Give dad the gift of adventure, excitement and life experience. As you walk through the aisles of stores searching for the perfect Father's Day gift, you may be lured by the sales on ugly ties, the collection of grill items or the 150 gadgets on a single pocket knife.
But think, does your father even wear ties? Hasn't he re-gifted that grill set you got him last year? And does he really need a pocket knife that has the capability of filing a jagged fingernail? Instead of the same go-to gift, think adventure, excitement and macho.
Think: What would "He-Man," Master of the Universe, want for Father's Day. Whether your husband or father is an adrenaline junky or a Renaissance man who enjoys the occasional opera, a gift that provides a little life experience might be the Father's Day gift he never forgets.
Just him and the friendly skies
Is your father the type, who when he forgets you're in the back seat, makes airplane landing noises as he pulls into the driveway? If so, he probably has an inner pilot that is just waiting to be let out. Freedom is easier than you — or him — may have thought. Acampo Flying Club is one local training school that offers flying lessons from Lodi Airport. Flying Club CEO Richard Edwards says there are six full-time, certified flight instructors who work one-on-one with students.
Intro flights are $91, and allows first-time flyers a chance to see if flying is something they really want to pursue as a hobby.
While flying may seem like an unconventional gift, Edwards says birthday gift certificates are especially popular.
The Acampo Flying Club is located in Hangar 16 of the Lodi Airport, 23987 N. W. Frontage Road in Acampo. For more information, call 649-7320 or visit http://www.flyacampo.com">www.flyacampo.com.
Braving Davey Jones' locker
There's nothing more manly than going where few men have gone before. Chances are, most people your husband or father knows have not mastered the skill of scuba diving. Giving him that bragging right will be more satisfying to him than, say, a new electric razor.
Luckily for him, Lodi's not too far from one of the top five scuba diving spots on earth: Monterey. The Dolphin Scuba Center in Stockton makes it even easier and offers open-water classes at their local training facility during the week or weekends, so students can learn the basics before jumping in, literally.
For beginners, PADI Master Instructor Cari Pouchnik, of Dolphin Scuba, recommends purchasing the package that includes five sections and five water dives at the Stockton pool classroom and four open water dives over two days in Monterey. Groups travel together to Monterey, though there are many different packages, including one where you meet in Monterey.
The cost for the entry package is $169, plus $60 for the book, as well as an equipment rental charge.
Dolphin Scuba Center is located at 3255 W. Hammer Lane, Ste. 2 in Stockton. For more information, call 476-8188 or visit http://www.dolphinscuba.com">www.dolphinscuba.com. Gift certificates are available.
Hitting the bull's eye
Does your husband brag that he can hit any mark with an arrow, but he's really too much of a softy to actually shoot a living thing? If that sounds like him, treat him to a few hours of target practice at a venue like Jerry's Archery in Stockton, where there are both lanes and an archery store.
The lanes are 16 yards long and targets vary from animals to circles to "whatever you want to shoot down," said employee Gary Coit.
Jerry's doesn't rent bows and arrows, so customers will need to bring their own. Jerry's Archery sells complete sets, which range from $119 to thousands.
"It's a great gift," Coit said.
There are four lanes that can be rented for $3 an hour. Children are allowed as long as there is parental supervision.
Jerry's Archery is located at 636 W Fremont St. in Stockton. For more information, call 941-4870.
Hang 10 in no time
If Beach Boys are continuously on the radio, trips to Santa Cruz are monthly necessities and "Endless Summer" was the soundtrack to his youth, then it's probably time to get dad some surfing lessons. Just about two hours from Lodi is Santa Cruz, boasting some of the best surfing on the West Coast. There are numerous surf schools in Santa Cruz, though one of the most popular is Cowell's Surf Shop. Cowell's offers surfing lessons near the Santa Cruz pier, where the swells are slow and customers are able to stand up after just a little instruction.
For $80, customers can rent a surfboard and wetsuit for the day and get two hours of instruction. No experience is needed.
And just because it's for dad, it doesn't mean it can't be a family event. If your child feels comfortable in the water, he or she is old enough to surf.
All lessons are booked around low tides, swell and surf condition, and there are two-to-five surfers per instructor.
Cowell's Surf Shop is located at 30 Front St. in Santa Cruz. For more information, call 831-427-2355 or visit http://www.cowellssurfshop.com">www.cowellssurfshop.com.
