No browsing the mall for last-minute ideas this year. And you can skip the tie (he works in sweats now anyway). These are strange days, but there are still plenty of safe ways to celebrate the old man next weekend.
1. Make it a grillfest. Fire up the backyard grill, grab the burgers (or veggie patties), and let Dad do his thing. The Bar-B-Que Barn in Arlington is a grill-master’s paradise, whether he’s into charcoal, propane, or smokers.
2. Papa needs a new pair of shoes. Hiking shoes, that is — perfect for some serious trails or a socially distanced woodland walk. You might consult REI staff’s picks for the best of 2020 (find it at www.rei.com), featuring brands like HOKA and Vasque (with prices starting at $170).
3. Running supplies. Has he taken up running in quarantine, just like everybody else? Runners World Shoe Lab selected their 10 favorites for 2020 — with the comfiest models by Brooks, Mizuno, and other brands. Consider ordering a pair from Marathon Sports in Boston. The shop also has curated a brand-new “Fathers’ Day Collection” from socks to sunglasses.
4. Family game night. Pop up some popcorn — and let Pops pick the game. For some outdoor family fun, try cornhole, Spikeball, or Kan Jam. All three are available on Amazon, Target, or via curbside pickup from Dick’s Sporting Goods.
5. Bake a batch. Never underestimate how much dads love cookies. Try the tasty recipe for a thin, crispy chocolate chip from Boston’s James Beard Foundation award-winning Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery & Cafe. Or try longtime Globe contributor Julie Riven’s recipe for turning brownie batter into double-chocolate chip cookies. (Find both recipes via www.bostonglobe.com.)
6. Cool down. Head out on a social-distancing picnic with a new cooler. He might be yearning for that hot cult cooler from Yeti (available via www.yeti.com). Throw in some of his favorite brews to make it extra special.
7. Pack the beer. Mix and match a six-pack from your local bottle shop. For an extra-cool gift, stick with cans from New England breweries like Mayflower Brewing or Mighty Squirrel Brewing Co.
8. Morning brew. Does he miss his daily coffee stop? Order beans and supplies from local shops. George Howell, Dave’s Coffee, and the Coffee Exchange have some of the tastiest beans in Southern New England.