Ready or not, Father’s Day is quickly approaching. Like clockwork, the holiday graces us on the third Sunday of June and, like clockwork, some of us find ourselves unprepared yet again.
It’s not that we don’t want to celebrate dad, but it’s that dudes, and dads specifically, are so hard to shop for. The kids are out of school so there are no art projects to gift, some of us are too old to gift shambolic school artwork, and ties seem like an inappropriate gift in the age of remote work. What are reliable gifts? Your presence, new shirts (because we all know they still wear their shirts that date back to the stone age), quality time, and maybe a cocktail (or three).
The perfect Father’s Day gift does exist, and we’ve narrowed down some great local options that will make dad proud and hopefully won’t sit unopened for the next year or ten. Feel free to take one hundred percent of the credit for such a thoughtful gift, too. We won’t tell.
Budget-friendly gift ideas from The Outlet Collection at the Riverwalk
Shopping for a dad is already hard enough, so take some of the challenges out and let The Outlet Collection at the Riverwalk serve as your one-stop shopping destination. The downtown shopping center offers plenty of gift inspiration through a variety of well-known brand names – and at discounted prices, as an added bonus. The gift of fiscal responsibility will make dad proud. There’s also literally a store for every dad: Polo Ralph Lauren for the classic, preppy dad, Nordstrom Rack for the chic, fashion-forward dad, Levi’s for all-American handy dad, Sunglass Hut for vacation dad, and Tommy Bahama for Jazz Fest dad – it’s never too early to prepare, after all.
Hardware goodies for that next project
Is a dad even a dad if he doesn’t always offer to fix something? Treat him to some new tools for his latest project or for that next home project that you already have lined up for him. In fact, giving him the next project is the gift that keeps on giving, so there’s nothing like new tools to get him motivated. Keep it local and intimate at Clement Hardware or Mary’s Ace. We all know that a dad’s biggest fear is getting overwhelmed at The Home Depot anyway, so just eliminate that anxiety already.
Keife and Co.
For the “spirited” dad, treat him to a nice bottle of his favorite spirit or wine that he otherwise wouldn’t buy for himself. Keife and Co. specialize in carrying harder-to-find wines and spirits and it’s carefully curated for those who are of the IYKYK mentality when it comes to specialty and fine booze. The experts at the Warehouse District shop give knowledgeable suggestions based on your price point and preferences. Gift baskets, charcuterie boards, and specialty foods like caviar are also available.
Guy’s Night Out: A Fiery Father’s Day Dinner at the Virgin Hotel New Orleans
Sometimes what dad really wants (and deserves) is a night away, and we don’t blame him. Treat him and his friends to a trip to Flavortown, USA on Saturday, June 18th for the Virgin Hotel’s Guy Fieri-inspired dinner at the Commons Club. The hotel’s main floor restaurant will be transformed for a very Guy-approved guys night out, which will include a specially-curated dinner menu inspired by Guy Fieri favorites from Chef Alex Harrell, plenty of photo opportunities, food and drink specials, and live entertainment. Fieri ‘fits are encouraged. Reservations are available starting at 5 pm on OpenTable.
Brunch at Justine or The Tasting Room
There is nothing more “New Orleans” than celebrating a holiday over a French Quarter Brunch. In New Orleans fashion, you already have those standing annual reservations for Easter, Christmas, and Halloween (yes, we do that), but dad deserves something different. Brunch at Justine offers a lively scene, Chartres Street views, and good food and cocktails. We recommend requesting a table on the front patio and ordering a Justine burger and bourbon renewal to wash it down. Book a reservation here.
And if you aren’t feeling a downtown visit, then The Tasting Room, located in the heart of the lower garden district, might be up your alley. Featuring bottomless mimosas and bloody marys, this hidden gem is one of our favorites in the city for Brunch. Book a reservation HERE.
Experience New Orleans like a tourist at Vue Orleans, Sazerac House, and Van Gogh
What to give the dad that has everything? We struggle with this too, because chances are that he buys himself whatever he needs, or he forgot to unbox last year’s Father’s Day gift. (Does that sound familiar?) At the end of the day, parents provide, so sometimes the best presents involve spending the day together. Take dad to experience New Orleans like he hasn’t before, by checking out some of the city’s newest attractions. The Van Gogh Experience, located in the Scottish Rite Temple downtown, is an immersive experience that includes a 360-degree projected digital art show, VR experience, and exhibit focused on the artist’s life and work. This Sunday, dads receive a personalized sketch by an on-site artist with the purchase of a “Father’s Day Special” ticket. Other dad-friendly activities include Vue Orleans, a newly opened observation deck and exhibit above the Four Seasons Hotel, and the Sazerac House, a gorgeous space that includes a tour and tasting of the famous New Orleans cocktail.
A Night at Preservation Hall
After not performing from their intimate French Quarter venue for nearly a year and a half due to Covid, New Orleans-famed Preservation Hall has returned with their iconic nightly Jazz performances. In case you’ve been living under a rock, It’s one of those only-in-New Orleans experiences that the locals tend to take for granted, because, well, we live here. However, it’s one of the most genuinely non-touristy tourist attractions in the French Quarter and a special experience that makes you fall in love with home all over again. Invite dad to experience that intimate moment with you, then take him out for dinner or a drink after. General admission standing room tickets start at $25, but we recommend splurging for the front row seats for dad.
Tickets to Hamilton
Dad might not be a musical theater enthusiast, but we bet he loves a little American history. Hamilton tells the story of America’s Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton, through song, but it would be hard to generalize Hamilton under the musical theater category. The modern performance blends hip-hop, jazz, rap, blues, and R&B in the show’s acclaimed score. Not only is it entertaining, but you’ll get extra points for acknowledging dad’s appreciation for history. Hamilton opens at the Saenger Theatre on June 21 and runs through July 10th.
The Southern Gentleman Spa Experience at The Four Seasons
Dads know well by now that Mother’s Day gifts in the form of spa services go a long way, so now it’s time to return that generosity to dad. The Four Seasons New Orleans offers a uniquely New Orleans spa service for men called The Southern Gentleman. The experience, inspired by New Orleans’ iconic Sazerac cocktail, is 100 minutes of relaxation that includes a citrus foot exfoliation, followed by a deep-tissue massage that’s done using a warm, spiced infusion of rye whiskey oil. Of course, that gets dad in the mood for his classic Sazerac cocktail that he’ll get to enjoy at the end of his treatment while overlooking the Mississippi River from the spa’s relaxation lounge.