A list of the best astronomy gifts

The Best Astronomy Gifts

If someone in your life is gazing at the stars more than they are the world around them, the right astronomy gift can make their birthday/Christmas/special day perfect. Picking an astronomy gift isn’t easy. The options are far and wide, and if you’re not familiar with astronomy yourself, you probably might not know where to begin.

We consulted our resident astronomy expert Richard J. Bartlett, and he selected the gifts on our list. He chose a membership to The Planetary Society, a gift that keeps on giving and connects your astro-nut to a like-minded community.

Best Overall

The Planetary Society membership

Connect with other star gazers, get newsletters, and a subscription to The Planetary Report.

Check Price

You can also find more information on specialized gifts for newbies, like telescopes for beginners if you’re looking for a gift in a higher price range.

Our Astronomist’s Top 5 Astronomy Gifts

Here are the top picks from our veterinarian. Compare the ratings and features of different models.

Top Picks Model Rating Cost Age Range Durability
Best Overall The Planetary Society Membership 4.8 [$$$] [12+] [NA]
Best Budget Vintage Full Moon Map 4.6 [$] [18+] [Average]
Best for Book Lovers How to Astronaut 4.7 [$] [16+] [Excellent]
Best Homeware Cosmos Kitchen Knife Set 4.8 [$$$] [16+] [Excellent]
Best for Kids Spaceteam: A Fast-paced, Cooperative, Shouting Card Game 4.7 [$$] [12+] [Average]

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$ = Under $20
$$ = $20-$40
$$$ = over $40
*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers

Who Should Buy an Astronomy Gift

  • Parents of a child interested in space – If your son or daughter can’t get enough space talk, astronomy gifts for kids run from telescopes to games and binoculars to space-themed books.
  • Spouse of someone interested in space – Astronomy gifts are perfect for birthdays and anniversaries. Try to get an idea of where your spouse or partner’s particular interests lie to get a gift that’s geared toward their favorite area of astronomy.
  • Friend of someone interested in space – Show that you’re listening and that you care with a gift studded with the stars your friend finds fascinating.

Who Should Not Buy an Astronomy Gift

  • Your person has no interest in space – This is really the only reason to skip astronomy gifts. If the receiver of your gift could care less about the stars, moon, sun, and anything else in the sky, an astronomy gift probably isn’t the best choice.

Research Tips from an Expert

I chose more general space-themed gifts because astronomy gifts are something of a niche. If you’re not familiar with astronomy, you may get something the person already has or get a sub-par version of it. If you stick with more general items, you can support their favorite hobby while leaving the more detailed items to them. A few broad tips:

  • Pay attention to items they might mention needing or wanting.
  • Make a list (secretly).
  • Pick something that’s at least a little familiar to you. More specialized gifts are difficult to buy if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

How Much Do They Cost?

Between $5 and $70
Astronomy gifts don’t have to be a full-size telescope that costs more than your first car. The simple gifts on our list will please astronomers without breaking most budgets. That being said, the list includes items from a fairly conservative price range. Most astronomy gifts fall between $20 and $35. However, some, like memberships and homewares, are at a higher price point.

Our Methodology: Why Trust Moon and Back

I’ve written for Astronomy magazine and published several astronomy-themed books, including some on telescopes. As an active member of the astronomy community, I interact with astronomers, from amateur to professional. My experience has also introduced me to people who love people within the astronomy community but have no idea where to begin when looking for a gift for their stargazer. I’ve included gifts that most people will recognize and that space-loving folk like myself will appreciate too. – Richard J. Bartlett

The Best Astronomy Gifts: Full Reviews

Best Overall

The Planetary Society membership

Connect with other star gazers, get newsletters, and a subscription to The Planetary Report.

Check Price

The Planetary Society works to promote knowledge about space and support space programs around the world. A membership includes:

  • Membership card
  • Social medium honor badge
  • Subscription to The Planetary Report
  • E-newsletter
  • Option to participate in advocacy campaigns
  • Special event invitations
  • Recipient’s name sent to space on certain space missions
  • Access to Planetary Society travel programs

The membership is also about becoming a part of the astronomy community, where members can interact with others who are fascinated by and want to promote space exploration. The Society also promotes educational opportunities and gives members access to their weekly radio program and online courses.

  • Supports space exploration
  • Benefits go for an entire year
  • Introduces receiver to others interested in astronomy
  • Person may prefer a one and done gift
  • Will you renew the following year?
Best Budget

Vintage Full Moon Map

Give the gift of decorating with their favorite subject matter—the moon.

The Vintage Full Moon Map (reproduction) has an old-school astronomer feel. The moon’s craters and other distinguishing landmarks are labeled, but the classic styling harkens back to the days of the first telescopes. It comes in sizes that range from 4×6 inches to 13×19 inches, with or without a frame, though the frame costs an extra fee.

