Looking for great holiday gifts to delight and pamper your college kid or 20something? Here's a round-up of fresh gift guide ideas in the $50 and up range.
1. Handcrafted Cocktail & Cooking Classes
Hankering to whip up some Tikka Masala? Perhaps Pad Thai? Or simply a lesson in how not to burn toast? There's a cool cooking class out there for everyone, from kitchen newbie to culinary master. You can get a cooking class gift certificate for your college kid or 20something from one of the major kitchen stores, but an increasing number of edgy cooking schools are starting to offer classes in handcrafted cocktails, beer making and cocktail party fare. Just remember, no one wants to do something alone, so make sure you buy a gift certificate for two. ($65 and up per class)
2. The iPad Mini
The iPad, Apple's insanely popular tablet computer, has been a hot item for the last several years. Now the classic pad has been joined by a mini version from Apple and competitors aplenty. It's no wonder. You can download books, music and video onto the glossy gadgets, surf the net, Skype and send e-mails. They're all kinds of fabulous. Prices vary depending upon what you choose, but the iPad mini is $329.
Help your college kid drown out her roommates' snoring, gabbing or headbanger tunes with a pair of high quality, noise-canceling headphones($115 and up). They do such a good job of insulating the wearer from outside noise, there will be no need for her to turn up her iPod to eardrum-damaging levels. And these headphones enhance the quality of Skype conversations too.
Movies and college kids go together like camping and s'mores - and boxed Blu-Ray sets of television series such as Breaking Bad,, Dexter and especially HBO's bawdy, violent Game of Thrones, the Emmy-winning series set in Westeros, are particularly popular. Based on the popular George R.R. Martin series, this critically acclaimed, insanely popular show has enough thrills, chills and evil plot twists to thrill any 20something. ($47 and up for season two on Blu-Ray). For more box set ideas, check out this 2013 Blu-Ray gift guide for college kids.
Whether your favorite 20something is heading for another year of college or he's off to grad school, his laptop will need protection. There's a slew of possibilities out there ranging from solid color Neoprene padded sleeves, to versions that look like a Van Gogh, an interoffice envelope or an old leather-bound book. The latter, dubbed the BookBook, is made by Twelve South and it looks so very real, even the zipper tabs resemble bookmarks. Still, it's best not to leave even a disguised laptop unattended at the library. It might get stolen. Or reshelved. Prices? $80-$90.
That towel-wrapped midriff routine gets old real fast. Protect your college kid’s modesty – or his or her roommates’ delicate sensibilities – with a big, spa-style, fluffy bathrobe. ($50 and up) They’re cozy and warm, and perfect paired with spa-style toiletries or a gift certificate to a spa or mani-pedi place near campus or home.