Deepsea Submarine IdabelLast year around this time I blogged a list of science gifts for children. This year I am turning my attention to adults. But let’s face it — most of us have enough Things. So I thought I would put together a list of things that are not Things that science-minded people would enjoy.

The examples should help you think of ideas in your area.





Ontario Science Centre

Memberships to museums and science centers are great gifts because they last all year and they usually pay for themselves in just a few visits. Memberships do more than just get you through the door.  They offer other benefits including special members-only events and hours, adult evenings, early preview of new exhibits, museum store discounts, and other perks. Not only that, but some memberships carry reciprocal agreements so members can visit other institutions at a reduced price or free with a paid guest.

Don’t forget zoos, aquariums and planetariums too!


Not for baseball or hockey, but for science! There are lots of great lectures and lecture series that your favorite science-person might like. Check out some of these:




How about one gift for all of your friends – a holiday party at a science centre or museum! Sure, it will cost more, but maybe you and your friends want to forgo gifts and go in together on a very cool party instead.  Museums, science centers, and zoos usually offer unique spaces for private events. In some, you can even book the IMAX theatre. Here are few to give you some ideas:

ROM Friday NightThe Field Museum (Philadelphia)
The Ontario Science Centre (Toronto)
The Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto)
Museum of Science & Industry (Chicago)





Even if you don’t own a telescope, you can still give the gift of stars. Astronomy clubs, science centres and observatories often host star gazing events and have telescopes available to use. Also some observatories offer tours and a chance to look through the big telescopes.

Dunlap Observatory Richmond Hill Ontario


And speaking of star stuff, can you really name a star in honour of someone?  Here’s Fraser Cain with the lowdown on that:


Did you know you can arrange private VIP tours and behind the scenes visits to many museums and research facilities? Here are a few:

Level 9 MIssion Control


* There is evidence that humans have accelerated the spread of  White-nose Syndrome in bats by entering caves with contaminated clothing, gear or equipment.



Mcord Museum Skates for adoptionadopt_mummy_cat_smallNot a baby or a kitten, but an artifact, a zoo animal or an endangered species. Sure, it’s more like making a donation in the recipient’s name, but still it’s fun to tell people you are the adoptive parent of a whale, a shark, a 100 year old tapestry or a cat mummy.

So that’s my list of things that aren’t Things. If you have any other ideas, please add them in the comments.