If your kids are this little, make the most because before you know it they'll be towering over their dad. Photo copyright: the author
Let's face it, most dads these days have what they need, so Father's Day is about getting dad what he wants. But many dads already have most of what they want, and aren't much help when asked for suggestions.
So what do you get your dad if you're totally stuck for ideas? Well if he doesn't need anything, then move away from a "gift box" in the merchandise sense, and instead gift him an experience. A fun activity or workshop or tour, perhaps something a little out of the usual, that he might not otherwise do.
To help we've found some experiences that are out of the ordinary for most. They range in price from no budget to about a $1,000. But most are at the lower end, so there should be something for everyone. These workshops and tours were selected for inspiration and fun, so it's likely that you might want to tag along too, so why not make a day of it together with your dad, or your family. As a bonus, some experiences listed are cheaper per head with a second person booking in at the same time, which is an extra incentive for you to join your dad. But most are reasonably priced even without that offer.
Of course the motivator for booking in is quality time with your dad and he doesn't need to know that you'd have booked in, without him!
If your dad is a serious beer drinker, this experience is for him. He will learn the overview of the grain brewing process and how malts, hops, yeast and water and affect flavour as well as how to clean and sanitise your equipment and bottle beer correctly. The 4 common mistakes made by brewers will be covered, as well as how to build a home brewing system.
You'll also learn how to identify beer faults and how to conduct a tasting. Because you can't drink beer without tasting it!
Beer Brewing by Costanzo Brewing, is at Vibe Hotel, 441 Royal Parade Parkville on Friday 29th September from 8:30am to 6:15pm at a cost of $590 More details and to book in are here
So if you're dad is a beer connoisseur, this might be the go for him.
If your dad is more of a cider or wine drinker, then Pete the Permie, can teach how to create your own home grown cider and fruit wines. He covers the basics of fermentation and how you can turn excess fruit into a wine that will keep for years. Fruit wine will be made from seasonal fruit or stored fruits that can be obtained while very cheap at the market. This process can be used to make many different varieties of wines from fruit & flowers.
The day will also include samples, both home made and from around the world.
The next Cider and Fruit Wine Workshop is onsite with Pete the Permie at Invermay Road Monbulk, on Sunday 26th November from 10am-4pm at a cost of $125. More details and a range of other workshops are here.
Note: at the time of publishing the dates were just confirmed and not on the website yet. So don't worry if you can't see the dates, just contact Peter for more information by email email@example.com or call 0418 665 880
This will open up a world of wines, beyond the grape, and will give you a new appreciation for cider!
Is your dad a fun guy or into fungi (OK there's a dad joke if I ever heard one). On a seriously note, in this hands-on workshop, you will be shown the secrets to successfully growing mushrooms at home. You will learn the growing methods for shitake mushrooms and oyster mushrooms, including inoculation, sterilisation and you'll be introduced to basic mycology (basically mycology is science speak for the "study of fungi").
Brendan Morse, the course facilitator is trained as a biologist-ecologist and is a self-confessed mycophile, in other words a mushroom lover. So he has a lot of information to share on the topic.
The next Mushroom Growing Workshop is at Ceres, Coner of Stewart St & Roberts St, Brunswick East on Saturday 21st October from 10am-4pm. Cost is: $150 for one or $135 each, if you book together.
More details and to book into Growing Mushrooms
If you're thinking that you want to know how to grow mushrooms too, then make the most of this discount and go along together.
Does your dad love cheese? Then maybe he should learn how to make it. In this Cheese Making Class, you get a hands on learning experience making mozzarella & halloumi. You get to bring home the fresh mozzarella cheese that you made and you will receive a Cheese-Making kit to take home too.
Anthony and Florence are the tutors for this course and they also run a variety of fun, interesting, healthy workshops and classes like Artisan Chocolate Making, Soap-Making, Cheese Making, Kimchi Making, Grow your own Sprouts, and many more.
