top 10 alternative father's day gift ideas
Activities and crafts

Top 10 alternative father’s day gifts

During Father’s Day we celebrate fatherhood, parental bonds and the influence of fathers in society. Every year we try very hard to come up with a clever gift idea that would be good enough to honour them for their hard work, however all the preparation for a surprise gift often just ends up with us buying a pricier pair of socks, or aftershave in the very last minute! 

He already has three of the same exact pair of socks, and he doesn’t wear half of his tie collection that has accumulated  over the years. Every year you try really hard to come up with a fun gift idea to surprise your beloved with, but you find that it’s not as simple as you think.

top 10 alternative father's day gift ideas

Here is a list of 10 alternative gift ideas for Father’s Day (that aren’t socks and aftershave!) to help you choose the perfect gift for him this year. So whether it’s your own father, or the father of your children that you are buying for – you’ll find plenty of inspiration here.

Alternative father’s day gifts for Irish dads

1. Pocket watch

A pocket watch is a perfect and a very personal accessory for any fancy event. Mulling Pewter offers pewter and stainless steel mechanical pocket watches that could be personalised with engravings. A perfect gift for the perfect father from an Irish owned company that has been crafting Irish pieces of the highest quality for 800 years. Each piece is still cast by skilled craftspeople using traditional methods.

2. Hip flask

If the father in your life is a classic Irish man, who loves his occasional drink, you can’t go wrong with a personalised hip flask as an ideal Father’s Day gift. offers a wide range of different hip flasks from classic plain vintage pewter hip flasks to cool contemporary hip flask designs.

3. Monogrammed pyjamas

Make any man feel he’s King of the Castle – at least at bedtime! These pyjamas are made of 100% brushed cotton from Magee of Donegal. These classic pyjamas can be personalised with embroider monograms, that will bring style and charisma to the bedroom.

top 10 alternative father's day gift ideas

4. Personalised t-shirt

Personalised T-shirts are the ideal way to let your father stand out from the crowd; your can design a funny t-shirt with typical dad jokes, or surprise him with a top that has his favourite family photo printed on it, so he can proudly wear it around. At Reads you can easily customise the desired t-shit for the ideal Father’s day gift.

5. Stylish pen

This stylist ballpoint pen from luxury goods maker Tipperary Crystal comes beautifully presented in a branded gift box. Tipperary Crystal is an Irish design legend, and has become synonymous with high-end designs and excellent quality, creating modern and classical collections. A great gift for your special dad on father’s day.

6. Bottle of fine whiskey

Midleton Very Rare Whiskey is a very rare blend that is triple distilled and exclusively matured in American oak barrels. Only 50 casks of Midleton are released every year which is why this whiskey is so rare. Each bottle is individually numbered and bears the signature of Barry Crockett, Midleton’s Master Distillermaking, adding to the character of this unique gift and making this the ultimate Whiskey Collector’s gift. A pricey gift for sure, but an unforgettable one!

7. Fine wine and gourmet cheese hamper

Fine wines, Sheridans Irish Crackers and quality cheese make this a gift to be savoured with the personal touch!

There are many occasions when a bottle of personalised wine is the perfect gift solution. On father’s day,  a personalised bottle marks the day in a unique way and gives your loved one a lovely keepsake.

top 10 alternative father's day gift ideas

8. Pamper package for men

A man’s detox treatment. Why not book him in for a purifying and detoxing treatment at a local salon? Or, if your man is too much of a man for that you could get him the sport massage. Alternatively you could buy him a Father’s Day gift set – Clarins have some lovely one’s available, such as the Hydration Gift Set (Super Moisture Balm 50ml, Active Face Wash 30ml, Shampoo & Shower Gel 30ml) or the Anti-Age Gift Set: (Line Control Balm 50ml, Active Face Wash 30ml, Shampoo & Shower Gel 30ml)

Some great ways to persuade him to relax and get pampered!

9. Private golf lessons

This a great gift for anyone wanting to up their game and perfect their skills on the golf course. Your loved one would get to spend some time on the course under expert instruction practising and perfecting his technique on pitching and putting, working on consistency and improving your distance and accuracy. A truly enjoyable experience that won’t go unnoticed the next time he’s on the golf course.

10. Flying lesson

For the more courageous fathers, give the experience of flying from the front seat while having full control of all aircraft systems! Leaving from Sligo airport with a pre flight briefing, your loved one will be given control and allowed to begin with basic maneuvers such as turning, climbing and descending and take in the breathtaking views of Benbulben and Knocknaree while navigating the beautiful coastline and scenic areas.

