If you're reading this article, chances are it's that time of year! If you've found yourself desperately Googling something along the lines of "gifts for dad", "Father's Day gifts in Sydney" or "Father's day gift ideas", you're definitely not alone! Finding the perfect Father's Day presents for your dad (or the father figure in your life) seems to get harder and harder every year. Maybe your old man has everything he could possibly want to keep him healthy and happy, or maybe, he's just as overwhelmed as you are when it comes to choosing one of the many Father's Day gifts on offer...
No matter where you're at on your gift-giving journey, we're here to let you in on a little secret – the most precious gift you can give your dad is time together. Unlike physical gifts like socks, jocks and coffee mugs, experience gifts have been rising in popularity in Australia for several years, and for good reason! Experience gifts offer what physical products cannot – the chance to bond over a shared experience and make memories that will transcend 2021 and last a lifetime. With that in mind, we've rounded up some of the best Father's Day ideas for your dad in 2021, just in case you were close to defaulting to another book or a pair of pyjamas.
1. Succulent Terrarium Making Class
If your dad loves gardening, treat him to one of the most popular hands-on experiences for plant-lovers in Sydney: DIY terrarium making. Based in a leafy street in Redfern, Merchant & Green runs succulent terrarium making classes that double as totally unique experience gifts and personalised Father's Day gifts. During the workshop, your papa will get to choose from a range of succulents and receive all of the materials he needs (think: a vase and other materials like river stones) so that he can create his own terrarium from scratch. Everything will be provided and there’s no need for any experience. Your dad will leave with his own mini terrarium that he can easily care for! All he has to do is remember to water his succulents from time to time and let his mini-ecosystem do its thing.
2. Glass Blowing Taster Session
Think outside the square this year treat your dad to a Glass Blowing Taster Session! One of the most unique Father's Day gifts on offer, this hands-on session will take place at the studio of glassblower Mark Eliott and runs for two hours. During the class, your dad will learn the basics of this impressive craft (and yes, that means using a blow torch!) in order to create a unique glass item that he can take home. This incredible workshop is a wonderful way for your dad to use his imagination, pick up an impressive new skill and have some fun playing with fire! He can create anything from glass animals and pendants to other abstract objects and his DIY items will be ready to take home a mere 40 minutes after the class ends.
3. Smart Phone Photography Course
If your dad is a photography novice, sharpen his skills with the gift of a smartphone photography course this Father's Day. Alfonso Calero of Alfonso’s Photography Tours can teach your dad how to take quality photos with his phone – an area in which many fathers fall short! The class is completely hands-on and includes a tour of Sydney Harbour, making it a wonderful way to get out into the sunshine to spend Father's Day together. During the class, your dad will cover skills like shutter speed and ISO and get instant feedback on his photos, while also learning how to edit them using apps on his phone.
4. Beginners Silversmithing Course
There’s nothing better than creating something from scratch. Give your dad the chance to craft his own Father's Day present with a series of silversmithing classes. He'll learn from Victoria White, an expert jeweller who will teach him the secrets of the craft. The class is taught over the course of four three-hour sessions where he'll pick up basic skills like hammering, sawing, texturing, measuring, and soldering. He'll leave the class with his own handmade pieces and the know-how to continue his metalwork education at home.
5. BBQ and Meat Smoking Cooking Class
We hate to succumb to the cliche, but what Aussie dad doesn't love firing up a barbecue? Nico from WoodFiredStove has you covered. He’ll teach your dad the basics of using a weber kettle or any other kind of barbecue. And as for the day itself, he can expect to sip on a cold beer and enjoy Valentina Hot chicken wings and pork belly while he learns how to cook and smoke meats. Be sure to send him to class on an empty stomach with a six-pack (of beer, that is). At the end of the session, he'll get a WoodFiredStove BBQ rub that he can take home along with recipes and sauces to recreate delicious smoked meats on his own BBQ.
6. BBQ and Beer Cooking Class
Treat your dad to a four-course BBQ feast matched with four premium Australian craft beers this Father's Day. The BBQ School Sydney runs this unique cooking experience outdoors in Centennial Park or from a brewery in Nulkaba. He doesn't need a sophisticated palette or any BBQ skills, just a love of beer, meat and an empty stomach. The BBQ chef will take him through the entire cooking process and everything will be served up at the end of class.
7. DIY Kokedama Workshop
Your dad can get his hands dirty at this kokedama workshop, where he'll learn how to bind succulents with soil and string to create his own hanging garden. If your dad loves working in the garden or needs to brighten one of his indoor spaces with some greenery, this unique experience gift is the perfect choice. During the workshop, he’ll make up to three kokedamas to take home and be treated to a free drink from the cafe.
8. Handplane Shaping For Bodysurfing Workshop
If your dad loves the beach look no further than Rikki Gilbey's handplane shaping workshop. He'll go behind the scenes in a woodworking studio and learn to craft his own timber wave riding machine to use the next time he goes body surfing. During the class, he'll get the chance to design and craft his own handplane using woodworking hand tools, add a recycled neoprene strap and customise the look.
9. Screen Printing Workshop
Let Carizza Teague from Carizza Designs show your dad how to screenprint his own t-shirt at this hands-on screenprinting workshop. He'll spend four hours in a real artist's studio learning how to use a screenprinting machine and can print his own designs or use some studio-ready designs that will be provided.
10. Knife Skills Workshop
If your dad is a pro in the kitchen, this knife skills workshop will help them to take their cooking to the next level. During the class, he’ll put his skills to the test preparing an Asian Chicken Salad and he'll learn how to create perfect julienne, batons, and chiffonade.
11. Dumpling Making Workshop
One of the most popular workshops in Sydney, this cocktail and dumpling making class, run by the team at Honkas in Potts Point, is a veritable feast for the senses! You'll start the evening by learning how to make two mouth-watering cocktails before moving over to your dumpling-making station. Under the guidance of an experienced maker, you'll learn how to fill, fold and create your very own Chinese dumplings from scratch. And of course, after they've been steamed and fried by the team in the kitchen, you'll sit down to a dumpling-laden meal and enjoy your very own creations together! If you're looking for unique gifts for dad, forget Father's Day lunch and head along to one of our Sydney cooking classes instead! You'll make memories that will last a lifetime and pick up some pretty nifty kitchen skills at the same time.