NECKTIES. Golf shirts. Nosebleed seats for a Phillies game.
What do these items have in common? They're things we guarantee your dad is really sick of getting for Father's Day.
This Sunday, get creative. Scrap the cruddy clothes and stale cigars and surprise the big guy with a meal he'll never forget.
Spoil dad with a boat ride, a culinary journey to the Middle East, even a beer-lover's walking tour. Read on for these and other ideas. Unless otherwise noted, all events require reservations.
_ If your dad is the seafaring type, choose breakfast, lunch or dinner aboard the Spirit of Philadelphia. For an hour-and-a-half, the ship cruises the Delaware River, starting from Lombard Circle at Columbus Boulevard.
While dad feasts on a buffet that includes everything from roast beef to jambalaya to pastries, a DJ will spin tunes for dancing. Breakfast ($27.50) boards at 9 a.m., lunch ($43.90) at 1 p.m. and dinner ($59.90) at 5:30 p.m. 215-923-1419.
_ If dad fancies himself a real gourmand, he'll love City Food Tour's Artisanal Beer and Food Tour. This interactive tour company recently branched out to Philadelphia from New York City.
The two-hour journey takes dad from a microbrew tasting at Old City's Triumph Brewing Company to a cheese sampling at the Old City Cheese Shop. The afternoon continues with a charcuterie tasting, a beer pairing discussion and, of course, more beer. Tour starts at Old City Cheese Shop, 160 N. 3rd St., 3:30 p.m. Sunday, $39 a person, includes beer and food. 800-979-3370 or www.cityfoodtours.com.
_ This one almost sounds too good to be true: At the Cote D'Azur-themed Patou restaurant in Old City, chef Patrice Rames will offer dad a 12-ounce grilled rib eye steak dinner on the house (a $26 value!) when mom and the kids choose items from the French restaurant's a la carte menu. 312 Market St., 5-10 p.m. Sunday, 215-928-2987.
_ If dad is a die-hard meat-and-potatoes type, hustle him to the father-festive Kildare's in King of Prussia, where he can dig into a buffet that includes a prime-rib carving station, salads and sides, plus a complimentary pint of Guinness.
And while he's chowing down, everyone can enjoy Irish music, or sit out on the patio and catch some rays. 826 W. Dekalb Pike, King of Prussia, noon-4 p.m. Sunday, $19.95 prime-rib buffet, 610-337-4772.
_ If you're out to impress dad with a gourmet experience for brunch or dinner, why not do it against the backdrop of one of the best views of the city, aboard the tall ship Moshulu?
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Chef Ralph Fernandez will present an over-the-top repast that includes chocolate-chip pancakes, cornflake-crusted French toast and more.
For dinner, from 5 to 9 p.m., he'll go all out with a four-course dinner for dad that includes shrimp cocktail and grilled lamb tenderloin or wasabi-crusted Chilean sea bass. Brunch, $49.95 a person, kids $25. Dinner, $75 a person. 401 S. Columbus Blvd., 215-923-2500 or www.moshulu.com.
_ Some dads like it hot - as in hot sauce. If that's your pop, take him to one of Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant's seven locations, where brewmasters have concocted the Ring of Fire Porter, aged in a Tabasco Sauce barrel.
Dad can slurp down this spicy brew while enjoying the restaurant's Father's Day prime-rib dinner - a 14-ounce cut of prime with salad, sides and a pint of beer or wine. 1-9 p.m. Sunday, $19.95. www.ironhillbrewery.com.
_ Transport dad to an exotic Middle Eastern country at Zahav, the new Society Hill culinary adventure from chef Michael Solomonov (formerly of the celebrated Marigold Kitchen in West Philadelphia).
Solomonov will offer dads two ways to delve into the rich cuisine with either a Mesibah (translates from the Hebrew as "party time") - a selection of more than a half-dozen dishes, from the eight salads of the dish known as Salatim to hummus, baked laffa bread, whole roasted chicken and fish wrapped in grape leaves - or the ultimate guy's meal, a whole roasted lamb shoulder. 237 Saint James Place, 5-10 p.m. Sunday, $50, 215-625-8800 or www.zahavrestaurant.com.
_ If dad's an adventurous eater, wow him with Pearl, the new, $2 million gem off Rittenhouse Square led by chef Ari Weiswasser, a master of Asian cuisine.
The ultramodern, minimalist resto-lounge will serve a special dad's dinner featuring tempura rock shrimp, grilled hamachi, miso-glazed black cod and more. 1904 Chestnut St., 5-10 p.m. Sunday, prices a la carte, 215-564-9090.
_ If dad likes to play the odds, take him to the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City for a night of gambling, then pamper him with breakfast in bed Sunday morning. Or, at the just-opened Water Club, an 800-room, luxe hotel connected to the Borgata, award-winning chef Geoffrey Zakarian, who has earned top accolades from the New York Times for his modern French cuisine, will whip up a gourmet breakfast for dad.
On the menu are lemon-ricotta pancakes, steak and eggs and, of course, Bloody Marys. The hotel will also throw in dad's favorite morning newspaper. Borgata, 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, N.J., 1-866-692-6742, www.theborgata.
com; Water Club, 1 Renaissance Way, Atlantic City, N.J., 1-800-800-8817, www.