9 Great Gift Ideas For Retired Dads

After spending a full life working, this can be a tough time for people to retire. It would be a great idea to research some gift ideas for your retired dad. It may take his mind off it or lead into a new hobby!

Becoming retired can be an emotional time, especially for a dad that has spent his whole adult life working to support his children. It will feel weird at first and he may not be enjoying the idea of it. The best gifts are the ones that mean a lot to the person, that are thoughtful, and have some kind of personal meaning behind them. You know your dad the best but here are some great gift ideas for retired dads that I researched below.

I think you should take your time and find the right gift to give him. Really make it count so it puts him on a positive path for this next stage of his life.

Here are the suggestions I have for retired dad gift ideas you may find helpful:

#1 – Hobby Gifts

dad hobby gift fishing
Fishing Hobby – Photo by Jonathan Zerger

Now that he will have more free time to do what he wants, this would be a great chance to get more involved with his favourite hobbies that he may not have had time for while working.

Make a list of what interests your dad has. Does he read a lot? Does he fish? Paint? Loves to build things with wood? The list is endless and it really depends on your father’s personal preferences.

If he doesn’t have a hobby that you know of, maybe start a random conversation with him one day.

Secretly gathering information from him, talk about a hobby you have been involved with and slowly ask him more and more questions about what hobbies he enjoyed in the past.

Or perhaps tell him that you are looking for something new to try and see what he recommends.

#2 – Family trip

family trip gift for dad
Yosemite – Photo by Christofer Jeschke

A family trip might be exactly what your Dad will enjoy doing. In the later parts of your life one of the most important things to do is to spend time with family.

A lot of fathers spend their lives supporting their families. Working long hours to help pay for bills, sports, your hobbies, schooling, and more. With majority of parents, this doesn’t leave much time or money left to do a lot of travelling.

Considering his age, start brainstorming appropriate locations to experience an amazing trip with the family. Obviously, taking everyone to the Arctic would be a bad idea if you have children or elders in the group.

Depending on your budget, it could be as simple as travelling around various National Parks. This is a great experience and no need to buy the whole family new passports if you live in America. Some of the most popular national parks include Yosemite, Arches, Great Smoky Mountains, Acadia, Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore and many more!

Does the family enjoy hot weather? Well, you can’t go wrong with Hawaii, Bermuda, Jamaica, or so many more.

I came across a helpful list of the best family holiday destinations that you may find helpful.

If you are ready to pick a place and need to book the family trip with dad, here is a list of the top 5 online travel websites to do so. 

  1. Booking.com
  2. Expedia.com
  3. Kayak.com
  4. HipMunk.com
  5. Priceline.com

#3 – Flying Experiences

hot air balloon dad flying experience
Hot Air Balloon – Photo by Ali Abdul Rahman

There are a few options when it comes to flying experiences. The typical and most popular option would be basic flying lessons at the local airport. This is something you would have to search for yourself.

Another option which would be a fantastic option for older men that may not enjoy being bounced around a small plane would be hot air balloon lessons.

I have never personally gone in a hot air balloon myself, but I would if I was ever asked about it. Honestly, it’s not something I ever thought about until now. From the sounds of it experience, it is a very fun and gentle ride. It has been described as an “open-air elevator”, very smooth.

Another great option might be a Helicopter tour. These can be quite pricey, similar to the other options on this list, but are made more for tourists rather than learning a new skill like flying lessons.

If you live near a city or a famous attraction like Niagara Falls then you can be sure to find a nearby helicopter tour company. Prices can range from a cheap Groupon deal at $50-100 and up to expensive $500+.

#4 – Work Related Gifts

work related gift for dad
Wrenches – Photo by Matt Artz

Your dad spent his whole life working one or a few various jobs, usually in the same industry. It may be a good idea to consider honouring this by gifting him a work related present.

This is more popular with honourably services such as Police, Firefighting, Paramedics, or Military. These are easy careers to honour with a work related gifts. There are ton of options out there.

