Gifts for Parents
Photo by vadim kaipov on Unsplash

Buying gifts for your parents is tough. What do you get the people who gave you life — the people who raised you into the responsible adult you’ve grown up to be?

The thing is, you can’t really ask them for ideas. They’ll almost always tell you that they don’t want or need anything, just quality time together or a handwritten card. But let’s be real: You still feel compelled to get them something every time a gift-giving holiday rolls around. And it’s got to be something good.

When shopping around, try to think outside the box and consider their hobbies: Do they travel? Are they into neat gadgets? Do they like doing couple-y things? You’ll want to get them something they’ll love and use, but also (hopefully) something that will help them connect with you (their kid) as well.

If you’re totally stumped, then don’t worry — that’s what we’re here for. Below, we’ve rounded up a selection of over 40 unique gifts for parents. It should help take some of the guesswork out of buying a present for the mom or dad who already seems to have everything.

A customized photo book(opens in a new tab)

For Sentimental Parents

Your parents likely kept physical photo albums of you as you grew up, but perhaps they’ve stopped printing pictures as we’ve moved into the digital age. Take them back with a sentimental photo book filled with great memories. Shutterfly’s albums give you a ton of customization options (from size to page design) and start at just $15.

Buying Options

$14.99 from SHUTTERFLY

A 4K smart TV(opens in a new tab)

For Parents Getting Into Netflix

If your parents still don’t have a smart TV, you can get them one as a gift and score some serious brownie points. This new 55-inch 4K smart TV from TCL has a gorgeous Ultra HD display and a built-in Roku system (so they don’t need to futz with any separate media players or dongles). It also supports both Alexa and Google Assistant for hands-free voice control.

Buying Options

$319.99 from BEST BUY

SPONSORED: A subscription to The Wall Street Journal(opens in a new tab)

For New Parents

When you have young kids, it’s suddenly way more difficult to stay on top of the news — or read anything beyond “Goodnight Moon.” A subscription to The Wall Street Journal is a great solution because it includes mobile and tablet access, perfect for checking in during late night feeds or that (temporary) nap-time respite.

Buying Options

See Details

An Ode to Home State dish towel(opens in a new tab)

For Parents With Hometown Pride

Your parents probably love where they live — or at least we hope they do. Help them show off their hometown pride with an Ode to Home State dish towel. Each one has a cute design on one side and a poem about a particular place on the other, adding a fun personal touch (and a conversation piece) to your parents’ kitchen.

Buying Options

$16 from UNCOMMON GOODS

An Instant Pot(opens in a new tab)

For Foodie Parents

Need a pressure cooker? No problem. Need a slow cooker? No problem. Need a rice cooker? No problem. The Instant Pot Duo is all of those things plus a yogurt maker, a steamer, a warmer, and a sauté station. The six-quart model can cook for up to six people and features dishwasher-safe components to alleviate some of the dinnertime grunt work for Mom and Dad.

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Buying Options

$99.99 from AMAZON 

A houseplant(opens in a new tab)

For Parents Who Are Also Plant Parents

Do you come from a long line of green thumbs? Consider perusing Bloomscape: The site sells a wide variety of greenery that arrives fully grown and pre-potted, so all your parents have to do is find the perfect spot for their new plant. (The one in the photo is a philodendron, FYI.)

Buying Options

$49 from BLOOMSCAPE

A Keurig(opens in a new tab)

For Serious Coffee Drinkers

If your parents can’t even open their eyes in the a.m. until they’ve had some coffee, an easy-to-use Keurig will surely be a huge hit. The K-Duo machine can brew both single-serve cups and full carafes of java, depending on how much caffeine they require on a given morning, with multiple brew sizes and strengths to choose from.

Buying Options

$189.99 from TARGET

A set of chilling coasters(opens in a new tab)

For Parents Who Love To Chill

Who doesn’t enjoy cracking open a cold one after a long day? Made from rock-solid stone, these anti-tip coasters will keep your parents’ beveraginos chilled (and upright) while they sip — just pop them in the fridge or freezer for at least 30 minutes before happy hour.

