You may not be able to go out for an adventure, but you can bring adventure to you. Right now, for us, that comes in the form of a subscription box.
It’s been fun to experiment with cooking new dishes, having date nights that are preplanned for you, and even learning new hobbies. Even though we’re all stuck at home right now, you can always find a way to mix things up.
We’ve loved subscription boxes when they blew up a few years back (I always found snail mail to be special). But we’ve been revisiting them recently to see what’s new and to bring you the top subscription boxes this year.
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Last Updated: August 16, 2021
Top Subscription Boxes You'll Want to Try in 2021
Date Night Subscription Boxes
If you’re like us, Netflix and Chill isn’t our idea of an ideal date night. It’s what we fall back on when we get lazy and want to zone out.
To make things more interesting, we looked into subscription boxes to see what fun ideas we could have delivered right to our door. These can help you connect and even strengthen your relationship.
What It Is: Date night delivered to your door.
Cost: $19.99 – $31.99
What We Love: We tried two boxes from Crated with Love: the Aussie Adventure and Retro Game Show. We especially loved Aussie adventure since it was travel based.
It was fun following their prompts to learn some lingo from down under and do some relationship building. Some even have activities you can do with other couples or actions to take throughout the week after the date is over.
What It Is: Date night, made simple.
Cost: $32.99 – $39.99
What We Love: Unlike the other date boxes, you start by filling out a questionnaire so they know your likes and dislikes as a couple. Then Happily tailors the dates to you. Our first one had an adventure theme and we’ve been getting them each month. On months we don’t do them, we gift them to friends.
What It Is: Date Night Delivered.
Cost: $32.95 – $39.95
What We Love: Each Datebox Club subscription box comes with everything you need for a great date night and step by step instructions. The idea is to get you to do something new and fun together.
There’s usually an activity, some questions or a game to connect, and something to munch on. A lot of times the activities are things you can continue to do later on since they include extra supplies. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a new hobby!
What It Is: Date boxes with custom made games, unique activities, and awesome products.
Cost: $34 – $36
What We Love: There’s a fun mix of products in each month’s box that can include custom-created games, food and recipes, crafts, relationship building exercises, desserts, and more. We definitely like a little friendly competition which is what we got in our box.
Top Subscription Boxes for Food Lovers
Food is the easiest way into our hearts. These subscription boxes have been a great way to get outside our comfort zone by making different dishes and try different snacks from around the globe.
What It Is: 6, 12, or 20+ snacks from a different country every month.
Cost: $13.75 – $35.75
What We Love: When we visit a new country, we always stop by a local grocery store to check out their selection of snacks. Not only does it give you a peek into local life, but they also make the best souvenirs to bring home to friends.
Universal Yums brings those snacks directly to you. You can pick between two countries and the size (6, 12, and 20+ snacks). Depending on the box you select, it includes a booklet with trivia and games, recipes, and more.
What It Is: 5-6 high-quality Italian treats sourced directly from Italy.
What We Love: We love Italian cuisine! Gusto di Roma sends 5-6 Italian sweet and savory treats each month with recipes that incorporate them. Our favorite so far is the Taralli crackers from Danieli.
What It Is: 3 original cocktail recipes plus everything you need to make them.
Cost: $40 – $50
What We Love: Each month you get 3 recipes from some of the top bartenders around the world. It comes with everything except for the liquor, and if the month’s featured liquor isn’t something you like, you can skip it.
We’ve always wanted to be better at making drinks and what a perfect way to jump into that! So far we’ve made the ABC tea, and we’re pleasantly surprised how nicely tea and gin complement each other.
We had to improvise with the glassware and use our whiskey glasses.
What It Is: 3, 4, or 8 rare ramen noodles from around the world.
Cost: $13.50 – $34.17
What We Love: We love our ramen noodles… way more than we’d like to admit. We know how to adult. Instant noodles are so much better from different parts of the world, but it can be overwhelming with the hundreds of choices.
Exotic Noods (love the name) sends you 3, 4, or 8 noodle products depending on the subscription you choose and a pamphlet to give you some background. These, below, were my favorite.
What It Is: Help reduce food waste by getting produce that isn’t “perfect”.
Cost: Starting at $16
What We Love: Many of our friends already subscribe to Imperfect Foods, and while we’ve been in quarantine, we tried our first box! Since we’ve never joined CSA and haven’t been to a farmer’s market in ages (the ones in Vegas aren’t great), this was the next best thing.
Through Imperfect Foods, you buy the food that doesn’t make it to the grocery store. The items are cheaper than national supermarket chains, you’re helping the environment, and they conveniently come right to your door. It’s a win-win. Even with a base box, you can shop for specific items, since everything is priced individually.
What It Is: Travel across the US exploring a new city each month.
What We Love: We’re passionate about exploring our greater backyard, whether that’s your city, state, or our country. If we were a subscription box company, this would be it! It’s too bad they thought of it first. ;) We love that they pick one US city to feature per month.
Boston was this month’s theme. They included locally made food and handcrafted products, and you get to “meet” the artisans and small business owners who made them. They also give you fun facts about the city so to dive deeper. We’ve visited Boston a few times, but I loved the insight I got from Explore Local Box, which will make our next trip even more meaningful.
What It Is: They send a new coffee or tea from a different country each month
Cost: $9 – $28
What We Love: We don’t run on coffee every morning, but we enjoy having an occasional cup. I’m all about the comparison.
