25+ Gifts for Teens: Ideas For Impossible To Shop For Teens

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Do you need gifts for teens this year? If you have a teen on your gift list this year, you know that teens are not the easiest to please. They aren’t quite adults, and they are no longer children. This makes gift-giving times extraordinarily difficult if you are trying to be creative. That’s why we set out to discover what teens wish for this holiday season. The result is this list full of teen-approved gift ideas so you’ll know exactly what to gift teens in your life this year!

Gifts for teens


This piece contains Amazon Affiliate links.

What To Buy For A Teenager?

When you think of gift ideas for teens, the first thing that probably pops into your mind is something like a gift card. Let them pick out what they want or need. And that’s all well and good. But, teens like opening presents, too. And what if you want to surprise them with a gift and not a card? What do you buy that a teen will love?

We went straight to the teens and asked for their Christmas wish lists. Then, we offered some suggestions for their approval to round out the list! The result is a teen-approved wish list for gift shopping, with items for a wide variety of budgets.

Gifts Teens Want in 2023

What gifts do teens want in 2023?
Experience-gifts
Music streaming subscriptions and equipment
Gift cards
Gaming systems
Subscription Boxes
Water bottles
Decal stickers
Sports and teams items
Room decor
Board Games for Teens
More gift ideas

Teen-Approved Experience Gifts

Sometimes an experience is a better gift than a “thing.” So, that leaves the question, “What do teens want to go do?” We asked and here’s what they said.

Take them to an Escape Room!

I’m sure at one time or another, we’ve thought about locking our kids up in a room and grabbing some peace while they navigated an escape route. So, a visit to an escape room near you could be the ultimate teen experience gift. These interactive escape rooms will challenge guests with their creative puzzles and talented actors.

In Greenville, SC try Escape Artist Greenville. You can read all about several of our experiences with the different rooms at Escape Artist.

Selfie Museum

A selfie museum, like The Pixel Experience in Greenville, is a unique spot to take selfie photos in a variety of themed rooms and walls. It will have your resident TikTok’r thinking you’re the best gift-giver ever! With 20+ backgrounds to take advantage of, the aspiring Instagram influencer in your family will have months of content to post!

Ax Throwing

We know what you are thinking. Handing an angst-ridden teen a hatchet or an ax and asking them to throw it at something might not be the first thing that comes to mind. It also probably doesn’t sound like the best idea. But trust me when I tell you, they will love it!
Try Blue Ox Hatchet House in Greenville, SC.

Ziplining

Creating memories with your teenager while still being seen in public with you is a great gift to give them. But, sometimes, that needs to be disguised as an extreme activity, and you’ll need to step out of your comfort zone. Zip-lining is the perfect blend of that and safety. Plus, it won’t clutter up their bedroom.

Try The Gorge Zipline. If you feel even more adventurous, you can hop over to their sister site for some water-related adventures. Green River Adventures offers white water rafting, kayak, SUP, waterfall hikes, and rappelling.

Gifts for Music-Loving Teens

This section includes affiliate links.

Teenagers will always love music; this will never change. So giving them away to enjoy it quickly is a great gift that they can appreciate over and over! So here are some teen-approved ways to get those tunes to them.

Spotify Premium
This popular music streaming service provides premium members with ad-free enjoyment of millions of songs. Plans range from $4.99 a month for college students to $14.99 for family plans that include six accounts.

YouTube Music Premium

Ad free music streaming, plus the ability to download your favorites to listen to when you’re offline. The first month is free and then $9.99 per month.

AirPods
These slight wireless ear-bud-style headphones were super popular with the teens we polled. They work in companion with Apple brand products and can sense when they are in your ears! Prices range from $100-$200 depending on the model you select.

Bluetooth Beanie Hat
I was shocked that the kids I spoke with had never heard of this! These knit beanie hats make a great gift not only for teens but for any age child (or adult). They look like your typical beanie hat, but tucked inside are wireless, Bluetooth headphones. They will work with any Bluetooth-enabled device and are great because there are no wires to damage younger kids! Prices range from $13 to $30.

iTunes Gift Cards
I was surprised to find that my go-to teen gift idea was still trendy in this age range. Not only can they use the funds for music purchases but video games, movies, and more. Card values start at $25.

Jackson B. explained to me why he likes getting these as a gift – “iTunes gift cards because we use phones a lot and we can choose what we want to spend it on”

Apple Products
If you have the budget for it, of the hundred or so teens I spoke to, nearly all of them mentioned some Apple brand devices – iPhones, iPods, Apple watches, Mac Books. It seems you can’t go wrong with a gift from the Apple store.

Concert Tickets
A set of tickets to a concert for their favorite performer might be the perfect gift! Sporting event tickets also make a great gift, and there’s no shortage of sports teams locally to support!

