45 Best Gifts for Empty Nesters 2024: From House to Home

Empty nesting is a journey of mixed emotions – the joy of newfound freedom and the pang of an eerily quiet home. If you’re seeking the perfect gift for a recent empty nester, rest assured, we’ve got the solution.

Our handpicked selection of gifts for empty nesters is designed to transform this life transition into an exciting new chapter filled with warmth, happiness, and possibilities.

Say goodbye to the empty nest blues and welcome a future brimming with joyful moments. Keep reading to discover how you can light up their world during this bittersweet time.

Gifts for Empty Nesters

One of the best gifts you can give an empty nester is something that will help them relax and unwind. After years of raising children, they deserve a little pampering.

A spa day, massage, or yoga class can be a great way to help them de-stress and recharge. Alternatively, you could give them a gift basket filled with their favorite snacks, books, and movies, so they can enjoy a cozy night in.

Another great gift for empty nesters is something that will help them stay connected with their children. A digital photo frame filled with family photos or a personalized photo album can be a wonderful way to keep memories alive.

Alternatively, you could give them a gift that encourages them to try new things, such as a cooking class, painting class, or travel voucher. Whatever you choose, make sure it is something that will help them embrace this new chapter of their lives with open arms.

Understanding the Empty Nest Syndrome

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Empty nest syndrome refers to the feelings of sadness, anxiety, and loss of purpose that some parents and caregivers feel when their grown children move out of the family home. It’s important to understand that empty nest syndrome is a normal and natural response to a major life change.

It is not a clinical diagnosis, but rather a psychological and emotional process that can take time to work through. Some common emotions that empty nesters experience include sadness, loss, depression, loneliness, distress, and worry or anxiety over their child’s well-being.

The transition to an empty nest can be particularly challenging for parents who have dedicated a significant portion of their lives to raising their children. Suddenly, the daily routines and responsibilities that once filled their days are gone, leaving them with a sense of loss and a lack of purpose.

However, it’s important to remember that an empty nest can also be an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. Many parents find that they have more time and energy to devote to their own interests and hobbies, as well as to their relationships with their partner and other loved ones.

If you or someone you know is struggling with the empty nest syndrome, it’s important to seek support and guidance from friends, family, or a mental health professional. There are also many resources available online and in person that can help empty nesters navigate this new chapter of their lives.

Gifts That Encourage Hobbies and Interests

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As empty nesters, many parents find themselves with more free time than they’re used to. This newfound freedom can be both exciting and overwhelming. One way to help them make the most of their free time is to give them a gift that encourages them to explore new hobbies and interests.

Here are some gift ideas that can help empty nesters discover new passions:

  • Crafting Supplies: If your loved one has expressed an interest in crafting, consider gifting them a basket filled with supplies for their chosen craft. For example, if they’re interested in knitting, you could include yarn, needles, and a pattern book.
  • Cooking Classes: Cooking is a great way to explore new flavors and culinary techniques. Consider gifting your loved one a cooking class or a subscription to a meal kit delivery service. This can help them develop new skills in the kitchen and try out new recipes.
  • Gardening Tools: Gardening is a great way to get outside and enjoy nature. If your loved one has a green thumb, consider gifting them a set of gardening tools or a subscription to a gardening magazine.
  • Fitness Equipment: Staying active is important for both physical and mental health. Consider gifting your loved one a piece of fitness equipment, such as a yoga mat or a set of resistance bands.

Pro Tip: When choosing a gift that encourages a new hobby or interest, it’s important to consider your loved one’s personality and interests. For example, if they’re not very outdoorsy, a gardening gift may not be the best choice.

Travel Gifts for Empty Nesters

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I’ve put together a list of the best travel gifts for empty nesters. These gifts are perfect for those who are ready to embark on new adventures and make the most of their newfound freedom.

One of the best gifts you can give an empty nester is a travel voucher or gift card. This allows them to choose their own destination and plan their trip according to their preferences. You can also consider gifting them high-quality luggage, a digital luggage scale, or a travel journal to document their adventures.

Another great gift idea is a new camera to capture all the memories they’ll make on their travels. A compact and lightweight camera like the Sony RX100 VII is perfect for travel photography. It has a fast autofocus system, a versatile zoom lens, and can shoot 4K video.

For those who love to stay active on their travels, consider gifting them a fitness tracker or a pair of comfortable walking shoes. The Fitbit Charge 5 is a great option for tracking steps, workouts, and sleep. As for shoes, the Adidas Ultraboost is a popular choice for both comfort and style.

