Nashville Guide to Father’s Day Gifts — That Won’t Hide in His Closet


Father’s Day is coming. Although I love the fathers in my life dearly, it seems all of them either have everything they want, have no room for anything else, or are straight up picky.  So here’s what my already stressed brain wants to do for Father’s Day gifts: nothing. Okay, not nothing. But I may just want to buy a gift card to Amazon or Home Depot, put it in a sweet card, and say, “You’re swell, dad.” But, alas, they really are swell. And so, for another year, I will rise above. Have you got a dad in your life who deserves more than the “I give up” effort that tempts even the most thoughtful of us? Here are some ideas that may help. Be warned: this is not your “Top 10 Gadgets” type of list…

As someone opposed to general clutter and extra “stuff,” I love to give AND receive gifts that can either be consumed or experienced. If it’s consumable, it won’t clutter. If it’s an experience, it will a) not clutter and b) hopefully create good feelings/memories.

Consumable (and locally made/sold) Products for Men

Finding gifts for men is actually getting easier. More and more gift shops carry men’s lines of fragrances, skin/hair care, accessories, and masculine gifts related to bartending, camping, and other hobbies marketed as manly.  

  • Skin care: I love Music City Suds‘ fragrances and oh-so-catchy names (i.e. “Friends in Aloe Places” Beard Oil).  Order online or at a gazillion local shops and Nashville landmarks: Country Music Hall of FameAcme Feed and SeedBelle Meade Plantation, Nashville Farmer’s MarketSerendipity in 12South, Art and Invention Gallery in East Nashville, and Green Door Gourmet, among others.
  • Appetite care: For the guy always wanting to up his grilling game, Martin’s BBQ sauces, rubs, and gear prove hard to beat. Loveless Cafe also sells some delicious secrets if your guy is geared to the hilt for the grill.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   I live in Nolensville, and there are a slew of great little shops with men’s lines: Small Town Charm, Polka Dots and Happy Thoughts, and Peacock Lane. If that’s out of the way for you, it’s worth making a trip. But check this link to find local shops likely to sell locally made gifts.


When I approach the “experiences” category, I ask myself a few different questions.

  • What does he enjoy?
  • What does he already do for himself? (I don’t want to get him something he’ll likely get for himself!)
  • How can I take something he likes—and step it up a little?
  • What is practical? (aka If I buy this experience for him, will he actually go experience it?)

The Outdoorsman

The Harpeth and Duck Rivers both have canoe/kayak rentals. Want to stay closer to home? Check out Friends of Radnor Lake and register for a guided canoe float. Hunter or just someone who likes to shoot? Get him an afternoon              at one of the Nashville area’s several shooting/archery ranges.

The Music Man

Music venues abound in Nashville. This is the best time of year for Nashville’s outdoor venues in particular. Splurge for some tickets to a concert at The Woods at Fontanel. (I’m unapologetically still in love with 90’s music—Collective Soul, Our Lady Peace, and Tonic on June 22, anyone?), Ascend Amphitheatre (Third Eye Blind, Dashboard Confessional, AND Goo Goo Dolls are playing there this summer. It’s like they made the schedule just for me…).

The Guy Who Needs a Little TLC (ASAP)

More and more man salons are popping up in the Nashville area. (They just don’t feel like those barbershops you see in movies, but what do I know?) Treat your Father of the Year with a MANicure, that straight-razor/hot towel number that they all seem to love, or go all out with a spa treatment. Uncles Barbershop has locations in Nolensville, Cool Springs, Bell Meade, and Hillsboro Village. If you’re upping it to the spa treatment, The Boardroom in Brentwood may be just the ticket.

The Adrenaline Junkie

My sisters have been better than me at finding experiences for dad. Two of them have included driving a race car on a track and taking a one-time flight lesson. Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon has an experience like that. (Be ready for sticker shock!) Scads of ziplining and skydiving adventures wait to be discovered nearby. There’s another option at Fontanel, if you’re headed that direction. Head to Adventureworks West and you’ll find ziplining and a ropes course in a beautiful setting—complete with therapeutic lessons on working together. Couple’s counseling disguised as adventure…it’s like taking candy from a baby.

For ANY Dad—the Gift from the Kids

I usually get a “grownup” gift for my husband from me. But never underestimate the power of a handmade gift from daddy’s little buddies. A plethora of easy to make handprint art exists online. However, if you want to step it up a notch, head to one of Nashville’s paint-your-own pottery studios. (Brushfire in Green Hills, Third Coast Clay in Franklin, Fired Up in Mt. Juliet) From plates to coin banks, you can always find something in your budget that would suit daddy-o’s personality—that the kids can help make. I stick with ages five and up if you have more than one. You can probably make it work with a three or four year old working one-on-one. Know that things may get messy. Come with a clear idea of what you want and how you can involve your little/avoid taking complete control over it yourself—and still leave with something presentable.

Nashville Guide to Father's Day gifts
This year’s masterpiece

If you’re thinking about it this hard? Congratulations! You have at least one really worthy father in your life. Show him a little love and tell him he done good. After all—YOU rock. He must have done something right to have you in his life, right? 😉

Happy Father’s Day!

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Kristen moved to Nashville from Illinois (not Chicago!) 10 years ago to pursue a career in music. She landed a steady gig as a high school counselor, which is pretty much the same thing as being a famous singer, except not. She lived in a modest rancher in South Nashville with her husband Matt, loyal mutt Dexter, and her daughter Sabrina, until they found out she was pregnant with identical twins and fled to the suburbs for a larger house. She and Matt now occupy space in Nolensville with their three daughters: Sabrina (7), Brooklyn (3) and Camryn (3), and Dexter is still loyal as ever. When she is not at work, taking care of the fam, or driving around in the minivan she swore she'd never own, Kristen loves doing just about anything that could be described as "me time" — from boxing to baking. Singing is still her passion, and since moving here she has rekindled her love for here goes. :-)


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