30 Father’s Day gifts for retired dads with free time on their hands
It used to be that you retired, hit the golf course for a few years, and then settled in somewhere restful to live out the rest of your golden years. Now, retirees are more plentiful and vibrant than ever and have a myriad of different interests from motorcycles to birdwatching. Retirees are finding more and more creative and inspiring ways to spend their hours now that they’re free from the burdens of a 40-hour workweek.
With Father’s Day on the horizon, we put together 30 of our favorite gifts with the retired dad in mind. These items will help any retired dad wile away his many free hours with joy. He might even pick up a new hobby in the process.
1. For dads who need their own (refrigerator) space: Wine Enthusiast Beverage Center
It might seem like a little thing, but truly nothing says “fun splurge” like your own personal beer fridge. It’s something a dad may never buy for himself, but, man, oh man will he love it if he gets one. Throw that thing in the garage and fill it with beer and Dad has his own casual hangout for hanging out with his buddies. Put it in the basement next to his chair, and he’s got no reason to move during the big game. Dad getting into craft cocktails or grilling in his retirement? A dedicated fridge could really elevate both of those hobbies. This one from Wine Enthusiast is our favorite beer fridge because it’s small but mighty and can hold up to 86 cans, meaning he’ll always have a stocked man cave.
2. For dads who never want to wear work shoes again: Crocs
For many of us, it took the pandemic to realize how pointlessly restrictive much of our work-appropriate clothing is. (Pants with buttons? Who needs them?) Retirees are afforded the luxury of never having to worry about what’s business casual ever again, and they should act as such. That’s why we love the idea of giving Dad a pair of Crocs this Father’s Day, which one of our editors is obsessed with. His old brown oxfords may have treated him well at his 9-to-5 gig, but he’s in a new phase of life now, and he needs the comfortable shoes to match. Ninety-three percent of Crocs reviewers say the shoes are either comfortable or very comfortable and almost all wearers say the shoes are overwhelmingly durable.
3. For the dad who's finally got the time to get those steps in: Fitbit Charge 4
If your dad’s spending his retirement either expanding his existing activity level or trying some new workouts, consider gifting him a Fitbit this Father’s Day. We’re partial to the brand’s Charge 4, which is the best fitness tracker we’ve ever tested. We love that it has an intuitive companion app, comprehensive activity tracking, and shows all your stats (like sleep patterns and steps) right on your wrist.
4. For the cool dad: Apple AirPods Pro
If Dad’s working on getting those steps in, he might need a new set of headphones for listening to his audiobooks on the way. You really can’t go wrong with AirPods Pro, which shocked us with how good they are; we named them the best wireless earbuds for iPhone users. They have active noise cancellation, 4.5 hours of battery life on each charge, and they fit pretty much anyone’s ears. They also look cool and—assuming Dad doesn’t lose them—could make him feel like the hippest old dude on his whole block.
5. For the dad who's looking to expand his mind: Masterclass subscription
If Dad’s the kind of guy who’s spent his retirement reading non-fiction, he might love access to Masterclass’s celebrity-taught courses, which our editor-in-chief has tried and loved. With options as varied as “Cooking I with Gordon Ramsay” and “The Art of Negotiation with Chris Voss,” the company offers something for everyone. Our tester found that the classes were enjoyable, could be done on your own time, and were easy to follow.
6. For the dad who can finally focus on his garden: Gardening tools
If Dad’s using his newfound daytime hours to focus on his garden, we’ve got a couple of ideas. First, he might like a Gardener’s Tool Bench from Uncommon Goods, which reviewers say is great for people who might be prone to sore backs and knees or those who just like spending hours in the garden. It also acts as a tool tote and is pretty handy. The Gardener’s Harvest Basket could also help dad bring in his produce haul before dinner. It’s cute, but it also serves a purpose. It’s made partially of an open mesh, so you can hose down dirty fruits and vegetables outside before bringing them indoors. According to the site, it’s also great for carrying tools or firewood with reviewers raving about how much it holds.