Buying Options

$35 from UNCOMMON GOODS

A U.S. National Parks scratch-off poster(opens in a new tab)

For Nature Lovers

There comes a point in every empty-nester’s life when they consider buying an RV and hitting the road. For them (and all other parents who love exploring the great outdoors), a U.S. National Parks scratch-off poster makes a really cool gift idea. This one features original illustrated icons of all 63 parks and a customizable title.

Buying Options

$42 from UNCOMMON GOODS

A HelloFresh subscription(opens in a new tab)

For Parents Who Hate Meal Planning

Planning meals, hitting up the grocery store, and then preparing a bunch of food can be an absolute slog for new parents and older folks alike. Enter HelloFresh, a meal delivery service that will ship fresh ingredients and step-by-step recipes straight to their home. You can personalize their plan based on their favorite foods, dietary needs, schedule, meal sizes, and more, starting at just $7.49 per person.

Buying Options

See Details

UGG slippers(opens in a new tab)

For Parents Who Like To Putz Around

The ‘rents need something cozy for chilly days when socks just won’t do. A nice pair of slippers is a tried and true gift; UGG’s are so comfortable that your fam might just try to wear them to the grocery store or post office. (No shame.) The brand’s popular Ascot style comes in 17 different colors and tons of different sizes, including wide and extra-wide options.

Buying Options

$109.95 from AMAZON 

“Booze & Vinyl: A Spirited Guide to Great Music and Mixed Drinks”(opens in a new tab)

For Parents With An Lp Collection

This bestselling coffee table book pairs 70 classic albums with classic cocktail recipes that perfectly complement their mood, lyrical imagery, and/or artist, from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club to Vampire Weekend. Each LP is accompanied by liner notes about its musical highlights and some gorgeous photography.

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Buying Options

$26 from AMAZON 

A bamboo cheese board(opens in a new tab)

For Parents Who Love To Entertain

This clever cheese board features wide grooves for wrangling crackers, nuts, and olives, along with some convenient slide-out drawers for storing the matching cutlery set (included). It’s made from 100% bamboo, so it won’t stain or absorb any funky odors from their charcuterie spread.

Buying Options

$79.99 from AMAZON

A portable Yeti cooler(opens in a new tab)

For Parents Who Like To Tailgate

If your parents always make an appearance at your alma mater’s tailgates, a Yeti Hopper M30 2.0 is a no-brainer gift. Available in six colors, this portable soft cooler features a leakproof liner, a wide-mouth opening, and  ColdCell insulation with incredible ice-retention power. It can hold up to 20 cans or 28 pounds of just ice, so they’re set for a whole day of college football.

Buying Options

$350 from AMAZON

A Winc subscription(opens in a new tab)

For Wine Lovers

Often referred to as “the Netflix for wine,” Winc is a subscription service that’ll deliver premium bottles of vino right to your parents’ doorstep. Members get four bottles of wine per month and can rate their favorite flavor profiles and regions for curated recommendations. (Here’s hoping they invite you over for their next tasting.)

Buying Options

$60 / from WINC

An Ostrichpillow Light(opens in a new tab)

For Parents Who Need Some Shuteye

OK, so this looks a little silly — but your parents are gonna love it. Made from high-quality eiderdown cotton, the Ostrichpillow Light works wonders as a neck pillow or eye mask for folks who can seemingly nap anywhere.

Buying Options

$45 from AMAZON 

A carbonated growler(opens in a new tab)

For Craft Beer Fans

If they’re homebrew and craft beer enthusiasts, GrowlerWerks’ uKEg will make it easier for them to transport and store limited-edition ales from their local brewery. The vessel itself features a vacuum-insulated, stainless steel design that can keep beer fresh for up to two weeks, while its carbonation cap will make sure it doesn’t go flat. Cheers!

Buying Options

$199 from AMAZON 

An air fryer(opens in a new tab)

For Making Fried Food Healthier

Everyone should be hopping on the air fryer train — including your parents. This Farberware model has eight preprogrammed settings for hassle-free cooking, plus enough room for up to two pounds of food. It requires little to no oil to work its crisping magic, so your parents can feel better about their weekly wing nights.

Buying Options

$54.99 from WALMART

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