The next Cheese Making Class is at Telopea Mountain Permaculture, Monbulk on 29th September or you can contact them to book dates for a private class through the website (location may vary). The cost of the Cheese Making Class is $115 per person or you can have a private class with 4 people at a cost of $450 plus $65 for each extra person. You can find out more details with Fans of Nature
Warning, this is only for serious lovers of cheese!
Has your dad ever wanted to try his hand at sculpting? Well why not have him try this Limestone Sculpture Workshop. This workshop teaches how to sculpt limestone to create your own unique art piece and also covers the various tools used in the sculpting process.
The tutor, Jenny is an award-winning sculptor who works with many types of stone and specialises in figurative works. She enjoys sharing her love of sculpting, as well as the techniques needed to carve limestone.
You can book into this Sculpting Workshop at Bulleen Art & Garden, 6 Manningham Rd West, Bulleen on September 9th OR September 10th from 10am - 4pm, for a cost of $130. More details about booking and other courses on offer are are here
If your dad knows permaculture, he probably know of Melliodora. But if not, this is the home of David Holmgren, a co-founder of permaculture and a sustainability advocate. His one hectare property has been designed to include a passive solar house, mixed food gardens, orchards, dams and livestock, as well as creek revegetation.
The day tour includes the Melliodora eBook CD, which is the detailed record of how the house and garden you see on the tour, was designed and established, explaining the logic behind design decisions, detailed plans, plant species selection and how it all works together. In the morning you are shown around the house, in the afternoon you will tour the garden farm.
This Guided Tour at Melliodora is at Daylesford, October 1st, November 5th, December 3rd. This has a cost of $80.00 for the full day tour which is the House 10am - 12.30pm and Garden 2pm - 4.30pm. Or Garden tour only for $50. Make sure you book in advance, because they do book out. More details are on their website
Anyone who has an interest in permaculture, sustainability or edible gardening will really enjoy this.
Has he ever dreamt of building an earth friendly home out of natural materials? In this intensive, hands-on three day workshop you will learn how to build with a variety of natural building techniques: light earth, strawbale, cobb, roundwood timbers, reciprocal roofs, lime and mud renders and more!
This course will be a blend of class sessions where you learn the theory of each natural building technique, followed by practical hands-on sessions where you will help construct a variety of building elements which puts into practice all the techniques listed above.
This 3 day Natural Building Workshop is run by Milkwood at Willow Farm, Berry, NSW. It runs from 6 – 8 October 9am - 5 pm and costs $990 if you send dad on his own, or $891 if you book in to go too. More details are here
The risk of your dad doing this workshop is that he will leave confident and all set to start planning and implementing his own Natural Building project. It could change his life!
Make a pancake stack for dad, but make sure it's big enough to share
Let's be real, you can spend a lot on your dad, or the father of your kids, and why not, because he is a special someone in your life. But sometimes pennies just don't go that far, or like my dad, he just wants a nice photo of the grand kids, while their dad just wants quality time with them. So on the day itself why don't you consider
• Cooking him breakfast in bed, be it bacon and eggs, toast, pancakes, porridge or all of the above!
• Have a family meal, with the whole family, cook his favourite meal and if you have a large extended family then make it easy and have everyone bring something to share.
Why not make it really special and be device free - at least while you eat. Go on, you don't need wifi to connect with your dad, when you're in the same room!
• Go to a park with a lake and have a picnic, maybe you could go for a walk, a bike ride, or push the kids on the swing. Of course this is based on the age of the kids and your familiy's interests. Do what ever works for your family, but why not check out somewhere you haven't been before. There is a huge choice of parks with playgrounds and picnic areas in Melbourne and Victoria. You'll find many suggestions and reviews by searching Parks on Weekends Notes.
Father's Day is about dad, so make sure you show him how much you appreciate him. If like me, you won't be seeing your dad on fathers day, because of distance (or whatever the reason), then make sure you give him a call and let him know you're thinking of him!