Father’s Day Gifts for GrandpasFather's Day Gifts for Grandpas

Father’s Day is June 19 this year, and although grandfathers have Grandparents’ Day, it’s nice to treat them on Father’s Day, too. After all, a fellow can never have too many special days. Not sure what he’d like? We’ve got a few “grand” ideas to help you out.

Family fun is the classic Father’s Day gift for grandpas

It’s hard to go wrong with family-focused celebrations like lunch with relatives at your grandfather’s favorite restaurant, an outing to the local zoo with the grandkids, or a cookout with your grandpa running the grill. Even if you can’t be there in person, there are lots of ways to let Grandpa know how much you appreciate him.

Gourmet gifts for foodie grandfathers

Got a granddad who likes to cook? He might enjoy a gift certificate for specialty cooking classes, a cake decorating workshop, or a tour of a local winery. For granddads who love fresh produce and eggs but don’t have a garden, a gift subscription to a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program can deliver seasonal, locally grown veggies, fruit, herbs, and more to his doorstep or a nearby pick-up location. You can search for CSA programs across the US at LocalHarvest.

Gifts for handy grandpas and those with green thumbs

For some grandfathers, tinkering with things around the house or puttering in the garden are daily pleasures. You can make his hobby time more comfortable with a high-tech tool like the Coolbox, a wheeled gear tote that comes with built-in speakers, a detachable lamp, places for a smartphone and tablet, and a bottle opener. (You’ll have to give an IOU on Father’s Day, though – it doesn’t start shipping until July.)

More low-tech but just as useful are garden tools with easy grips and ergonomic designs to reduce hand and wrist strain. If your grandpa loves to garden but can’t bend easily or uses a wheelchair, consider treating him to a raised garden bed for his porch, patio or yard.

Gifts for granddads who are the family historians

National Geographic’s Geno 2.0 DNA kit is the ultimate gift for grandfathers who are into genealogy and history. The kit allows you to take cheek-swab samples (no pain!) to mail in to National Geographic’s Genographic Project. Grandpa gets back information about his ancient ancestors’ journey around the globe and learns what percentage of his forbears came from different parts of the world. If he chooses, he can share his results with Genographic Project scientists who are researching early human history.

Another fun family-history option is to make video recordings of your grandfather talking about events from his past or sharing old family stories. Add some fancy titles, do some editing, and you’ve got a shareable keepsake for future generations, with your grandfather as the star of the show.

Gifts for grandfathers with dementia

If your grandpa is living with dementia, going out to celebrate may not be practical or enjoyable for him. In that case, focus  Father’s Day on activities that spark pleasant memories, like favorite music from earlier in his life, digitally enhanced and enlarged photos of loved ones, and sensory pleasures like a new lap blanket, comfy non-skid slippers, or a set of Egyptian cotton pajamas for sleep and lounging. (You can find more ideas here.)

Time your Father’s Day visit for your grandfather’s most alert and relaxed time of day. For most people with advanced dementia, morning and early afternoon are better than evening. Keep it short and fun, and take pictures to print and bring to him on your next visit.

Casey Kelly-Barton is an Austin-based freelance writer whose childhood was made awesome by her grandmothers, great-grandmother, great-aunts and -uncles, and their friends.

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