The 11 Best Gifts to Buy for the Whole Family in 2018

On the hunt for a single gift the whole family can enjoy? Look no further

Mother and daughters opening Christmas gifts on living room floor
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Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to get each person in the family an individualized gift. Maybe there are too many people to shop for, maybe you prefer to make one grand gesture, or maybe you’re looking for a nice housewarming present the whole family can enjoy. No matter what the occasion, sometimes the best gifts bring the whole family together.

And you don’t have to resort to a gift card—there are tons of fun options for the whole family, even if ages span from toddler to tween or teen to adult. Look for interactive games and activities that can accommodate multiple players or users and don’t require too much time or expertise.

Food gifts—snow cone, popcorn, or cotton candy machines—are always exciting, as are more substantial options like trampolines or game tables. Even more traditional board games, video game consoles, and tech gifts will occupy everyone for hours on end.

Of course, you could also go the more practical route, with some sort of subscription service for meals, books, and more. No matter what direction you go in, remember that it’s the thought that counts.

Here, some of the best gifts for families we could find:


  • 01 of 11

    Best Board Game: Speak Out

    In this hilarious game, suitable for up to 10 players ages eight and up, players take turns wearing a wide plastic mouthpiece and reciting phrases, while the other players attempt to guess what they are saying. It’s side-splittingly silly to watch your family members try to speak clearly through the mouthpiece. The whole family will share many laughs not only over the way each other look wearing the mouthpiece but also over deciphering what’s been said. It’s like a modern game of telephone!

    Each game comes with 10 food-safe dental-grade mouthpieces, a timer, plus 200 family-appropriate game cards. Expansion packs are also available, and include movie quotes, misheard song lyrics, kids vs. parents, and more.

    Reviewers praise the game as being the best they’ve purchased in years, with one reviewer saying it’s one of the best games their family has ever played.

  • 02 of 11

    Best Outdoor Game: BULZiBUCKET

    Touted as the next generation cornhole, this fun family game will have everyone outside for hours on end—sans smartphones. (What else can make that happen?!)

    Like cornhole, players attempt to toss their bean bag into their competitor’s bucket. The amount of points you get depends on what tier you sink the bean bag into, with the top tier being the bullseye.

    The set includes two heavy-duty collapsible black and blue bucket targets, six hacky sacks (three for each team), and a backpack carrying case. Because it’s so lightweight, it’s easy to tote to the beach or the park—but it’s just as fun to play in your own backyard.

    Over 100 reviewers give the game five stars, noting it’s fun, portable, and the best game they’ve purchased in a long time.

  • 03 of 11

    Best Karaoke Machine: Singing Machine

    There may be no better way to spend a Friday night than popping some popcorn and hosting a family karaoke night. This affordable version comes in two colors—black and white—and has all the functionality you could ever need.

    It’s compatible with CDs and/or Bluetooth for wireless streaming from Amazon Prime Music, Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, Youtube, and other music services. The machine also features two microphone jacks—perfect for a duet or a friendly lip sync battle. (Second microphone sold separately.) Over 50 multicolored LED lights help turn your living room into the ultimate karaoke lounge.

    More than 600 reviewers give this karaoke machine five stars. They love that it works with any device, including all popular smartphone models. Reviewers also note that it’s easy enough for kids to use on their own.

  • 04 of 11

    Best Food Gift: Shaved Ice Machine and Syrup Party Package

    With this shaved ice machine, parents won’t have to pack the whole family into the car and take a trip to the ice cream shop whenever the kids ask what’s for dessert. Instead, the whole family can enjoy making a special treat together—right in the comfort of their own home.

    In addition to the sleek white machine, the kit includes snow cone cups, spoon straws, black bottle pourers, and round block ice molds. (Flavored syrup sold separately.) And it takes just minutes to make a snow cone: Simply shave fluffy snow into the included snow cone cups, then top with a syrup or two, add a spoon-straw, and enjoy.

    More than 700 reviewers give this machine five stars, noting that it’s fun, easy to use, and makes delicious treats.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    Best Trampoline: Skywalker Trampolines 15-Feet Jump N' Dunk Trampoline

    So the kids have been begging for a trampoline for as long as you can remember? This particular trampoline, complete with a basketball hoop and a netted safety enclosure, provides the perfect excuse to finally give them what they’ve always wanted.

