Fire up your keyboards: the gift-giving season is once again upon us.
We put together a cosmically delightful gift guide to make your holiday shopping a little easier — at least for the space fans in your life. Besides, there’s no better gift than igniting someone’s passion for space, right?
Here are our space gift recommendations this year, hand-picked by The Planetary Society space family:
Space fashion and accessories
The Planetary Society’s former senior editor and planetary evangelist Emily Lakdawalla makes wearable art that is sure to dazzle any space enthusiast.
“I’m always pulled between aesthetics and education, basing my designs on the colors, brightnesses, sizes, and distances of real worlds,” Emily told us. “Just like with my writing, I like to think I serve the people who are especially enthusiastic about space. I always tell people that my jewelry is ‘even geekier than you think.’”
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Startorialist, who seamlessly blend science and style. Their Carina Nebula skater dress — which uses the real JWST Cosmic Cliffs image released earlier this year — is buttery soft and super flattering. It’s a stellar showstopper no matter what the occasion.
This elegant hair clip from Yugen Handmade features five phases of the Moon. It instantly amps up every outfit.
"The beauty and wonder of the Cosmos is brought to my celestial designs as a wearable celebration," Yugen Handmade designer Lauren Beacham tells us.
ChopShop’s Drake Equation T-shirt is a terrific present for anyone interested in the search for life beyond Earth.
“You can celebrate the life of Frank Drake and his famous method for estimating the number of galactic civilizations with this distinctive tee,” says our Chief Advocate & Senior Space Policy Adviser Casey Dreier. “There’s no better holiday conversation starter than working through each term and debating the length of L with family and friends.”
Maryland-based designer Rachel Pfeffer has a line of Saturn-based jewelry and cufflinks for space lovers who like some extra shimmer. The pieces come in a variety of stones including turquoise, lapis lazuli, abalone, and more.
“Rachel Pfeffer’s work always manages to be elegant and playful, and these Saturn pendants are absolutely both,” says comedian and space enthusiast Josh Gondelman. “I buy so much of Rachel’s jewelry as gifts for people in my life, and they’re always thrilled!”
Books and music
Note: You can find independent bookstores near you using IndieBound’s search tool here.
“Searching Beyond the Stars” by Nicole Mortillaro. Illustrated by Amanda Key
Amateur astronomer, author, science reporter, and Planetary Society member Nicole Mortillaro has an inspiring new book highlighting some of the remarkable women in space science.
"I was approached by [book publisher] Annick Press with an idea of writing about influential women in space and astronomy," Nicole tells us. "But we didn't want to do something that only looked at the work of women in the past. I suggested that we instead look mainly forward: to the women of today who are working to advance our knowledge about the Universe around us and who are an inspiration to the next generation of girls. Women's contributions to astronomical research have long been overlooked, and it's time we fix that."
"Project Hail Mary," by Andy Weir
For bookworms who enjoy sci-fi and fantasy, The Planetary Society’s Mat Kaplan recommends Andy Weir’s latest book, which is set to become a movie.
“You can count on finding at least one good laugh and one brilliant innovation on nearly every page of this terrific science fiction novel by the author of The Martian,” Mat says. “A reluctant hero must save humanity as he discovers we are not alone.”
"Discovering Mars: A History of Observation and Exploration of the Red Planet" by William Sheehan and Jim Bell
This deep dive into Mars’ past, written by historian William Sheehan and planetary scientist Jim Bell, is a must-have for red planet enthusiasts. (Full disclosure: Jim is on The Planetary Society’s Board of Directors.)
We’ve got a great read for teens interested in space. The Planetary Society’s Chief Scientist and LightSail Program Manager Bruce Betts’ latest book dives into the fascinating worlds of our Solar System. It’s informative, accessible, and super entertaining.
"My other books have focused on introducing space to younger audiences, and I was excited about the opportunity to write for young adult readers," says Bruce. "This new book allowed me to go into more detail while still sharing the wonder of the Solar System and the excitement of space exploration."
"The Moons Symphony" is a soul-stirring journey through the Solar System composed by Amanda Lee Falkenberg and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop and the London Voices. It includes seven movements, each inspired by a moon in our cosmic neighborhood, and features liner notes by our very own Planetary Radio Host Mat Kaplan.
"Cosmos: The Art and Science of the Universe" by Roberta J.M. Olson and Jay Pasachoff
Creative types will enjoy this engrossing large-format book about the intersection of art and astronomy across human history.
"Space Atlas, Second Edition: Mapping the Universe and Beyond" by James Trefil with a foreword by Buzz Aldrin
Reading this book feels like taking a stroll through the Universe. The author of this gift guide can personally vouch for this one as she gifted it to a good friend who is interested in astrophotography.
“Other atlases would probably sell better if they also included entries on Neptune and black holes, but until they do, this is the one you want,” says Matt Levin (the space fan and friend in question).
Toys, decor, and more
These “plush planetary pals and cuddly cosmic companions” couldn’t be cuter if they tried. Though it’s hard to pick a favorite among the adorable worlds of our Solar System, Mercury has to be this author's favorite. 10/10 would snuggle again.
They’re a space gift guide staple for a reason. The NASA Space Shuttle Discovery and Apollo Saturn V stand out as favorites, though the International Space Station is currently displayed in this author’s home office.
With this star projector, you can experience the night sky right in your bedroom. You can see 60,000 stars without having to worry about clouds getting in the way.
This adorable planter is the perfect accent for a desk. It’s just the right size for a small succulent.
“Who wouldn’t like a cute little astronaut chilling on the Moon?” says software manager and space fan Katie Hockman, who recently gifted this to a friend.
If your colleagues see this in the background of your Zoom call, they’re going to ask where you got it. These beautifully crafted ever-spinning globes come in a variety of worlds including Earth, Mars, Jupiter, the Moon, and more.
Pet toys and gear
For cats who love playing with scraps of paper and things that are not actually toys, this author’s cats are oddly particular about their playthings. But the FabCat spaceship teaser — essentially a fishing pole with a rocket plush at the end — has totally captured their attention, which is the ultimate stamp of approval. The spaceship is chock-full of catnip to ensure your kitties have a pleasant trip through space and time.
For dogs who enjoy fetching (or just holding toys without letting you throw them), we recommend these adorable plushes of Earth, Mars, and the Moon. Watching your dog trot around the living room with a tiny Earth in his or her mouth makes for hilarious photos.
The odds of a real pizza planet are low, but never zero. This dog bandana from Woofology keeps that delicious dream alive. Plus, it fits over your dog’s collar for extra comfort.
From The Planetary Society
Help kickstart someone’s life-long excitement for space! Our recently launched Planetary Academy is a Planetary Society membership designed for kids ages 5-9.
Help build a space community brick-by-brick. We want the names of space lovers to wrap around the block outside headquarters in sunny Pasadena, California.
Sharing the joy and wonder of space is the gift that keeps on giving. No gift guide for space lovers is complete without a Planetary Society membership.
Be sure to check out our store for TPS branded merch including:
Happy hunting, space friends! We hope you find great gifts and get everything on your wish list.