Gifts for the USA National Parks Fan!

November 24, 2021| Heidi

There is no need to be stumped when looking for the perfect gift for someone who loves the National Parks! I have many of these items listed below and can vouch for them! Enjoy reading through this post with NO annoying flashing ads and check back again…I update this post when I make more discoveries that National Parks fans will appreciate! Comment below if I miss any of your favorites!

MUGS

Mugs belong on all gift lists, in my opinion, as I love coffee and collect mugs. Deneen Pottery makes unique National Parks mugs. Below are links to help you find them. 

This site page from Deneen Pottery will provide information on how you can purchase mugs from various parks in person or online. Here you will find parks organized by geography. You will not necessarily be able to find a Deneen mug for every National Park online. For example, Crater Lake didn’t have any mugs available online, but Sequoia had a choice of three mugs on their site, two of which are from Deneen. The availability could change, so check just in case. 

Deneen Pottery also sells some National Parks mugs directly from their website, but National Park lovers usually snap them up! Check out their National Park mugs here to see what they have left. 

Another source for Deneen Pottery National Park mugs (along with other brands) is Western National Parks Association (WNPA). They have a good selection! Also, every year starting on December 1, WNPA also sells a limited-edition mug with the National Park Geek logo. Below, here’s a photo of my mug from 2020 pictured with my National Park journal available here.

National Park Geek 2020 shown on mug along with a National Park journal from Memorable Journals

After trying the above links, you could always try eBay if you did not find a specific National Park mug. Some sellers jack up the prices, so beware. It is worth the effort to hunt down a Deneen Pottery National Park mug, but don’t pay a fortune for one! Do you own any National Park Deneen mugs? If so, I would love to know what one you have in the comments below!

I’m adding an update here with my latest online finds for National Park mugs from other companies. It’s amazing how many neat mugs there are out there. Obviously, there is a huge market for National Park items!

Look here for the neatest-looking mugs from Xplorer Maps. Scroll through and find that many (not all though) National Parks are represented.

Even more great National Park mugs can be found at McGovern and Co. Many are sold out, including the Crater Lake one that I was hoping to get. Look inside the mug! So cool!! I was able to sign up to be notified for when it’s available again though!

ORNAMENTS

While I was looking at the mugs on the McGovern and Co. website, I came across their ornaments depicting some of the National Parks. Wow, what a neat gift this would be for your National Park fan! I don’t own one yet…once I do, I will happily add a photo of it here. I plan to purchase one or more for myself!

NOTE CARDS / POSTCARDS / POSTERS / PRINTS

Ranger Doug is on a mission to reproduce original National Park and Monument posters. Luckily, we can now easily have those beautiful reproductions on notecards, postcards, and posters. They are available in the shop on Ranger Doug’s site. Scroll through the whole page and click on the links there to see all the paper items available. I adore the gorgeous vintage images in my postcards pictured below. You can find this specific set here: HISTORIC WPA POSTCARDS – SET OF 16. I use these postcards to adorn the pages inside my National Parks journal.

layout showing 16 National Park postcards from Ranger Doug's site

If you have any questions, Ranger Doug is a delightful person to correspond with! (Ranger Doug and his mission deserve a whole separate post, and I plan to write one in the future!)

Erin Vaughn’s artwork depicting the National Parks is stunning. Her Etsy shop has a variety of paper items. Prints of the National Parks are 8″ x 10″ (some are available in a larger size) are at this link. I have her set of 24 postcards which are 4″x6″, and I enjoy looking at the colorful and slightly whimsical images. Check out my set in the photo below.

layout showing 24 National Park postcards by Erin Vaughn

GAMES

The following two National Parks games listed here are produced by Underdog Games Store. What a fun name! Here’s the description the company posted about themselves on Amazon: “We are proud to be a small, independent business founded by two people’s mutual love of the national parks. We always donate a portion of all proceeds back to nonprofits making a difference around the world.”

Trekking the National Parks: Trivia is a trivia game that anyone can play even if they don’t know much about the National Parks. Here is a sample question from the game: “Yellowstone National Park is the world’s first national park. It was established by Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant. In what year was Yellowstone established as a national park?” The person who provided the sample question went on to say, “Players would then guesstimate what year this happened, and whichever player is closest wins the point!” This game can be played in groups of 2 to 6 in about 20 minutes.

Trekking the National Parks: The Award-Winning Family Board Game has a more extended playtime. From reading the reviews, it sounds like this game takes some effort to figure out the rules and that 2 to 5 players can play it. The cards look gorgeous, and the map board layout makes for a great learning experience. All 63 parks are in this game! You can also purchase this game at America’s National Parks store.

The above two games are also available as a bundle on Amazon, saving ten bucks. (With the money you save, you can purchase an individual National Park journal here on my site. 🙂 I only have two specific park journals, Crater Lake and Joshua Tree, at the time of this writing, but many more are coming!)

It seems like a Monopoly game is made for every theme out there, and the National Parks is no exception. The National Parks Monopoly game updates quite often, so there are many versions out there. I purchased mine, pictured below, at a garage sale, and it is an old version. Here’s the newest version available at Amazon: Monopoly National Parks 2020 Edition. Truthfully I haven’t played any Monopoly games for a while, as my attention span seems to be decreasing with every passing year! How do you feel about playing Monopoly?

