Father’s Day is fast approaching.  And if you’re like the most of us, you’ve worn out your gift giving ideas with BBQ tools and ties in years’ past, and you have no idea what to do this year.  Well, here are a few ideas to keep dad happy and you on the list of favorite kid (or wife).
P.S.  Have more ideas?  Leave them in the comments!


Pirate Hygiene Kit:  Because we all know how pirates like to be hygienic, right?  Ok fine, those who like to be around them appreciate a little hygiene.  So give your scurvy dad pirate a splash of something from the high seas.  This pirate kit includes “Pegleg Aftershave”, “Pirate Pits Deoderant”, and “Bottle of Rum” pirate toothpicks – all housed in eco-friendly packaging sure to please even the roughest deck swabber.  Find them exclusively at The Made Local Marketplace (in the Share Exchange) at 531 5th St, Santa Rosa.  www.shareexchange.coop

Photo Collage
Ok, yeah, Dad has a ton of photos of you on his desk, in his wallet, and everywhere he looks around the house.  But let’s face it, you’re a good looking kid.  After all, he created you, right?  Up the photo gift by printing out a ton of photos from a one-hour place (like CVS or Costco) and then make a collage for your favorite dad.  You’ll get bonus points if it includes photos of you doing fun stuff with your dad.


Sonoma County Parks Pass
You like to hang out with dad, right?  So make it easier by buying him a 2012-13 family membership that grants him access to 49 regional parks.  The price is $69.  But can you really put a price on your love for Dad, or for saving the parks?  sonoma-county.org/parks


Professional Lessons
Maybe your dad is the next Bill Clinton wannabe, taking out the sax and torturing anyone within earshot.  Or maybe there’s a little to be desired in his golf swing.  Whatever your dad’s passion, consider giving him the gift of lessons to help better the skills he could really use some help on.  Bennett Valley Golf Course has a great selection of pros to help dad with his golf swing.  Visit their website at www.bvgolf.org.


River Rafting Trip
If your dad is the adventurous type, he’ll love to be gifted with something kind of hard to put in a box – a river rafting trip!  Russian River Adventures offers two different packages for your thrill-seeking dad  – a 9-mile full day coast down the river (even Fido can go!), or a 4-mile half day adventure (that Fido will have to stay home for).  Prices range between $25-$50 per person, and remain at $25 M-F for their half-day weekday promotion through June.  Groups of 10 or more also qualify for a discount.  russianriveradventures.com


Coupon Book
I know, I know.  This is the gift that every kid gives their parent.  Trust me, if the “coupons” listed are followed through on, this gift ranks up there in the Top Ten of best. gifts. ever.  Give dad a freebie on washing his car.  Mow the lawn with no strings attached.  Make a coupon for “Dad and kid” day.  Put one in there for playing catch or keeping the video games off.


Gift Cards
All dad love shopping…but only at their favorite stores.  Give Dad a gift he really wants by treating him to a gift card to Friedman’s Home Improvement (friedmanshome.com), Santa Rosa’s T & B Sports (tandbsports.com), Cotati’s Outdoor Pro Shop (outdoorproshop.com).  Or give him cards towards food, like Ausiello’s 5th Street Grill (609 5th St, Santa Rosa), Tex Wasabi’s (www.texwasabis.com), or serious man food at Stark’s Steakhouse (starkrestaurants.com)


Take him to the races
Nothing like the smell of exhaust to bring out the chest pounding MAN in dad.  The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits Infineon Raceway on June 22-24, complete with faster than fast cars taking a 10-turn 1.99 mile course, an airshow overhead (June 24), and Tony de la Russo as MOC (racesonoma.com), as well as several Bay Area gourment food trucks serving everything from wood-fired pizza to hand-rolled sushi.  Looking for something a little less crowded but equally as exhaust-ing?  Watch stock cars take the course at Petaluma Speedway at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds.  Sunday June 24th, the Demolition Derby takes over the track as cars annihilate each other in an attempt to be the last vehicle running (petaluma-speedway.com)


A simple letter
You know all that stuff your dad does for you that you take for granted?  Like going to work every day, spending time with you, offering you advice, working with you on your swing, or just being the funniest guy you know?  Let him know you notice it by writing him a letter, sharing with him what he means to you and how much you care about him.  You might even hit your tough old dad’s soft spot in the process.


Happy Father’s Day to all you fathers out there – from devoted dads, stepdads, grandpas, and any other male role model who is making a difference in a child’s life. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend full of family and fun!