Birthday gift ideas for hubby
April 20, 2016 11:38 PM   Subscribe

I only ask here because the birthday is approaching and I'm getting desperate! He is a computer engineer. I believe his interests are varied: he likes to draw, fiddle with things, spiderman, culinary experiences. Any and all suggestions welcome! Things I've considered: something from thinkgeek or one of those food of the month subscriptions.
posted by Forty-eight to Grab Bag (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Wacom tablet?
Thin light box for paper drawing?
I have both and use them all the time.
posted by Crystalinne at 11:47 PM on April 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

where are you located? in major cities sometimes the high-end restaurants have "chef's tables" or kitchen tours or the like. I am also an engineer with a passion for culinary experiences and have wonderful memories of peeks behind-the-scenes during great meals.
posted by alchemist at 12:19 AM on April 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm a hard to shop for engineer type because mostly if it's something that I want, I research it, I have strong opinions on what I want, and generally I've bought it already. As such, I'd encourage you to look for experiences rather than stuff - concert/theatre tickets, foodie restaurants, escape the room physical challenges, rope courses, kayaking, whatever sort of experience floats his boat and you can do together.

Providing a price range might help.

If you want a physical object, a few ideas: multitool (possibly engraved. I highly suggest one with a locking blade and personally favor Leatherman), food chemistry kit, one of the multifunction pressure cookers, sous vide cooker, modern camera lucida.
posted by Candleman at 12:56 AM on April 21, 2016 [4 favorites]

My husband has a lot of similar traits as yours (esp the drawing and fiddling with things) and he is loving a bonsai tree my mother gave him for Christmas. He keeps it in his office and trims it and waters it and has little wires to direct its growth and everything. He's making me go to a bonsai event of some sort this weekend, even. It seems to suit his need to mess with stuff and also provides a small, soothing distraction at work.
posted by something something at 3:13 AM on April 21, 2016 [5 favorites]

We did a one-night knife skills class at a butcher shop. They served charcuterie and cheese and it was entertaining and very useful.
posted by sadmadglad at 3:43 AM on April 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

Boldport club! It's a monthly electronics project kit and it's great!
posted by KernalM at 4:14 AM on April 21, 2016

How about a cooking class with an emphasis on gadgets? A bit Heston Blumenthal-esque with experimental techniques?
posted by kariebookish at 4:41 AM on April 21, 2016

Loot Crate is really fun. It's a subscription box for nerds.

If he likes chocolate, go to and order the triple chocolate covered almonds. Everyone who has tried them becomes obsessed!
posted by myselfasme at 6:24 AM on April 21, 2016

I bought this subscription for my husband for Christmas; we have a good time making the menus together and he was quite pleased!
posted by Kitteh at 6:53 AM on April 21, 2016

I always go with luxury gifts, like a memory foam pillow, or satin pajamas, or face moisturizer (for getting older), nice laptop bag, grab bag of expensive chocolate bars.
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 7:11 AM on April 21, 2016

I gave this heavy hardcover Knife Skills Illustrated manual to a friend who sounds a lot like your husband. He loved it.
posted by Dragonness at 8:25 AM on April 21, 2016

If he likes retro computing, how about a MIST FPGA Computer?
posted by fimbulvetr at 8:49 AM on April 21, 2016

If he likes soldering up things and you want to give him a challenge there is this transistor clock kit. 1250 parts to solder. I'm working on one now, and it has kept me busy for many evenings and I'm only about 1/4 done.
posted by fimbulvetr at 9:03 AM on April 21, 2016

How about an art supply box subscription from Sketchbox?
posted by ananci at 11:25 AM on April 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

This doesn't help you now, but does your husband keep an online wish list, like on Amazon or something? My husband and I tend toward experiences-as-gifts a lot of the time, but it's always nice to open something you've been wanting for a while, and it saves the awkward situation where the recipient doesn't like/need/want the gift.

Also, what may help you now - I'd suggest a weekend jaunt somewhere you'd both enjoy if you live close enough by car. Like, you've both never seen X but always wanted to go. You mentioned culinary experiences - maybe take a cooking class together? Not cheap but really fun and interesting.
posted by onecircleaday at 12:03 PM on April 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

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