The Man Spa — That’s how my sons and I refer to Finley’s Barbershop in Austin. Walk in to this un-beauty shop and all the leather appointments, antique photos, and ESPN on the flat screens will reassure even the most thick-browed that this is no girly spa. Even the basic haircut is a throwback to old-school manpering featuring a shampoo with hot towel treatment, a straight razor neck trim with warm lather and shoulder massage — all while sipping on your preferred adult beverage. Add a full shave for the Finley’s Duo ($70) and you’ve got the daddy of all grooming experiences. We’ve noticed places like this cropping up nationwide.
Jawbone Jambox — Dad loves to rock the bluetooth earpiece. So it’s really important that you explain to him just how uncool that is. Instead, substitute a bluetooth device that truly rocks. As if to atone for their array of wireless headplugs, Jawbone has rolled out the Jambox, a tiny wireless speaker set that allows dad to flood the living room with power ballads from 80s hair bands directly from his smart phone. Its tiny size makes it easy to host a dance party with the kids on the patio, then retreat to the workshop without missing an English Beat.
Big Bottle — Buying dad a bottle of wine for his big day may not feel like a sufficient reward for all he does as the paterfamilias. So supersize it and get the big guy a Big Guy. Most boutique and specialty wine shops feature a least a few “large format” bottles. These larger bottles are fun for dinner parties and make a cool addition to the mancave before and after pulling the cork. Plus they come with manly names like Magnum, Double Magnum, and Jereboam. As with all wine, prices can run from affordable to unfathomable. Goes great with steak (or tofurkey) and lots family.
Tickets — It doesn’t matter what to — Ballet Austin, the rodeo, sports event, concert or Master Pancake Theater — as long as dad doesn’t have to pick, plan or pay for it. One of the things we fathers long for are logistics-free events, especially ones that might remind us, however remotely, of our youth. We have no desire to escape the obligations of offspring, but a two to three hour vacation can be quite refreshing. A pair of tickets can also serve as a crowbar, getting us off the couch and into our awesome town.
Dove Men+Care Products – In this post-meterosexual world, male grooming has gone so mainstream that even dad is into it. And these products are great because they are formulated especially for men without being fussy, pretentious, or absurdly expensive. This stuff is perfect for Dads that feel comfortable in their own skin. NEW Dove Men + Care Clean Defense and Fresh Awake Body and Face Wash have skin care built in
and is clinically proven to fight dryness better than regular men’s body washes. New Dove Men + Care Aqua Impact Antiperspirant and Deodorant is tough on sweat, not on skin and contains a balanced fragrance that is not overpowering. Put together a daddy of a gift pack for less than $25.
78 Hours — One of the first things to go with the arrival of that first baby — the fitness program. Sleep deprivation and Crossfit just do not mix. The hardest thing to find once kids are in the picture? A thirty minute window, three days a week, 78 hours a year. Making a gift of that chunk of time to dad has huge value, more than any gear, gadget or gewgaw ever could. But if you must wrap something up for dad, consider paying the entry fee to a local race (also a motivator) or sinking al little cash into a UwaterG4 waterproof MP3 player (swimming is easier on old dad’s joints — earedtobefit.com; $59.95). If you’re worried that suggesting dad should work out more will hurt his feelings, don’t. Seriously. Don’t.
Disclosure: This post was made possible by Dove Men+Care products. DadLabs was compensated, and now smell much better thanks to the good people and products from Dove.