7 Affordable Gifts for the Whole Family

A Membership to the Zoo or a Museum

Elephant. Visit Britain/Rod Edwards/Britain on View/Getty Images

If your holiday gift-giving list has grown impossibly long, then you might want to make the shift from buying a gift for each person on your list to buying one gift that the whole family can enjoy. Not only will you save money, you'll cut back on shopping time, and racking your brain trying to figure out what to buy each person.

One gift that's sure to please is a family membership to the zoo or a local museum. This gift provides a whole year of free entertainment for the family, and it won't add any clutter to their home. It's also a thoughtful gift that will make you popular with both the parents and the kids.

Tip: Choose a museum that belongs to the Association of Children's Museums or the Association of Science-Technology Centers, and the family will also get free or discounted admission to hundreds of other museums across the U.S. and abroad. When handing over the gift membership, be sure to mention that this benefit is included because it may not be evident unless they look online.

A Family Portrait

Family portrait
Image Source/Getty Images

Memories are priceless, and nothing captures memories more than a family photograph. Treat a family on your gift list to a free portrait sitting with a local photographer or use your smartphone or camera to snap a family photo on your own. And remember, it's all in the presentation, so if you're giving a portrait certificate even though it's a piece of paper, wrap it up in festive holiday paper

Movie Tickets

Movie Theater
Movie Theater. Image Source/DigitalVision/Getty Images

A day at the movies is always great fun, and the price of admission has gotten quite pricey. Go to your local movie theater, pick up enough tickets for everyone in the family, and your shopping is done.

Tip: Most theaters discount tickets when they're purchased in bulk. Make this the gift for everyone on your list, and you'll save enough to treat yourself to a few movies. More

Cookie Baking Supplies

Baking Cookies
Baking Cookies. Hero Images/Getty Images

Nothing says holidays like the smell of homemade cookies. Put together a gift basket with sugar, flour, sprinkles, and everything else that's needed to make a batch of cookies. In addition to providing something that's tasty to eat, baking cookies is a gift that the whole family can take part in. 

A good idea is to tuck a recipe in with the cookie ingredients, especially if you have a family favorite that's been passed down to you.

A Movie Night Basket

Family Movie Night
Family Movie Night. Blend Images/Ariel Skelley/Getty Images

Family movie nights are a proven winner and excellent time to de-stress and bond. Fill a basket with popcorn, candy, soda, and a gift card for a movie rental or two. 

A Restaurant Gift Certificate

Gift Card
Gift Card. Dream Pictures/VStock/Blend Images/Getty Images

Treat a family on your list to a meal at their favorite restaurant. If you're not sure what restaurant to choose, purchase a generic Visa or American Express gift card and let the family book a reservation at their favorite spot.  

A Board Game

Board Game
Board Game. Tim Noack/timtrevlig/Moment/Getty Images

Family game nights have not gone out of style. Pick a board game that you know the family likes or choose one that looks like fun. You can go with a tried-and-true game like Monopoly or Clue, or choose from any one of the interesting new board games available today. 

Buy Best-Selling Board Games on Amazon