If you’ve checked your screen time recently, you might be shocked at how often you check your phone or pick it up, or the number of hours you spend gazing at a little rectangle during the day. You’re not alone – the latest data shows that 31% of Americans are “almost constantly online.” We love the internet.
And although some folks should take a step back and evaluate their screen time, you can’t go wrong by giving a virtual gift. Does someone you know have a birthday coming up? We’ve compiled a list of the best virtual gift ideas online.
The Pandemic showed us the power of the internet to educate, build skills, and even socialize and meet new people. It’s incredible how tragedy and boredom can lead to human ingenuity and creativity. We had to figure out a new way of doing things, and people are discovering there’s more to the internet than social media and Amazon (but we love both).
So whether you’re shopping for Christmas or on a whim, we think these virtual gift ideas will fit the bill.
Best Virtual Gift Cards
One of the best gifts we can give is the gift of knowledge. Amphy knows that. With their live classes, you can learn a range of different skill sets. And it’s all virtual. You don’t have to leave the house or change out of your sweatpants (but for God’s sake, put on a shirt!).
One of the best things about the Pandemic is the rise of virtual learning. We’re not taking it to the streets—we’re taking it online. So for those who live busy lives and don’t have the time to take traditional classes, Amphy is here for you, and they have the best virtual gift ideas for your loved ones, anything from mastering puppet fun for kids to hula hooping. They have it all.
No matter the occasion, Black Friday or anything else, Amphy Gift Cards make an excellent gift. It’s also easy to do. You can choose any amount you like and send it to anyone with an e-mail address.
I’ll repeat it, we love Amazon, their boxes common-place on the front porch in every neighbourhood. It’s your one-stop shop for all your household goods and so much more. It makes our list of the best virtual gift cards because anyone can find something they like on Amazon (and probably already has a curated wishlist of items they’d like to purchase).
The Apple gift card makes our list because it’s good for anything in the Apple store, in person,, or online. You can buy apps, subscriptions, iCloud storage, music, movies, games, etc. It’s an excellent virtual birthday gift idea for the teenager in your life. A whopping 82% of teens who have phones use an iPhone, and the popularity is only growing.
Target has a robust online store with lots of items you won’t find at your local brick and mortar. They have quick shipping,, and they also support and promote black-owned and founded businesses. They also have trendy and budget-friendly home goods, clothing, kitchenware, toys, and so much more. It’s easy to send the gift card through email, text, or snail mail.
This makes an excellent gift for the person who always needs a ride, whether they live in the city or don’t own a vehicle, or experienced a little too much holiday cheer. Uber gift cards can be sent virtually, through email, or the app, and can be used on a ride or Uber Eats. It’s a 2-in-1 gift.
DoorDash makes dinner quick, convenient, and delicious. Why drive to a restaurant when you can get it delivered? It’s an excellent choice for the late night at work or the decision to eat in your pajamas and catch up on Netflix, which is almost every night (let’s just be honest). Send a DoorDash virtual gift card via email or text. You can also donate to nonprofits through DoorDash because everybody needs to eat.
With around 130 million users in the US, the Android operating system overtakes Apple by about 15 million people. The Google Play gift card makes an excellent choice for your friends and loved ones who haven’t bought into Apple’s design and price point (ouch). They can easily redeem subscriptions, movies, games, apps, etc., on their android devices. It’s a great virtual gift idea for almost anyone who owns an Android phone.
Give the girls in your life a gift card to this eco-friendly clothing line. You can order online without ever leaving your house. They offer activewear, intimates, loungewear, accessories, and outerwear, all sustainably cut, sewn, and dyed from their SA8000-certified factory.
For the music lover in your life, there is no better gift than a few free months of their favourite songs, albums, and podcasts. An ideal gift for a friend that never leaves home without their headphones.
Sephora is a popular online beauty supply company that carries a fantastic selection of products. It’s not just for women—it has plenty of products to please the well-groomed man in your life as well.
For the most popular streaming service around, give them the gift of Netflix. It is downloadable on all your devices and streams with an internet connection. So catch them up on all their favorite shows, on you. Netflix is constantly updating its content, which means it will never run short of new movies or series to binge.
There’s always something to watch on Disney Plus, with kid-friendly movies and TV shows for the kiddos, including the unlocked Disney vault. Want to watch old Donald Duck cartoons and wax nostalgic? You can. Include your kids.
