“But the love of adventure was in Father's blood.” William Frederick Cody aka Buffalo Bill (1846 - 1917)
Adventure. Defined as an unusual and exciting, often hazardous or risky, activity or escapade. Or (at least) the willingness to try said experience.
As with beauty, adventure is in the eye of the beholder. For some Dad's adventure is all about the adrenaline. For others, it's a sense of accomplishment after getting out of their comfort zone. And yet for others, a backyard full of rambunctious, screaming kids is about all the adventure they can handle.
As you’ll see in the following stories, with a little creativity it can be simple and fun to come up with out-of-the-box experiences to fit any father's adventurous style.
The Nature Adventure
Every year a group of dads I know plan a father/children-only camping trip. It's a great opportunity for dads to practice their unique style of parenting. Which means no need for washing hands and no bedtimes. It's also a time for some serious male bonding. I'm told they sit around the campfire at night comparing whose...flashlight is bigger.
(The secret here: The trip is actually a hidden gift for us moms who get a quiet weekend alone. Shh!)
How does this translate to a Father's Day gift you ask? Mom corrals the kids to do most of the preparation: stocking the coolers, packing up the truck, preparing one or two throw-it-all-in-the-cast-iron-pot-and-let-it-cook-all-day meals.
Of course, make sure to find the biggest and best flashlight around and sneak it in among the camping essentials!
The Fitness Adventure
It's an age-old conundrum: What do you get for the father who doesn't really need anything?
It seems the more Father's Days celebrated the more this question becomes relevant. Such is the case with a certain father-in-law. His own children are grown, so the majority of his involvement revolves around the grandkids’ activities.
And this Grandpa is more than a bystander or voice cheering in the bleachers. He's the assistant coach for one of his grandson's baseball teams. Not only is he actively involved, he picks up his grandson three to four times a week and takes him to practices and games. With three other siblings also in sports, this is a lifesaver.
It's a win-win as he likes to say. He gets to do something he's always enjoyed, has a chance to bond with his grandson, and stays active. At 71-years-old fitness is very important which is why he still finds time to go to the gym regularly.
How do you repay that? How do you show how truly grateful you are?
First, an addition or update to his gym bag essentials is the first thing. (He would never purchase a Fitbit or upgrade his workout shoes for himself.) Plus, every year on or around Father's Day his gym membership is miraculously renewed.
The Wet ‘n’ Wild Adventure
This is the story of “Uncle Frank.” Uncle Frank and Auntie B never had children so, he never had the opportunity to be a father. Which is a shame because he would have been a fantastic dad.
What Uncle Frank did do is treat his nieces and nephews and their children as his own kids. He spoiled them at Christmas. He organized back your backyard barbecues that included every game imaginable (think: croquet, cornhole, and bouncy castles). He was the kind of “father” who deserves a big ticket item.
It took several years to coordinate this gift-giving, but after his retirement, a pool party with a twist was planned for the following Father's Day.
A pool is not a very practical thing in Colorado since it’s typically confined to seasonal use. His nieces and nephews researched and compared and eventually decided on the perfect hot tub for Uncle Frank.
When he and Auntie B -- who was in on the scheme-- returned from a vacation, Uncle Frank was met with a group of his favorite people and a new hot tub. The year he was honored as a father is something he still talks (and sheds tears) about to this day.
The Musical Adventure
Does the father you’re paying tribute to have musical inclinations? If so, he probably already has all the instruments, music sheets, and instruments he needs. How do you come up with an adventurous gift for him?
Unfortunately, his daughter was not born with the music gene. For years the father tried to instill musicality within his daughter, to no avail. But, waiting in the wings was a granddaughter drawn to it. Grandpa was tickled pink.
The only problem: the granddaughter is left-handed. Here's where some out-of-the-box thinking was required. The final idea was absolutely perfect. Lessons on how to play the left-handed guitar, of course!
Is it self-serving to give a gift that benefits your family personally? Not for the father who says “I don't need anything. And there's nothing I want except to enjoy my grandkids.” Enjoy away, Dad!
Hopefully, you’ve been inspired to get creative this Father’s Day. Forget the new tie or the gift card to a restaurant. Think out-of-the-box. Get adventurous. The memories will last forever.