It can be SO hard to pick out teen gifts! Whether your teen is VSCO, sporty, preppy, emo, or into art, theatre, music, school – or a mix of the above, we’ve got a teen gift guide for you! Whether you’re looking for a “main” gift, or smaller filler items, we have all price points covered.
If some of these items seem like a throwback to your middle or high school days, that’s not an accident – it’s a THING. All trends come back around, and we are back in the late 80’s/early 90’s.
*Amazon affiliate links included
Check out our Teen Gift List on Amazon for these options and MANY more!
Favorite Teen Gifts: Gift Cards
ALL of the Cards. Gift cards may be what they want the most. They love having the independence to be able to choose how to spend their “free” money.
- Gas cards
- Gift cards: stores, restaurants, fast food
- iTunes gift cards
- Google Play cards
Tech Gifts for Teens
Tech Gifts tend to be the more expensive options, but chances are your teen or preteen has one to four of these on his or her list. They would likely be happy to receive one of these bigger gifts or a gift card toward one of these, instead of a bunch of little gifts.
Good over-the-ear bluetooth headphones. Check out this PC Magazine article for the best options at various price points.
Apple Pencil Great for note-taking or for a teen who is into art/digital art/graphic design. 1st and 2nd Generation Apple Pencils are available on Amazon – both have great reviews.
Instant Cameras and Portable Photo Printers
HP Sprocket 2-in-1 Instant Camera & Pocket Photo Printer Bundle Pack. Camera and printer in one. Print from the camera or from smartphone/socal media. Film link (great price compared to others!).
Video games and accessories. If your child is a gamer, they likely want another game system, accessories for their favorite system, or gift cards toward online gaming.
Phone Cases. Teens are always looking to switch up their phone style, so a new phone case or two is the perfect way to give them options
Pop Sockets. With so many styles available, Pop Sockets are easy stocking stuffers or small gifts for teens.
Teen gifts for Home
Mini fridge Not sure what a teen needs to keep in a mini fridge, but they want them!
Board games They may have access to everything electronic and online these days, but teens still love playing board games! This is good! They will interact face-to-face with others! Buy them ALL the board games!
Record Player and vinyl albums They never actually went out of style, and they are back in style with teenagers now! Bluetooth enabled record players offer the best of both – listen to vinyl, or music streaming from your phone!
Ring Light. YouTubers and selfie lovers (which describes most teens) will LOVE having a ring light to put their best face forward.
Hydroflask Insane to buy an expensive water bottle? Maybe…but your teen will LOVE you for this status gift, and apparently, it IS a really good water bottle. 32 ounce wide mouth Hydroflasks are the preferred type for that age group.
Vinyl Stickers They will love to decorate their Hydroflasks and laptop/tablets with vinyl stickers. Perfect stocking stuffer!
Charging station So many things that need charged now! These charging stations will make it easy and cord free
Tool Set It may not be what they “want”, but every young adult needs a toolbox (and needs to know how to use it!). My dad bought this toolbox for me when I moved away from home and it has basically every manual tool I’ve needed in 20 years.
Even though we now have a larger collection of tools at our house, this set is kept under the sink and is the most used. The best part is that since the tools all have pink on them, my husband can’t steal them and claim they are his! It comes in blue or pink, and red or orange. Ladies, get one for under your sink as well!
Clothing and Accessories for Teen Gifts
Scrunchies Since these are used for more than just ponytails these days (bracelets, water bottle deco, “I like you” symbols, girls can NEVER have enough. Get the biggest pack of scrunchies as you can, as they supply will dwindle quickly!
Vans These aren’t just a skater shoe – everyone is wearing Vans these days – especially checkered ones
Chucks Never out of style, the popularity of Chuck Taylors just keeps growing.
Pura Vida jewelry This charitable company gives back in a variety of ways, including supporting artisans across the world, and donating to important causes. Pura Vida Jewelry has a monthly bracelet club and jewelry club for the gift that keeps on giving!
Crocs They may not be pretty, but Crocs are a thing.
Jansport backpacks You may remember these from your school years, but Jansport is still an acceptable option in lieu of the pricier popular backpacks.
Fjallraven Kanken backpacks These are a little pricey, but on trend. Since many teens don’t use their lockers anymore and carry their backpacks all day, they are an extension of their outfit. Kanken Classic backpacks do look pretty awesome.