To be honest though, you may have a harder time finding a present for some careers, such as a plumber. What do you get him? Honestly, let me know in the comments. My father was a Plumber who is currently retired, I would have no idea what to get him as a work related gift.

#5 – Dream Trip Tickets

dream trip tickets
Great Wall of China – Photo by Hanson Lu

Your father has a place on this planet that he wants to visit before it’s too late. We all have a limited amount of time here and we all have special places that for one reason or another we connected to. A place that always intrigued us in photos as a child.

Your dad is no different, ask him about his interests and what places he would love to travel to. This is a gift that he will absolutely love and appreciate more than you will know.

After figuring out a small list of places he wants to go to, try and make it happen. If you already have the income to pay for this, great! If you don’t, then you have a few options.

The first option to pay for this trip, which I don’t recommend, is to take out a personal loan. I admittedly wish I wasn’t even adding this to the list. I despise debt. However, if you have no other options available and you can safely pay this off in the near future, than consider it. Just don’t let your father know as it will make him feel guilty. Tell him it’s paid in full!

The second option would be to get a part time job. Work early mornings or evenings around your schedule. If you are able to pull this off, then this is how I would personally handle buying a trip for dad.

The third option would be to include other family members. Get together and discuss your plan for him and see if others would be willing to contribute to your dad’s bucket list dream trip!

#6 – Travel Accessories

travel accessories for dad gift
Travel Accessories – Photo by Ben White

This gift idea may go great with the family trip or dream trip listed above. Or maybe someone else gifted a trip to your dad and you could help out by buying all new luggage or accessories for him.

This gift is based on personal preference on what your dad would like. You know him best, pay attention to his style. His other clothing or accessories. A good idea is to match anything new you buy him to these other items he already owns.

The best place to purchase any travel accessories would have to be Amazon here. They just have so many options and so many categories such as luggage, wallets, travel cases, sleeping and bed products, hiking, camping, and so much more.

Just a heads up that anything you buy from the link above at Amazon will help support this website by giving us a small percentage of the sale. Thanks if you do not required!

#7 – Personalized Gifts

personalized gifts for dad
Love You Daddy Lure – Photo by Custom Lures

To be honest, I find most people do personalized gifts really poorly with a lack of thought behind them. The only way a personalized gift for dad is going to make an impact is if it has a deeper meaning behind it.

So instead of buying him a pen with his name on it, let’s consider deeper ideas. In another article, I discuss how to brainstorm dad Christmas gift ideas. This will help you get organized with your thoughts and how to come up with the perfect gift.

Apply this to a personalized gift and you should not have any issues figuring out what would work well for your father. It is impossible and pointless for me to list ideas for this as it really depends on each individual person.

The main thing to remember is to put a lot of thought behind the gift!

#8 – Social Gathering

social gathering gift for dad
Wine Glasses – Photo by Scott Warman

Your dad is retired! He may be feeling a little bit secluded. Maybe he isn’t getting out as often as he should. A great gift idea would be to organize a party or get together of all his closest friends.

Rent a room or use a large backyard if the weather is good. Have it decorated and offer catering or make food yourself.

Create invites and mail them out along with a phone call to make sure people are available that day and show up!

Even if your father comes off a little grumpy once in awhile, I bet he would still love to have a day where his friends come out and show their love for him.

#9 – Donation

donate gift for dad
Donate – Photo by rawpixel

I know what you are thinking. Really? Just throw money away? Well, no, this may actually mean more to your dad than you think. However, it will take some digging or research into his past to find the perfect charity to donate to.

Was your dad in the army? Maybe consider donating to veterans in need of help. Did he spend his life saving animals in his spare time? Donate to the local ASPCA / SPCA.

There are countless options to consider and I bet if you make the right choice, it would be an excellent idea that he would really appreciate having his name attached to.


I hope some of the options listed above have been helpful to finding great gift ideas for your retired dad. This can be a sensitive time for some and an exciting time for others.

Take your time and make the right choice and I am sure he will love whatever you decide to do for him. Thanks for reading!

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