Remember: If you’re not sure where your empty nester friend or family member wants to travel, consider gifting them a book about travel destinations. Lonely Planet’s “Ultimate Travel List” is a great option that showcases the world’s top 500 destinations.

Home Improvement Gifts

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As empty nesters, many parents find themselves with more time and resources to devote to home improvement projects. Consider giving a gift that will help them spruce up their now-empty nest. Here are some ideas:

  • Tool Set: A good set of tools is essential for any home improvement project. Consider gifting a high-quality tool set that will last for years to come.
  • Painting Supplies: A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for a room. Consider gifting painting supplies such as brushes, rollers, and drop cloths.
  • DIY Books: Help your loved ones tackle their next home improvement project with a DIY book. There are countless books available on topics ranging from woodworking to plumbing.
  • Smart Home Devices: Smart home devices can make life easier and more convenient. Consider gifting a smart thermostat, smart light bulbs, or a smart security system.
  • Gardening Supplies: For those with a green thumb, gardening supplies make a great gift. Consider gifting a set of gardening tools, a raised garden bed, or a compost bin.
  • Decorative Accents: Help your loved ones add some personality to their home with decorative accents. Consider gifting a unique piece of wall art, a decorative vase, or a set of throw pillows.

Home improvement gifts are a great way to help empty nesters make the most of their newfound free time. By giving a gift that helps them improve their home, you’re also giving them a gift that will improve their quality of life.

Gifts That Promote Relaxation

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As empty nesters, it’s important to take some time for yourself and focus on your well-being. That’s why gifts that promote relaxation and self-care are perfect for this stage of life. Here are some ideas for gifts that will help you unwind and feel rejuvenated.

Aromatherapy Diffusers and Essential Oils

Aromatherapy diffusers and essential oils are a great way to create a peaceful and calming atmosphere in your home. They come in a variety of styles and scents, so you can choose the perfect one for your personal taste. Some popular scents for relaxation include lavender, chamomile, and peppermint.

Pro Tip: Try diffusing essential oils in your bedroom before bed to help you sleep better.

Massage Chair or Foot Massager

After a long day, there’s nothing better than a relaxing massage. A massage chair or foot massager is a great gift for empty nesters who want to unwind and relieve stress. There are many different types of massage chairs and foot massagers available, so you can find one that fits your budget and needs.

Warm Slippers or Cozy Socks

Keeping your feet warm and cozy is essential for relaxation. A pair of warm slippers or cozy socks is a simple but thoughtful gift that any empty nester will appreciate. Look for slippers or socks made from soft materials like fleece or wool for extra comfort.

Relaxing Bath Products

Taking a warm bath is a great way to relax and unwind. Bath bombs, bath salts, and bubble baths are all great options for creating a spa-like experience at home.

Heated Blanket or Heated Mattress Pad

Staying warm and cozy is important for relaxation, especially during the colder months. A heated blanket or heated mattress pad is a great gift for empty nesters who want to stay warm and comfortable. Look for blankets or pads with adjustable temperature settings so you can find the perfect level of warmth.

These are just a few ideas for gifts that promote relaxation and well-being. Remember, taking care of yourself is important at any stage of life, and these gifts can help you do just that.

Personalized Gifts for Empty Nesters

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I find personalized gifts to be particularly thoughtful and meaningful. Here are some ideas for personalized gifts that any empty nester would appreciate:

  • Customized Photo Album: Fill a photo album with pictures of your loved one’s children and grandchildren. You can even include pictures of their childhood home or other places that hold sentimental value. This is a great way to help them cherish memories and keep them close.
  • Engraved Jewelry: A piece of jewelry with a special message or date engraved on it can be a touching reminder of family and love. Consider a necklace with birthstones representing each family member, or a bracelet with a special message engraved on the inside.
  • Monogrammed Blanket: A cozy blanket with their initials monogrammed on it is a thoughtful and practical gift. It’s perfect for snuggling up on the couch or keeping warm on chilly nights.
  • Personalized Recipe Book: If your loved one is an avid cook, consider creating a personalized recipe book filled with their favorite family recipes. You can even include handwritten notes and memories to make it extra special.
  • Customized Wall Art: A piece of customized wall art featuring family photos or a special quote can be a beautiful addition to any home. It’s a great way to show how much you care and help them feel connected to their loved ones.

Experience-Based Gifts

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One of my favorite experience-based gifts for empty nesters is a weekend getaway. There are so many great destinations to choose from, whether it’s a cozy cabin in the mountains or a beachfront resort. It’s a chance to relax, unwind, and spend quality time together.

Another great option is a cooking class. Many empty nesters find themselves with more time to cook and experiment in the kitchen. A cooking class can help them learn new techniques and recipes, and it’s a fun way to spend time together.