You can elaborate on this simple gift with an accompanying frame or gift just the map so the person receiving the gift can decide how and where they’d like to hang it. This is a good option not only if you’re on a tight budget but also if you’re not sure what part of astronomy the person prefers. You can’t go wrong with a classic.

  • Classic styling fits with most decor
  • Labeled craters and moutains
  • Can give with (additional fee) or without frame
  • Could easily get damaged
Best for Book Lovers

How to Astronaut

Give the gift of space from a first hand viewpoint.

How to Astronaut: An Insider’s Guide to Leaving Planet Earth is written by astronaut Terry Virts. It takes readers through the preparation and truths that surround a trip into space. Keep in mind that this isn’t a children’s book, but teens might like it. Virtis goes into the forgotten details of what it takes to live day to day in space. It’s full of humor and facts, making it an interesting read from start to finish for someone who’s interested in space.

If you’ve got someone who’s itching to get into space themselves, this book will make them feel like they’re there. It manages to be interesting (accurate) and fun at the same time. The perfect mix for many astronomy-loving book lovers.

  • First-hand details that you can’t get from just everyone
  • Humor mixed with intimate details of life in space
  • Inexpensive
  • Some find the level of detail of day-to-day astronaut life tedious
Best Homeware

Cosmos Kitchen Knife Set

Get a peek of the heavens with every slice of the knife.

The Cosmos Kitchen Knife Set might not get your person staring into the heavens, but they can think and dream about it from the kitchen with space-themed knives. Made of stainless steel, the blades are completely functional, sharp, and of good quality. The colors on the blades are bright and vibrant, almost making them worthy of a display piece.

Ergonomically-designed handles provide a comfortable, secure grip. Each handle is color-coded so if the recipient of your gift is a professional chef, these knives can keep them organized. The pictures have a non-stick coating to not only make it easier to slice but also to protect the image. The set includes six pieces:

  • 3.5-inch pairing knife
  • 5-inch utility knife
  • 7-inch Santoku knife
  • 8-inch slicer knife
  • 8-inch bread knife
  • 8-inch chef knife
  • Beautiful, bright space pictures on each knife
  • 6-piece set with a good variety of knives
  • Ergonomic, color-coded handles
  • Poor packaging
Best for Kids

Spaceteam: A Fast-paced, Cooperative, Shouting Card Game

Get ready to play and shout at the sound and speed of a rocket.

Get ready to play with Spaceteam, a card game that’s loud, fast, and fun. Kids love the laughter and shouting, and parents love that each game only takes five minutes. Whether you’re buying for a child of your own or someone else’s little astronomer, this game is fun enough for the whole family (even if everyone isn’t that into space).

The game requires three to six players, and the manufacturer recommends it for ages 12 and up. Cards feature space tools, space problems, and space teams to get things up and running and help your team survive the coldness of space. The final goal is to uncover a complete spaceship before you get eaten by a black hole. What could be more fun?

  • Fast-paced
  • Requires group cooperation
  • Each game typically lasts five minutes
  • Maybe too difficult for younger kids
  • Cards aren’t as durable as they could be

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you give an astronomy lover?

Anything on our list could please an astronomy lover. Everything from books about space, astronauts, or the history of space exploration could add to their space knowledge. You can also opt for space-themed gifts, like the knife set or moon poster on our list. Think of something practical and then find it in a space theme, and chances are they’ll be happy.

What to get kids who are into space?

The best astronomy gifts for kids are typically ones that educate in a fun way. A game, bright colorful book, or a kid-friendly poster are all options that can add to their growing space collection. You can also go practical but with a space theme, like pajamas, sheets, or hats so they can spend even more time with their favorite subject.

What are the best astronomy gifts for him?

The best astronomy gifts for him are generally items that are space-themed in some way. Chances are if he’s really into astronomy, he’s already bought the expensive stuff. If he hasn’t bought the expensive stuff yet, it’s because it’s out of his budget. Rather than trying to guess what big expensive item he wants, opt for a book, decoration, pen, or another useful item that fits with his favorite hobby.

What are the best astronomy gifts for her?

Astronomy gifts for her aren’t too different than astronomy gifts for him. Women, too, will like space-themed gifts. If she likes to cook, a space-themed apron or knives. If she likes to be outside, space-themed sweatshirts or t-shirts are a fun gift. For those just entering the world of astronomy, a book or poster can add depth to their astronomy decor and knowledge, too.

What are the best astronomy gift experiences?

Astronomy experiences are more plentiful than you might think. Do a search for a local planetarium, and gift a membership or one-time visit. If there’s a science museum nearby, a yearly membership might be worth it. Find out if there’s an astronomy group nearby and ask if they allow people to join or come along on a nighttime excursion. The gift can often be the research it takes to find an opportunity the person will love.
Moon and Back Staff
This article has been written, edited, and reviewed by a combination of multiple Moon and Back staffers. You can learn more about our editorial process and our staff on our About Us page here: https://moonandback.com/about/