25 Simple Ways to Say ‘Happy Birthday, Dad’ in Text


Depending on what you’re looking for, we discovered some simple ways to let dad know he’s loved on his birthday. Below, you’ll find social media options, some ideas with a touch of humor, and even ones for a dad who left our plane but is still with you in your heart.

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Sending some love to the guy who bandaged your skinned knees and tucked you in at night doesn’t have to be complicated. It just has to come from the heart. Take a look.

Happy Birthday Messages to Dad From a Daughter

Dads are pretty easy about their birthdays as most of them love cards, cake, and attention. But you’d make his day if you found a couple of new ways to celebrate or make him feel even more special. Take a look at some of the ways we discovered to help make dad’s birthday brighter.

1. Plant trees in his name and link the GPS location

Since agencies worldwide are planting trees to help out the planet, consider a yearly contribution in honor of your dad. If he’s able to see where they’re planted, he can follow their progress using an online mapping tool.

2. “When I was little, you made my birthdays so special. Now that I’m older, I get to return the favor.”

Want to know how to make his day?

  • Attend a sporting event together
  • Go to an outdoor concert at a winery
  • Rent a classic car for the day

The gift of experience stays with a person a lot longer than buying a single item to sit on a shelf or hang in a closet.

3. Make an investment gift in his name in a renewable energy co-op

Is your dad a sustainability advocate? If so, he might think green or renewable energy investment opportunities make for a neat gift, especially when they benefit local schools and churches. 

4. “I’ve admired you since I was little. I tried to exemplify you as an adult. And now that I have children, I look to emulate you as a parent.”

Kids know everything until they realize they know nothing—and that’s when parents come in handy for their sage advice. If you write this in your dad’s birthday card, you may see a twinkle in his eye. 

5. “I miss you today, tomorrow, and always.”

Just because dad isn’t around to celebrate his birthday with you, doesn’t mean that you have to stop. You can still buy cards and eat cake, or whatever your traditions were.

Plus, if you get the feeling that he’s still watching over you, he’d love that you remember him on his birthday.

6. “I’m sorry I’m not there for your big day, dad. But I want to let you know I love you and miss you tremendously.”

Parents like to hear that you miss them. But they love to listen to it, even more, when you’re out of town and can’t get home on those special days.

So, whether you buy a card or make one, a special note to say you miss him will melt his heart.

» MORE: Your family has 500 hours of work to do after you die. Learn how to make it easier.

‘Happy Birthday, Dad’ Messages to Dad From a Son

Dads have unique relationships with all of their kids. So, when you decide on a birthday message or action, add a bit of that distinctiveness to it. Look below at the following ideas and see how you can personalize them to match your relationship with him. 

7. “When I was young, I learned from you by example, but now that I am older, I learn from you by your wisdom.”

If you want to show him how you’ve learned by his example, start making a list a year ahead of time. And every time something pops in your head, write it down. By the end of the year, he should have a novella to read on his next birthday.

8. Establish a scholarship in his name

Giving back to the community that helped your dad become the man he is today is a great way to celebrate him. It’s easier to set up than you think:

  • Decide on an award
  • Determine the criteria
  • Contact the school
  • Fill out the paperwork
  • Determine a deadline
  • Mail that check

The pride he’ll have knowing he’s helping another kid get a little farther in life will be huge.

9. Start a social media memorial page in his honor

Since family members live all over the country and sometimes across the globe, getting everyone in one place is next to impossible.

This option will help everyone join the family and community in remembering what a fantastic person he was.

10. Design a memorial bench in his honor

One way that you can say, “Happy Birthday in Heaven, Dad,” is by designing a memorial bench and making sure to visit it on his special day every year. Not only will you get to feel a little closer to his memory this way, but you’re letting the world know he meant the world to you.

11. Support his favorite hobby

Some dads like to busy themselves in the garage, tinkering on their latest hobby ideas while others want to head outside. Just start paying attention to what he’s up to—there’s sure to be a gift card to help facilitate his hobby.

12. Coffee with the guys

If your dad is retired, but still loves to hang out at the old greasy spoon, consider contacting all of his friends and having them meet at a specific time to celebrate his day. It’s coffee and donuts, so it should be reasonably inexpensive.

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Funny ‘Happy Birthday, Dad’ Messages 

You may want to keep dad’s happy birthday message heartfelt and funny. Otherwise, you’ll be looking at some saucy payback when your big day comes around. 

 13. “It’s not your birthday, but it is mine.” 

Not all dads are good at dates. So, if your dad is like this, there’s no harm in a friendly little nudge to get him to remember your birthday, too. 

14. “Happy Birthday 1 day late—or 364 days early!”

Life happens even though we all just travel around the sun each year. But why waste an excellent opportunity for a joke? Take the delay and own it.

15. “Happy Birthday, Dad! You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” —Robin Williams

Does your dad have a twinkle in his eye from the moment he wakes up until he falls asleep? If so, this works because you get to let him know you support the follies.

16. “Happy Birthday, Dad! What’s it like to be old and wise?”

If your dad has a good sense of humor about his age, this is a pretty pale poke. It'll work because it's also complementary in that backhanded compliment kind of way.

17. “Why do household candles burn for hours, but birthday candles burn so quick? I think those sinister people are suggesting something, and we should get to the bottom of this!” 

Make sure your dad reads this card before he tries blowing out the trick candles you put in his cake. If the timing is off, it won’t make any sense.

18. Send him a card with a much younger age on it

Sometimes dads don’t want to be reminded of their age, so here’s a way to be funny and poke the bear a little.

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‘Happy Birthday, Dad’ Messages for Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter

Looking for ways to surprise your dad on his birthday? You can use social media for the most significant impact. Here’s how:

19. “Happy Birthday, Dad! We’re coming over for dinner tonight.”

Tell him all sorts of white lies until you arrive at his doorstep. Then send a picture of yourself over Instagram of you on his front porch.

20. Be the first to say it!

You’re the favorite child for a reason. To keep that title, you’ll want to be the first to wish him a happy birthday on all of his social media pages at 12:01 a.m.

21. Post a video

If you’ve got siblings who also have children, have everyone send you a silly moments video along with them singing happy birthday. Then make a montage by splicing the videos together. This can be easily done on your smartphone.

22. Create a slide

Choose your dad’s favorite movie genre and tweet out something with that theme. For instance, if your dad is big into Westerns, you could photoshop the likeness of John Wayne standing next to you with a caption bubble wishing him Happy Birthday!

23. Grandkids smiling

No matter how many legs or whether they are furry, you can still get them involved on grandpa’s big day.

  • Get crafty with the kids making signs for Grandpa
  • If the grandchildren are pups, you will have to make the signs yourself
  • Don’t forget to make a sign from you, too
  • Set up a photoshoot with everyone dressed up and wearing party hats
  • Post a picture on their social media page

24. Post several birthday memes

Pick the ones you think he’d like the most and then let everyone on his Facebook page know that it’s your dad’s birthday several times throughout the day. 

25. “I hope you have a wonderful day, and it leads you to a fantastic year.”

There’s nothing wrong with taking the sentimental approach. Not doing this from time to time will make you wish you had when he’s gone.

Showing Love for Dad

If these have proved to be simple enough ideas for you to wish your dad a happy birthday, then why not pick two or three? After all, it’s your dad.

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