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Celebrate Dad Michigan Style

by Lisa Diggs

Holidays like Father’s Day, which is coming up June 17th, are a time for reflection, fun, and of course gifts. In fact, spoiling dad is turning into big business. 

According to the National Retail Federation’s 2012 Father's Day spending survey, the average person will shell out $117.14 on dad's gifts this year, up 10 percent from $106.49 last year. That means total spending for Father's Day is expected to reach $12.7 billion, and we want to make sure Michigan gets as big a piece of that money pie as possible. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing, and help you keep your Dad’s Day contribution close to home...you might just find a treat for yourself too.

How would your dad like to design and keep his ideal beer glass? Glass Academy offers a custom mug night, where anyone can custom design a glass mug along with their artists and then watch it being made.  The cost is $100 per mug and friends and family can come and watch for free. It’s a great night out for the whole family, and dad gets a spectacular souvenir.

If your father is more a fan of the beer itself than of the glass it’s served in, perhaps he’s a candidate to become a Michigan Brewers Guild “Enthusiast” member. Membership is only $45 and includes: a t-shirt promoting Michigan beer; VIP status, including one hour early admission, for all four Michigan Brewers Guild festivals (with the purchase of an admission ticket); discounts at participating member brewpubs; and VIP tours & tastings at participating member brewpubs.

Nothing goes with beer quite like a burger, and many guys like their burgers loaded with scrumptious toppings. Dave Hanson of Brownstown Township is one of those guys, and now he’s created a way to have all those extras nestled neatly inside the patty. StufZ Ultimate Stuffed Burger Maker allows the preparer to make stuffed burgers in three easy steps, thereby sealing all of the toppings inside and infusing the flavors throughout the entire burger. It works with all kinds of ground meat and is $19.99 for one or a 2-pack for $35.       

If your dad is the kind of grillmaster who likes to experiment with a lot more than burgers all season long, then treat him to some enticing flavor enhancers from Sweet Sass.  They have a selection of products that can be used for marinating, drizzling, or dipping. Owner Mike Campbell developed the flavorful condiments to encourage his son to eat. Try the special 3-flavor sauce pack, which is available online for $20. The gift pack has one each 16oz bottle of Straight Up, Hickory Kick, and Garlic Fix.

Perhaps dad’s truck is his pride and joy. Give him a great accessory to help him enjoy it even more. The StepDaddy Ladder, made in Yale, is said to be the safest tailgate ladder on the market.  It reaches the ground and has a handle for easy and safe access into the bed of a truck.  

If it’s not access, but comfort that presents a challenge, consider giving him a Talegator. Made of a durable molded chemical-resistant plastic, each has seating for two adults, two beverage holders, and a snack area. The seat bottom is specially formed and contoured with an air pocket in the bottom to provide a comfortable seat without adding foam or a cushion.

Instead of tailgating with dad outside a game, consider spending time together at a ballgame. In addition to the Detroit Tigers, Michigan has several fun ballparks where you can take in a pro game. Check out the Lansing Lug Nuts, West Michigan Whitecaps, Great Lakes Loons, or Traverse City Beach Bums.

If all else fails, there’s always food. Give him a local favorite, or a collection of treats from around the state to try. Will Cole and Detroit Popcorn Company have scrumptious popcorn flavors. Sanders and Kilwins are chalk full of tantalizing sweet delights. Nature’s Treats and Cherry Republic provide fruit-rich options and Koeze and Germack have an amazing array of nutty choices.  


User Comments (1)

Here's a Father's Day segment that featured a Michigan product, the Hand-e-holder: http://video.foxnews.com/v/1670132587001/gadgets-for-dad

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