Another TV streaming service, Hulu, offers shows you can’t find anywhere else.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t shop on Amazon, at least occasionally (but I’m sure they exist). So for those in your life who have an Amazon box on their doorstep every other day, gift them with Amazon Prime. They will get free 2-day shipping for qualifying products and have access to their streaming service.
It’s not TV. HBO Max is one of my favorite streaming services, with a Studio Ghibli hub and episodes of old school Cartoon Network and Sesame Street. It’s a great virtual gift idea for 90’s kids.
Download and play your favorite games with an XBox Live membership. Gaming is a popular virtual gift choice for teens and young adults (and your husband).
Yes, we love Amazon. But we love books, bookstores, and book culture even more. So get the book lover in your life a gift card to Bookshop (rather than Amazon). Bookshop is an online store that supports local bookstores by giving them the full sale of the book you order (you have to locate them on their handy-dandy map). It’s a benefit corporation that gives over 75% of its profit to help support books and those who love them.
For some of the cutest homeware designs, get a Hay gift card for your loved ones. Their stocking stuffers are colorful delights—our favorites: the color chopsticks and their whimsical take on Yatzy.
For the manly man in your life, shop Huckberry. They offer clothing, gear, and accessories that will make you want to chop some wood and grow out your beard.
Etsy is the top choice for unique and handmade items. It’s also an excellent way to support female and BIPOC-owned businesses. In addition, you can also buy an e-gift card for up to $250 and give your loved one a virtual shopping experience for gifts that can’t be found anywhere else.
Do you know someone who treats their dog better than they treat their kids? Give them a Bark Box subscription. They will get toys and treats for their little pooch every month. Just order online.
This gift is perfect for those who grew up playing Mario on the Nintendo and have Nintendo Switch, WiiU, or a Nintendo 3DS. With this gift card, they can download and play all their favorite games, both classic and modern.
Best Virtual Wellness Gifts
This device is a wearable headband that measures your brainwave activity. It connects to an app where you can master your breathing or play games to train your brain to stay calm under pressure. It promises to reduce stress, increase workplace productivity, and empower an athlete’s performance in just 7 minutes a day.
Amphy offers live fitness classes for every level. From guided meditation to hula hooping lessons, there’s a little something for everyone. Join a group class or join one-on-one. There are no recorded classes, so if you get stuck, your fitness trainer is right there to answer your questions and help you out.
They also offer other wellness-based classes like nutrition basics and health coaching for individuals who need a little more support in their self-care habits. Their classes are top-rated, led by professionals in their field. As a result, one class will cost you much less than a trip to the doctor’s office.
The Loftie motto: “Break up with your smartphone alarm.” This alarm features a warm LED night light, white noise sounds for sleeping, and an entire media center for winding down at night and waking up in the morning. If that’s not enough to convince you, it syncs to your phone’s content, so you have no excuses.
Studies have shown that smartphones disrupt sleep and can mess with your brain, keeping you wired when you should be going to bed. However, virtual wellness gifts don’t have to include your smartphone or computer screen. The Loftie alarm clock makes your bedtime and morning routine easy and encourages healthy sleep cycles, something essential to your wellness journey.
For those who can’t break up with their smartphone or screens at night, get your loved ones these blue light glasses. Screens emit blue light, which is what disrupts your brain signals in the evening. It’s the same light that’s in sunshine and signals to your body that you should be awake instead of asleep. So although these glasses are not a virtual gift, they will protect your friends and family’s eyes during the time they do spend in a virtual environment. Wear these while you’re taking your Amphy classes, and look stylish as you filter out that blue light.
Make the most of any virtual experience with these noise-cancelling earbuds, rated the best on Merriam-Webster’s product review website. If earbuds aren’t your thing, check out their other options. These are another accessory to your virtual wellness experience—the noise canceling will protect your ears by encouraging a lower volume. So you don’t have to blast your music to hear over your environment. They are also sweat and water-resistant, which makes them perfect for your workout sessions on Amphy.
This humidifier is one of a kind. Unlike traditional humidifiers, this one uses evaporative technology to add moisture to the air. It also has an aroma diffuser that’s safe to enjoy and doesn’t pollute your air quality. It is easy to clean and not susceptible to mold like most water vapor diffusers and humidifiers. It comes with a subscription option that will keep your loved ones stocked with replaceable filters every month. Give the gift of clean moisture and aroma diffusion.
