11 Thoughtful Gifts for Dad

iStock, FatCamera
iStock, FatCamera

This holiday season, spoil your old man with gifts that will help him kick back, pick up a new hobby, or spruce up his space.

1. Pit Boss Single-Burner Portable Tabletop Grill

Pit Boss
Amazon

This portable single-burner grill features a 305-square-inch stainless steel cooking area, making it perfect for picnicking, tailgating, and camping. With a set of folding legs, the grill can be easily collapsed and stored in a trunk or truck bed.

Find It at Amazon for $61 and also at these other retailers:

2. Apple Watch Series 4

Apple Watch
Best Buy

This watch is perfect for active men: Sporting Apple's largest display yet, this "swimproof" timepiece comes equipped with electrical and optical heart sensors, an accelerometer, and even a gyroscope that can detect when dad trips while he uses the hiking workout feature.

Find It at Best Buy for $429 and also at these other retailers:

3. Cocktail Courier Subscription

Cocktail Courier
Cocktail Courier

A boozy version of Blue Apron, Cocktail Courier promises to surprise dad with a monthly shipment of ingredients—such as bitters and garnishes—needed to make some of the tastiest cocktails. Along with the ingredients, the shipment comes with a card providing step-by-step instructions from some of the world’s best bartenders.

Find It at Cocktail Courier.

4. Whiskey Appreciation Crate

Bourbon Kit
Man Crates

When dad is finished making those drinks, he might want to proudly display them for all to see. Thankfully, this box (or “Man Crate”) comes with a personalized whiskey decanter and a personalized pair of rocks glasses. Also included are two slate coasters, two sphere molds for making ice, a whiskey drinking journal, and an assortment of savory snacks.

Find It at Man Crates for $150.

5. Bushnell Phantom Gold Course GPS

Bushnell GPS
Amazon

Preloaded with maps of 36,000 golf courses from more than 30 countries, this Bluetooth-enabled GPS tells dad just how far he need to launch his next shot. The device boasts a battery life that can last up to two rounds, meaning dad can spend as much time hacking away in the bunker as he needs. (But he insists he doesn't need that, right?)

Find It at Amazon for $100.

6. Wise Owl Hammock

Hammock
Amazon

Made from heavy-duty parachute nylon, this hammock is soft, lightweight, and reliable. It can hold up to 400 pounds, in case dad's favorite furry friend is used to cuddling in for naps. And if dad isn't an expert at knot-tying, have no fear: The company will send an email with instructions after your purchase, making sure this hammock stays high-strung for good.

Find It at Amazon for $26.

7. Train spotting Log Book

Trainspotting Book
Amazon

This train spotting guide is perfect for any dad who slams the brakes every time he sees a freight train passing him beside the highway. With this handy logbook, dad will never forget the time he spotted a rare 4-6-0 chugging beside a Dash 8-32B.

Find It at Amazon for $7.

8. Himalayan Salt Plank

Himalayan Pink Salt Plate
Uncommon Goods

Forget the old-fashioned Charcuterie board! And don’t even think of chopping up your steaks on a cutting board made from plastic. Rather, impart some flavor by resting your food on this handsome slab of Himalayan pink salt. (Dad can even use it as a cooking pan!)

Find It at Uncommon Goods for $30.

9. Baseball Stadium Blueprints

MLB Stadium Blueprint
Uncommon Goods

These attractive, vintage-style blueprints depicting every Major League Baseball stadium are of museum-grade and printed on archival paper, meaning they’ll last forever on the walls of dad’s office.

Find It at Uncommon Goods for $185.

10. Philips Sunrise Simulation Alarm Clock

Sun Alarm Clock
WalMart

We’ll admit that $124 sounds like a lot for an alarm clock—but after just a few days, dad will thank you. Research suggests that, to avoid grumpiness and overall fatigue, it’s healthier to wake up to a gentle glow of light than the shrill screams of a sudden alarm. This light by Philips is indisputably one of the best.

Find It at Wal-Mart for $124.

