Plan a FUN DAY with dad

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Give your dad the experience of a lifetime for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is fast approaching, and you might find yourself at a loss for what to get Dad. Moms can be easier — flowers, chocolate, a spa day. But a dad can be tricky, because there are very few things he really wants. There are things he needs — golf clubs, tools, golf balls, a kegerator, golf shoes, etc. — but he usually already has them.

If you’re looking for “things,” you’re already screwing this up. Dads don’t want things and dads don’t need things. The things they want, the things they need, are not things at all. They’re experiences. Study after study shows this to be true — and not just for dads. When it comes down to it, we all tend to value life experiences or opportunities to make special memories more than material items.

Just trust us. Don’t get Dad anything for Father’s Day. Instead, do something with him. There’s an experience for every dad, especially around here.

The Sporty Dad

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The obvious gift for the sporty dad, especially around here, is a round of golf. Setting aside the day to spend with the old man, busting each other’s chops over your horrible swing and wicked slice, will mean more to him than any gift you’ll find at the mall.

With 33 top-notch courses around the Lowcountry, there obviously isn’t space to list them all here. But it’s worth looking around for deals with some of the companies that manage multiple courses in the area so you can make a weekend out of it.

This year would also be a great year to get him something that’s also an experience: football tickets. Head north to Charlotte, where the Panthers have a packed schedule including early season games against New England and Dallas, or go south to Jacksonville where late season games include recent Super Bowl champions the Eagles, plus the Steelers.

The Foodie Dad

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If your dad lives life one forkful at a time, you’re certainly in the right place to show him a good time. Hilton Head Island’s restaurants have racked up a smorgasbord of AAA diamonds, including the four-diamond Old Fort Pub, so it’s hard to go wrong with a gourmet meal out.

But for the true gourmand, no experience beats taking a cooking classes at Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana. Hands-on classes in the restaurant’s state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen will help you and your dad perfect three or four delicious recipes — and not just Italian cuisine, though there are certainly a few classes dedicated to improving your dad’s pasta game. Lessons rotate among disciplines from Cajun to Mediterranean to shrimp. For details, go to www.michael-anthonys.com.

Fathers Day4 1The Outdoorsy Dad

The great outdoors calls loud and clear in the Lowcountry, thanks to its endless miles of waterways and pathways that cut through acres lush green space. If you have an outdoorsy dad, there is truly no shortage of ways to get him out and about in the fresh air.

Start in the sea, with a quick kayak tour around the island. The Coastal Discovery Museum offers a kayak tour that glides along the still waters of Jarvis Creek. Without a lot of boat traffic to get in your way, the tour will help you get up close and personal with wildlife from dolphins to birds, while logging some quality bonding time hours. For details, go to www.coastaldiscovery.org.

The History Buff Dad

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Once again, the Lowcountry turns out to be the perfect place to show Dad a good time. Some of the most fascinating chapters of history have been written in the marshes and on the beaches of Hilton Head. You and your dad can step back in time with a bike tour courtesy of the Heritage Library, which offers regular tours leaving from the Sailing & Rowing Center on Squire Pope Road. Wind your way among the island’s Native American, Civil War, Reconstruction and Gullah sites and explore the island’s rich and varied history. For details, go to www.heritagelib.org.