Gift Edit

This Unique Mug Is the Perfect Gift for National Park Enthusiasts

published Jun 5, 2023
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camper woman holding enamel cups at Maligne lake, Canada
Credit: Elena Pueyo / Getty Images

This feature is part of The Kitchn’s Gift Edit, our editor-curated collection of gift ideas. Need more inspiration? Check out all our guides here.

We take the morning coffee ritual pretty seriously in our household. My husband loves waking up early and it’s his job to get the coffee brewing. Throughout the process, he’s adamant about two things. First, the coffee needs to stay nice and hot all morning. No one likes lukewarm coffee regardless of whether it’s your first or second cup, so our Moccamaster thermal carafe brewer does the trick. Second, he needs to carefully select his coffee cup, because he believes whatever mug he chooses sets the tone for the day. I think he likes to sit there and dream a little bit while he savors his coffee. 

He prefers mugs from his hometown or places that he has lived because they bring back memories, and mugs that were gifts over the years bring a smile. But the best mugs are the ones that remind him of vacations. It somehow makes tackling the workday a little bit easier if you can reminisce about favorite getaways for a few minutes in the morning. 

I recently discovered the National Park Color-Changing Mug Collection from Uncommon Goods and I knew it was the perfect gift for my husband. Not only is he a coffee-lover, but he is also an avid outdoorsman, and National Parks are some of his favorite places to visit. At $28, these mugs are a really fun and unique gift idea for anyone in your life who has a passion for our National Parks. However, these are not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill souvenir travel mugs. These mugs come alive and tell a story before your eyes every time you use them.

Credit: Kristina Vänni

At room temperature, the mug simply shows the park name against a black background. When filled with a hot liquid, the image transforms into a stargazer’s dream. Glowing constellations and moonlit artwork showcase the park’s awe-inspiring night sky. It’s seriously cool to watch the mug transform. Plus, my husband loves that when the mug transforms, it means that his coffee is nice and hot for him to sit back and enjoy — exactly how he likes it. 

Credit: Kristina Vänni

These mugs are perfect for growing a collection because there are nine different national parks available: Yellowstone, Yosemite, Acadia, Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Glacier, Rocky Mountain, and Zion. I chose Glacier for my husband because that’s his favorite park, but he has already hinted that he might like to add the Yosemite or the Grand Canyon version next. Each ceramic mug holds 11 ounces and is microwave-safe, but should be hand-washed only to preserve the mug’s integrity. If you’re looking for a gift idea for Father’s Day or maybe something for a recent grad, definitely check out these mugs over at Uncommon Goods