11. Audio-Technica AT-LP2X Record Player

Audio-Technica Record Player
Guitar Center

Whether dad likes classic rock or the latest release, this sleek, silver turntable will give him the option to KISS (keep it simple, stupid!), or eventually add on speakers and amplifiers. Plus, a record player is the gift that keeps on giving—as in, it gives you the freedom to make future gifts all vintage vinyl.

Find It at Guitar Center for $180 and also at these other retailers:

The 20 Products Mental Floss Readers Loved Most in 2018

iStock.com/LeszekCzerwonka
iStock.com/LeszekCzerwonka

Mental Floss loves to surface the coolest, weirdest, most delightful products available online. We put together reviews, lists, and gift guides full of the best stuff available on Amazon, Kickstarter, and elsewhere in the hopes that our readers—that's you!—will enjoy those products just as much as we do. In the past year, we've recommended items like sushi-shaped pushpins, a shockingly well-reviewed $95 mattress, smart planners, and more.

Some of these products proved especially popular with our audience. Below are the 20 products Mental Floss readers enjoyed (and purchased) the most in 2018.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Guide to Hogwarts

A pop-up paper version of Hogwarts
Insight Editions, Amazon

While you're waiting on your acceptance letter from the greatest wizarding school in history and fantasizing about which house the Sorting Hat might choose for you, get familiar with the Hogwarts campus with this 3D pop-up guide to the castle and grounds, which we wrote about in August 2018. Once you finish flipping through this book, check out designer Matthew Reinhart's other 3D works, including pop-up guides to the worlds of Game of Thrones, Star Wars, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and more.

Find it on Amazon for $35.

2. Harry Potter Funko Advent Calendar

A Harry Potter-themed advent calendar
Funko, Amazon

As you might be able to tell, there are few entertainment franchises Mental Floss readers love more than Harry Potter. Between late October and December, readers bought more than 150 of Funko's Harry Potter advent calendars, which capture the expansive wizarding world in an adorably bite-sized fashion. Instead of chocolates, behind each door is a miniature Funko Pop! figure inspired by JK Rowling's beloved characters. But remember, it does not do to dwell on dreams—so if you want to get your hands on this bestseller for 2019, you should grab it early before it sells out.

Find it on Amazon for $63.

3. Pimple Pete Game Presented by Dr. Pimple Popper

The cover of the Pimple Pete board game shows zits popping out of an illustrated face
Spin Master Games, Amazon

Depending on what kind of person you are, this new board game from Mental Floss's favorite dermatologist, Dr. Pimple Popper, is either the grossest thing imaginable or the most satisfying game ever. Pimple Pete revolves around players taking turns pulling "pus" out of the eponymous Pete's zits. Even for those that find the act unappealing, it's a uniquely goofy activity that will surely get some good laughs at family game night.

Find it on Amazon for $10 and at these other retailers:

4. Nerdwax

A tube of Nerdwax
Nerdwax, Amazon

There have been countless niche products pitched on Shark Tank, but Nerdwax—a sticky substance designed to keep your glasses from slipping down your nose—has been the biggest hit with our readers. As Mental Floss's Michele Debczak puts it, the Chapstick-like tube allows you to "stop worrying about pushing up your glasses and focus on looking fabulous."

Find it on Amazon for $10.99.

5. Tiny Titans Vol. 1: Welcome to the Treehouse

The cover of Tiny Titans Vol. 1
Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani, Amazon

Tiny Titans Vol. 1: Welcome to the Treehouse is the first of eight books that follow the adventures of DC’s beloved adolescent heroes. But instead of intense crime fighting, it’s about an even more perilous endeavor: elementary school. Comics are actually a great starting point for getting kids into reading, and this is one of many fantastic ones out there for young readers. Fans of the early 2000s Teen Titans show on Cartoon Network will find it especially endearing.

Find it on Amazon for $10.

6. Cat-Opoly

A Cat-Opoly board
Late for the Sky, Amazon

Love Monopoly but tired of the same old aesthetic? Get this paw-some unofficial remix called Cat-Opoly. The game has the same premise and rules of regular Monopoly, but instead of buying property, you buy different cat breeds. Instead of houses and hotels, you collect litter boxes and fish bones, all while trying to avoid dogs and water. It's a purr-fect activity for any cat-loving household—just hope your game doesn't last fur-ever.

