10 Father’s Day gift ideas for the geeky dad

I went to the geekiest dads I know and asked them what they’d love to get for Father’s Day this year. By combining their ideas with a few of my own, I think we’ve developed a pretty fantastic list. Here is what any geek dad (and even those who are not too geeky) would love to get for Father’s Day this year:

raspberry pi1. A Raspberry Pi. I’ll admit it, I had to research this one because I had no idea what in the heck a Raspberry Pi was. Their website says it’s, “a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video.” I found that because it’s so small and adaptable, people are coming up with all kinds of cool stuff to do with Raspberry Pi’s—including taking pictures from orbit (it was attached it to a weather balloon). They’re so popular, they’re hard to find so it’d definitely be a “wow” gift for the dad who loves to tinker with computers.

nest2. A Nest. I got a lot of flack from the geeks in my life for not including this on my Mother’s Day gift list. The Nest is a next-gen learning thermostat that has all kinds of tech rolled into its small footprint. There’s an activity monitor, humidity sensor, and it even tracks current weather conditions via its wifi connection. It largely programs itself by tracking how you use it, but there’s a phone app so you can have even more control. All of these features help Nest optimize energy efficiency and save you money. After my Mother’s Day blog we caved to peer pressure and bought one. I have to say that it IS pretty nifty.

dea2_enterprise_pizza_cutter3. A Star Trek Enterprise pizza cutter. In fact, you could pair the pizza cutter with a coordinating Spock oven mitt and really fill out the gift. Honestly, I think my husband would really get a kick of these. Sure they’re silly, but why not make everyday tasks a bit more fun? ThinkGeek has a variety of these types of gifts for many different interests so if the dad in your life has a different favorite show, chances are, they’ve got gift for him.

star destroyer4. A Lego Super Star Destroyer. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this myself, because really, this would make an AWESOME gift. With 3152 pieces, it’s sure to keep the dad in your life busy for a while (and wouldn’t it make a neat project he could do with the kids?). Or how about a Death Star? If your dad isn’t into Star Wars, perhaps he’s a Lord of the Rings fan. If so, then maybe this set would be a better fit. No matter which you choose, I’ll bet he’ll enjoy the excuse to play and build just like he used to when he was a kid.

naturebox5. A NatureBox subscription. Whether the dad in your life likes Dr. Who or the NFL, it’s a good bet he likes to snack while he watches his favorite show or game. But, after eating 100 bags of Doritos he might just be ready for a change. Expand his horizons give him the gift of healthy snacks! He’ll get 5 new-and-different snacks every month to try (and they’re full-sized bags, too). My husband just ordered this and is pretty excited. Our Savvy Spender blogger Missy H. also reviewed Love with Food so be sure to check out what she thought of that service.

bacon small6. A bacon of the month club. Okay, so in terms of health, I know this idea directly conflicts with my previous suggestion. That said, one of my sources thinks this is a great idea and I gotta say I don’t disagree. As it happens, there are a number of bacon of the month clubs to choose from. There’s this one, and this one, and this one. What makes this suggestion geeky? I really have no idea—but it’s bacon. Mmmmmmm, bacon (drool).

micra leatherman7. A keychain Leatherman. This is a gift idea for anyone, but if the dad in your life doesn’t have one, you should totally pick one up. My husband has had one for years and then I got one too (and then gave them as gifts to just about every relative at Christmas one year). We’d highly recommend the version with scissors. We’ve used our Leathermans to trim straws on fast food drinks (great when our kids were little), dig food out of seat belt buckles, fix my kids’ glasses, help extract toys out of the original packaging, etc. MacGyver (a rugged geek) had a Swiss Army knife, but in my opinion Leathermans are even better.

BioLite_CampStoveSlide-941x4748. A BioLite CampStove. This little baby lets you power up your gadgets using twigs and sticks—really! I love the idea of using low tech to power high tech. It’s about the size of a water bottle so it’s easy to store or take with you. Even if the dad in your life doesn’t camp, this would be really handy in case of a major power outage. Heck, it just looks fun. I’d be really tempted to get this just so I could play with it :-).

usocket9. A Usocket (or two, or three..). This sexy socket will simplify device charging and declutter your outlets—my husband would be ecstatic! These outlets will eliminate all those USB adapters you’ve got plugged in so he’ll never have to hunt to find a usable outlet or an adapter (which always seem to disappear in our house). This outlet comes with DIY instructions so home installation should be doable.

ardrone_box10. A Remote controlled quadricopter. All the geek dads I spoke with were in favor of adding this idea to the list. The Parrot brand one is pretty sweet. You can control it with your phone and, from what I read, it can also be used in a couple of video games. It’s pretty deluxe! But, you can also find more budget friendly (but probably equally fun) phone-controlled helicopters out there. I found this one on Amazon, for example. One of these could make a great activity to do with the kids…or a killer office toy (or first-rate cat teasing device).

I would be remiss if I didn’t also recommend you look at my geeky Mother’s Day gift guide as well. There are PLENTY of ideas there that apply to men. In fact, I’d say more than half could apply. Touch faucets, neat phone docks, tea makers, phone cases and holders, FitBits, portable battery chargers, and Hulu gift cards—these make great gifts for dads too!

Did I miss anything? If you have a gift idea that should have made the list feel free to comment and let me know. Happy shopping!

UPDATE: My coworker friend (and rock-star dad) Barclay Pollak has some of his own awesome Father’s Day gift ideas. Better yet? It’s a last-minute gift guide. Check it out!

About Missy Kellor

Missy works on the Corporate Communications team and reports stories to TDS employees and customers. This is right up her alley because she’s an extrovert and also a big fan of research (really, she’ll look up just about anything that strikes her interest). Missy is a native of Madison, Wis. with an undergraduate in Anthropology and a master’s degree in Life Sciences Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her interest in the Internet as a mass media shaped her work towards a PhD in Journalism and Mass Communications. She’s also worked as an editorial assistant, copywriter, and production artist. In her off hours, Missy is a crafter, Pinterest addict, reader, wife, and mom of two kids. You can find Missy on G+ and on Twitter.

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3 Responses to 10 Father’s Day gift ideas for the geeky dad

  1. Alex June 13, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

    Great article, Missy!!

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