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Your Dad Is Cooler than That Tie: Five Gift Ideas for Father's Day

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Another tie? Bo-ring. A new set of grilling tools? Wow--now that's out of the box. Let's face it, Father's Day may be the most cliché-laden of the gift-giving holidays, but since we're talking about our dads here, let's all agree to give it a little bit more effort this year. Yes, there is still time.

New Dad

Did you know that the No. 1 result in Google when you search "men's leather diaper bags" is for Nordstrom? Or that Nordstrom has an entire Diaper Bag store? And that that store has its own "For Dad" section? Because all of those things are true, which makes Nordstrom pretty awesome. Top picks include the Diaper Dude Messenger II ($110) because alliteration and a slant rhyme, and the $120 Stokke Baby 'Xplory®' Changing bag that comes with a changing mat.

Stylish Dad

For stylish dad, Kuhl-Lindscomb is the perfect destination. Perhaps your Stylish Dad loves fragrance--if so, shop niche brands like Dyptique and Serge Lutens in Building 5 (in front, across from Whole Foods). Building 5 holds all kinds of goodies for stylish dads, from gourmet cookbooks to beautiful stationary.

If stylish dad likes stylish surroundings, you'll find lighting, clocks, and other accessories across the way in Building 3. Of particular note--the vintage clocks, which are amazing.

Outdoorsy Dad

To paraphrase the makers of Jiff, Outdoorsy Dads can be Choosy Dads--so choose wisely. If you aren't sure exactly the kind of gear Outdoorsy Dad wants, go with a gift certificate, or at the very least make sure you include a gift receipt. Some of the old standards work great in this category, especially if you upgrade a basic to something a little more fancy, such as:

The Goal Zero Switch 8 Solar Recharging Kit ($99, rei.com) has high customer ratings, and is perfect for the Outdoorsy Dad with a lot of chargeable gear. • REI brand binoculars ($139, rei.com) are a fraction of the price of comparable name brands, and also enjoy excellent customer ratings.

Party Dad

This one involves a present for you, and a present for dad. Head downtown to visit Goro & Gun and treat yourself to a few cocktails while you pick up a unique gift for your favorite cocktail-mixing dad. G&G drinkmaster Alex Gregg has bottled two of the syrups he uses to craft drinks for customers, and they are available for purchase. You can pick up Lemongrass, or G&G's exclusive 'Aromatic', their flagship flavor, made from a blend of allspice, star anise, clove, and lemon zest. ($8 for 375 mL) Grab dad's favorite spirit and one (or both) of these syrups, and let dad mix you cocktails all afternoon. I guess that's technically two presents for you. Oh well.

Old Dad Let's skip right past the obvious--slippers, robes, pajamas--and get the Old Man something that doesn't screaming YOU'RE AN OLD MAN. Dear Old Dad deserves better. If you want to be literal about it, you can give dad the gift of time with a new timepiece, but maybe a pair of tickets to something you both like--an Astros game, a cool show at HMNS--is money (and time) better spent.

If your Old Dad is also a grandpa, grandkid art is also reported to be highly popular. And you have to admit, at least part of the reason you had kids was to help with chores right? Tack "Father's Day Gift production" on right after "dishes" and "lawn mowing."

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