Entertainment · Seasonal & Holiday

Engaging Holiday Gifts for Teens

Have a teen or preteen? These are fun years, aren’t they?

As your child attempts to establish independence, it can be hard to maintain relationships. You’d prefer for your kid to be at home where you can keep an eye on what they are doing with their friends, but Mom or Dad is the last person they want to be hanging out with.

This Christmas, you can get them some gifts that will change all that, turning your basement or rec room into the hottest place to hang out. While it still won’t be cool to hover or constantly supervise, you will have the assurance of knowing your kid isn’t out causing trouble on the streets or getting into trouble at an unsupervised home. Just pop your head in every once in a while to make sure things aren’t derailing.

These rec room picks come from Tomtop, who just happens to have some amazing holiday sales going on at the moment.

Foosball Table


If there’s a group of teenagers that doesn’t have fun tearing up a foosball table, we have yet to meet them. This option from Tomtop stands at 47.75” tall and has a lot more detailed painting on the players than what we remember from our red vs. blue matches in the 90s.

Four-in-One Activity Table


Foosball is awesome. But you know what else is rad?


And pool. The billiards kind, not the swimming kind.

And definitely air hockey.

You can get all four in this 48” table. It saves space and provides hours of entertainment, making your home the most popular place to hang out on the block.

Arcade Basketball


Every time we went to the arcade, there was always a line for basketball. And that one jerk at the front that just wouldn’t stop putting quarters into the machine.

Arcades aren’t so big anymore, but shooting free throws against an opponent is. Make it happen in your basement with this electronic hoop. No loose change or tokens required.

Cosmos Star Master Projector


While this probably isn’t the best present for the teen who you have to constantly chastise for being alone in their bedroom with their significant other—with the door locked, mind you—it is a cool thing for evening parties or educational endeavors.

This little projector not only provides lighting at get togethers, but it also projects constellations as you’d see them in the night sky. As the seasons change, the stars you can see in the heavens change, too. Turn the projector at its base, and you’ll be able to study the stars according to month in which they appear.

High-Speed Miniature Laser Engraver


Okay, let’s get real. When we were kids there was nothing comparable to this.

This laser engraver can be used simply by plugging it into your laptop. You tell it what design you want, and then watch it do its thing. Engrave anything from photos of friends to inside jokes to the symbol for that band they’ve got going in the garage. Pretty darn impressive—and fun—especially for under $100.