Father’s Day Gift Ideas: 5 Experiences He’ll Never Forget
This Father’s Day do your dad a favor — forget the socks and ties and give him an experience gift that comes with a lifetime of great memories.
From water sports to the great outdoors, fast cars to high-flying fun — action and adventure gifts can be the perfect thing to show your dad you care. And for the dad who is more of a land lover, there’s Detroit Tigers Fantasy Camps, chef classes, wine tastings and so much more.
Sites like cloud9living.com and trulyexperiences.com offer gift experiences from all over the world, or you can create one yourself from some local adventures.
WORLD-CLASS RACE ADVENTURE
Add some adrenaline to your dad’s outdoor life with a day of race-car driving at M1 Concourse in Pontiac. It’s the epicenter of motorsport activity with a track that includes a challenging 1.5-mile loop, plenty of elevations changes, 10 turns and a 2,000-foot straightaway. The Ultimate Speed Package gift gets him on the professional track and gives him a chance to experience a performance car like a Ferrari or Viper.
“The package starts with a 30-minute classroom session where a professional instructor will go over racing tips, proper driving position, steering techniques, braking and acceleration with powerful vehicles, and how to find the optimum racing lines on the course,” said M1 Concourse CEO Brad Oleshansky. “Then we go down to the pit to be fitted for a helmet and into the driver’s seat for over 16 exciting laps.”
Safety is always a No. 1 priority, according to Oleshanksy. “Your instructor will be in the passenger seat the entire time giving you real-time feedback, along with a thrill of a lifetime.” And it’s a family bonding time as well, he said, “with photo-ops for everyone and great family memories.”
EXCITING H2O EXPERIENCES
You can give dad a thrilling water adventure gift that features an outing like hopping on a raft to tackle the river rapids, boarding a sailing vessel, deep-sea fishing or diving to magical places in full scuba gear.
Diane Richards, owner of Rec Diving & Blue Chip Travel in Royal Oak, suggests a scuba gift certificate for some water sport fun in a beginner’s class like “Try Scuba.”
“It’s a one-night event in a pool where you experience breathing in scuba gear and are introduced to the underwater world with the safety of an experienced instructor,” she said. “If you’ve ever dreamt of swimming with dolphins, exploring century-old shipwrecks or floating around beautiful tropical fish, this is a great way to start.”
One of the greatest things about scuba diving is that it’s something exciting the whole family can enjoy together, Richards said. “There was a dad in today who started with us and has been diving with his whole family for over a decade now, traveling to exotic places and spending unforgettable time together.”
DETROIT TIGERS MAKE FANTASIES COME TRUE
The Detroit Tigers organization can help make fantasies a reality with the perfect gifts for Father’s Day.
“Fantasy Batting Practice at Comerica Park is three-and-a-half hours of major league fun that allows you to hit pitches from former Tigers player Joel Zumaya, shag balls in the outfield and visit the dugout,” said Ron Colangelo, Detroit Tigers vice president of communications.
“This is a very special opportunity to walk out onto that field for a thrill of a lifetime. And we encourage families to watch from the stands to share in the memories of the day.”
The two upcoming dates for Fantasy Batting practice are June 9 “Under the Lights” from 7:30-11 p.m. and the Saturday practice on June 10 from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Also check out the Detroit Tigers “Field Of Dreams” Summer Fantasy Camp at Comerica Park Aug. 25-27. Spend three unforgettable days playing baseball with Tigers legends on the field (all participants must be 21 or older); the package includes an authentic complete uniform, locker for the weekend, some meals and a gift. Or, the Detroit Tigers Fantasy Dinner Series that includes a gourmet meal, a photo with the special guest (a former player) and a chance to participate in a Q&A session. Only 90 tickets will be sold for these intimate gatherings.
CELEBRATE THE CHEF WITHIN
Your dad can bring out the cutting board, roll up his sleeves and learn how to prepare, cook and present a delicious meal under the guidance of the staff of culinary artisans at Mirepoix — Metro Detroit’s premiere spot for culinary education, located within Holiday Market in Royal Oak.
“This isn’t a demonstration class — it’s a hands-on cooking experience at the largest state-of-the-art cooking studio in the area that lets you do the prep work yourself and create a finished meal,” said Eric Blotkamp, director of the culinary school. “We have a grilling class here on June 18 that would be a perfect Father’s Day gift, where you will learn to grill everything — meat, seafood, and even the salad and dessert.”
Other upcoming classes will include French Made Easy, Italian Comfort Foods and Basic Knife Skills. Gift certificates are available at Holiday Market.
Take in some nature with dad at one of Oakland County’s 13 public parks that offer things like scaling magnificent “cliffs” on a rock climbing wall, soaring over treetops on an exhilarating zip line ride, hitting the hiking trails and more.
Dan Stencil, executive officer of Oakland County Parks and Recreation, said, “We have activities including fishing, boating, biking, nature center hiking and the really popular new footgolf — a combination of soccer and golf where players kick a soccer ball into a cup in as few shots as possible.
“Dads of all ages love to come out to one of the parks on Father’s Day,” he added. “They can be out in nature, take a picnic lunch and make a whole day of it with their families. It really doesn’t get any better than that.” NS
For More Information
Detroit Tigers Comerica Park
2100 Woodward Ave., Detroit
Rec Diving/Blue Chip Travel
32552 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak
Mirepoix Cooking School
1203 S. Main St., Royal Oak
1 Concourse Drive, Pontiac
Oakland County Parks