Bored with buying socks and ties for your dad’s Father’s Day present? Then just imagine how he feels when it comes to unwrapping the usual three-pack combined with your dubious choice of neckwear.
These tried-and-tested options still tend to be among the fall-back gifts for fathers and while useful presents are no doubt always appreciated you can bet there’s something inside even the most traditional of dads that yearns for the unexpected. Or even better, an adventure.
A bit of digging around shows there are some exciting ideas out there that might well appeal to those looking to buy something different this year. And if you’ve left it late in the day to pick a present – bearing in mind that Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 19 – then you might find something to suit in our gift guide below.
Read more: Pay-what-you-like brewery tours launch in Newcastle
Among those we’ve selected are away-day experiences which you have time to buy before the weekend and which offer a range of booking options so that can your father can pick a date at his leisure. There are some all-out adventures too if you really want to pamper your dad.
Father’s Day gift ideas to add spice to life
Go wild on safari
Planning a trip to Africa might be a bit of a stretch but there are safari opportunities to be had on our very doorstep and these could prove just the thing for dads who are up for an off-road adventure.
The Ingram Valley Farm Safari takes guests into the wilds of Northumberland National Park. A new option on the programme this year, although one with limited availability, is a sunset tour which goes out late in the day and travels 1,100 feet above sea level to the summit of Cochrane Pike where guests can expect 360-degree views and watch the sun set over The Cheviot Hills at around 10pm after which the stars will start to appear.
That tour, which includes the option to toast the sunset with a drink, runs only for Midsummer week – June 18-26, save for June 23. But there are plenty others, in Traxter off-road vehicles, which take in the stunning local landscape which is now home to red deer and wild cattle. Picnics are on offer too. See here to book.
Go crazy at golf
A far cry from the rivalry of serious golfers on the green is the world of really crazy golf which invites players to enjoy a fun – even downright wacky – take on the traditional game. It’s on offer at two venues in Newcastle – the adults-only Ghetto Golf, which opened in Hoults Yard, Byker in 2019, and The Junkyard Golf Club in Newgate Street which have indoor courses – 18 holes and nine holes respectively – for people to play against a party backdrop of cocktails and music.
Each hole has its own weird and wonderful theme with bizarre settings including scrapyards, a circus and, in the case of Ghetto Golf, a mini replica of Newcastle’s Crown Posada pub. For various package deals and voucher details from Ghetto Golf see here and find out more about Junkyard Golf Club at www.junkyardgolfclub.co.uk/newcastle/.
Try life in the fast lane
Why not invite your dad to unleash his inner Lewis Hamilton or James Bond with a supercar away-day experience. There are plenty of them around and Red Letter Days, for instance, has a range of Father’s Day Driving Experiences ideas.
Among them is a current Monday to Friday offer for one of a ‘double supercar driving blast’ – which means driving two supercars for three miles each – plus a high-speed passenger ride for £55 instead of £118, which is valid for 12 months. Locations for the two-hour experience include Sunderland – at the home of Karting North East – and Middlesbrough, at South Tees Motorsports Park.
Another is the ‘home of Top Gear’ – Dunsfold Park. Cars you can pick from include an elite Ferrari, a Lamborghini and an Aston Martin and of course a safety briefing is included: see here.
There’s also a Father’s Day ‘driving blast’ offer of one car for £35, reduced from £59. There are triple options too and – if you want to travel to the Midlands – there’s even a Drive Dad’s Car pick that includes a chance to drive two British classic cars.
Alternately, James Bond fans might like the chance to drive a replica of 007’s famous Aston Martin DB5. Among the options is one from Virgin Experiences which is currently offering this for half-price at £49 instead of £99 and it says Sunderland is among the possible locations: see here.
Throw an axe
Urban axe-throwing is a thing apparently and it’s been brought to Newcastle city centre courtesy of Hatchet Harry’s – which opened first, behind Central Station at Forth Banks Yard – then Game of Throwing which is based in Newgate Street. You could book a throw lane for your dad and up to five others which comes with a coach who will give a 15-minute training session to teach everyone how to safely throw an axe.
The session will involve throwing axes from 12ft away from a target board and various scores are awarded for the different rings and for the board’s bullseye – a bit like darts only with more of an edge. And there’s a word of warning – customers are asked to wear closed-toe shoes. Both venues offer gift vouchers. For more information or to book, see Game of Throwing here and Hatchet Harry’s here.
Say cheers to your dad
In place of a four-pack of his favourite tipple, why not treat beer-loving dads to a tour of some of the city’s top breweries where he can learn how our local ales are produced and – of course – enjoy a few tastings along the way. There’s exercise involved here too so he’d have no reason to feel guilty about whiling away an afternoon with booze.
A new range of walking tours is under way which visit breweries around the Ouseburn and this could prove an ideal gift choice for Father’s Day. What’s more, if you’re cash-strapped, you might like to know that the tours are pay-what-you-like. There is one on Friday, June 17 which you’ll miss unless you get in quick with an early treat for your dad ahead of Father’s Day but the next of the Free Tours on Foot will be on July 15. Read more about them here and book ahead to take part here.
Take the plunge
Cullercoats -based CBK Adventures has a whole programme of coastal tours for those keen to develop some skills on the water – from where they can enjoy the North East scenery from a whole new perspective. The SUP (Stand-Up Paddleboarding for the uninitiated) and kayak school’s programme includes Cook Outs, which combine paddling with a rural stop-off for some open-air cooking, and night-time illuminated kayak tours on the Tyne.
Other ideas for a very different kind of gift include guided kayak tours which take place at sunrise; others which explore around local coves and caves and trips out to spot grey seals. There’s coasteering too. See here to book.
Walk with a Hawk
Well, you can’t get much more different than this. A gift guaranteed to surprise your dad – and hopefully delight him as long as he’s a true bird-lover – is a chance to enjoy a woodland walk in the company of a falconer and a bird of prey. North East Falconry, which is based in Ryton, has been running Hawkwalks for some time alongside other experiences such as photography days.
During the walk, the hawk will be flying free, following you and responding to calls to take tit-bits from your gloved hand – and you’ll learn plenty about them en route. The days are private experiences and can be paid for on the day or bought as a gift voucher. Find out more here.
Or check out Falconry Days, the bird of prey centre near Simonburn in Northumberland National Park, which offers tours and hands-on experience days: see here.