10 Extraordinary Gifts for Dad This Father’s Day That Support Local Communities


Father’s Day is an occasion that celebrates our fathers, grandfathers, and anyone who assumes a parental role in a child’s life. Falling on the first Sunday of September — which in 2020, is September 6 — the day presents us with an opportunity to honour paternal bonds and give thanks to those who helped raise and shape us.

While we’ve previously shown our appreciation for Dad with whiskey, cufflinks and socks (not our best effort, we admit), this year, we’re looking to treat Dad with an experience he’ll remember forever — something you can do together, and that will help support local Australian businesses that may also have had a challenging year. No doubt Dads make up those communities and businesses, too.

Looking to leading experience platform RedBalloon, we’ve curated some brilliant thought-starters for your best gift yet to Dad. He’ll like these much better than socks. And so will you.

Cooking class

For the Dads who love to cook, there’s nothing more thoughtful than a cooking class you can take together. Learn a new skill in the kitchen and spend quality time bonding over your favourite cuisine before sitting down to a meaningful meal together. On RedBalloon, you’ll find cooking classes of all types, including a cheese-making class, a pasta-making course, and a Spanish fiesta class with sangria included.

Source: RedBalloon

Brewery or distillery tour

Support your local breweries and distilleries with a visit to sample their product and find out more about the process of making your favourite drinks. Many tours come with a local pub or bistro lunch and some even offer the chance for you to take part in the process, whether it’s mixing up cocktails or even making your own bottle of gin.

Fine dining

Treat your old man to a meal on you, at one of your city’s best restaurants. RedBalloon dining experiences remove the challenge in navigating a menu, and allow you to sit back and relax as a multi-course meal is presented to you. From gourmet bistro lunches to fine dining degustations, there’s a range of experiences available to cater to all diets and tastes.

Our favourites right now? An 11-course tasting menu (with wine and a cocktail!) for two from chef Luke Nguyen at the Botanic House in Sydney for $220, a three-course steakhouse dinner with wine at The Meat and Wine Co. for two for $128, and a nine-course Italian degustation at Otto Ristorante for two for $300.

Source: RedBalloon

Escape room experience

There’s no better way to bring a family together than by locking them in a room and forcing them to work as a team to escape… right? Jokes aside, Escape Rooms are a hell of a lot of fun and encourage every family member to think critically, strategically, and most importantly, together, to find a solution to a problem. The best part? Once you’ve escaped, you get to reward yourselves with a celebratory dinner or a round of drinks.

Luxury car hire

Give Dad the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to drive his dream car (if only for the day) with one of many luxury car hire experiences on RedBalloon. From Lamborghinis and Ferraris to a vintage Mustang, there are a range of packages to suit every father’s tastes, with many also coming with a gourmet lunch to follow the drive.

And for the Dads who have a need for speed, consider a race car driving experience. Whether a V8 or F1-style race car, your Dad (the car racing fanatic) can take laps around a professional course, learning to drift while doing his best Daniel Ricciardo impression. Stunt driving experiences are also on offer for those after an extra thrill.

Source: RedBalloon

Aboriginal culture tour

There are a number of incredible and unique Indigenous travel experiences to be had around Australia that will open your eyes to the world’s oldest living culture and Australia’s First Nations people, the traditional custodians.

RedBalloon has curated a number of dedicated Indigenous cultural experiences to include learning activities around Aboriginal traditions, music and dance ceremonies, plus tree smoking ceremonies and more. Do something meaningful with Dad this year and learn more about Australia’s Black history, whether with a walking tour around Sydney, or a seven-course dining experience in the tropical Daintree Rainforest.

Shark diving

It’s not for everyone, but for the adventure seekers who would love nothing more than a good story to tell at the end of the day, then a shark diving experience could be a fun idea. Depending on how brave you and your old man are, you can choose from a safe diving experience at the local aquarium, or for those feeling extra bullish, a great white shark cave dive in open water.

Source: RedBalloon

Golf lesson

If your Dad loves to watch or take part in golf, then a lesson could be a great shout for a Father’s Day gift. Give him and a friend the chance to spend an hour with a PGA professional with this seaside lesson for two for $170.

If he doesn’t require a lesson, then a round of golf with buggie hire on you will go just as far to show him your appreciation for the things he does for you. RedBalloon has an array of golfing experiences to choose from — from an 18-hole afternoon to mini-golf with pizza.

Flying lesson

Yes, you really can help your Dad learn to fly, and it won’t break the bank either with lessons starting from $108. Sure, you may want to coax your siblings into chipping in on the more specialised experiences, but the chance to fly a plane or helicopter is worth it for how memorable the adventure will be for your old man — particularly those who love M*A*S*H.

In one experience, departing from Bankstown Airport in NSW, your dad can learn to fly a helicopter in NSW. As he takes in the views of Sydney, dad will be taught how to fly and control a Robinson R22 helicopter from a fully CASA-accredited flight instructor. The 30-minute flight will see him take full control of the helicopter while it’s in the air.

Source: RedBalloon

Abseiling experience

An experience like abseiling requires both teamwork and trust, so if you’re looking for a way to bond, then an activity like this will have you working on those skills together. RedBalloon has a range of abseiling experiences across Australia and for all skill levels that will help you get back to nature and have you immersed in the great outdoors.

Some packages include quad biking, horse riding, rock climbing, white water rafting or canyoning in addition to the abseil element, so it’s really about choosing what excites you most. One thing’s for sure: you’ll remember the experience forever.

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