Anyone who’s lived a day in this world knows that life is hard. So for your loved ones who need someone to talk to, help them get the help they need with therapy sessions through Better Help. They will be matched with a therapist and can communicate via text, phone call, or video, making it easier than ever to get the mental health support they need today. Wellness and self-care are more than just a physical endeavor—it includes the mind and emotions.
For the new mama in your life, give them the Mama Box. It includes an assortment of wellness items to be consumed, in the guise of chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies and tea. But they aren’t your run-of-the-mill cookies and tea—the ingredients include vital nutrients that will help mama to heal after the marathon of giving birth. Instead, this is a subscription box, delivered right to her door, with a recommended 3-6 months of consumption for best results.
The Detox Market offers a 3 and 6 month subscription box that focuses on a few products from a specific clean ingredients-based beauty and skincare brand. Past boxes have included luxury products from Tata Harper (one of my favorites), Pai, and LXMI. You get these items at a bargain. It makes an excellent gift for the clean ingredient-obsessed person in your life.
Give your face a workout! Take these online classes to learn how to give yourself a natural facelift by toning the muscles in your face, taught by professionals. Some of the classes require Face Gym tools and products, but classes start at only $15. This is a unique virtual gift idea for the person in your life who loves a good face massage. And once they master the techniques, they can put them into practice daily for beautifully radiant and youthful-looking skin.
Eating healthy is a priority for any wellness routine, but it’s hard to do if you don’t have adequate time to plan, shop, and prepare your meals. Hello Fresh takes care of the planning and the meal prep, with ingredients delivered to your doorstep. Healthy home-cooked meals have never been easier.
Best Virtual Artistic Gifts
In case Amphy’s master series wasn’t enough, Masterclass offers online classes from celebrities. Learn acting from Natalie Portman, Samuel L. Jackson, and Helen Mirren. Learn writing and storytelling from Judy Blume, Shonda Rhimes, and Malcolm Gladwell. Or learn how to cook with lessons from Gordon Ramsay, Yotam Ottolenghi, and Alice Waters (one of my favorite chefs and cookbook authors).
The only downside is that these classes are not offered live or one-on-one (I’d imagine we wouldn’t be able to afford that). However, for live classes and one-on-one lessons, Amphy is an excellent choice.
With their live classes, Amphy offers the best virtual artistic gifts on the web. Learn how to paint or draw. Master the art of photography and video. Learn how to do your hair and makeup, finally. Take an art class or learn how to act. You can even learn how to become a puppeteer, a fantastic gift for you and your children (if you have them—who says puppets are only for children?).
Make sure to check out Amphy’s selection of free classes and their master series. They offer a variety of different topics daily.
For the Homer Simpson in your life, give them the gift of doughnuts. Doughnuttery virtual classes are perfect for anyone born with a sweet tooth or who wants to learn how to make the perfect doughnut. Classes are $69 and include a donut-making kit that will be shipped to your front door.
For the cheese lovers in your family, book this event and taste specialty cheeses (delivered to your door). A fromage expert will guide you through the experience. It is a truly unique event that explores the wonderful world of cheese, led by people who love it even more than you do.
This is similar to Murray’s cheese events, but it pairs you with wine from your favorite winery and facilitates a virtual tasting between the two of you. It’s a great virtual gift option for those who know nothing about the drink they love but are eager to get buzzed in the process of learning.
Audiobook lovers, rejoice! An Audible subscription will give you credits each month that can be used towards an audible book purchase, a great virtual gift for the person who is too busy to sit down and read a book.
I would be so excited to receive this box in the mail every month, and I’m not alone. Select a book of your choice out of five options every month. If you don’t like the options? Skip a month. It’s that easy. They offer 3, 6, and 12-month subscriptions.
Children’s literature is a fascinating and beautiful genre, appealing to adults and children alike. This book club sends one gorgeously illustrated picture book a month to the child in your life, and you can choose from a variety of themes, including Black Lives and Women Who Changed the World.
This is another children’s book subscription service that features only BIPOC characters. It’s essential for non-white children to see themselves represented in the books they read, and this book club meets that need. You can choose subscription plans based on age.
Established in 1925, The New Yorker is a legendary magazine, and it’s still going strong today. It features poetry, fiction, social and political commentary—it even includes artwork and humor. The digital print version can be read on all devices.
Stack is a company located in the UK, and they offer a hand-curated independent magazine selection every month. Order online and have it sent directly to the person you’re gifting. Then, pick up a subscription for yourself while you’re at it. These magazines are gorgeous.
