5 Father’s Day Ideas on a Budget

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The formula for both Father’s Day and Mother’s Day seems to be bouquet + card + gift = happy parent. While all of these things are kind, there are even more thoughtful ideas that don’t have to break your budget, because money never has to equal gratitude. Grab your dad (or uncle, or grandpa, or mom, or whoever you look up to), and celebrate how thankful you are to have a strong role model in your life.


1. Park Picnic

Packing a lunch of turkey sandwiches doesn’t seem glamorous, but your pop will be thrilled to get outside and enjoy the start of summer with you. Bring along your siblings and your dad’s favorite outdoor activity like a football, checkers, baseball and gloves, or even a deck of cards. Some parks have BBQs available, so if you’re up for cooking, steak out the park early to claim a good spot by the grill.

2. Learn About Your Family

Do a little pre-research into your family’s history and heritage, and then hit the library to read up on your ancestors. The library will be quiet and cool, so you and your dad will get a chance to spend quality time together while learning about both of your histories. If you still live near where you grew up, finish your afternoon with a walk down memory lane near your elementary school or another place from your childhood.

Photo Booth Props Printable on Etsy

Photo Booth Props printable on Etsy

3. Family Portraits

Invite the whole family to a photoshoot. Use costume props from around the house plus your own made out of paper (think oversized glasses and mustaches) to set up a photo booth with a sheet or blanket as a backdrop. If you don’t have a DSLR camera, just pick a room that gets lot of natural light and use your smartphone’s camera. Print your favorites through Tiny Prints and use the code SUMMER30 for 25% off.

4. Spa Day

No matter how macho your father is, everybody could use a little spa treatment. Whip up your own masques and scrubs at home with our favorite recipes for smoother and more vibrant skin. Add in a manicure soak with epsom salts and hydrate by sipping on lemon-mint infused water. If he’s embarrassed, promise not to take any photos or tell his fantasy league friends. After all, the point of Father’s Day is to make your dad feel loved and to show your thanks.

5. TV & Dessert Night

Make your family’s favorites with a build-your-own style bar. Popcorn, ice cream, cookies, cupcakes, or brownies all go great with a buffet of candies, spices, and sauces. Try vanilla ice cream with cinnamon and chocolate syrup, popcorn with honey and sriracha, and cupcakes dipped in marshmallow fluff and crushed graham crackers. Hit the couch to enjoy time without cell phones or distractions, and check out a new show like ABC’s BattleBots which features teams who have built their own robots for a little family friendly competition.

BattleBots premieres Sunday, June 21 at 9/8c on ABC.

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About Jayda
Jayda Knight is a twenty-something in Los Angeles. Her background in online journalism, coupon clipping, and addictive shopping inspired her to create a website for women to save money and have fun. She enjoys cooking (and grilling) whatever mix-matched items she can find in her fridge, and splurges on craft beers and Disneyland trips.

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