Corner of my old National Parks Monopoly showing the "properties" of Yellowstone and Yosemite

JIGSAW PUZZLES

Jigsaw puzzles featuring the National Parks are plentiful. Here are some of my favorites:

Dowdle makes many National Park puzzles, most of which are 500 pieces. I have the National Parks one, showing a sampling of the different parks across a United States map. I am impressed with the beautiful images these puzzles have. The Redwoods National Park puzzle appeals to me as I love trees and would love to visit there. With all the trees and fir needles, this looks to be particularly challenging! Dowdle puzzles are of excellent quality. I appreciate that the pieces are not super small and that the edges are crisply cut, leaving little to no cardboard dust particles. While a Ziploc bag is enclosed, I find it easier to put the pieces straight into the box. The box itself is very durable, unlike the typical jigsaw puzzle box. An extra image of the puzzle is enclosed, making it easy to refer to while working on the puzzle.

Dowdle National Park puzzle shown with pieces out of box

If you are looking for an even more challenging jigsaw puzzle, Cavallini makes two neat National Park ones, each with 1,000 pieces. Here’s one with a United States map layout and one with “posters” of each park. Again the quality of the puzzles is excellent, judging from the photos and the reviews on Amazon. The posters puzzle can also be purchased at America’s National Parks site.

I have not done my National Park puzzle yet. Have any of you completed one? I would enjoy hearing about your experiences in the comments below!

BOOKS

There are certainly many National Parks books to choose from. My favorite is the one titled Your Guide to the National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 59 National Parks. I am so glad I got this. The author has been to the parks and has taken the time to write up lots of neat and thoughtful information with great detail on each park. The hikes for each one are easy to find in chart format with difficulty ratings and short notes. This book is a neat reference tool that is not run-of-the-mill like so many other travel books out there.

The author’s biography on Amazon indicates just how fun his personality must be: “Michael Joseph Oswald (born June 18, 1980) is an award-winning American travel writer. In 2003 he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in electrical engineering. After four years working in a corporate environment, he escaped to a more adventurous lifestyle only to be mugged in Colombia, South America. Injuries sustained required surgery, and failure to follow doctor’s orders blessed him with a permanently prostrate pinkie. This unfortunate event resulted in prompt return home and pursuit of safer travel: kayaking, biking, and hiking across America’s National Parks. The fruit of these endeavors is Michael’s debut title: Your Guide to the National Parks. When Michael isn’t sleeping in his tent or converted bus, he lives and writes (typing with all nine functional fingers) at his parents’ hobby farm in northeastern Wisconsin with his best friends, Powder and Steel.”

Pictured below is my copy of the book, along with my National Park journal.

The second and last book recommendation I have for now is a children’s book that looks delightful for all ages to enjoy! While looking through the illustrations in the book’s description, I was amazed at the beauty of the images and words. National Parks of the USA by Kate Siber is on my wish list! Update: I now have this WONDERFUL book and my expectations have been exceeded by far! First off, this book is much bigger than I expected. You can feel the textures of the words on the cover and the thick pages are of good quality. Learning about our National Parks is a delightful experience while going through this book for both grownups and children alike. The font used for the text is adorable but could potentially be a little harder to read for the young ones. If you have this book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it!

BLANKETS

Rumpl currently has a selection of about five different National Park blankets. Some get sold out, but I’ve been told by someone from the Rumpl Team that new ones will be added. (Be on the lookout for Joshua Tree and Hawaii’s Volcanoes. Glacier will be re-released.) Update: These blankets are now available for a limited time and have an added whimsical touch. Check them out, and you’ll see what I mean! Rumpl’s National Park blankets are all the same size which is the one-person size. This size comes with a handy clip, allowing you to wear it like a cape. I have the Yosemite blanket and enjoy having it around my shoulders, knowing that it won’t fall off. While wearing my blanket like a cape, I can walk around (not having to hold it) without the blanket touching the floor. I’m 5′ 8″ and the blanket does almost touch the floor though! The blanket is very lightweight and easy to wash and keep clean. Recently I’ve discovered that this makes for a great lap blanket…with the attached clip end of the blanket keeping my bare feet warm while I am working at my desk from home. Thanks to the clip, the two corners of the blanket stay together so my feet stay covered!

JOURNALS / SCRAPBOOKS

There are others out there, but, of course, I am going to recommend the ones available in my shop! The National Parks scrapbook is excellent for keeping track of your adventures. You could also use this as a journal for recording everyday thoughts. The size makes it easy to take wherever you go and yet large enough to record many details. You could print as many copies as you need for yourself and gifts for your friends and family. You decide how many pages you want each journal or scrapbook to have. The pages are varied and fun! Included in this downloadable scrapbook are cards for each of the parks. Also, in addition to the 63 National Parks journal, there are journals for the individual parks. So far, I have two specific parks in the shop, and many more are coming. (If you have a request for a journal for a particular National Park, let me know, and I will work on one to put in the shop.) All are downloadable immediately after purchase for quick gifts! If you need some guidelines on printing PDFs, check out my blog post. Try out the quick and easy-to-make Memorable Journals format for free by signing up for my email list.

National Park journal opened to checklist pages with 63 National Parks cards s out around it

ANY OTHER GIFT IDEAS?

Any of the above gifts are sure to please! Looking over this list makes me think of how they add to the cozy vibe of our winter days while planning for our next National Park adventure. Time to grab a mug of coffee and snuggle under your blanket while reading, working on your jigsaw puzzle, playing a game, or reliving your National Park memories. Be sure to add your suggestions for other National Park-related gifts below for the rest of us to see!

 

Categories: gift ideas, National Parks