Do you need a little help with interior design (or know someone’s space that could use some design advice)? Havenly is an interior design service that will help you pull your space together without a designer ever having to step foot in your home.
Best Virtual Music Gifts
They have every kind of music under the sun, even obscure artists. And if you have an Alexa device, you can listen to your music in the kitchen or the bathroom or wherever Alexa is listening. It’s also a downloadable app that works on any device.
Amphy offers a variety of live music lessons. You can learn to sing or play an instrument, and it’s all done virtually. YouTube can only teach you so much, but you may need to get feedback from someone who knows where you’re struggling. Book a live session today, start learning how to play the piano or the ukulele, or go deep with music theory.
Buy one or five! These little suckers are handy. You can search, listen to music, learn, add numbers, ask questions—pretty much anything. It also pairs with several devices, letting you voice-activate your devices like your phone or TV. Once you start using an Alexa device, it’s hard to go back. Voice activation is the future.
A Spotify subscription also makes a great virtual Christmas or birthday gift. The music lover in your family can listen to artists, podcasts, or even upload their own creative music projects.
Give this virtual gift to the techy creator in your family, the person who’s always on social media or YouTube. It provides music for whatever creative project they’ve got going on. A subscription will give them unlimited downloads and use, and there are thousands of tracks to choose from, all rights included.
NoCap shows are a unique virtual streaming experience. Stream concerts from your favorite bands and watch the shows live from your couch, in your pajamas if you like. Invite your friends and watch it together! The more, the merrier!
Moment House offers live experiences with some of your favorite creators and performers. It’s a great virtual gift idea in the age of the Coronavirus.
Best Virtual Educational Gifts
Specifically geared towards those going into the tech industry, a Codecademy Pro subscription offers specific career paths like Full Stack Engineer or Data Scientist. Their lessons, while not live, offer a certificate of completion at the end and are robust enough to land you your dream job in tech.
Is there someone in your life who loves to learn? Amphy teaches languages, cooking, gardening, software, social media, even stock investments. You can learn almost anything on Amphy with live lessons and engagement from your teachers. You can ask them questions and get advice that’s tailored towards you and your needs.
Coursera offers online college-level classes, many of them leading to certificates or degrees. Although their degree programs vary in cost, you can earn a professional certification from leading universities and company’s starting at only $39 a month.
Do you want to take prestigious university courses for free online? Academic Earth gives you free lectures from universities like Yale, Johns Hopkins, and Notre Dame. In addition, they have an impressive amount of content available from professors at the top of their field of study, perfect for anyone who equates learning with pleasure.
This is similar to other e-learning platforms, but with a little certificate at the end that you can post to your LinkedIn profile. They have a lot of options but do not offer live classes. They do, however, offer a free month to get you started.
58. Prodigy Math Games for Kids
Do you want your kids to learn while having fun? If they don’t already have access to this app and website through their public school, you can gain access to these clever math games with a paid membership. Your kids won’t even know they’re doing math.
Give the gift of an amazing newsletter delivered right to their inbox. Atlas Obscura offers several options—but you can go ahead and sign them up for all of them if you like. Choose from their daily or weekly newsletter, Gastro Obscura (food-related), Atlas Obscura Online Experiences, Local Experiences, or a weekly update on Unique Trips you can take. If you sign up for one newsletter, nix the news and choose Atlas Obscura. It will make you excited to check your email.
Ancestry is the world’s largest genealogy website. It’s important to know where you come from, and this website gives you the tools to find out. Dive deep into the history of your family with a gift membership, or discover your ancestry DNA.
If you know someone who loves their plant babies but wasn’t born with a green thumb, gift them this app to help them learn how to care for their green friends. Schedule watering, read their guides on how to keep your plants alive and thriving and get access to helpful tools like their light meter. Available on iOS and Android devices.
Tribute offers a way for you to record and edit videos that you can then send as a gift to your loved one. You can post it to a URL link and email or have a physical copy mailed to you via USB or video card. You can even have them professionally edit your videos for you for an extra fee. It makes an excellent virtual gift for any occasion to let someone know they’re special and loved.
Do you have a loved one or friend who’s travelling soon? Book them a consultation with the locals to plan their visit with Airbnb experiences, the next best thing to travelling itself. They have great prices, and they will already feel like a local by the time they get where they’re going.