- Get the Gardener’s Tool Bench from Uncommon Goods for $40
- Get the Gardener's Harvest Basket from Uncommon Goods for $50
7. For the dad who has a passion for weather: AcuRite Notos Pro Color Weather Station
For whatever reason, a lot of retirees and people in the twilight of their lives seem to get into the weather. We don’t know why. Maybe it’s proximity to local news and a keen interest in what’s around them. But we’re still here for it, and we want to support that desire. That’s why we like the AcuRite Notos Pro Color Weather Station with a magnifying rain gauge. It measures temperature, humidity, wind speed, and rainfall—and it even keeps track of the daily, monthly, and all-time high and low records for all of the above. It has more than 1,000 reviews on Amazon and a 4.5-star rating with reviewers hailing its intuitiveness, easy-to-read display, and durability. One reviewer from Colorado even said, “It’s been more accurate at predicting rain/snow than the local weather.”
8. For the dad who deserves a new toy: Ryobi Electric Lawn Mower
If your dad has been pushing a mower around his whole life, retirement would be a great time to help him upgrade. Why not splurge this Father’s Day and get him a Ryobi riding mower? This one is fully electric, super quiet, and even boasts both a USB charger and a cruise control function. Reviewers seem to love it as well with more than 1,100 The Home Depot customers giving it a 5-star rating.
9. For a dad who’s feeling a bit birdbrained: Birds & Blooms subscription
If your dad’s found—or rekindled—a passion for birdwatching in retirement, consider gifting him a subscription to Birds & Blooms, America’s most popular magazine for fans of gardening and wild birds. It’s full of tips for attracting birds to your yard, photos of beautiful gardens, and firsthand advice from Dad’s fellow outdoor enthusiasts. Reviewers on Amazon love the magazine with one reviewer writing, “the information on wild birds, feeding tips, and tips on the different flowers to attract seasonal birds [is] fantastic. A lot of bang for your buck!” Best of all, a 12-month subscription is only $5.
10. For the dad who's never been without a business card: Retirement Business Cards
If your dad’s a hustler and is having trouble adjusting to retired life, perhaps these gag business cards will do the trick. Styled after a traditional business card but specifically meant for those who retired, they feature lines like “ask someone else” and “don’t call, don’t email.” Etsy buyers absolutely love them and say the cards are of great quality and praise the seller’s quick shipping and solid packaging.
11. For the dad who loves to hit the road: The New York Times 36 Hours
When you’re retired, you don’t have to worry about paid time off or how much vacation time you have left. Now it’s all vacation time, and it’s all yours. That’s why we’re big fans of this book that contains a number of entries from The New York Times’ “36 hours in” series. Focusing exclusively on the U.S. and Canada, this book is the perfect guide to weekend getaways and “locals only” spots all over the place. Has he always wanted to leaf peep in the Berkshires but don’t know where to stay? Or is he curious about what a sleepy little trip to New Orleans could look like? This book’s got him covered. There are more than 130 different itineraries, almost 1,000 photos, and detailed city-by-city maps for every stop. It’s the perfect travel guide for any dad with a bit of wanderlust.
12. For the dad with nothing to do but chill: Shower Beer Holder
For the dad with nothing but time on his hands, it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere—even in the shower. That’s why we love the idea of gifting Pop this handy shower beer caddy, which uses a durable adhesive to stick to the shower’s wall. Users note the caddy is also great for a boat, a shed, or a garage, and one 5-star review on Etsy raves that it “revolutionized the shower experience,” and that they now only leave the bathroom to attain additional beer.
13. For the dad who's looking to enter the grill game: Weber Spirit II E-310
Maybe Dad’s been dabbling in the grilling arts during retirement and maybe his old rig’s just not up to snuff. Might we suggest the Weber Spirit II E-310? Our pick for the best gas grill, the E-310 is compatible with both propane and natural gas and is both remarkably easy to use and easy to clean. Though it’s Weber’s entry-level grill, it still performed well on every grill test we put it through. It’s also incredibly well-made, thoughtfully organized, and built to last—just like Dad.
14. For the dad who loves a nice nap: Portal Oversized Mesh Back Zero Gravity Recliner Chair
Retired dads should take more naps. They deserve them. In fact, retired dads should have their own dedicated napping chair, and we’ve got a great one in mind: the Portal Portal Oversized Mesh Back Zero Gravity Recliner Chair. Perfect for kicking back on the porch and listening to the birds, this chair has an extra-large seat, an attached drink caddy and table, and comes in three different colors, including a handsome forest green. Capable of holding 350 pounds, this chair can tackle most dads and has a breathable back for quality air circulation. Amazon reviewers say it folds easily for when you need to move it around or if you want to take it on the road and that it offers great lumbar support.