With Atlas Coffee Club, you can select your roast preference and grind type. It makes it easy to make at home, and it meets your preferences. You get to try a new coffee from a different country each month. Plus, they include a postcard, tasting notes, and brewing tips.
They also just started the Atlas Tea Club, which we drink much more of. Similarly, you select your preferences like caffeine, green or black teas, and how much you want, then they send you teas from a different country to try each month.
What It Is: Get a box of high-quality meats like beef, chicken, and pork directly to your door.
Cost: Starting at $129
What We Love: You customize the box to what types of meats you eat and can add on special items. Along with high-quality meats delivered to your door, they include recipes, tips, and tricks on how to use the itesm sent to you.
What It Is: Experience Japan in a box.
Cost: $22.50 – $35
What We Love: Whether you’re into snacks, candy, noodles, toys, beauty products, or stationary, Japan Crate has different monthly subscription boxes focused on each of those things. In each box, you’ll get a variety of items. It may be no surprise that we chose the snack and candy box.
What It Is: Meal-kit to cook your way around the world.
Cost: $29.95 – $35.95
What We Love: This is such a great way to impress a date Mrs. Doubtfire style (though you do have to cook). We love trying new recipes, but we don’t often venture outside our regular rotation. Buying all new ingredients can be a pain, but Takeout Kit does the work for you.
All you have to do is pick your favorite international dish, and they send you the ingredients (minus perishables). We ended up making half and saving the extra portions for later.
What It Is: Sweet treats sent directly to your door.
Cost: $19.98 – $325
What We Love: This is a perfect gift for anyone who has a sweet tooth. You start off by selecting how many sweets you want, then you get to pick your treats from a large catalog of candies you would find in a specialty candy shop. They also have popcorn boxes.
Game Subscription Boxes
Since Jacob loves games so much, and I’m the best wife EVER, we decided to check out a few escape room boxes to give ourselves some practice while we’re stuck at home. Gotta keep our minds sharp for our next escape room.
13. Conundrum Box
What It Is: Part escape room and part choose-your-own-adventure.
Cost: $25 – $29.99
What We Love: Not only does this box give you fun puzzles and riddles to solve, but it includes food and drink recipes to help immerse you in the world. They also have an overarching storyline that covers each season of the year.
14. The Escape Game
What It Is: Escape Rooms at Home
Cost: $10 – $40
What We Love: This isn’t technically a subscription box, but it still makes a great gift for Escape Room lovers. We recently went to their new Las Vegas location, and we were so impressed with the experience, they are now our favorite escape room in the city.
On their site, they have an online escape room, a monthly scavenger hunt that is free to play, and board games you can buy to play at home. We can’t wait for them to reopen, but in the meantime, we’re going to play at home.
Miscellaneous Subscription Boxes
What It Is: Themed subscription boxes
What We Love: Unlike other subscription boxes, Bespoke Post lets you pick what you want each month. On the first of the month, you get an email with the new box choices.
You then select what you want, pick your colors, or decide you want to skip the month altogether. This is for people who like gifts and quality items but don’t want a complete surprise. Jacob likes surprises, but me not so much.
The Bespoke box we chose last month was the brewery kit, and we can’t wait to make our own IPA. So far we’re working on drinking our current beer, so we’ll have bottles to bottle our new beer. We’ll let you know how our first batch tastes!
What It Is: Quarterly luxury book club for travelers who want to give back.
Cost: $38 – $90
What We Love: Books can transport you to a different time and place and what better time than now. Each quarter, the Wordy Traveler hand-selects books from different travel writers, ethically-sourced tea, and a limited edition art print.
This quarter’s theme was the US with a focus on National Parks which couldn’t be more fitting for us. I’m so excited to dig into the books. I may not be able to visit the National Parks now, but I can experience them through these books.
The Backpacker includes one book, a fine art print, free trade organic tea, and other special gifts. The Full Suitcase includes everything in the Backpacker plus 3 additional books. As a bonus, a portion of every box goes to help the featured countries.
Top Subscription Boxes for Cat Lovers
We can’t forget our cats since they deserve some love too. They’ve had a rough few years. Mika was diagnosed with leukemia and Sebastian has thyroid disease among other health complications. We just want them to be happy with what little time we have left with them.
What It Is: 5-6 unique toys and goodies for your cats.
What We Love: As soon as we opened our box and saw the NYC theme, we knew we would love Meowbox for life. Meowbox supports small businesses by including at least one handcrafted, locally-made toy each month.
They also feed one can of food to a shelter cat for every box sold. If your cat is on a special diet, you can select “no food” to get an extra toy instead.
If you have dogs, you can also look into Barkbox (not affiliated with Meowbox).
What It Is: 5 or 7 Cat toys, healthy treats, and cat products.
Cost: $19.99 – $29.99
What We Love: When we hit the road, we want to make sure our cats get some new toys and goodies too so they’re not too upset that we’re not around. Each month has a different theme, and our boys always love the toys. As soon as we opened the Kitnipbox, they were going crazy.
Each month includes 5 goodies in the single cat box and 7 in the multicast box. They also donate a portion of their proceeds to different shelters and rescues each month.
More Subscription Boxes to Check Out
Can you think of any other boxes that should be on this top subscription boxes list? Have you tried any of these?
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“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust
Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.