Folks eager to find unique gifts and experiences for celebrating Father’s Day need look no further than local arts and culture. Museums make for fun family outings, and many have gift shops filled with fascinating fare making gifts like striped ties look purely passé.
Got a dad who’s into science? Hit your local science center. Got a dad who’s into art? Treat him to time at your local art gallery or museum. Got a dad who’s into history? Take him along for some time at the nearest history museum. And remember all those neighborhood arts districts with funky fare it’s hard to find elsewhere.
Military dads and their families can enjoy free admission to museums that participate in the Blue Star Museums program. Most museums participate from Memorial Day through Veterans Day — but some offer free year-round admission (with specified I.D.s) to active military personnel and up to five family members.
Here’s a brief samling of gift options spied during recent trips to museum and performing arts venue gift shops in the Valley (inventory varies so check before going if you need a particular item noted below):
- Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts have wall clocks, bags for hauling work or gym gear, bookends, ties and more.
- The Heard Museum in Phoenix (and Scottsdale) has rugs, prints, books, CDs, men’s neckwear and more.
- The Musical Instrument Museum has wall decor, musical intruments, ties, books, CDs, games and more.
- The Phoenix Art Museum has building sets, puzzles, posters, kitchen ware, ties, t-shirts and more.
- Tempe Center for the Performing Arts and Mesa Arts Center have rotating works by local artists (in the past I’ve seen wine stoppers, retro desk items, original works of art and more).
- The Arizona Science Center, Children’s Museum of Phoenix, Arizona Museum for Youth and Tucson Children’s Museum have books, games and other items for dads who like to learn and play.
For dads who enjoy making art, consider taking a Father’s Day walk together in search of found objects for future art projects. Or looking around the house for boxes and other recyclable objects you can turn into forts, musical instruments and works of art. Or get dad a gift certificate to your favorite small business featuring art supplies or classes.
Remember studios in your community that offer hands-on arts experiences like painting pottery, folding origami, recreating famous art masterpieces and such. Check your local libraries, independent book shops, community centers and parks and recreation facilities for activities of special interest to fathers and families.
Also theater companies that offer family-friendly fare — plus performing arts venues that offer fun film, music, dance, poetry and other options. You’ll never know whether the dad in your life is hot for hip hop until you give it a try together.
Note: If you’re an Arizona museum or performing arts venue with a gift shop featuring fun items for Father’s Day, please comment below to share a few of your favorite gift ideas with our readers.
Coming up: Arizona Tony Awards travelers.