Find it on Amazon for $18 and at these other retailers:

7. Paladone Moon Light

A moon-shaped lamp on a desk
Paladone, Amazon

If you’re a space-obsessed night person (and not a werewolf), this popular moon-shaped lamp might be just the thing for you. It’s designed with accurate crater formations that make it look just like the real Moon. The portable lamp would be perfect either as a night light or decoration for a space-themed party.

Find it on Amazon for $11.

8. Zollipops The Clean Teeth Pops

A box of Zollipops
Zollipops, Amazon

Great for kids and adults alike, Zollipops are designed for you to pop post-meal. The gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, dairy-free candies contain erythritol and xylitol, two sweeteners that have been found to reduce acidity in your mouth and protect against cavities. Readers went wild for them after we wrote about Zolli Candy founder Alina Morse, who came up with the idea when she was just 9 years old.

Find them on Amazon for $6 for 25 Zollipops.

9. First Aid Only 299-Piece All-purpose First Aid Kit

An open first aid kit
First Aid Only, Amazon

Mental Floss fans like to be prepared, apparently. Tons of our readers purchased this compact all-purpose first aid kit in 2018. And who could blame them? The handy case features an extensive number of first-aid necessities and is wildly affordable.

Find it on Amazon for $13.

10. My Pen15 Club Set of 4 Golden Girls Celebrity Prayer Candles

Four prayer candles with the cast of 'The Golden Girls' on them
My Pen15 Club, Amazon

A lot of Mental Floss readers are praying to the patron saints of sitcoms these days. With one for each Golden Girl, this stellar set of four candles—which we wrote about back in December—is the perfect addition to any fan's home.

Find it on Amazon for $60.

11. Funko Pop! Mister Rogers Collectible Figure

A Mister Rogers figurine
Funko, Amazon

This Funko Pop! version of Fred Rogers released last June (just in time for the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood) is as delightful as its inspiration. Like the man himself, it's bound to make anyone feel a little more wholesome. And if you're as obsessed with Funko Pop! figures as we are, read all about how the company conquered the toy world here.

Find it on Amazon for $6.

12. T-fal E91898 12-Inch Nonstick Pan

A nonstick pan with a glass lid on it
T-fal, Amazon

Every kitchen could use an everything pan, and this 12-inch one from T-fal seems to have made it into many Mental Floss readers' homes in 2018. It's nonstick, comes with a lid, and is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. Even better, it's massively on sale right now.

Find it on Amazon for $32.

13. Anker SoundBuds Bluetooth Headphones

Bluetooth headphones
Anker, Amazon

A stylish and affordable substitute for inconvenient and easy-to-lose AirPods, these Bluetooth earbuds are perfect for your workout, your commute, or your day in general. We suggest using them to watch a few of our videos.

Find them on Amazon for $26 and at these other retailers:

14. Extra Long Stainless Steel Metal Straws

Six straws and two cleaning wands
MalloMe, Amazon

Last year, many of us found out just how damaging disposable plastic straws can be to the environment. Several cities, companies, and tourist destinations began to phase them out, and as the trend spread, plenty of people decided to proactively cut back on their straw habit. Back in July, we recommended several different products that could help reduce the carbon footprint of that iced coffee addiction, but these stainless steel straws proved the most popular. (Readers also loved our video on the LOLISTRAW, a plastic-free straw that you can eat.)

Find them on Amazon for $12.

15. Sharpie 37001 Permanent Markers

A box of Sharpie pens
Sharpie, Amazon

Our readers sure do love Sharpies. Amazon regularly has great discounts on the beloved permanent markers, so we often feature them in our Smart Shopping section's daily deals posts. Last year, readers bought them in bulk. At $7 for a 12-pack, these ultra-fine-point versions are a permanent bargain.

