I’ve got some good news and some bad news about subscription box gifts this holiday: The good news is that there are tons of subscription boxes out there that you can order in time to gift for Christmas for just about anyone left on your list.
The bad news is that there are literally a TON of subscription boxes out there, especially for people on your list who love all things STEM, tech, and that category of coolness known as “geek” How do you even choose which one to send as a gift? What subscriptions are worth your money to purchase?
We’ve been looking at subscription boxes for almost 10 years (!) and know a few things about what makes one box awesome, and one box not so great. We’ve also seen quite a few boxes come and go over the years. So, for you, we’ve gone through loads of STEM-focused and fun geeky subscription boxes for adults, teens, and younger kids and plucked out 8 that we think offer the best bang for your buck. . . and that will also make an awesome gift this holiday and for months to come.
(Please note that with holiday shipping delays or prescheduled subscription box shipment dates, your gift box may not arrive in time to give as a physical gift. That’s okay! Include information about their upcoming gift in a card, and they’ll be delighted when their first shipment arrives. Promise!)
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Breo Box: The best subscription box for adults who love the latest, coolest gadgets
We all know someone who is the first to upgrade their phone, who finds the most up-to-the-minute tech toys, and always seems to have their finger on the pulse of what’s new and hot. For them, a Breo Box subscription makes such a thoughtful and unique gift. Tech themed, but not just bits and bytes, they’ll find 5-8 items within each quarterly box, totaling over $300 in value, for about half that cost to subscribe.
Breo Box is not inexpensive, but it definitely feels like you’re getting your money’s worth which is something you definitely want in a subscription box. Past boxes are easy to view online and include cool gadgets that are perfect for the season like a FRESHeTECH Light Therapy Lamp in their fall box in time for daylight savings and 4pm sunsets, and an Ace of Spades Mini Projector in their summer box for all their socially distant outdoor movie nights. Plus, then there are just neat high-quality items included like a YETI Mug or a modern cocktail shaker.
With items that range from tech to cooking to travel to the great outdoors, it’s interesting, varied, and bound to include things they love every quarter. (cost $159/season)
Related: The best subscription gifts for kids this year: There’s one for every age, and every interest
Casely Club: Best iPhone-related subscription for stylish teen or young adult
For your super-hip, iPhone-addicted teen or young adult, I love the easy, breezy Casely Club subscription plan. Unlike most subscription boxes that are a surprise when you unbox, Casely gives your recipients a choice between at least two new iPhone cases each month, or quarter, depending on their subscription. They also make it easy to ‘skip” a month if neither one is to their liking. See? Easy, breezy.
The cases themselves have a pretty, indie-art vibe to them with lots of colors, and sometimes a bit of attitude (just like my teen!), making them probably more suited for Gen Z than Boomers. (Gen X would be cool though, ha) ($15/month or quarter)
Escape the Crate: Best geeky subscription box for families who loooove escape rooms
We are all going to be struggling to keep busy while quarantining this winter which is why I adore this smart Escape the Crate subscription box which brings the fun of an escape room right into the home. Ideal for families who used to love going to escape rooms, those who love playing games together, or those who could use a reason to get together for something fun after 10 months of quarantining.
Each bimonthly crate comes with a single “escape the room” mystery in themes like “Escape on the High Seas” to “Escape the Moon”, and takes about 90 minutes to complete, which is just about the limit of time my teens want to be in the same room as me. The materials inside the box look so well made and in keeping with the month’s theme so, while you won’t feel as “immersed” as you might in a physical escape room, there is still plenty for everyone to do.
Related: 7 great new family board games that take 30 minutes or less to play
Boxes are aimed at kids over the age of 10, with materials in the “PG range”, but even younger kids can play along with some help. I love that they even include a less-scary game for families when their boxes have a more mature theme, such as a serial killer on the loose. And while games are made for families of 2-6, the mysteries can even be solved solo, in case you have someone one your list who lives alone and would love a gift like this. ($29.99/every two months)
Tinker Crate: Best STEM subscription box for hands-on tweens and teens
There’s a reason we feature a KiwiCo. subscription box in almost any subscription box roundup we do: They consistently deliver some of the very best monthly boxes and have been since they launched Kiwi Crate way back in 2011. And their Tinker Crate is perfect for tweens and teens who like to, well, tinker with stuff and figure out how things work. Plus, it’s an awesome way to drag them away from their screens for a few hours a month.
