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5 Unique Ideas for Mother’s and Father’s Day

April 28, 2020 alexszczesny

5 Unique Ideas for Mother’s and Father’s Day

April 28, 2020 Alex Szczesny

Unless you’re Leslie Knope, you might struggle with gift-giving. Even the most thoughtful and observant people can run out of ideas. Every spring, people’s minds go blank when thinking about presents for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Older parents don’t need any more “stuff,” and whatever they do want, they can buy themselves.

It’s time to think outside the box! Here are five unique Mother’s and Father’s Day gift ideas for older parents.

1. Dinner at a trendy restaurant

People of a certain age can be creatures of habit. They don’t go out much; when they do, it’s to the nearest chain restaurant or the same neighborhood “spot” frequented on the same night by the same regulars, telling the same stories. Going out downtown isn’t the first thing to come to mind.

The growth of Buffalo is no secret anymore (despite the suggestion of a certain mural on Main St. to the contrary). New restaurants are always popping up, not just in hotspots like Allentown, Elmwood or Chippewa. New neighborhoods are coming alive like never before, such as Larkinville, Chandler St, the Westside, and yes, even in the heart of downtown!

Break up their routine and treat them to a night out at a place they would have never chosen. Drive them through different city streets and let them be a tourist in their own backyard.

2. Toast to good times!

Like the local restaurant scene, the brewery/winery landscape has exploded in the last few years. The city is overflowing with lots of great places to try. The beer scene has significantly evolved over the past decade. We have an embarrassment of skilled brewers that have opened up taprooms not only in the city but in the suburbs and even the Southern Tier. Wine tours always remain a popular option for groups in either the Finger Lakes or Niagara region and you’ll be amazed at the cocktails created by the most talented bartenders around.

Undoubtedly, you’ve seen various pedal tours around city streets, and you may have even participated. Well, instead of planning a night out with your friends, grab your parents, aunts, uncles, family friends and make the day about them! Or take to the water on a pedal boat, guided river tour, or even a floating tiki bar!

3. A unique way to relive the past

Your parents are always telling you that you grew up too fast. If you have any children of your own, you can identify with that feeling. There’s no better way to say “Happy Mother’s or Father’s Day” than by showing them just how much you’ve grown…with a twist.

Photo recreation has gone viral as people dig up the strangest or funniest photos from their youth and bring them back to life. It’s a bonus if you can match your outfit to the odd fashion trends of the ’80s or ’90s. This may be silly, but it will touch Mom or Dad’s heart.

4. Snap a candid moment

“Pictures capture moments in time,” says Brendan Fraser in a 2002 episode of Scrubs. “When they’re posed, they’re not real.” In this episode, Fraser’s character, Ben, takes candid photos of the staff working at the hospital, showing everyone with their guard down.

How can a posed photo truly be memorable when often the moments behind them… aren’t? Sure, we can look through a stack of old pictures and remember loved ones who have passed or relive an event that is etched permanently into our brains, but there is something to be said to capture a candid moment as it was.

Next time you’re at a family event, capture some heartwarming moments between your parents, them stealing a moment with their grandchildren, a friend, or someone they haven’t seen in a while. The look in their eyes will say more than any staged moment could.

5. Splurge on their hobbies & interests

Now that your parents are older, perhaps even retired, they have more time to spend on their hobbies. Are they thinking about trying something they’ve never done, like something artistic? Learning a new language? Travel? You might be familiar with the concept of “Treat Yo’ Self,” but they might not be.

Do your parents golf on the same old public course every summer? Reserve them a tee time at a fancy country club. Does mom still cook in the same old pots and pans you remember as a child? Does Dad use the family grill that holds more rust than charcoal? Grab them some new cookware or unique ingredients like fine olive oils. Spend the money to get them something they might not think is worth it.

It’s the thought that counts

If you’re ok with buying variations of a theme, year in and year out, every Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, that’s ok. If you want to go above and beyond to find a special way to say “thank you,” hopefully, this will spark an idea that mom or dad will love for years to come. If you’re a parent, you can understand that it’s about spending time with your children rather than what they get you. Your folks will appreciate the gesture, no matter what.

Alex Szczesny

Alex is a father, husband and Buffalonian, in that order. He has loosely based his life around his favorite hockey team, with varying results. You can find him endlessly quoting Parks & Rec and showing pictures of his children & dog to any interested parties.

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