Shopping for the holidays can feel daunting. The stores begin filling the shelves with items in August and September—when it is still in the 90s in some parts of the country and we just cannot think holiday thoughts. Recently, there has been a cultural shift for parents to not want any.more.stuff.
Families want experiences together, useful items, or gifts that last longer. Look no further than these, a list of the best subscription boxes that deliver everything you need to enjoy time together, learn something new for yourself, or let your children entertain themselves while you get a minute.
Best Subscription Boxes For Kids
Kiwi Crate is great for kids five to eight (yup, that rhymed!). The byline of Kiwi Crate is Tinker, Create, Innovate—and that is exactly what these crates do. Kiwi Crate offers subscription or stand-alone kits that explore and challenge creativity while exploring ideas within science and technology. Utilizing art, engineering, science and technology, each box provides a maker activity. The activity utilizes all included items to build an activity with the help of instructions. It can be done as an activity together as a family, or as a kid-only activity as the instructions are kid-friendly.
In each box, the included Explore Magazine provides experiments, comics, and games to continue the learning and enjoyment of the activity. If you have a child younger than the stated age for Kiwi Crate, Panda crates are made for children ages 0-2 and Koala crates for children ages 2-4. There are also Doodle and Tinker crates are for ages 9-11 and Eureka crate for 14-104. Whatever your age or interest, there is a Kiwi Crate that would provide enjoyment and entertainment for everyone in the family.
What you said: Several parents noted the boxes easily occupied the kids for hours!
Crafting together provides much-needed downtime away from work, school, and technology. Create memories and build creativity with a subscription craft box. WE Craft Box makes crafting together easy by providing all the craft supplies and instructions in one convenient box. Each month a new theme and associated craft are curated providing all the supplies required. The detailed instructions with photos make it easy for all ages to follow.
A detailed story included in the box inspire the creative process. A total bonus is that each box is built to be shared between two children, providing ample opportunity for family members to participate together, creating not only a craft but memories. Boxes can be purchased on a month-to-month basis or in 3, 6 or 12-month subscriptions providing flexibility with creativity.
What you said: Several parents shared that the WE Craft boxes provided ample supplies for multiple children and adults to participate in family craft time.
Little Passports: World Edition
For the military family that travels the US and the World, or has family and friends around the world, Little Passports is the best subscription box. Child-centric discussions about a new country each month open the world around them and encourages discussion about countries where their friends or parents have visited or lived.
The first box of any subscription includes a cardboard old-style suitcase that allows future shipments to be saved and stored securely. The World Edition subscription is geared for ages 6-10. The first month contains a world map, paper passport, collectible coin and coin board, stickers, photo, and activity sheet. Each month a new country is introduced with collectible coin, stickers, activity sheets and items pertaining to the country discussed. An additional package of a curated book chosen for the country reviewed can be added to each monthly package.
What you said: One parent shared that “These provide education in fun kid-size tidbits!”
Green Kid Craft subscription boxes deliver Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) kits to your door curated by developmental experts. Each box comes with a 12-page science magazine and 4-6 craft kits that are separated for ease of understanding what is needed for each activity. The magazine introduces the theme and new vocabulary associated with activities. For instance, the Soaring into Flight book discussed aerodynamics and the difference between machines and animals. The activity kits combine art, technology, science, engineering and math in a child-centric way with age specific instructions.
The kits come for three age brackets: age 2-4, age 5-10, and 10+. For ages 2-4, previous themes like Amphibians, Feathered Friends, and Reptiles have combined crafts with learning about the animal groups. Themes of the art lab, backyard science, and the human body for ages 5-10 combine self-directed learning and fun. Within the 10+ category, STEAM, holiday, and specific theme kits have been assembled. A literary upgrade option is available to add a book to the shipment that furthers the learning and fun with reading. If you sign up for a monthly subscription, children can track their progress with earned badges for each kit.
What you said: One parent shared that the kits are perfect for busy parents!
Best Subscription Boxes For Men
If the special man in your life likes to show off his socks strategically, then the Sock Fancy subscription box is a perfect choice. The co-cofounders were looking for the perfect pair of socks, affordable and awesome-designed, and decided to team up and do it themselves. Each box comes with pairs of whimsical socks, made from high-quality cotton blends on a 200-count needle machine, guaranteed to stay in place, and with a reinforced heel.