    Parents can take a deep breath knowing the trampoline features reinforced T-sockets at the legs and enclosure joints, increasing frame stability and preventing structural twisting. Plus, it also has rust-resistant galvanized steel that extends the lifetime of the trampoline.

    More than 800 reviewers give this trampoline five stars, noting the quality of the structure and its safety features. Other reviewers not that they love the trampoline just as much as their children do.

  • 06 of 11

    Best Video Game System: Nintendo Switch

    Perhaps the most versatile game console available right now, Nintendo Switch enables users to play games on the television or on-the-go from the built-in display on the unit itself. The controllers, called Joy-Cons, can be removed from the edges of the unit and a kickstand comes out of the unit itself for multiplayer use on the go.

    The rechargeable battery lasts for up to six hours, so kids can play games on long road trips. The resulting peace and quiet? You can definitely consider that a gift to tired parents everywhere.

    When home, the whole family will love battling it out in classic favorites like Mario Kart, Zelda, and Donkey Kong.

    Still need convincing? More than 3,000 reviewers praise this gaming system for its portability, impressive graphics, and great sound.

  • 07 of 11

    Most Practical: Amazon Prime Subscription


    Courtesy of Amazon Prime 

    Okay, so this one might not elicit immediate oohs and aahs from the kids, but the benefits of an Amazon Prime membership are far-reaching.

    Parents will love the fact that they can get any and all household necessities at their doorstep within 48 hours. And kids will undoubtedly reap the benefits of that.

    Both parents and kids alike will love all of the extras that come with a Prime membership, from music streaming, to video on demand, to restaurant delivery, subscription services, early access to special sales, and more.

  • 08 of 11

    Best Game Table: JOOLA Inside Table Tennis Table

    Ready for a little friendly competition? This classic tabletop game is a must-have for any family with enough space.

    This competition-grade nine-by-five foot regulation size indoor ping-pong table comes mostly pre-assembled—it takes just 10 minutes and eight bolts to finish assembly—for the ultimate in convenience.

    Though there’s bound to be many family tournaments, the table can be used for solo play, too. Simply fold half of it down and leave the other side up for a bounce-back. When not in use, the entire table folds up and can be wheeled into a closet or shed for storage.

    More than 2,500 reviewers give this table five stars, noting its value and high quality as selling points.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    Best for the Home: Original Sonos Play:1

    This small, but mighty speaker—available in black or white—fills any room with rich, powerful sound. Use it to stream music from any number of services (Prime Music Unlimited, Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, and more) or hook it up to your television for a new way to experience your favorite shows.

    Set-up takes just five minutes — it connects right to your home’s Wi-Fi. Once it’s all set up, connect the speaker to Amazon’s Alexa for easy and convenient voice control.  

    Nearly 3,000 reviewers give this speaker five stars, thanks to its supreme sound quality and user-friendly functionality.

  • 10 of 11

    Best Personalized: Our Family Recipes Journal

    Besides the obvious benefits of cooking — the resulting family meal or a delicious dessert — cooking teaches kids important life skills and makes them more aware of what they’re putting in their bodies. Plus, cooking together provides fun bonding moments and creates happy memories.

    This recipe book includes tips and tricks to help you become a better cook, but is largely blank so you can fill it with your family’s favorite recipes. It’s a great excuse to start a new tradition: Plan a time to cook together once per week, then detail your favorite recipes in this book to create a special family keepsake over the years.

    Reviewers love how the 144 blank pages are neatly organized into sections. Others note that the book’s durable hardcover and spiral binding ensure it stands the test of time.

  • 11 of 11

    Best Tech Gift: HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer

    For the family that has many grand adventures together, this compact photo printer will freeze those moments in time and help solidify those fun, happy memories.

    The rechargeable photo printer, which is about the same size as a standard smartphone, uses Bluetooth technology to wirelessly print photos from any number of devices, including phones and tablets. It can also manually connect to a laptop via a micro USB for easy printing.

    More than 700 reviewers give this item five stars, praising its convenience as well as the photo quality. As one reviewer says, it’s the “perfect mobile printer.”