LEGO

For the ultimate LEGO Harry Potter experience, building the Hogwarts Castle is a must. With over 6000 pieces, fans can build each area the castle has to offer, from the Great Hall to the Chamber of Secrets deep below.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Hogwarts Express; $64

Harry Potter/LEGO

So many great memories have happened at Platform 9¾, and now, fans can make the journey themselves with this 801-piece set, complete with platform, train, and a wall to go through. There might even be an enemy aboard, but you’ll have to find them.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Hagrid's Hut: Buckbeak's Rescue; $60

Harry Potter/LEGO

Hagrid is the honorary fourth member of the gang, and by proxy so is Buckbeak, his Hippogriff. The pivotal moment when Hermione and Harry go back in time to save Buckbeak has now been transformed into a set for fans to build.

Buy it: LEGO

9. Hogwarts Clock Tower; $90

Harry Potter/LEGO

This 922-piece set shows fans everything that goes on inside the clock tower, from the Prefects' bathroom to Dumbledore’s office to the Hospital Wing. Reenact the Yule Ball with all the icy decorations and minifigures of Madame Maxime, Fleur Delacour, and Viktor Krum.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Beauxbatons' Carriage: Arrival at Hogwarts; $50

Harry Potter/LEGO

If you are going to build the Hogwarts Express, it seems fitting to also build another iconic mode of transportation: the Beauxbatons' carriage. In the Goblet of Fire, the all-girls French wizarding school decided to arrive at Hogwarts in style with this flying carriage. The carriage even has some secret compartments that will make the journey even more fun.

Buy it: LEGO

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