Shop local: Homage is a great place to buy the softest tshirts, and their designs are nearly unlimited. Order online or stop in at one of the stores. There are so many options, and their t-shirts are so, so soft. From sports, pop culture, colleges, and city themes (and so much more), you’ll find something for everyone.
New customers can use this referral link to get $20 off with a $40 purchase (I get a credit too), or shop in store at Easton.
Teen Gifts: Personal Care
Carmex lip balm – or their preferred brand
Whatever they are into will always make a great gift. Art, music, sports, video games, cosplay, books – go with what they know, and what you know they love.
Obviously experiences are mostly “out” for 2020/early 2021, but we are going to leave this on the list because there are still opportunities to gift some of these experiences.
Movie Tickets: Pick a theatre nearby for them to enjoy a movie or two. Don’t forget about great local theaters such as Studio 35, Drexel, and Grandview Theatre. Theatre rental has become a popular option for small groups of family/friends – and it’s fairly affordable!
Concert Tickets: Music lovers would be thrilled with tickets to see a great concert. While concerts may not be in person for the next year, there are virtual concert tickets and drive-in concerts that you can gift.
Sports tickets: There are plenty of sporting events around the city, including Columbus Blue Jackets, Columbus Clippers (very affordable), Columbus Crew, Ohio Roller Derby, and all Ohio State sports. Attending sporting events are going to be determined on a season by season basis for the next year, so we’d stick to some favorite team sports gear and a promise for when it’s safe to attend.
ZipZone Tours: This adventure destination features hands free, guided zip line tour in the treetops at Camp Mary Orton in North Columbus. There are a variety of adventure options to choose from, including ziplines and climbing, and they even offer a kid-friendly tour for ages 4-7. They will be offering holiday specials on gift cards for a limited time.
Escape Rooms in Columbus: The Chamber Escape Room, Trapped Columbus, Room Escape Columbus, Lockology Columbus Escape Room, and more – if you have any to recommend, I’d love to add them to the list!
Games and Fun: Arcade and game entertainment bars are IN right now in Columbus! Grab a gift card for 16-Bit Bar & Arcade or Pins Mechanical, and give them the gift of fun! Both have locations in Columbus and Dublin, and offer select times that 21 and under can also play (varies for each location), so it’s a gift that’s good for all ages!
Classes and Lessons: Whatever your recipients’ interests are, there’s a class for that around Columbus. Fitness, painting, sports, glass blowing, photography, writing, cooking, sewing and crafts, cake decorating, home improvement, self defense…the options are nearly limitless and impossible for me to list.
Do an internet search for the “desired activity + local area”, or check local community centers, and you’re sure to find a few choices. Great options for kids are gymnastics, piano, acting, cooking, swimming, and whatever else their little hearts will enjoy.
Local season pass gift ideas
Many attractions offer season pass deals during the holiday season. Buy pool passes now (often at a discount) for your teen to use in the summer.
Zoombezi Bay: Any water park lover will be thrilled with a season pass to Zoombezi Bay. Passes include admission to The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and other benefits.
COSI: There’s never enough time to enjoy all of COSI in a day, so a membership is a perfect way for loved ones to enjoy all of the traveling exhibits, Giant Screen Movies, Planetarium, and all of the regular COSI fun. While COSI is more geared towards families and kids of all ages, there’s fun to be had for any science lover.
Local outdoor swimming pool: While these memberships are only valid for several months of the year, they pay off big time during the hot summer days. Many local pools offer early bird discounts on memberships, so Christmas is the perfect time to buy.
Community Center membership: Community centers offer so many benefits for individuals or families. From fitness, hobby classes, sports, events, and even indoor swimming pools, its a membership that can be used all year.
Mad River Mountain Ski Resort: If your recipient loves skiing pr snowboarding, Mad River Mountain is just a short drive away and is great for when they only have a few hours to ski and for practice before big ski trips.
Kings Island Season Pass or Tickets: Just over an hour away, they can get lots of use for it during the operating season, and they can even use the pass for Kings Island Winterfest through the holidays!
Check out our Teen Gift List on Amazon for these options and MANY more!
Give us more ideas!
What else is on your teen’s Christmas list? Leave a comment!
Columbus on the Cheap is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.