Aimed at kids ages 9-14 (though older or younger kids will enjoy too), Tinker Crate taps into a kids’ curiosity as they dive into projects like How to Build a Hydraulic Claw or make a Walking Robot. Your giftee will get everything they need to plunge right into the project: high-quality materials, clear instructions, and a “Tinker Zine” with additional science content and activities. There are even online tutorials to help kids with the trickier parts of a build.
Another cool thing? If your tinkerer decides they’d really love to switch to Kiwi Crate’s more challenging and older-skewing Eureka Crate or maybe even the arts-and-crafts Doodle Crate, it’s an easy switch to make, with no disruption in service. (monthly subscriptions begin at $19.95 with free shipping)
Related: Cool Mom Tech Holiday Tech Guide
Marvel Collector Corp: Best subscription box for superhero lovers
If you know someone who is really into all things Marvel, they’ll flip for the Marvel Collector Corp subscription box by Funko. Every two months, they’ll receive a box with 4-5 exclusive Marvel-themed collectibles.Though the exact contents inside the box differ, your recipient will usually get at least one Pop! figurine, stickers, pins, key chains, and sometimes a tee-shirt or other wearable item, all built around a theme like Black Widow, X-Men, or January’s theme: Lucha Libre. Reviews are really enthusiastic for this subscription box with lots of unique items they won’t find anywhere else.
Ordered through Amazon, you’ll need to make an IOU for the next box which is delivered in late January/early February, but something tells me true fans won’t mind waiting. ($29.99, every two months)
Brick Loot: Best LEGO-themed subscription box for kids (and some adults!)
As the parent of a LEGO fanatic, I’ll tell you that other LEGO fanatics will go bananas if you send them a monthly subscription to Brick Loot. Started seven years back by nine-year-old LEGO-lover Parker Krex, Brick Loot knows what other LEGO lovers want: More LEGO bricks and projects to build.
I like that each monthly box is created around a theme such as camping, Hollywood, or auto racing which is reflected throughout the entire box. Kids and adults who love LEGO will receive exclusive LEGO minifigures and custom or hard-to-find kits, brick lights, and brick accessories made with both LEGO and LEGO compatible bricks. It’s such a unique way to excite a LEGO lover every month with creative projects put together by others who share their passion. (price begin a $27.28/month)
Club SciKidz: Best science-themed subscription box for kids who love STEM (or even those you may have to nudge to love STEM)
We’ve recommended a few different, excellent science-themed subscription boxes over the years, but, for a Christmas gift, I like Club SciKidz Labs monthly subscription box because it feels a little less like a school lesson and more like play . .. with a whole bunch of learning tucked in there too. More “cool”, less “school”.
Club SciKidz Labs is made for kids around ages 7+ to get them introduced to what makes science and technology so darned interesting using fun experiments and projects, usually built around a broader theme such as Climate Change, Outer Space, or Saving Our Oceans. And, hey, as we are raising the next generation who will have to deal with climate change, outer space, and saving our oceans, this seems like a smart investment wrapped up like a gift. ($32.95/month for three months)
Bitsbox: Best coding subscription box for kids
For kids and tweens, Bitsbox is such a cool and approachable way to introduce the complicated world of coding that we love this subscription box as a gift. Even better, a single box can be shared by siblings who can all have their own online coding account for free.
Related: 7 smart, cool coding books for kids that have us saying, “Go get on your screens!”
Along with coding projects delivered monthly, kids will receive other cool goodies like stickers, temporary tattoos, and coupons and discounts on educational toys. Of course kids always love getting mail that’s just for them, but the other reason I love this subscription approach is that it get kids comfortable with coding before their old enough to be intimidated by it. Kids can even create their own apps using the techniques they learn in the box so don’t be surprised when they wow you with their coding skills. (Basic Bitsbox starts at $29.95/month, and a Deluxe version begins at $44.95/month)