It would be easy to fill this list with alcohol and alcohol-related products. But, let’s keep it to a minimum. Not because we should be a bit more mature about this topic, but because everyone else will go straight for the booze.
Without further ado, let’s get straight into 15 birthday gift ideas for 21st for any budget. There are also a few ideas for those of you who left the gift shopping to the last minute.
1. Magic Double Vision Ball
Of course, we have to start with a booze-related gift. Introducing the Incredible Mystic Pint Glass, a love child of a beer glass and a Magic 8 ball.
It works like this: you pour the beer, ask your question, and start drinking. Once you empty the glass, you get your answer. Hopefully, whoever is using the glass at the moment has their life pretty much figured out. Otherwise, they will become a little bit too intoxicated.
2. Geeks are Cool
If the soon-to-be 21-year-old is a bit of a smarty, they will love this gift. The Schrodinger’s Cat in a Box contains a random enamel pin of either a live or a dead cat.
Though it’s a great gift idea for those on a super-tight budget, it may outshine quite a few of the other gifts. The recipient may start geeking out then and there and forget everything else. Then comes the time to find out what’s in the box. Oh, the suspense!
3. What Should I Watch?
This is perfect for that Netflix addict you know, especially if they are complaining that they are out of ideas what to watch.
The Dice-Flix Netflix Decision Maker is a cute little gift that you can give out with a 1-month subscription voucher or add to a birthday advent calendar or a large gift basket. Oh, and if you are putting that gift basket together, don’t forget to throw in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Netflix & Chilll’d.
$20 to $50
4. A Lucky Star
There are so many tacky birthday gifts on the market, and then there are the rare ones that do it right. The Day You Were Born Star Map Night Light is one of them.
This is a beautiful piece that replicates the position of the stars on one’s birthday. It doesn’t matter if the recipients are into astrology or more science-driven, they are bound to appreciate how awesome it is.
5. No Need for the Stiff Upper Lip
We all have those days. Nothing is going the way it should and you feel like you’re just about to snap. Well, not today, Satan. Because, we have the Sakeboard Anger Management Shouting Jar.
Meet this crazy gadget from Japan. It’s designed to absorb noise as you scream your lungs out into it. This is a huge trend in Japan now and products come in many shapes and sizes, but we have the sake bottle here because, you know, it’s for the 21st birthday!
6. Take a Gamble
If someone you know is buying a cocktail shaker for the brand new 21-year-old, you should get them the Mixology Dice Tumbler. This tumbler is filled with laser-cut wooden dice. Each one shows the ingredient that you can use to fashion a cocktail.
Don’t worry, you won’t end up drinking something weird. All ingredients listed are chosen because they work with one another, no matter how you combine them.
$50 to $100
7. Coming of Age
Though both the 16th and 18th birthdays are important milestones, 21 tends to be the time where one starts feeling like they are truly grown up.
A lovely way to commemorate this event is the Past Present Future Necklace. It’s delicate and versatile – a piece that most will enjoy wearing day after day. There’s also a pair of earrings and a bracelet if you want to make it a set.
8. Prohibition Shenanigans
Food and drink-making kits are always a nice gift idea, but some of them demand too much effort and time. This Gin Making Kit from Uncommon Goods is all about low effort and high satisfaction.
And this is not a one-off thing where the recipient has to buy expensive supplies to continue playing with it. As long as they don’t throw away the manual, they can make as many batches of gin using regular ingredients they can pick up from any supermarket.
9. A Gift of Power Over the Elements
More and more people are putting Cozybo on their wish lists, and chances are that the person you’re shopping for is interested as well.
This blanket is pure witchcraft. It warms you up in winter, it keeps the heat out in summer. Yup, witchcraft. Definitely a perfect gift for anyone at any age, and definitely the only acceptable blanket to give someone for their 21st.
10. A Perfect Cuppa
21 is often the time when people start setting up their own homes, so it’s always a sure thing that they will need stuff to set up that home with. If you have that money and you want to get them the best coffee maker on the market, buy a Technivorm Moccamaster.
Technivorm coffeemakers are the best of the best. Some brands have tried to copy what makes them special, yet they still don’t compare. The only problem is that the average machine costs about $300. That’s not the money that a student or someone entering the workforce can spend on a small kitchen appliance.
So, if you pick up one of these, you are gifting years of perfect coffee to someone you care about.
11. Spreading the Wings
Drones are so last decade. If you really want to wow a gadget lover, get them the The RC Realistic Flying Eagle from Hammacher Schlemmer.
The whole thing about an eagle in flight makes for a lovely metaphor about this period in birthday boy’s or girl’s life. But you know what’s even better? AI that prevents this expensive toy from flying into walls and crashing down.
12. A Cocktail-making Robot
The future is now, and if you were looking for a premium gift for someone who can finally legally enjoy a cocktail, you must check out Bartesian.
Bartesian is a drink mixing and dispensing machine that can make most classic cocktails. You can either fill it with store-bought liquor or use pre-packaged pods (just like coffee pods). You can buy the capsules as a one-off addition to the gift itself, or sign up for a monthly subscription.
This is one of the smartest booze gifts out there, and it will definitely outshine every other gift.
13. Gift Cards
There’s nothing that says more, “I don’t know you enough to pick a present” like giving a gift card. There’s nothing that says more, “I have no idea what to get you, but at least I know what you’re into” like a gift card to their favorite place.
Even though they don’t quite spark joy, gift cards are a lot better than picking up some piece of junk that will collect dust for a year or two, then be donated to a charity shop. Just because you know that someone loves cats, that doesn’t mean they will be delighted to receive something random with a cat picture on it.
Amazon gift cards are always a safe bet, especially if you know nothing about the birthday boy or girl. Sephora and Ulta for that glam queen, GameStop for gamers, etc. You can also gift them with an experience in form of a voucher for a spa day or an escape room.
As an ultimate last-minute solution, a subscription is unbeatable. You can essentially be 5 minutes away from arriving at the birthday party and still have time to sort out your gift.
You can take 2 routes: subscription boxes or online services. Paying for someone’s Netflix is not very exciting, but there are other options out there. Magellan and Curiosity Stream is great for that big brain, and Shudder is great for a true horror fan. There’s also Crunchyroll for your favorite otaku, Steam for a gamer, and many more.
You’ll find an even bigger selection of subscription box options. Just type the recipient’s favorite thing followed by “subscription box”, and something will pop up. Ideally, you will need to cover at least 3 months, so keep that in mind when you’re coming up with the budget.
15. Some Good Booze
It’s a 21st birthday, after all. It’s perfectly acceptable to give out bottles of liquor, and the recipient is probably expecting to amass a small mountain of them on this day. Yes, everyone else will think of the same thing, but they are also looking for a last-minute idea as well, right?
You don’t have to pick anything from the top shelf but buy the best you can afford. For example, instead of picking up Johnny Walker Red, get a JW Black or Gold. Or you can pick up a nice bottle of wine. Just remember when going this route to pick a decent quality and don’t go too cheap or you might want to skip this idea entirely.
Now It’s Time to Wrap, The Gift That Is!
Hopefully you found one or a few of these ideas helpful and you now know what to get for your birthday girl or boy for their 21st birthday. At the end of the day, you can always help with birthday party decorations and whatever else the birthday girl or boy desires. And that might be just the right gift as well!