15. For the dad with a sweet tooth: Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker
Does dad love ice cream? Does dad love to cook? Combine those two passions for him and pick up a Cuisinart ice cream maker. It’s the best ice cream maker we’ve ever tested and makes both ice cream and frozen yogurt. It’s extremely easy to use and to clean, and its double-insulated freezer bowl means dad won’t have to mess around with all the messy trappings typically related to ice cream making. (Think ice, salt, and crank handles.) Though this little appliance would be a good enough gift on its own, you could also package it with an ice cream cookbook, like our favorite one from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, and set Dad up for a world of deliciousness.
16. For the dad who likes to stay fit: The Myx Exercise Bike
Got a cycle-crazed dad who loves to ride all year round? Why not get him up to speed with the spinning craze and hook him up with a Myx bike? Our pick for the best affordable exercise bike, the Myx has a screen that allows riders to take over 1,000 different classes or rides, from heart-pounding fitness runs to scenic tours of Northern Italy, and using his heart rate to get him into different fitness zones.
The app even syncs up with the news platform Newsy, should dad be more interested in spending his bike time reading the news than pumping up the beat. A basic Myx purchase gets you the bike, monitor, and a heart-rate strap, but you might want to opt for the “plus” package for $200 more and get the same bike that includes an exercise mat, a stabilizing mat for the bike, a foam roller, a resistance band, a kettlebell, and three sets of dumbbells.
17. For the dad who likes to stay current: The New Yorker subscription
If your dad’s the type that religiously reads up the newspaper, consider getting him a The New Yorker subscription. One of the most influential magazines in the world, The New Yorker is almost 100 years old and always part of the conversation. Now that Dad’s retired and has more time on his hands, he’ll really be able to dig into the magazine’s long reads and might even be able to figure out its famously challenging crossword puzzle. He doesn’t even have to be a New Yorker to enjoy it. Though the magazine does often feature stories about living in the city, it’s also full of national interest pieces and stories about everyday life and celebrities.
18. For the dad who's looking to expand his culinary world: League Of Kitchens class
If your dad’s the type that’s always keen to try the new little Greek or Vietnamese place in town, he might like to wile away some of his retirement with a League Of Kitchens class, which features globally-inspired foods at all different difficulty levels. The live 3-hour classes are at a variety of times, provide step-by-step instruction, and will have dad making meals like Indonesian coconut curry with shrimp and potatoes, Persian Aloo Morgh-e Beround-e Parvin Joonam and Kateh Polo Zafran Ba Tahdig Sibzamini, or Bengali Murgir Mangsho and Bhath. Our mouths are watering just thinking about the possibilities.
19. For the dad who likes to tinker: Popular Mechanics subscription
If Dad retired from a job in math, science, or engineering, or is just a dude who likes to tinker, he may enjoy the gift of a subscription to Popular Mechanics. For just $15 a year, he’ll have access to a wealth of interesting and inspiring articles and projects, and the articles can help explain the basic concepts of certain technologies to dad or perhaps even inspire him to investigate them further.
20. For the dad who loves to watch Band Of Brothers: HBO Max subscription
If Dad’s the kind of guy who likes to throw on a good movie or re-watch The Sopranos for the 1,000th time, especially now that he’s got some time on his hands in retirement, he’ll love a subscription to HBO Max. For just under $15 a month, he’ll have access to everything from Sesame Street (for when he babysits) to Game Of Thrones. What could be better, really?
21. For the dad who loves to fish: Catch Co Mystery Tackle Box
A gift that combines the joy of fishing with the anticipation of a surprise box, a Catch Co Mystery Box could be the perfect present for any dad with a passion for the rod and reel. Pick one out based on Dad’s target of choice—bass, walleye, trout, etc.—and then watch Dad unpack the bits and bobs inside, including tried and tested lures, tackle, and spinnerbait. Amazon users love it, especially if you’re the kind of buyer who knows that your dad loves fishing, but who might glaze over in panicked confusion if forced to face down an actual rack of gear.
22. For the dad who's always got a project going: LATME Magnetic Wristband
Everyone deserves a new little toy from time to time, and a magnetic wristband is something that Dad might never think to get for himself, but he’ll love it once he has it. This one from LATME is complete with 15 embedded magnets for holding screws, nails, and drill bits. Perfect for anyone who messes around with CPUs, engines, or wood, the wristband is beloved by Amazon users, who call it handy and surprisingly comfortable and praise it for working in tight spaces or on ceilings. Sure, it’s not the most glamorous present, but it’s probably the most useful.
