Disclosure: This post is not sponsored (just sharing some of my favorite things!) but does contain a few affiliate links, which helps support Kitchen Concoctions via commissions made through customer purchases at no cost to you.*
Looking for an easy last-minute holiday gift? Or are you stumped on what to get those hard to shop for friends or family members? Then check out all my favorite recommendations in this Holiday Gift Guide: Subscription Boxes and Memberships!
From book subscription boxes, to zoo memberships and amusement park season passes, this Holiday Gift Guide: Subscription Boxes and Memberships, has gift ideas for everyone on your shopping list! Even better most of these gifts don’t require shipping OR braving the mall during a hectic time of year!
Y’all! How is it already almost half way through December? I mean Hanukkah has already started and there are only 13 shopping days left until Christmas, but really, who’s counting?!? I don’t know about y’all, but this year has gone by in the blink of an eye and with all that has happened the past 6-7 months, the good and the bad, we really didn’t have big plans or want to make a fuss over the holidays this year.
But we did put up our tree and hang a wreath on the door; the first holiday decorations I’ve done all year. And we are taking part in a few holiday festivities and doing some of our regular traditions. But one thing I had thought I wanted to skip this year was all the gift giving; and thus, I wasn’t planning on sharing a holiday gift guide. But then about a week ago, I decided I wanted to get a few things for a few people, but didn’t want to worry about shipping or fighting the crowds at the mall.
So that’s how this Holiday Gift Guide: Subscription Boxes and Memberships list was born. Subscriptions and memberships are great holiday gifts! They can be pretty affordable gift or a little bit more expensive, depending on the type of subscription/membership and the length you are paying for. But what I love about gifting subscriptions or memberships is that they are so easy and are a unique gift that keeps on giving!
Below are some of my favorite subscriptions and memberships for gifting (or ones I want ?). Since usually with this type of gift you really don’t have anything to wrap up, except maybe a gift card or an email or print off of the subscription, I try to get creative with “wrapping” the gift. This DIY Felt Mitten is a cute way to gift money, gift cards or candy. Another thing I like to do is to wrap something that goes with the gift subscription, like some movie snacks (popcorn packets, movie theater boxed candy, soda, etc.) to go with the Movie Pass/Hulu/Netflix subscription. I’ll include the gift card or paper with the subscription information in the box with the gifts that go with the subscription theme.
Over the years I’ve gift everything from magazine subscriptions to memberships and they have always been huge hits! Below is our current favorite Holiday Gift Guide: Subscription Boxes and Memberships to gift for the holidays and if you are looking for other holiday gift guides, check out the gift guides I’ve shared in years past:
Holiday Gift Guide: Cooking Gifts for Kids
Holiday Gift Guide: Foodie Gifts Under $10
Holiday Gift Guide: Subscription Boxes and Memberships –
1. Movie Pass – Movie Pass has been in the headlines quite a bit the past few months regarding their extremely low prices and opportunity to see unlimited movies a month. At first, when I heard of it, like many, I thought it was too good to be true, but have since heard of many people buying the movie ticket subscription service and enjoying it. Because of this we are considering purchasing it for ourselves and I think it would be a great holiday gift!
In fact, they even have deals right now for holiday gift giving and for $29.85 you can give the gift of movie tickets for three months. Basically, the way the services work, you pay $9.95 a month and can go to one movie a day all month long. The movie pass is good at most theaters (big name nationwide theaters and local theaters as well), and is good for any standard movie (you can’t see 3D, IMAX, etc.). Even if you only go to one movie a month, it pays for itself, as at most of the movie theaters in my area, charge $10.95+ for an evening movie.
In addition to not being able to see 3D movies, there are a few other restrictions like you can’t purchase your tickets in advance (only the day of) and you have to download the Movie Pass app on an iphone or android to be able to use the services.
2. Once Upon a Book Club – I heard about Once Upon a Book Club a few months ago from fellow book loving blogger Kristen at Dine and Dish. This book club is unique in that you get mailed one book a month and with your package you receive, a 5×7 print featuring a quote from the selected book, 3 – 5 individually wrapped gifts with page numbers from the book, not meant to be opened until you reach the given page – bringing the book to life, as well as discussion questions. As someone who loved doing book reports as a kid, for the sole reason to bring the book alive with a fun presentation and who also loved those interactive books, I LOVE the idea of this book club subscription box.
3. Streaming Services – From TV/movie streaming services like Hulu or Netflix, to music streaming services like Spotify, we have them all and love them! For us, it is way cheaper to have these services than it is to have cable and while there are some similar shows across all of them, for the most part if there is a movie or TV show we want to watch, we can find it on one of the services.
We like Spotify because you can listen to almost any song, musician or genre, new and old school. Unlike Pandora, you can click on an artist and listen to all the songs by that artist, not just related music. You can also create your own playlists or listen to Spotify playlists based on different themes or genres.
Another thing that is great about all these streaming services is that you can watch or listen to them on multiple devices. So, I can be listen to Spotify at home while Eric listens at work.
Then there’s Amazon Prime, which is in its own separate category. Not only can you stream TV shows and movies, you can stream music, get free books to read on your phone or kindle and get free two-day shipping on all orders! Unlike the other streaming services, which you pay for monthly, you pay for a yearly Amazon Prime membership upfront in one lump sum (once you are already a member).
If you are gifting any of these streaming services, you can purchase gift cards in set dollar amounts that will cover 3, 6, 12, etc. memberships or for Amazon prime, you can purchase a 3 or 12 month membership and email the activation.
