What Dads Really Want: Top 9 Father's Day Gifts

Think tickets to a baseball game are at the top of Dad’s wish list? Surprise: A home-cooked meal might actually mean much more to him, found the leading online shopping site Ebates.com in a recent survey. Here’s what else dads said they want, along with more ideas to nourish dad's mind, body and soul.

MIND

1. Gadgets and apps: Tech gadgets were the No. 1 most-wanted gifts by dads who took the Ebates.com survey. Tie one to his interests: If he’s a reader, he'll probably love a lightweight Kindle, $69. For media buff dads, go with one that comes with all the bells and whistles from fast Web browsing to gaming, like the Kindle HD, $159. Or, if Dad's tech life is already up to date with all the latest gadgets, invest in some apps he'll love. Our faves: iGrill, GasCubby and SportsTap.

2. Power tools: DIY projects give Dad a mental workout and send him right off to zen zone, so it's no wonder dads ranked them fourth in the Ebates survey. Help the dads in your life finish their projects by filling out their toolboxes: Go with a tool they need (a hand tool, garden tool, woodworking tool or even a toolbox organizer) or surprise them with one he’d never dream of splurging on (like the Porche of power drills, $939 -- you might want to get the entire family to chip in for this one!).

3. A magazine subscription: Month after month, this gift will continue feeding Dad's curiosity. Check out DiscountMags.com and sign him up for a subscription on his favorite subject, whether it's beer or economics.

BODY

4. Personal trainer sessions: Most men would secretly love to get back the abs they had in college -- or just always dreamed of having. Help make his fantasy a reality by getting him a few sessions with a personal trainer. Just be sure he understands that this gift is not a reflection of his current physique!

5. A Fitbit: The beloved series of clever devices let you set a goal and accomplish it by tracking your steps, weight and more. Our favorite: Fitbit One Wireless, $89 -- it not only logs your steps and calories but how long and well you sleep too!

6. A massage: Studies show that massage can lower blood pressure, help prevent colds, enhance skin tone -- and they’re just downright relaxing! Sign Dad up for one or multiple massage sessions at a local spa or yoga studio, or make DIY gift certificates he can use to get massages from you any time he wants them.

SOUL

7. Soul food: The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, says the proverb, and dads nationwide confirm it: The second most-wanted gift on dads’ wish list is a home-cooked meal, according to the Ebates.com survey. For a truly unique feast, put a twist on his old favorites: We're thinking beer and bacon mancakesFrito chili pieoven-fried onion rings and maple bacon bourbon ice cream. Top off this unique meal with a mug that will always remind Dad why you would ever put such delicacies on a menu.

8. A break: The best things in life are free, and dads know this: One of their most-wanted gifts was a simple, guilt-free weekend with their buds, found Ebates.com. Make it happen for him: Call up his friends and plan a special all-expenses-paid weekend packed with favorite activities he can do with his friends. Then, once the secret’s out on Father’s Day, put that date on the calendar and let Dad do his thing.

9. Acknowledgment: Dads would never say this aloud or in a survey, but all men's top unarticulated need is respect. In a 20-year study of 2,000 couples, researchers at the University of Washington found that the marriages that flourished did because women felt loved and men felt respected. How can you show Dad you respect him? Write him a heartfelt letter and thank him for showing up to work every day, for his commitment to you and your family, his efforts, good judgment and dedication. Write about specific incidents where his advice, wisdom and solutions made a difference to you and your family. Seal the envelope with love and remember to nurture Dad this way well beyond his special day.

What are you planning to gift the dads in your life this weekend? Tell us below.