Boxes include 1, 2, or 6 pairs of socks and range from $12 to $57 per month. Shipping is free, anywhere in the world. You can also gift a subscription or get a seasonal box with six pairs in it each quarter. Sometimes, you may even find a little extra treat in your Sock Fancy box. Try it and join the “Rock out with your sock out” movement.
What he said: Sock Fancy is the perfect way to keep your sock game fresh without the headache of actually shopping. Super comfortable, great designs, and bold colors.
For the gym rat—we mean fitness-minded man—the Gainz Box is a great gift. Curated from a variety of fitness-centered businesses, each box contains products that equal at least double the price tag of just $32 plus shipping. We love that they feature a variety of brands, in fact, their October box was full of things made by veteran-owned businesses only. From apparel to supplements to gear to fun items like sunglasses, the Gainz Box will definitely help improve his look as he heads to the gym and probably his performance too.
What he said: The shirt was super soft and I love the variety of products!
Culture Carton delivers items for home, style, and growth. Three types of cartons are available. Book Club delivers a new book monthly from modern and classic literature. A Standard carton includes a book in addition to 3-4 items for home and style. A previous box included cufflinks, a leather desk tray, a carbon fiber comb and a party game (a date night in activity provided!). The book of the month provided for the book club or standard carton is chosen specifically to provide a thought-provoking and challenging read.
The essential carton comes with dress socks and 3-4 items to enhance grooming and home. Each carton is personalized for the member receiving it with an accurate t-shirt and boxer (gasp!) size. An annual subscription has the added bonus of a free book or sock with an annual subscription based on the carton of choice. You can’t go wrong with a gift of Culture Carton.
What he said: It was fun to get a box that was different than anything received before, and the comb has become a favorite.
Best Subscription Boxes For Women
There’s nothing quite like a comforting cup of tea to bring a little bit of peace to your day. What’s even better is when unique tea arrives at your door once a month! Dollar Tea Club sends interesting and unique blends of tea in smaller quantities to help you try something new. These aren’t your standard English Breakfast and Jasmine Green teas. Our sample even had a Spiced Bourbon rooibos tea. And they’re clever too! We received earplugs with this one to help truly block out all the noise and find a moment of peace.
What she said: I would never have bought some of these but I’m so glad I got the chance to try them!
Whether you’re a bibliophile or someone who struggles to pick the next book, the Book of the Month Club is a fun and easy way to expand your repertoire. Each month you’ll receive a new package complete with a book, bookmark, and beautifully crafted cookie to match. What better way to gift a book lover without worry about what they’ve already read? You can also log in to select from the current month’s offerings or choose one from a topical list.
What she said: The book and cookie were so well done that it feels like my best friend just sent me a present.
Tea lovers know that tea is so much more than just a drink. There’s an experience waiting in every cup. If you know someone like this, then this is the best subscription box for them. While the offerings change each month, every box includes some delicious loose leaf tea and several tea-related items. You might get a tea strainer, flavored chapstick, tea cookies, seasonally scented lotion, or any number of fun tea items. Whether you love a quick cup or a formal tea service, this is the perfect gift to compliment the experience.
What she said: The thought of a cup of tea brings me peace. With a box like this, I can be reminded of that whether I have a cup with me or not.
If you’re uninspired by the local tea selection at the grocery store, but still want some control over what you receive, it’s time to check out Free Your Tea. This tailored subscription box will send you teas you love and something to try each month. Just fill out the simple questionnaire and you’ll receive six samples in your first month followed by two more each month after that. Tailor your offerings even more by rating your teas. With teas from numerous countries, it’s like a trip around the world one cup at a time.
What she said: I love that they will tailor the box to my tastes. Receiving a random sample I don’t like is such a letdown.
Subscription boxes take all the guesswork out of shopping. Surprise your family members with quality time together, a boost in the gym or something fun for themselves. Skip the lines, the traffic and the stress of shopping and grab one of the best subscription boxes available this year!
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Photo credit: Stock Images, Rebecca Alwine