A flying lesson is a unique and unforgettable gift!

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, and happy shopping to you!

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Ask Sarah

Q I’ve heard a lot about the Paleo diet and as I am very interested in reducing the amount of processed foods and grain based meals my family eats, we are considering following this diet. From what I read it seems to be a back-to-basics type of eating. Is a Paleo diet safe for children? My kids are aged seven and nine.

A The Paleo diet is one of the most fashionable diets around at the moment. It is also known as the ‘caveman diet’ and is based on cutting out processed foods, starchy foods like bread and potatoes and eating more meat, vegetables and fruit.
As fad diets go, it is not the worst but there are some good and bad sides to it. Reducing the amount of processed foods we eat is always a good idea and by doing that you will usually reduce the amount of fat, salt and sugar you eat, which is a good thing! The problem with the Paleo diet is that it also cuts out dairy (on the basis that cavemen didn’t drink milk) and this means that the diet is very low in calcium. For this reason it is really not suitable for children who do need a lot of calcium for growing bones. How did cavemen manage without dairy? They ate a lot more food than we do (up to 10,000 calories per day compared to the 2,000 most of us eat). By eating that amount of food they were able to pick up just enough calcium from green vegetables and seeds. To put it in perspective, you would need to eat 16 servings of broccoli a day to get all the calcium you need. This is easier to do if you eat 10,000 calories per day rather than 2,000.
The other problem with the paleo diet is that it is not entirely based in science. Many of the Paleo diets out there say you should not eat wheat, even though we know that cavemen did in fact eat wheat and other grains. These diets also don’t recommend that you eat blubber and the big lumps of fat that were also a large part of the caveman diet!
A final problem is that many Paleo diets encourage people to cut out beans and lentils and to get their protein from meat and fish instead. Many studies over the last few years are clear that eating too much animal protein is linked with more cancer and heart disease. Eating some vegetarian meals based on beans and lentils is a great way to get your protein without always going for meat.
Is this a diet we should follow? I think there is a lot we can learn from the Paleo diets. We could all do with eating less salt, sugar and processed foods and adding in more nuts and seeds as well as more vegetables. However, I think following a strict Paleo diet could lead to low levels of calcium and vitamin D and so it is not suitable for children or teens and adults would need to think about a calcium supplement.



Q My son is 18 months old and has just started saying his first words. It is an extremely exciting time in our house and my husband and I are eager to encourage his speaking as much possible. What advice would you give us on how we can foster this without bombarding and confusing him?

AThere is nothing better than hearing your baby begin to talk. All the hard work you have put in over the last two years is coming back tenfold.
Toddlers will vary significantly with ability and speed of which they talk however a guide would be about 50 words by 2 years of age. The most important thing to watch for is that your baby/toddler is cooing and babbling and begins to string sounds together like “Mama/Dada” They should have a wide range of speech sounds and like to imitate you and things they hear.
There are many ways that you can promote Speech and Language development at home:
1. Slowing down your own speech and taking time over conversations with your little one. Every day is a new experience when you are 18 months, nappy changes, bath time, baking a cake brings endless opportunity for you to interact and offer new words for them to hear and repeat. Make eye contact, smile and use exaggerated tones to keep things interesting and fun for your tot.
2. Review the toys that you have on offer to your tot and ensure that they give plenty of open ended play opportunities. Role play is a wonderful way to allow children to take the lead. Kitchens with lots of plates, cups and pots. Fill the pots with dry pasta and allow your child to cook and serve you. Playdoh, painting, gardening and sandpits are also great for allowing your child to take the lead and babble about what they are doing. Read plenty of books together and point and allow them time to answer any questions that you ask.
3. Limit screen time. Overuse of televisions and iPads do not give your child opportunity to interact in a two way manner.
4. Ask your child lots of open ended questions “What’s that?” “Where are we?” Point at things they know the answer to for boosting confidence (Car/ Car, etc.) When they don’t know the answer, explain it to them. Limit baby talk and speak clearly with good pronunciation, remember you are the teacher and they will copy you.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, be sure to speak with your GP or developmental Health Nurse. They are very skilled at understanding the difference between speech delays and spotting something that may require professional attention.
Enjoy watching their little brains absorb the world around them and listen to what they have to say. It won’t be too long before they won’t stop talking to you, asking “Why Mummy/ Daddy?” every 5 minutes….