Find it on Amazon for $7 and at these other retailers:

16. The Bob Ross Coloring Book

The cover of the Bob Ross coloring book
Bob Ross, Amazon

Coloring is already an incredibly relaxing activity, but coloring the paintings of legendarily chill TV art instructor Bob Ross is another level of tranquility. The official Bob Ross Coloring Book includes ready-to-color outlines of the beloved painter’s soothing nature scenes alongside some of his most famous signature quips, so you'll never forget the appreciate the happy little trees as you work. Almost a year and a half after we first wrote about it, this coloring book is still one of the most popular products we've featured on the site.

Find it on Amazon for $13.

17. 3D Crystal Puzzle, Saturn

A clear 3D puzzle in the shape of Saturn
Bepuzzled, Amazon

In 2018, Mental Floss readers added another dimension to their puzzle-solving skills with this 3D puzzle of Saturn by BePuzzled. When finished, the 39 translucent, interlocking pieces create a beautiful model of the ringed planet that's ready for display. (BePuzzled also makes versions in the shape of various fruits, animals, and other figures.)

Find it on Amazon for $13 and at these other retailers:

18. The Constellations Glow-In-The-Dark Star Map (Northern Hemisphere)

A star map of the Northern Hemisphere
Star Finders, Inc., Amazon

In the light of day, this sky map shows all the constellations visible in the Northern Hemisphere. At night, the stars glow in the dark and the lines fade away, creating a spellbinding night sky within your home. The poster was a particularly popular addition to our holiday gift guide for astronomy geeks.

Find it on Amazon for $25.

19. Go-Cat Da Bird Rod and Feather Toy

A feathered cat toy
Go Cat, Amazon

Cat-loving Mental Floss readers bought a whole bunch of these great, excellently priced Go-Cat feather toys after cat behavioral consultant Mikel Delgado recommended them in her July 2018 article “10 Science-Backed Tips for Getting a Cat to Like You.” Wand-style toys with feathers or other attachments that look like potential prey are some of the best ways to engage with a cat, leading to some excellent bonding time.

Find it on Amazon for $9.

20. Kikkerland Playing Cards

A spread of playing cards
Kikkerland, Amazon

Perfect your poker face with these stylish playing cards. Kikkerland offers glow-in-the-dark, translucent, and other unique card styles, but our readers particularly loved the pixel design, which gives the deck a retro video game vibe.

Find them on Amazon for $9.

15 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Buy on Amazon

iStock.com/Julie Clopper
iStock.com/Julie Clopper

As we near the end of the gift-giving season (and Christmas shipping deadlines), you may be starting to panic about a certain someone on your list. Perhaps you forgot that one cousin was coming for Christmas dinner, or you’ve been so busy at work that you haven’t even had time to make a list, much less go shopping. Luckily, there’s Prime shipping. Shipping is already free this holiday season, whether you’re a Prime member or not, but Amazon is also offering free same-day shipping on millions of items for members. There’s no excuse for late presents now.

Here are 15 last-minute gifts you can buy on Amazon, from bargain to luxury.

1. Codenames

Codenames cards laid out on a table
Czech Games, Amazon

Not quite sure what kind of gift that last person on your list might like? Get them a game. It’s cheap, social, and if you’re really insistent, maybe they’ll even invite you over to play. We recommend the spycraft-themed Codenames. It involves just enough strategy to keep things interesting, but isn’t so intricate that no one wants to take the time to learn the rules. It works with both big and small groups of people, making it perfect entertainment for holiday festivities.

Find It at Amazon for $15 and at these other retailers:

2. The Unemployed Philosophers Guild Little Thinker Doll

A Vincent Van Gogh doll sitting on a couch
Unemployed Philosophers Guild, Amazon

If someone on your gift loves art, science, or history, the Unemployed Philosophers Guild’s Little Thinker dolls are a whimsical way to celebrate their passion. With a wide array of famous figures including Albert Einstein, Frida Kahlo, Ada Lovelace, and Alexander Hamilton, there’s something for everyone to appreciate. We have soft spot for Vincent Van Gogh, but really, it’s hard to go wrong with any of these little guys.

