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Don't Forget Dad

Some simple gift ideas for that no-fuss father in your life.

In general, my dad's a pretty simple guy. He likes golfing, fishing and fantasy football; and if he can combine those with family, friends and good food, then life's good.

My best advice for those trying to think of the perfect gift for this Father's Day is to keep it simple. Make the day high in fun, low in fuss and be sure to feed him! Below are a few ideas to help you honor that special father in your life.

The Good Ol’ Outdoors

For the outdoorsy dad, consider giving him an unlimited all-access pass to the beautiful state parks that Michigan has to offer. 

Michigan residents can purchase an annual motor vehicle pass for $24 which allows them to enter state parks and enjoy the various hiking and biking trails, fishing access, picnic areas, swimming and so much more. 

Highland Recreation AreaProud Lake Recreation AreaPontiac Lake Recreation Area, and Dodge #4 State Park are all local parks that can be accessed with the pass, with each park offering different activities and facilities. At Highland Recreation he can even bring "man's best friend" on the designated trails for dogs.

You might also consider buying an Oakland County Parks and Recreation gift card (available for purchase online). White Lake Oaks Golf Course is just one of the numerous locations that these gift cards can be used at.

These local options give your dad all the benefits of a vacation without the travel costs.

The Way to His Heart

It’s been said that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and what better way to get there than with some quality home cooking? 

The following recipe is dad-approved by my very own father, and matches great with cup of coffee. Start Father’s Day off right by showing up with a basket of these Banana Crumb Muffins and his favorite cup of Joe! 

To make these muffins you’ll need the following: 

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • Crushed walnuts or pecans as desired
  • ½ cups packed brown sugar (topping)
  • 1/8 cup all-purpose flour (topping)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (topping)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (topping) 
  1. Preheat over to 375 degrees.
  2. Grease muffin pan or line with papers.
  3. In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. In another bowl, beat together the bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter.
  5. Combine the flour mixture and banana mixture until evenly blended. Add nuts if desired.
  6. Spoon batter into prepared pan (batter level varies depending on desired muffin size, I usually prepare 10-12 muffins from this recipe).
  7. Chop remaining tablespoon of butter into smaller pieces and place in a baggie along with brown sugar, flour and cinnamon.
  8. Squish the baggie's contents together to create a topping.
  9. Sprinkle the desired amount of topping onto muffins (I usually have leftover topping).
  10. Bake muffins for 18 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. 

For a healthier alternative, try this recipe for , and check out more delicious options in our recipe archive.

Better Late than Never 

A good dad is worthy of a celebration on any given day of the year, so if you can’t get together this weekend for the “official” day, don’t sweat it. 

The annual Michigan Challenge Balloonfest will run from June 24–26 in Howell. Bring your favorite dads out to enjoy a wide-range of activities and events. 

Skydivers will perform every day of the event, with a special moonlight jump complete with pyrotechnics on Saturday. The Yankee Air Museum will have a booth, as well as occasional B-25 plane flyovers. 

You can cheer on the hot air balloon pilots as they compete in events. Milford, Waterford and Commerce Township all have pilots participating this year.

Whatever you decide to do this Sunday, make sure to let the fathers in your life know how much you appreciate them and all they've done for you.

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