For the wine lovers out there, a wine-tasting experience can be a great gift. Many wineries offer tastings and tours, and it’s a chance to learn more about the winemaking process and sample some delicious wines.

My Advice: When giving an experience-based gift, make sure to include all the details, such as the date, time, and location. It’s also a good idea to include any necessary information, such as dress code or what to bring.

Subscription Service Gifts

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With a subscription service gift, your loved one will receive a new surprise each month, providing a constant reminder of your love and appreciation. There are many different subscription services available that cater to a variety of interests.

For example, a subscription to a streaming service like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime can provide endless hours of entertainment. If your loved one enjoys reading, consider a subscription to a book club service like Book of the Month or OwlCrate.

For those who enjoy cooking, a subscription to a meal kit service like Blue Apron or HelloFresh can provide a fun and unique way to try new recipes. And for the wine lovers in your life, consider a subscription to a wine club like Winc or Vinebox.

Remember: When choosing a subscription service gift, be sure to consider the recipient’s interests and preferences. You want to make sure you’re giving a gift that they’ll actually use and enjoy.

Gifts That Foster Connection

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There are plenty of gifts out there that can help foster connection and make the transition easier. Here are some of my top picks:

1. Personalized Photo Gifts

Personalized photo gifts are a great way to keep loved ones close, even when they’re far away. Consider getting a custom photo album or a personalized photo blanket. These gifts are not only thoughtful, but they also serve as a constant reminder of the people you love.

2. Family Recipe Book

A family recipe book is a great way to keep family traditions alive. Compile all of your favorite recipes in one place and share them with your loved ones. This is a great gift for parents who are now empty nesters, as it can help keep the family connected through food.

3. Virtual Game Night

Just because you can’t be together in person doesn’t mean you can’t have fun together. Consider hosting a virtual game night with your loved ones.

There are plenty of online games that you can play together, such as Jackbox or Among Us. This is a great way to stay connected and have some fun.

4. Family Tree

A family tree is a great way to learn more about your family history and stay connected to your roots. Consider getting a custom family tree made or creating one yourself. This is a great gift for parents who are now empty nesters, as it can help them feel more connected to their family.

5. Subscription Box

A subscription box is a great way to stay connected with loved ones. Consider getting a subscription box that you can share with your family, such as a monthly book club or a snack box. This is a great way to stay connected and have something to look forward to each month.

Gifts for Empty Nesters: A Recap

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There are many thoughtful and practical gifts that can help ease the transition and celebrate this new chapter in life. In this section, I’ll recap some of the best gifts for empty nesters that we’ve covered so far.

First, consider a gift that helps them stay connected with their children, like a digital photo frame or custom photo album. These gifts allow them to keep their memories close and share them with their kids, no matter where they are.

Another great gift idea is something that encourages self-care and relaxation, like a cozy blanket, scented candles, or a spa day gift certificate. These gifts show your loved one that it’s okay to take some time for themselves and prioritize their own well-being.

For the empty nester who loves to cook, consider a cookbook or cooking class gift certificate. These gifts can inspire new culinary adventures and help them create delicious meals for two.

Finally, don’t forget about the gift of experience. Whether it’s a weekend getaway, concert tickets, or a hot air balloon ride, experiences create lasting memories and can help fill the void left by an empty nest.


Gifts for Empty Nesters
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How do you cheer up an empty nester?

Supportive gestures like planning visits or outings, staying connected through calls or messages, and encouraging new hobbies or interests can help cheer up an empty nester, making the transition to an “empty nest” more positive and fulfilling.

What can empty nesters do for Christmas?

Empty nesters can embrace Christmas by starting new traditions. Host a festive dinner with friends or family, volunteer, decorate the home with holiday cheer, or plan a getaway. Reimagining the holiday season can bring joy and warmth, even with grown children away.

What age are most empty nesters?

Most empty nesters are typically in their 50s or early 60s. However, the age at which parents become empty nesters can vary widely depending on their children’s individual circumstances and when they leave home for various reasons, such as pursuing education, starting a career, or getting married.

Are empty nesters more likely to divorce?

While some empty nesters face challenges adjusting to their new life stage, divorce rates among them are not necessarily higher. The impact on a marriage depends on various factors, including the quality of the relationship and the couple’s ability to navigate this transition.

What age group is divorce hardest on?

The school-aged years, especially around age 11, are often considered the most challenging for children experiencing their parents’ divorce. At this age, children can be more self-centered, making the family breakdown feel like a personal affront, potentially resulting in higher emotional trauma.

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Author Luk Endres
Luk Endres
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