What America’s dads really want for Father’s Day

Jamie BallardData Journalist
June 11, 2021, 3:15 PM UTC

Father’s Day is just around the corner. A YouGov poll has asked Americans how they plan to celebrate Father’s Day, whether they consider it a real holiday, and also asked dads what they really want for Father’s Day.  

Most Americans (55%) say they intend to do something to celebrate Father’s Day this year. Among those who plan to celebrate, 53% will be celebrating with their own father, while 37% plan to celebrate with their partner, and 29% say they have plans with their children.  

Among those who plan to celebrate Father’s Day, about half (52%) plan to give a gift, while 40% are anticipating a special meal or celebration at home. A similar percentage (39%) have plans to give or send a card, and 27% will mark the occasion with a phone call or video chat. One in five (19%) celebrants will go out for a special meal or celebration.  

Do Americans see Father’s Day as a “real” holiday? 

Over half of Americans (55%) believe that Father’s Day is celebrated more because it is a “real” special occasion, as opposed to being celebrated more because of pressure from commercial entities – a view that 35% of Americans hold.  

Although it’s seen as a real holiday, Americans might not be spending big bucks on Father’s Day. In a previous YouGov poll around Mother’s Day, 62% say they tend to spend more money on Mother’s Day than Father’s Day. Just 6% of Americans say they usually spend more on Father’s Day – sorry, dads.  

What dad really wants for Father’s Day 

Want to give dad a Father’s Day he’ll really enjoy? Turns out, it’s pretty simple: the top things dads say they want are a card (28%) and a special day with the family (28%).  

Clothing comes in third, with 17% of dads saying they would like to receive this, trailed by “something homemade” (16%), tools (16%), hobby items (14%) and electronics (14%).  

But some dads may prove truly impossible to shop for: 13% of fathers say they would not like to receive any of the items on this list for Father’s Day.  

But even for the dad who’s hard to shop for, it’s probably still a good idea to do something special. One in five (19%) dads say they have previously been disappointed by their family not doing enough for Father’s Day.  

See full results here.  

Related: Americans think stay-at-home parenting should be considered a job  

Methodology: 1,670 US adults, including 512 fathers of children of any age, were surveyed via YouGov Direct on June 9, 2021 between 10:05 and 10:29 EST. Data is weighted according to age, gender, education level, political affiliation, and ethnicity to be nationally representative of adults in the United States. The margin of error is approximately 3.6% for the overall sample. 

Image: Getty