What to get dad for Fathers Day 2017

by Ben Ford

Forget the impersonal gift and hastily bought greeting card – research shows the old man is keen for an experience to remember. We looked into what dad really wants for Father's Day.

Remember when Father’s Day meant a last-minute trip to the newsagent for a card? In the 1980s a new pair of socks and a hug was all the recognition dads expected, but these days we are spending more on our fathers and tailoring gifts to suit their interests and hobbies.

Experts say that while personal care items, footwear and clothing remain the most popular gifts, Father’s Day is now becoming an event to be celebrated with family and friends over a special experience. It’s something we've kept in mind this Father's Day when thinking about what dad really wants. Dads are certain to be thrilled with something beyond the ordinary. Even the humble lunch can be turned into a bucket list moment – think a helicopter ride to a Yarra Valley winery or a trip from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef’s Green Island for a family meal followed by a submarine tour.

There’s plenty of evidence that Australia is following the latest trend from the United States, where dads are increasingly hoping for a special “experience gift”. Ana Serafin Smith from the US’s National Retail Federation says the choice of outings over simple gifts proves millennials are willing to put a bit more effort into Father’s Day. “Outings allow family and friends to partake in the celebration and build new memories that they can share on social media and cherish for a lifetime,” she says. 

Dominique Lamb, CEO of the National Retail Association, says Australian consumers splurged around $800 million on Father’s Day gifts in 2016, a figure that seems likely to grow this year. While total spending in Australia on Father’s Day is behind the $2 billion we spend on Mother’s Day annually, there is every indication that the gap is narrowing as kids search out more interesting and memorable gifts.

Red Balloon has taken this concept to new heights with an exciting range of adventures. Even if you’re not at driving age, you can still take those Instagram-worthy snaps of Dad ripping by in a V8 sports car or a rally car. You can take him on a quiet round of golf or watch as he lands a fighter jet on a flight simulator.

Whatever you choose, you can be certain that giving Dad the gift of both your time and something out of the ordinary will be far more memorable than that bottle of aftershave this Father's Day.

Share an experience this Fathers Day | RedBalloon #mydad

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