Gift cards

Some of the more popular gift cards mentioned were for the following :

  • Coffee : Starbucks, Little River Coffee, Barista Alley, Bridge Coffee, and other local coffee shops
  • Makeup : Ulta, Sephora
  • Retailers : Target, American Eagle, Apple, Amazon
  • Shoes : Vans, Converse, Nike

Gaming Systems

Hefty price tag alert, but it probably comes as no surprise that gaming systems are popular among the teens also. Teens also said gaming chairs, curved gaming screens, gaming computers, desks, and headsets are also on their wishlists.

Subscription Box Gifts for Teens

Subscription services are a trend that offers everything from cooking to makeup, and teenagers want them! Some of the more popular mentioned were –

Fab Fit Fun
these subscription boxes offer up to $300 worth of items for $54.99 quarterly. Items include room décor, health and beauty items, and more.

Sketch Box
for $25-$35 a month, you will receive art supplies and a piece of art to inspire your creativity.

Escape The Crate
If your teen likes escape room adventures, then this is the perfect gift! For $29.99 bi-monthly, they’ll receive a mystery along with challenges to decipher, tools to help, and exciting objects that serve as rewards as you advance through the puzzle.

Gifts For The Adventure Seeker

The most important item to a hydrated teen is a Hydroflask. They are a brand of insulated bottles, and they start at $30 for an 18oz bottle. Try Simple Modern brand bottles; they are less expensive, look the same, and have more color and accessory options. Plus, if a decal covers up that logo, no one will be the wiser—a 32oz Simple modern starts at $18.99.

Decal Stickers

Speaking of decals, they make a great gift! Check out locally owned shops for local decals, or look on for special interest decals on Etsy.

LadyBluByrd has decals with shoutouts to local places in Upstate, SC, famous characters, coffee, and more! These make an excellent stocking stuffer and are super easy to mail to a loved one.

shop local decals
Photo Credit: LadyBluByrd

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Depending on the teen you are shopping for, a sport-related gift might be perfect. Think about a gift for either a sport they play or a team they love! Think personalized collegiate flags, corn hole set with that same team décor, hoodies, even socks or slippers in their team’s colors.

Depending on the sport your child plays, new equipment is always a great idea. Skateboards and long-boards are still a popular thing, too.

Room Decor

Let teens dress up their space! These are a few room decor items teens asked for:

We are loving these room decor ideas because they are things teens will use all year long, and many of them are very budget-friendly. LED strips, fuzzy pillows, and lava lamps can all be found for under $25.

Teens Like to Eat: Food and Beverage gifts for teens

Growing teens seem to be able to eat and drink non-stop. The food doesn’t stay in the house long, the grocery list is endless, and bugging mom and dad for those special extra items is not always an option, which makes them a pretty perfect gift.

Soda Stream

A Soda Steam lets you make sodas and sparkling waters at home. While it’s one of the more expensive gifts for teens on this list, it’s definitely unique. And, it’ll let them make any flavors of sparkling beverages they’d like.

Bubble Tea Kit

Let teens make their own bubble tea right at home!

Favorite Snacks or a Snack Box

Do you know their favorite chips, cookies, or ice cream? If not, how about a care package-type box loaded with a huge variety of snacks?

Board Games for Teens

Escape the Room: Murder in the Mafia

ThinkFun’s Escape the Room games are essentially escape rooms in a box. They come cleverly assembled in the box in such a way that you only have to follow a few simple instructions to pop the room up before you’re ready to start looking for clues and playing the game.

Throughout the game the story booklet guides you through each chapter as you solve the clues, and see if you can determine who is the murderer. And if you get stuck you can go online for additional clues and assistance..

ThinkFun Escape the Room titles include:

EXIT Games

Another fun version of an escape room board games are EXIT games. You can spread these materials out and a larger group can work to solve these games. Clues are on cards, in booklets, and hidden in the strangest places. The card and solution wheel systems help you get hints if you’re stuck and also guide you from clue to clue. These games can only be played once as solving them often requires cutting or marking up game pieces, but they are worth it for a fun afternoon with family and friends.

EXIT Games: The Abandoned Cabin

Echoes: Audio Mystery Game

Download a free app and use it to scan the cards and listen to the audio hints. Put them together in the right sequence to unlock each chapter with additional story clues. Finally, use the clues to put the story into the right order. This one is a great family teamwork game. The sounds are a little creepy, and the clues require listening carefully. But don’t worry if you get lost, the app can give you clues if you’re stuck!

Echoes: Audio Mystery Game

More Great Gift Ideas For Teens

  • mini fridges
  • loft beds
  • Beats headphones
  • Hoodies
  • Gloves
  • Fuzzy socks

We hope this helps you navigate the gift-giving season a bit easier.

Needs more gift ideas? Don’t miss our Holiday Gift Guide to Greenville. It includes ideas for experience Gifts, local gifts, ideas for teacher gifts, and much more!

About the Author
How does Kidding Around® bring readers high-quality and up-to-date content month after month and season after season? We have a dedicated team of writers and editors who regularly update our fabulous content to keep it current and relevant for our readers. This team combs lists of events, heads out into the community to experience new Upstate offerings, and communicates with local businesses. Many of our updated articles and event lists, like this one, reflect the contributions and hard work of multiple Kidding Around® team members.

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