Find It at Amazon for $19 and at these other retailers:

3. Utopia Bedding Reversible Blanket

A gray blanket draped over an armchair
Utopia Bedding, Amazon

When in doubt, go cozy. Everyone could use another very, very soft blanket, especially as the weather gets colder. This reversible blanket features microfiber on one side and faux-sheepskin on the other. It comes in twin, queen, king, and throw sizes, with navy and gray options. The throw version is a good all-purpose size for cozying up on the couch, but if you want to really splurge (affordably) on someone, the king size is only $33.

Find It at Amazon for $20.

4. DOSS SoundBox Touch Bluetooth Speaker

A DOSS speaker on a table during a party
DOSS, Amazon

This sleek portable speaker pumps out far better sound than its price point would suggest. With 360-degree sound, a 12-hour battery life, and a Bluetooth connectivity range up to 33 feet, it’s designed to keep the party going long into the night. It also doubles as a speakerphone, should your favorite home DJ also need to occasionally make phone calls across the kitchen or sit in on a conference call while working from home.

Find It at Amazon for $30.

5. Joy Mangano My Little Steamer Deluxe

A black handheld steamer
Joy Mangano, Amazon

Whether you’re shopping for a family member or a white elephant gift, give someone the gift of wrinkle-free clothes this year. This is one of the best handheld steamers out there, and it’s super affordable, as appliances go. It heats up quickly, puts out a sizable cloud of steam, and has a retractable cord for easy storage. For a cheaper option, the travel-sized version also comes highly reviewed.

Find It at Amazon for $30 and at these other retailers:

6. Homesick Scented Candle

One of Homesick's Washington candles next to family photos
Homesick Candles, Amazon

Candles are a great all-purpose gift for a host, a distant relative, a coworker, or anyone whose taste in gifts you just can’t pin down. Homesick’s candles add a touch of personalization: They’re designed to smell like particular locations. You can buy someone a candle designed to smell like their home city, state, or country. Give them a whiff of Florida with scents of citrus and Spanish moss, a reminder of Washington, D.C. with scents of cherry blossoms and leather-bound books, or memories of Australia with scents of eucalyptus and salt water.

Find It at Amazon for $30 and at these other retailers:

7. Cuirg Instant Pot Accessory Set

An egg-bite mold, steamer basket, egg rack, cooking mitts, and dish clip for the Instant Pot
Cuirg, Amazon

The Instant Pot is one of the hottest kitchen gadgets around right now, but to truly make the most of the pressure cooker, your favorite home cook will need more than just the appliance itself. This accessory set comes with a steamer basket, a rack for hard-boiled eggs, an egg-bites mold (which can also be used for mini-muffins and other treats), a springform pan for cakes and cheesecakes, a dish clip to help lift out food, and silicon mini-mitts that make it far easier for the Instant Pot cook to remove their full pot of hot food without singeing their fingers. The accessories fit in the 5-quart, 6-quart (the most popular model), and 8-quart Instant Pots. (Note that the image looks like it only has six accessories, but is listed as a seven-piece set—the sides and the bottom of the springform pan come apart, so they're counted as two pieces.)

If you're shopping on a budget, though, you don’t need to buy a full set of accessories. The $12 Instant Pot starter set comes with a heat-resistant pad, a silicon suction lid for storing leftovers, and silicone mini-mitts. (The latter are also available on their own for $10.

Find It at Amazon for $37.

8. Sustainable Village Mister

Two vintage-looking plant misters in copper
Sustainable Village, Amazon

House-plant parents will appreciate these charming misting cans, which will please both picky ferns and picky decorators. Misting increases humidity for houseplants with a more tropical bent, but it can also provide desert plants like succulents with the limited moisture they need. These classy cans come in copper, brass, or silver, and are only available in a two-pack, so feel free to hand them out to multiple people on your list.

Find It at Amazon for $45.

