7 Perfect Gifts for Minimalist Dads

Inside: Here you’ll find a handful of perfect gifts for minimalist dads in your life or the dad who already has all the things! This post may contain affiliate links at no additional cost to you.

If you search Pinterest for Father’s Day gift ideas, you’ll likely find everything from heart shaped bacon and wooden watches, to gadgets, monogramed tools and about seven million over the top craft ideas.

minimalist gift ideas for dad

Why does coming up with gift ideas for Dad always feel like an insurmountable task?

“What are you getting dad?”
“I don’t know what are you getting dad?”
“Want to go in on something?”
“What about a fit bit?”
“I think we got him one of those last year.”
“Oh, yeah. How much is an automatic skeet shooter? Is that what you call them?”
“I don’t know what about a…”

And so it goes, the same conversation, year after year, until suddenly we realize that while our intention is to honor, we’ve found ourselves stuck in the obligation of outdoing last year.


The fathers in my life fall all over the gifting spectrum. Is that a thing? Well, it is now, at least for the purpose of this blog post.

Let’s call it a gifting spectrum and define it as,

“the range of varied preferences in giving and receiving gifts.”

I’d say the spectrum varies from, “I love receiving gifts,” to “please, for the love of all that is good, do not get me a gift.”

Experiences Over Things

Regardless of where you land, the gifts that almost always seem to go over well are non-tangible gifts chosen with intention.

Let’s opt to give gifts that prevent accumulation and awkward thank you’s but instead encourage deeper relationships and more experiences.

For example, this past Christmas I gave my husband the gift of time.

We are paying someone to mow our lawn this summer so his evenings aren’t spent dealing with it. As I type this, that lovely landscape professional is outside whipping around our yard at a speed I did not know lawn mowers were capable of going.

We gave my in-laws tickets to see the one and only, Mr. Jerry Seinfeld at our local theater as a joint Mother’s and Father’s Day gift. Of course, we tagged along because um, hello, it’s Jerry Seinfeld. (For the record, if you’ve never seen an episode of Seinfeld, well, I fear this friendship of ours will only go so far).

My parents are taking their first trip to Paris this summer and for Christmas we bought them a Parisian food tour through Montmarte. Experiences gifts are always my favorite!

Minimalist Father's Day Gift Ideas
Photo by Augustin de Montesquiou on Unsplash

If you need a little Father’s Day gift inspiration for the Dad in your life who isn’t interested in another watch, (or maybe he simply has every possible thing imaginable), might I suggest a few of these gift ideas instead:

1. His favorite meal

Don’t they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach? I could spend hundreds of dollars on a gift for my husband and he’d try to muster up a smile of gratitude, all the while wishing I never spent that money on him in the first place.

But, if I make him his favorite dinner with all the fixings, I’m his hero. Especially if it can be a relatively peaceful meal. One free of multiple spilled milks, children tipping over chairs and last bite negotiations. I mean, a man can dream I guess.

2. Tangible gifts

If you much prefer giving a tangible gift, look for ones that will actually be used and won’t sit around for years to come. Such as:

3. Experiences

Be careful which experience you choose. If I gave my husband a hiking trip he’d surely retaliate on Mother’s Day. Be sure and gear the experience toward their personalities and passions.

Minimalist Father's Day Gift Ideas
Photo by Morgan David de Lossy on Unsplash

Here are some ideas to get you thinking:

  • Fishing excursion
  • Comedy show
  • Concert tickets
  • Sporting event tickets
  • Ninja Warrior Course
  • Zip line
  • Hiking
  • Golfing
  • Amusement park
  • Bowling
  • Private lessons: Golf Pro, Cooking class
  • Escape Room
  • Rock wall climbing
  • Beer or wine tasting tour
  • Overnight getaway

4. Services

  • Lawn mowing service
  • Car detailing service
  • Personal trainer
  • Window washing
Minimalist Father's Day Gift Ideas
Photo by Daniel Watson on Unsplash

We are all loving the lawn mowing service. It’s the gift that keeps giving. My husband would much prefer family time over an hour and a half of yard work on a weeknight. Michigan summer’s are brief. We need to capitalize on our good weather.

5. Personalized coupons for outings with his kids

This is my kiddos favorite gift to give (as well as receive). They love private one-on-one time with us. Watching my kids give themselves as the gifts melts my heart.

They want us, not our stuff, and this is the perfect opportunity to make sure they know the opposite is true as well.

Minimalist Father's Day Gift Ideas

I’ve created some free printable Father’s Day Coupons you are welcome to use. I find they make it look more like a gift and less like an IOU.

Here are some ideas my kids have given in the past:

  • Movie date
  • Fancy date night
  • Putt-putt golf
  • Family adventure day
  • Laser tag
  • Trampoline park
  • Ice cream outing

6. Family photo shoot

Totally kidding! This is the absolute LAST thing my husband would ever want as a gift…ever.

I don’t get it. I mean, what’s not to love? Coordinating outfits, nap schedules, hair styles, meal times and timing smiles down to the second, sounds like his perfect afternoon in a nutshell.

I mean, by all means, make him take family photos, just don’t make it a Father’s Day gift.

Minimalist Father's Day Gift Ideas
My Grandfather In-Law, Harry James Crawford (1923-2018) and his Great Grandkids, 2013… actual photo!

7. Nothing

When I give my husband the gift of not spending money on him, he feels the most appreciated of all. 

Minimalism allows us to live and move with intention. Gift giving is no exception. The most important thing is to make sure the fathers in our lives know how much we appreciate them.

Just keep in mind, heart shaped bacon may be all he really needs. Happy gifting.


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