4. Little Passports – I heard about Little Passports awhile back and instantly knew I would want to gift this to family, as it seems fun and educational at the same time. There are different themes for different age children, but each subscription starts with a suitcase, world map, passport, stickers, etc. Then each monthly box afterwards, takes kids to a different part of the world with stickers, photos, fact sheets, souvenirs, etc.
They also have a USA edition and a science edition that is along the same lines for each monthly box. Prices vary depending on the type of subscription you get, but if you purchase a 12-month subscription by using this link, you will receive $25 off!
5. The Craft Beer Club – If you have a friend or loved one that loves craft beers, then they will love you for getting them a subscription to The Craft Beer Club! I have several friends who rave about this subscription box as they like being able to try craft beers from all over the country right at home. Not only does a subscription to The Craft Beer Club include 12 (12-ounce) beers, it comes with a monthly newsletter with information about each beer and brewery and bonus gifts, like bottle openers. Also, shipping is included in the set price listed on the website, so no extra fees or costs!
6. Theme Park, Theater or Sports Season Passes – A season pass to a theme park or sports team maybe a good gift for your family, or to gift a friend or loved one.
Theme Park Season Passes – These are usually pretty affordable, usually the same price as a single day ticket, and usually come with special perks as well, like including parking or opportunities to enter the park earlier than the general public. Also, many theme parks now have dining passes and offer not only single day dining passes (good for food and drinks all day long) but also have season pass dining cards/passes that would be well worth the investment if you plan to visit the park several times a year. Now is the time to buy these season passes as they are currently at their lowest prices!
Sports Season Passes – These tend to be pretty expensive, but some teams allow you to only buy a certain number of games, or maybe you could go in with a group of friends and all share the tickets throughout the year.
Theater Season Passes – While Eric and I go to a lot of concerts, we only go to see one play or orchestra performance a year. However, we are looking to change this and have seriously considered purchasing season passes to the theater.
Our local theater, and I’ve heard many others nationwide, offer season passes for the plays and/or orchestra performances presented at the theater. For my theater, you pick three performances and then based on the level seats you want, it is a different set price for the “season pass” of three tickets. I’ve had friends in other cities say their theater offers true “season passes” where you get tickets to every performance for the entire year.
7. Imagination Library – This is a free, yes FREE, book subscription club for children 5 and under. Imagination Library was started by Dolly Parton and they mail one age appropriate book per month to children starting at birth to age 5. The books are quality and range from classics like The Little Engine That Could and The Tale of Peter Rabbit, to newer favorites like Llama Llama Red Pajama and Plenty of Love to Go Around. The only downfall to this program, is it is not available in all areas.
Bookroo – If your area isn’t serviced by Imagination Library, then you must check out Bookroo, a book subscription service for kids. This book service has different subscriptions based on the child’s age and you receive between 2-3 books a month that come individually wrapped and addressed to the child. Bookroo prides itself on selecting books that are “hidden gems” – quality unique books that most likely you wouldn’t own already and are hard to find.
8. Zoo or Museum Memberships – I love the idea of gifting a family membership to the zoo or museum! In fact, my sister did a family zoo membership for their family Christmas gift last year and they loved it! For their zoo, the membership was not only good for regular admission, but special members only events, discounts on food and other merchandise, and they got free admission to partner zoos in other cities which meant they always had something “free” to do when then traveled.
In addition to zoos an annual membership to a museum, like the children’s museum, would be a great family gift and provide a year of fun and entertainment for the entire family or for date nights!
Also, some zoo and museum memberships allow you to use your membership to purchase additional tickets (for visiting friends or family) at a discount.
9. Magazines Subscriptions – I love, love, love gifting magazine subscriptions! It is such an easy and usually very affordable gift! When gifting a magazine subscription, I usually purchase the current (or older) issue and then tape a piece of paper or the subscription card found inside the magazine and write “A year on me!” and tape it to the cover of the magazine. I then wrap it all up and order the magazine subscription to be shipped directly to the recipient. Every person I have ever gifted a magazine subscription to loves this gift!
Some of my favorite food/cooking magazines are Southern Living, Cooking Light, Food and Wine, Cook’s Country and Everyday with Rachael Ray. For kids, The American Girl Magazine, Highlights and National Geographic for Kids are all great publications. Other favorite magazines include Wired, Popular Science, Texas Monthly and Austin Monthly (for locals). You can usually always find magazine subscription deals, promos or coupons this time of year for a variety of magazines covering all sorts of subject matter. Just check that the recipient doesn’t already have a subscription to the magazine you plan on ordering!
10. Meal Planning Services – Whether you are looking for the perfect gift for a busy Mom or friend that is trying to eat healthier, a subscription to a meal planning service is the perfect gift! Most meal planning services do EVERYTHING for you. They create a seasonal meal plan, create the shopping list and send you all the recipes. Not only is this a huge time saver, as you don’t have to do all this yourself, it is a huge money saver as you are making recipes using seasonal ingredients (that are usually on sale) and you are not aimlessly wondering the grocery store throwing things in your cart hoping you get home with complete meals.
Several of my blogging friends have started different meal planning services and you choose the plan that is right for you based on your needs. This 30 Day Healthy meal plan from A Sweet Pea Chef is great for those that are looking to eat healthier. And for those that are looking for fast family friendly dinner recipes, snacks and dessert recipes; check out the Six Sisters Stuff or the Our Best Bites meal plans. And the bloggers behind the popular blogs, How Sweet Eats and Two Peas and Their Pod, created Sweet Peas Meals, which not only shares weekly meal plans with each recipe ready in under an hour, they share shopping tips and meal prep tips along with bonus recipes like cocktails and breakfast ideas.
Both Sweet Pea Meals and Our Best Bites Meal Plans have private members only Facebook groups so that the founders and all the members can share recipe, shopping and meal prep tips!
*Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.