9. Spigo Intelligent Indoor Led Light Garden

A self-watering planter with an LED light
Spigo, Amazon

For someone with a green thumb but no garden, an LED-powered indoor gardening system is a great gift that will allow them to grow their own herbs, succulents, and other small plants even if their home doesn’t provide a lot of direct sunlight. The timer-based light and unique water reservoir make this the “set it and forget it” of indoor gardening tools—it provides up to 30 days worth of water and 16 hours of automatic light a day, making it a breeze to use. The sleek device, which comes in black or white, can be a stylish addition to any kitchen, living room, or bedroom. (If you’re on a budget, Mindful Design provides a serviceable alternative at a lower price point, minus the automatic watering system.)

Find It at Amazon for $65.

10. The Wine Savant World Decanter

A glass decanter shaped like a globe on a stand with two glasses of whiskey
The Wine Savant, Amazon

For your fanciest whiskey-loving friends and family, this globe-shaped decanter is a great reason to say, “Excuse me, I’m going to retire to my study.” The hand-blown glass decanter contains a delicate glass ship inside that appears as the user pours the whiskey into the two matching globe glasses. While it’s advertised as a whiskey accessory, it works for wine, too.

Find It at Amazon for $58 and at these other retailers:

11. Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Guide

A pop-up book unfolded to reveal a model of Hogwarts
Insight Editions, Amazon

There are a lot of potential gifts out there for Harry Potter fans, but Matthew Reinhart’s Hogwarts pop-up book is truly magical. The intricately engineered work of paper art folds out into re-creations of key parts of Hogwarts Castle and its grounds, with plenty of insight into the movies at each turn.

Find It at Amazon for $68 and at these other retailers:

12. Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System Coffee Maker

The Ninja Hot & Cold Brewed System on a countertop
Amazon

While coffee aficionados are known to be picky about their brewing methods, you can’t go wrong getting them the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System, which is made to do it all, from tea to drip coffee to specialty drinks with foamed milk to cold brew. (Mental Floss’s Erin McCarthy calls the latter function “a gamer changer.”) And the best part? No filters or pods needed, so it's perfect for your more eco-conscious friends. If you really want to treat someone, we recommend upgrading to the slightly pricier ($200) version with a thermal carafe, which will keep your favorite coffee lover’s brew at just the right temperature for hours.

Find It at Amazon for $180 and at these other retailers:

13. Amazon Echo Plus

If you know someone who hasn’t already gotten on the smart-home train—or only has a smaller Dot—the premium Echo model makes a great gift that they might not otherwise splurge on themselves. It’s got better speakers than the other Alexa devices and a built-in smart hub, so they can pump up their Spotify playlist, then ask Alexa to turn their smart lights to their favorite party-ambiance setting. If they’re a master chef or baker, they can use it to set hands-free timers in the kitchen and ask Alexa to convert measurements and do recipe math. The Echo can also be used to deliver news and weather updates, listen to the radio, and play trivia games, meaning it provides a little something for everyone.

Find It at Amazon for $150.

14. KitchenAid Classic 4.5-Quart Plus Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

A white KitchenAid stand mixer on a kitchen island next to a plate of whoopie pies
Kitchen Aid, Amazon

If someone in your life has recently gotten into sourdough bread or The Great British Bake-Off, there's a high chance they’ve been lusting after this wildly popular KitchenAid stand mixer. There are a lot of different KitchenAid mixers (here’s a nifty guide to choosing one), but this tilt-head model, which offers easy access to the bowl, is the classic option. If you’re willing to shell out a bit more, KitchenAid makes similar models in a bunch of fun colors, most of them at a slightly higher price point—this cute 5-quart azure number with a glass bowl is available for $280.

Find It at Amazon for $189 and at these other retailers:

15. Neato Robotics Botvac D4 Connected Robot Vacuum

A Neato robotic vacuum and a smartphone open to the Neato home-mapping app
Neato Robotics Amazon

OK, so you may have waited until the last minute to get someone a gift. But you know how you can show them you truly care? Take some domestic labor off their plate. Whether your loved one is a neat freak or a slob, a robot vacuum can change their life, either by taking over the cleaning they do all the time or by taking on the cleaning they’d never do otherwise. Neato’s robot vacuum scans and maps its way around the house with lasers and can be set up to avoid potential messes like bowls of pet food or a pile of cords. It even works with Alexa.

Find It at Amazon for $399 and at these other retailers:

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