Sunday, May 31, 2015

The 2nd Annual Way to Win Father's Day (a gift guide)

Last year around this time I put together a little Father's Day gift guide to help find that perfect something for that great Dad (or Dads) in your life. And we're doing it again this year! Stick with us, kids. You're going to be just fine.

Man Crates

It's always appreciated if you can help your dad survive a zombie apocalypse (might be something in it for you too). He'll love it if you can satisfy his nostalgia for retro gaming (although you may not get the TV back). Of course there is the simple pleasure of jerky, lots of jerky (hands off!). Enter Man Crates. These curated crates strike just the right balance of whimsy and practicality. Oh, and he gets to open them with a crowbar. Well done Man Crates, well done.

And they just happen to running a contest to send 2 lucky dudes on a VIP tour of Germany’s famous Oktoberfest!  Enter you email address for a chance to win!

A New Ride
This year for wheels I'm focusing on something with practicality in mind. Something that can get you around the city while nimble enought to squeeze into the tightest parking spots. Of course it has to be quick too. How else can you make it to daycare before the cutoff, to t-ball before the first pitch is placed, or to the LCBO befor they close up shop? This year why not get that special guy in your life the Fiat Abarth. As one (former) automotive journalist summed it up, "160 horsepower in the car the size of a shoe. Fantastic".

If you build it, they will come
LEGO. This one made last year's list too. (For those taking notes, I still haven't received a set of my very own). Something cool like the new Star Wars, Jurassic Park or Superhero sets would hit the spot. Or you can always select something more "mature" like the Architecture series.

The Axe
What guy doesn't want that manliest of tools, the axe. And if you are going to get him one, might as well get him a good one. One that he can pass on to his kids and they theirs. Yes, we're talking about the kind of lumber and steel lovingly handmade by Basecamp X. Go with their versatile Pioneer, the rugged Titanis or all out with a custom order. Respect the tool.

Just for fun you can always get "The Furies" instead. Yup, throwing knives. Or maybe just a coffee mug. They have those too.

A New Deck
The kids are still into it and dad was back in the day, so why not make him feel young again with a new skateboard deck? He'll be familiar with Tony Hawk and Powell Peralta, but rather than have him try too hard to find his (lost) glory days, our friends up at Beau's have one of their very own.  If he has trouble finding his "old school" skills, he can always just mount it on the wall. And a share of the proceeds go to a charity to expand an Ottawa-area skate park.

If a skateboard is too much, the fine folks of Beau's offer a ton of other cool swag.

A little something for the Cottage

If he's lucky enough to spend all his time and money maintaining, fixing, cleaning, pruning, clearing own a cottage, there are always some nice touches for if when he gets to put his feet up on the dock. The traditional Hudson's Bay point blanket will let him linger a little longer after sunset (and provide another layer of protection from the mosquitos). Muskoka Brewery is offering a nice little service this summer: Dockside Draught. A keg fridge, barware, dockside beer delivery, and maintenance all in one handy package from a tasty brewery.

Take him out to the Ball Game
Warm summer evernings, fresh buttery popcorn, mustard-smothered hot dogs, ice cold beer, and the crack of the bat. Some say that Jays might even make the playoffs, the season so far notwithstanding. Let's hope it goes a bit better for them than their colleagues on the hardwood.

If you're in Toronto and need a little extra help getting to the ballpark, check out the various events put together by Left Field Brewery. You can ride with them to the big leagues, or hop on bus, make a run for the border and check out some Triple A ball.

Last year we wished for a Big Green Egg. This year, it's about knowing what to do with it. Enter Olliffe, a fancy Toronto butcher, or as they put it "Purveyors of the Finest Meats". They want to help you "know your meat" and are putting their money where their mouths are with their Butchery Classes. Topics vary: Making a Terrine, Knife Skills, Roasting, but not only will dad benefit, you might get a taste of the results. A night of meat, knives and wine? What could go wrong?

Date Night
It might sound sappy, but Dad would love some time with the partner in his life. Some simple, uninterrupted time. If it's a picnic at the beach, a dinner at cool restaurant, or even a walk in park, some time with the special someone is always treasured. I'm thinking about a night with the boys in bed, some nice wine at hand, a few warm blankets enjoying a cheesy movie. If we can't make it to the movies (do they let you take wine in there anyway?), why not make your own theatre by projecting the film on the wall. I have my eye on something like this to make it happen. And if you have to get him the projector as gift, so be it.

As always, if Dad has let slip something vital, then go with that, but we think every item on this list is a winner, and beyond Father's Day. So you can thank us at Christmas time too.

Please shout out in the comments below any ideas you feel worthy to thank dad for the awesome job he does all year. Happy Father's Day!