Dads. They are superheroes, protectors, grill masters, best friends, and can rile up the kids like no one else. They may have some trouble dressing your kid for school or locating the jelly in the refrigerator (at eye-level, right in front), but mine takes out the garbage and kills spiders, so hey, it's a trade-off I can live with. That's not all, of course. The dads in my life provide comic relief during chaotic situations, handle bedtime like a champ, and make sure everyone is safe and happy at the end of the day. Dads often want for nothing, or occasionally ask for something really exciting.. like socks. This year, I tried to come up with a mix of both unique and more traditional items that dad is sure to love.
Since I try to make this guide as real and practical as possible, let's start with what I'm buying. This year, I'm getting my husband a book from my three-year old. But not just any book. I've done personalized books before, but this one is a little different. I heard about Hooray Heroes from a friend, and then saw it pop up again on a local mommy board. Hooray Heroes came out with an adorable, tear-inducing, daddy edition of their popular book "When Emma Grows Up". Basically, the book starts with a dad imagining his son or daughter as a police officer, scientist, rock star, and more. You get to choose the stories (future careers) and personalize the daddy and the child. The picture actually looks like my daughter which I love! The whole process to create the book was much quicker than I anticipated, which was a huge plus too. To see examples and other Hooray Heroes books, check out their website here.
Ever ask the question "What do you want for Father's Day?" only to get the answer, "Just a picture of the kids would be nice"? I get this alllll the time. But then I have to go searching for a recent picture that is actually decent (yeah, 7% chance of that happening). I love the idea of getting professional photos done and then using them as gifts for upcoming holidays & birthdays. Jen Melgarejo is a family photographer based in Hoboken. She spends her days balancing photography, family, and travel with her husband and their three year old in tow -- so she gets it! Her tagline is perfect - "I've got the camera... bring the wipes!" Book a session at your favorite spot around town or in the comfort of your own home. Jen's photography is based on a simple idea: Kids love play. To her, camera time with kids is about interaction and family. Candid energy. Less scripts.
BONUS: Jen Melgarejo offers an exclusive deal for LH Hook-Up cardholders so check that out as well!
A gym membership for dad? Not exactly... hear me out on this one. If your dad (or husband/brother/uncle, etc.) is anything like mine, he has subsisted on a diet of red meat, potatoes, soda, and virtually zero vegetables his entire life. I have always thought that a place like Iron Plate Studios would be perfect for the man who isn't sure where to begin. They're also great for the guy who is tired of big-box gyms and is looking for better results. Because they offer both personal training and nutrition services, it is the perfect place to get in shape. Iron Plate Studios offers Hybrid Training (combination of Online Training and In-Studio Training) and is offering a FREE upgrade from Basic to Intermediate tier with Online (this includes free nutrition programming with purchase). If you're looking for a personalized and supportive place for dad, or yourself as well, check out Iron Plate.
Bonus: They also offer an exclusive deal on the LH Hook-Up Card!
Ok, now on to a more unique gift. Both my parents and in-laws are retired for the most part, and starting to travel more. As a useful and innovative gift, consider buying them classes from Learn Language Hoboken. With Italian, French, German, and more, help your loved one feel more confident and comfortable in their ability to get around while traveling - or just as a fun activity. My mother and father-in-law just returned home from a trip to Italy. This would have been perfect for them! Learning French has always been on my bucket list, and Learn Language Hoboken makes it convenient and customizable with Group or Private lessons. Classes are intimate and the student can choose between Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced. I'd recommend their 5-class pack as a great way to start. For more information on class packs, their method, location, and more, check out their website .
If you read Little Hoboken's Mother's Day Guide, you may remember seeing Hazel Baby featured there. I can't get enough of this cute store, and thought that this Smashing Pumpkins onesie would make a great gift for a new or expectant father. In addition to the Smashing Pumpkins, they had a few other popular bands from the 80's and 90's as well. Want a matching one for dad? Try Another Man's Treasure next door, or Vintage on 1st in Hoboken.
Still stuck? Sending dad for a massage is always a good idea! The men in my life don't typically treat themselves to massages, yet desperately need them. Health in Hands Spa specializes in massages - in fact, it's all they offer. They are known for Trigger Point Therapy, but also have great options like Sports Massage, Deep Tissue, Couples Massage (sounds like a winner to me), and more. In addition to the uptown Hoboken location, Health in Hands also has a Montclair spot in case the recipient is out in the burbs! Buy the guy in your life a gift certificate, package, or even membership - it's a no-fail, sure-to-please option. Check out their website for more info.
For something tried and true, but with a local twist, gift the father in your life some Misunderstood whiskey or take him out for a drink at one of the many local bars that serve it! The Winston, Halifax, and many more local spots feature a signature cocktail with this ginger spiced whiskey. As a little something extra, include a couple of vintage tumblers or nostalgic glasses from Hoboken Modern.
Looking for something lux? A high quality timepiece is a classic - I realize we're not reinventing the wheel here. However, it's a classic for a reason! It's a great investment for the man who doesn't ask for much, and has worn the same watch on his wrist for years. The last time I bought my husband a nice watch was eight years ago, and he still wears it every day. I love these Tudor watches from W. Kodak Jewelers because they're durable, timeless (no pun intended), and perfect for active fathers. This brand was created back in 1946 by Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf, who aimed to produce high-quality timepieces at a more affordable price point. "From the beginning, TUDOR has produced robust watches for sports enthusiasts and adventurers visiting the most extreme environments on land, in the air, or underwater." Sounds like an experienced dad to me! Visit W. Kodak Jewelers at either one of their two Hoboken locations and be sure to use your LH Hook-Up Card!
Looking to stay home and grill on Father's Day? Since you might need some food to go with that whiskey, I highly recommend ordering some high quality meat and produce from Bone-In Food, right here in Jersey City. They work directly with local regenerative and sustainable farmers, bringing you farm-to-door meat, produce, and provisions. While you may see them at the local farmers market, you can also order online through their buyers club. There are so many food delivery services out there, but I feel good about ordering from a local business that is so passionate about their mission. To read more about their mission and practices, and, of course, order some FOOD, visit their site.
BONUS: Bone-In Food offers a deal on the LH Hook-Up Card!
Ok, I had to throw one funny gift in here. This is like a dad joke - kind of funny and makes you shake your head. Does the father of your children have some extra time on his hands? [Insert crying laughing emoji] If he does, he probably shouldn't tell anyone. But hey, maybe Dad is retired or recovering in bed from a dreaded man-cold. Either way, this hysterical, but convenient-looking apparatus holds virtually any tablet and has folding legs to save space when not in use. Pair this gift with some local coffee from The Roost Output and a funny card from Hudson Paperie. (Both are on the LH Hook-Up!)
I LOVVVEEEE this idea for two reasons. Number 1: You have a new sentimental blanket at the end of the process. Number 2: You can FINALLY get rid of (well..upcycle) dad's drawer-busting collection of old t-shirts. I mean, what's better than number 2?! I know I'm not alone when I say that my husband has at least fifty old t-shirts from his high school/college days. Some are old bands, some from basketball, and even a couple of "Beer Olympics" t-shirts from a time long before kids. When dad has too many t-shirts to wear and throwing them away isn't an option, consider sending them to a company like Project Repat. They turn dad's beloved collection of well-worn shirts into a comfy keepsake quilt for the next generation to enjoy. I couldn't find any local sellers, but you can find other quilt makers on Etsy as well!
"Any man can be a father,
but it takes someone special to be a Dad"
Happy Father's Day!