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Hang out with Dad

This Father's Day instead of shelling out hard-earned cash on the usual novelty items, make your dad's gift an experience. Plan an activity you can do together like attending a baseball game, playing a round of golf or building shelves for his garage.

Look around your dad's home and see what needs fixing: a leaky faucet, flickering lights or a front door riddled with chipped paint. Bring over your tools or borrow his and do some handy work. Ask your mom or your dad's friends what needs work and surprise him by finishing the job while he's out of the house. If the task is beyond your skill level, research solutions on the Web or hire a tradesman. If the project is a two-man task, set up a weekend to start and complete it with your dad. He'll appreciate the help and you'll both appreciate the time spent together.

Give your dad a break and mow the lawn for him. Wash and wax his car or change the oil. Tune up his bicycle or replace the strings on his guitar. The hour or two it takes you he can spend doing whatever he wants.

Take your dad to a sporting event. If he doesn't like baseball, try horseracing or professional wrestling. If sports aren't his thing, spend an afternoon together at an art museum or an evening at a concert. Book a tour of a local brewery or plan a bird walk or mountain bike ride.

A classic gift most dads would like is a home-cooked meal. Surprise him with spicy breakfast burritos and home fries. Pick up steaks from the Italian Market and host a barbecue in his honor. Spend some time browsing through cook books or look up recipes online that include your dad's favorite ingredients. Pick out fresh food the day of the meal and prepare it while your dad kicks back with a frosty beverage.

Every year you think your dad has everything he could ever want, so think about things you could replace for him. Maybe it's time for a new cooler with cup holders and sturdy handles. Pick up new supplies for his roadside emergency kit. Go green and help him save on utility costs by replacing all of his light bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs.

Chances are your dad will appreciate just about anything you do for him on Father's Day, so don't waste your time shopping for the perfect gift. Find something you can do together.