These Valentine's Day Gifts Aren't For Like Regular Dads, They're For Cool Dads

by Cat Bowen

Every year my kids love going to pick out the perfect gift for their father for Valentine's Day. Usually, that means my husband will get some combination of Star Wars tee shirt and Reese's cups. Those are both delightful to receive and he adores them all, but this year, I want us to step up our game. I want us to find unique Valentine's gifts for Dad that will really wow him, and that he'll really love.

Yes, Valentine's Day is a holiday mostly drummed up by florists, the makers of greeting cards, and chocolatiers to provide a spike in sales during the lull after Christmas. Who cares? It's also a super fun holiday that celebrates love and connection, and that's something everyone can benefit from. Plus, when it comes to gifts from your kids to your partner or you to your dad (or you to your partner), there are so many ways to go. Forget the neckties and golf balls that fall under the heading of Father's Day gifts. VDay presents for dads can be tons of fun, full of fancy, or just plain silly.

Is a dad too old at 35 to get a macaroni portrait? I think not. My husband has always appreciated my eye for detail, and I have access to so many more shapes and colors of pasta now. But do I want to use Eataly noodles that way? (Of course I do.)


A Manly Candle

This is a decidedly luxurious candle that smells nothing of the cotton candy candle my husband so loves to tease me about. Yes, even dads who run from Bath & Body Works like the scent is going to suffocate them will dig the warm ginger top note of this candle, and it's sure to be a big hit when your partner takes a shower or hangs out in his man cave. A little hygge for your hubs.


An Unexpected Liqueur

Anyone can buy a bottle of tequila or gin. For the distinguished drinker, this liqueur is made from a special blend of botanicals meant to be appreciated by a true connoisseur. It's fantastic on its own over ice, and even better in a cocktail.


A Turn Behind The Wheel

Husband a fan of Grand Theft Auto? Get him a gift card to sit in the passenger side of a stock car as the (professional!) driver races along the track, speeding toward nowhere in particular. Some of the packages even allow you to drive the car, like the Stock Car Racing Experience at Pocono Raceway (racing packages start at $139). Yikes.


A Creed-Worthy Training Session

Did your husband make a New Year's resolution to get fit but he's having a hard time getting excited about it? Consider buying him a gift certificate to a boxing studio, such as professional boxer Juan Roman's boxing gym in Brooklyn (or your local equivalent). It's probably something he never considered before, and it's incredibly fun. Plus, if he comes home looking like Michael B. Jordan, it wouldn't be the worst thing, would it?


His First Bespoke Shirt

If your husband or father has never had a custom shirt made, they are missing out. I know my hubs thought it would be prohibitively expensive, but with clothiers like, it's actually pretty affordable. Pick the fabric, buttons, and design, send in your measurements, and it's done. Prices start at $70, and they look amazing. Order soon for VDay, though, because processing time is approximately 21 business days; expedited service is available for a fee of $5 extra per shirt (12 to 14 business days).


A Sneaker Gallery

I know many a dad who loves their sneakers, and many of them have amassed some serious collections. These wall boxes allow the true collector to show off those sought-after shoes while safely storing them.


A Fancy Tent

I hate camping. So much. However, my husband freaking loves it. This fancy AF tent is a compromise. The great outdoors is right outside of the fancy flapped entrance, and indoors, I'm making that thing fancy.

I'm talking rugs and feather beds, y'all.


A Brewery In A Box

Beer is one of the world's greatest beverages. Why not make it at home? This kit has everything a dad could possibly need to make his first batch of the good stuff. Just make sure you show up when the first round is ready. You know, for science or whatever.


An Excuse To Get Inked

If your hubs or dad has ever considered a tattoo, or if they're already an enthusiast, think about getting them a gift card to their favorite shop. Nothing says "I love you" like requesting they permanently emblazon their skin with your name.

The fact that my dad doesn't have my name tattooed on his person and my mom has my birth flower tattooed on hers is a sticking point in my brain. Time to remedy that.


Personally Labeled Whiskey

Woodford Reserve will send you a personal label for their whiskey, and you can customize it however you like. All you have to do is fill out a form on their website and they'll mail it to you in 7 to 10 business days... for free!

This is a great "first year as a dad" gift for the new father in your life. It feels really celebratory, like something they'd love to have on their shelf. Just don't forget to buy a bottle of Woodford Reserve whiskey to put the label on, like their Woodford Reserve Bourbon ($89, Spirited Gifts).

After experiencing a traumatic c-section, this mother sought out a doula to support her through her second child’s delivery. Watch as that doula helps this mom reclaim the birth she felt robbed of with her first child, in Episode Three of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below. Visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for more episodes, launching Mondays in December.