Repeat Giver

Holiday Shopping Made Easy: Gifts That Keep on Giving

The best subscriptions and memberships for Seattleites.

By Seattle Met Staff November 9, 2023 Published in the Winter 2023 issue of Seattle Met

We don't necessarily recommend signing up for all of these—though we won't stop you. 

What do you actually want for the holidays? Some quiet time? Some outrageous object you would never actually admit to desiring? Well, how about a gift that doesn't get lost amid the consumerist pile-on that has come to define our Decembers? 

The staff at Seattle Met has compiled some of our favorite subscription services and memberships—gifts that bring us joy not only the moment we unwrap them, but every time that new book, or cocktail syrup, or pound of coffee beans comes in the mail; every time we walk into that museum or zoo or pinball space with our families. 


Cocktail Farm Club 

Simple Goodness Sisters

A 10-acre “cocktail farm” in Buckley grows ingredients for drink syrups that are great with or without booze. Flavors like blueberry lavender and marionberry mint feel fruity and herbal, but not unfortunately sweet. A subscription to the company’s Cocktail Farm Club resembles a bimonthly CSA for drinking. You get small-batch syrup flavors, some of which are hard to buy directly on the website, plus garnishes and recipe cards. 

Phinney by Post

Phinney Books

The beauty of small local stores like Phinney Books lies partly in their curation: shelves lined with titles that reflect the tastes and imaginations of booksellers like Tom Nissley and the rest of the team. Phinney by Post takes that curation to the next level; each month the staff selects titles for mail or pickup by subscribers. Choose between “True” and “Made-Up” plans (a.k.a. fiction and nonfiction), which run in alternating months, or go for both. There’s also a version aimed at kids age 5 and under. 

Monthly Coffee Delivery

Lighthouse Roasters

Seattle has no shortage of great coffee roasters. But Lighthouse offers gift-givers the choice of three-month, six-month, or 12-month subscriptions starting at $18.50 a month. You can pick between different roasts, and even different grind settings. This gift would be better only if it came with an uninterrupted hour sitting with a book at Lighthouse’s blessedly Wi-Fi-free cafe. 

Sub Pop Singles Club

sub Pop

It’s not like Sub Pop Records is some small local boutique anymore, or like its albums are hard to find. Heck, you can buy vinyl at the airport these days. But the Singles Club brings a little bit of that old-fashioned weirdness back. Sub Pop sends brightly colored seven-inch vinyl records from its current roster two at a time, every other month, to a limit of 1,000 subscribers per year.


SIFF Individual Membership


Give someone the gift of having an answer to the age-old “What should we do?” question. Memberships mean $5 off every regular showing at the three SIFF theaters (soon to be four with SIFF’s acquisition of Cinerama) plus discounts at the festival itself and free member-only nights. The five free medium popcorns for the year probably shouldn’t all be consumed in one screening.

You can't technically give the gift of flight, but you can come close. 

Image: Jane Sherman

Museum of Flight Membership

Museum of Flight

How can you argue with a museum membership that comes with a magazine subscription? Gift somebody a Museum of Flight membership and they also get a subscription to Aloft, which covers aviation both modern and historical. Plus free admission, special events, discounts on simulator rides, and a discount at an extensive museum store. 

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

The excuse to take a trip down to Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park alone makes this membership worth it. But the PDZA, nestled among the park’s trails and picnic areas overlooking Commencement Bay, is also home to a delightful cross section of animals, from playful new polar bear cubs to the stolid musk ox. 

Northwest Pinball Collective

Northwest Pinball collective

The best gift is the one that its recipient would never buy themselves. So how’s this? A membership to the nonprofit Northwest Pinball Collective comes with 24/7 access to its free-play space in North Seattle, known as the Sanctuary of the Silver Ball, with 20-plus rotating machines. Members can bring guests, and there are different tiers depending on how much you want to play.

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