Help me surprise my awesome hubby
September 28, 2011 10:23 PM   Subscribe

Help me surprise my husband for his birthday. My husband always picks out his gifts for his birthday and this year I want to do something special. We live in the Bay Area and are on a low budget. He is a tech geek, but also loves the outdoors and having adventures. Any ideas for romantic gestures/ outings/ gifts that aren't that expensive?
posted by tessalations999 to Human Relations (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Have you been to the computer history museum in Mountain View? A tech geek can nerd out in there for HOURS. And if you pay a little more for admission you walk away with a shirt that says CHM in binary.
posted by kthxbi at 10:26 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

I was going to suggest the CHM as well. There is also an Aviation Museum up around San Carlos if you want to make a run up 101. Wine and cheese on the beach at Half Moon Bay for dusk is always a nice thing, and you can go pretty much straight out 92 from San Carlos.
posted by rhizome at 10:30 PM on September 28, 2011

Multiple stage geocache with heartfelt little gifties to be found along the way?
posted by holterbarbour at 10:30 PM on September 28, 2011

Best answer: I am a husband and tech geek who likes the outdoors and lives in the bay area.

What would I like for my birthday? Not tech stuff. I've already done it all myself.

I want my birthday to be a fun day with my wife, not a change to experience some random techy thing while she's bored.

Things that would be fun:

Winetasting in Napa.
Hiking on Angel Island.
Kayaking Tomales bay.
Wind or Kitesurfing lessons (they do these in San Mateo and Alameda, as far as I know).

Fun adventures that you can do together that will be memorable.

I enjoy tech, but as a gift, it's fairly boring. Going to a tech museum for me would be like taking someone who loves to read to the library. It's not that they don't like the library, it just doesn't feel quite as special.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 10:39 PM on September 28, 2011 [4 favorites]

I once arranged for a really cool hike for my parents that involved a car shuttle and they wouldn't have done otherwise. Is there some kind of hike, kayak in the bay, bike ride in the oakland hills, etc that he's been toying with doing, but has never take the time to plan.
posted by lab.beetle at 12:05 AM on September 29, 2011

Something Geocache. Go wild!
posted by jbenben at 12:14 AM on September 29, 2011

Best answer: Hackerspace outings! Try Noisebridge, HackerDojo, Ace Monster Toys, or NIMBY.

I brought my tech geek boyfriend visiting from Australia to Noisebridge and he loved it, it was like heaven to him. We also did a tandem bike ride over the Golden Gate Bridge - he is an avid cyclist and I don't know how to cycle, but we did it and it was good fun!
posted by divabat at 12:17 AM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

and I'm one of those geeks that would love to be brought to a tech museum, fyi - it's more special than a library visit (and I LOVE libraries!) since you don't get to go there so freely and so openly!
posted by divabat at 12:18 AM on September 29, 2011

How about a tour of some REALLY BIG tech? You can visit the Stanford Linear Accelerator in Menlo Park or the National Ignition Facility for laser fusion research at Lawrence Livermore National Lab in Livermore. Both are free but you have to sign up in advance for tours.
posted by Quietgal at 5:04 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

"You can visit ... the National Ignition Facility for laser fusion research at Lawrence Livermore National Lab in Livermore."

I went on this tour a couple years ago. It was quite cool. it's more akin tour touring the Hover Dam than going to a Museum. The equipment they have in there is just phenomenal in terms of its scale.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 12:32 PM on September 29, 2011

I have a husband, live here in SF. We did simple things for his birthday and it turned out to be pretty affordable, as well. This concept works well when billed as "Your Perfect Saturday/Sunday".
  • Wake up early, brush your teeth/wash face, slip back into bed and give him a solid rogering. Starting the day off in this manner will likely put a spring in his step.
  • Go up to San Francisco.
  • Take him out to a really good breakfast. It needn't be fancy. I recommend Brenda's French Soul Food.
  • Find a place that'll give him a good, old-fashioned straight razor shave. I recommend Mystic Haircutting in Lower Haight.
  • Go to a large music or book store, paw around. Get him to pick out a treat for himself.
  • Here in SF, bespoke coffee and ice cream seem to be the "in" thing. Do this. I recommend Blue Bottle at Mint Plaza and Smitten in Hayes Valley, where they make your ice cream in front of you with a special machine!
  • Do something gluttonous, manly or messy-fun for dinner, such as 7 Course Beef at Pagolac, Peel & Eat Crab, Crawfish & Shrimp, Beer & Sausage at and Rosamunde.
  • Take him to Lower Haight or Mission and give him a little budget to buy a new hipster t-shirt or some other tchotchke that he likes.
  • If the weather is decent, take him to Jack Early Park for sunset and sneak a bottle of wine or champagne to split.
  • Pepper the day with kind words, smiles and appreciation. It's easy to forget that a lot of the work husbands do in the background to make their wives happy goes unsung. He's your lion, stroke his mane. It might be nice to write him a card with these sentiments as well.
  • Go home and play video games with him, or pop on a movie from his most preferred genre.
  • End the day the way you started it. I can't speak for you, but I think my husband would be overjoyed at the prospect of getting two "picnics" with his wife in one day.

posted by cior at 10:50 AM on October 1, 2011

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