23. For the dad who loves his History Channel: Discovery+ subscription
Dad already spends his retirement on the couch watching his favorite History Channel shows or HGTV renovations, so he might appreciate a subscription to Discovery+, where all of his interests collide. The streaming service is home to all manner of dad-loved channels, like Animal Planet, Food Network, and DIY, and is producing its own content, like shows about woodworking from Home Town star Ben Napier and a five-part BBC series about the planet narrated by David Attenborough.
24. For the dad who's finally getting around to that big project: Plustek Photo Scanner
Retirement means Dad can finally pick up that big project he’s been putting off for years, and nothing says “I know I should do this but I just haven’t yet” than digitizing that closet of old photographs. It’s tedious, but it’s important. What if there’s a fire or if those beloved pics of great-grandma deteriorate over time? The Plustek Photo Scanner is fast, easy to use, and comes with image management software for those little tweaks. It’ll help make a big project feel manageable and could even jumpstart Dad’s interest in organizing and documenting the family’s history.
One 5-star Amazon reviewer even called it a must for Baby Boomers drowning in paper photos, writing, “The reason I bought this scanner was that I inherited a mountain of photos after both of my parents died. There are many precious memories in these photos but I knew they would be lost forever if they continued sitting by the thousands in boxes, bags, shoe boxes, you name it. This scanner was and is a lifesaver!”
25. For the dad who's looking to get in touch with his roots: AncestryDNA
If Dad’s always telling stories about how Great Aunt Mary traveled to the United States, he might be interested in some of Ancestry’s offerings. AncestryDNA is the best DNA testing kit we’ve ever tested because of its detailed ancestry map and massive database of over 18 million users. Dad will spend hours pouring over information of the places that his family hailed from and might even plan a trip around it.
26. For the dad who's serious about his bathroom time: Tushy Classic
Let’s face it: Being retired means Dad has even more time to spend in the bathroom. Why not elevate his experience in there with a bidet? With Tushy, you won’t have to replumb or add a fixture. When we tested Tushy, an attachable bidet that sits under the rear (har, har) of your toilet seat, we found the installation process to be a little tricky, but once on, it's easy to use. After a few months, our reviewer fell in love with the product, saying, “It's clearly a superior option to toilet paper, and will totally revolutionize your whiz palace.”
27. For the dad who loves a good party: Copper Party Cup
If your dad’s a social one, he might be spending his retirement throwing back a few with his best pals. Maybe they have a weekly potluck. Maybe it’s Sunday tailgates. Maybe it’s cards every single evening. No matter what, we’ve got the perfect gift for the dad who likes to party in style: the Genuine Fred Copper Party Cup. It has all the functional style of a solo cup but the environmental swag of something a little more reusable. It’s stackable, washable, and because it’s coated stainless steel, Amazon reviewers rave about its durability. One 5-star review noted that the cup “shows no flexibility or chance of chipping or cracking.” So if Dad likes a brew, this might be the cup for him.
28. For the dad who loves to fish: Men’s PFG Tamiami II Long Sleeve Shirt
For the retired fisherperson, there’s no better shirt on the market than the Columbia Tamiami II. With its long sleeves, it’s perfect for cold mornings out on the lake. Those sleeves can also be rolled up and secured, though, making it equally perfect for when things start to warm up. The shirt has SPF 40 sun protection built-in, lest Dad starts to bake out there on his boat. Ventilated and treated with an odor-fighter, the Tamiami II even has a rod holder loop for when dad’s tying on a lure, fly, or securing his bait. A number of reviewers say they own multiple Tamiamis in various colors and have bought new ones each year because they love them so much.
29. For the dad who just wants to get outdoors: Backcountry gift card
Now that Dad’s free of the 9-to-5, maybe he just wants to breathe in some fresh air. If you know he loves the outdoors, but you’re not entirely sure what to get, there’s no shame in just picking up a Backcountry gift card. He can use it on anything from bike racks to boots, and if he’s into camping, it’ll never go to waste.
30. For the outdoorsy dad who never remembers to charge his phone: LuminAid PackLite Max 2-in-1 Power Lantern
If your dad loves to go off the grid, but you worry about what happens when he does, consider picking him up a LuminAid Packlite Max phone charger lantern. The multi-purpose piece of gear is one part solar-powered camping lantern, one part battery, and would be a great gift for campers. It would also be a great addition to a car breakdown kit, and you’ll feel good helping Dad stay safe and prepared.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.