Get real fish stories at the deep sea
Your dad may have a whole collection of fish stories, and here's his chance to tell one that's not a fish tale. Chris' Fishing Trips and Whale Watching in Monterey offers deep-sea fishing tours seven days a week. The boats travel out to 200-feet deep waters to fish for deep-sea rock fish, such as lingcod and rock cod. Fishers can take their own rods and tackle or rent it for an extra fee from the shop.
Chris' Fishing Trips' manager Todd Arcoleo recommends always making a reservation, packing a cooler with food and drinks for the day and dressing warm.
"You're going out on the Pacific, it's cooler out there," Arcoleo said.
A full day of fishing costs $65 for adults, $40 for those under 15. Boats carry 25 to 30 people.
Chris' Fishing Trips and Whale Watching at 48 Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey. For more information, call 831-375-5951 or visit http://www.chrissfishing.com">www.chrissfishing.com.
Real men aren't afraid of their ballerina side
Real men may not wear tutus, but they sure can dance ballet. The City of Lodi offers beginning tap classes for adults in July and August, and in the current session, there is one male student. Diane Amaral, program coordinator for the city's Division of Arts and Culture, says it's a fun class for beginners. Students learn basic and traditional tap techniques and get a workout.
Each class has four sessions for $42 to $46, depending on when you register. Ballet shoes are not required.
Beginning tap dances classes are held in the Thomas Theatre Gallery at Hutchins Street Square, 125 S. Hutchins St. For more information, see a Spring & Summer catalog, call 333-5511 or visit www.lodiarts.org.
Paddle in the backyard
If dad likes to get outdoors, but isn't into flying lessons or catching some waves, kayaking in Lodi's backyard is likely a good option. The City of Lodi offers Wednesday evening kayak rides on the Mokelumne River from the Lodi Lake boathouse. An evening of paddling is $20 and includes a kayak rental, paddle, life jacket and some instruction on how to kayak.
The Mokelumne River offers a gentle, slow-paced ride up the that anyone over the age of 8 can do. Keep your eyes open for families of turtles, birds and other wildlife.
All evening paddles start at the Lodi Lake Boathouse. For more information, call 333-5511 or visit http://www.lodiarts.org">www.lodiarts.org.
Embracing his theatrical side
Give dad a reason to get dressed up once in a while with tickets to regional shows from "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" in Sacramento and "I Remember Mama" in Stockton. Because many theater's seasons are at least halfway over by this time in the year, it may not be a best option to buy season tickets. Instead, gather a collection of tickets from different venues, including Stockton Civic Theater, Music Circus in Sacramento, Broadway Sacramento or even tickets to the classic cinema series at Stockton's Bob Hope Theater. "I Remember Mama" is playing through July 18 at the Stockton Civic Theater, while "42nd Street" opens in August at Music Circus.
For Music Circus and Broadway Sacramento, visit http://www.californiamusicaltheatre.com">www.californiamusicaltheatre.com. For Stockon Civic Theater, visit http://www.sctlivetheatre.org">www.sctlivetheatre.org.
Learning the real way to barbecue
Does your father love to fire up the barbecue, but everyone silently wishes he could make something besides charred hot dogs? OK, so maybe he's not that bad, but he'd still probably enjoy a 4-week barbecue class offered by Holy Smoke BBQ Company. Recipes will be shared, friends will be made and barbecue will be eaten at the end of each class. Taught by Alan Lucero, the classes will teach cooks to master park grills, gas grills and Weber grills. All you need is to bring a lawn chair, something to drink and an appetite.
Holy Smoke BBQ Company classes are held at Lodi Lake. For more information, call 333-6742 or sign-up online at http://www.lodiarts.org">www.lodiarts.org.
Bring out the rifle
Take dad out of town for a day and let him feel more powerful than he already does — with a rifle loaded in his arms. At Birds Landing Hunting Preserve and Sporting Clays past Rio Vista, men and women can hunt live game on the preserve or shoot sporting clays, disks that shoot into the air from a machine. Described as "golf with a shotgun," the sporting clays courses are designed to replicate a real shooting experience.
Birds Landing Hunting Preserve and Sporting Clays is located at 2009 Collinsville Road in Birds Landing. For more information, call 707-374-5092 or visit http://www.birdslanding.net">www.birdslanding.net.