Gift Edit 2023

These Color-Changing Mugs Are the Best Thing to Happen to Your Morning Coffee (Perfect for Nature Lovers!)

updated May 14, 2024
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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.

My husband and I take our morning coffee ritual pretty seriously. He loves waking up early, so 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 if it’s your first or second cup, and 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. He usually prefers mugs from his hometown or places where he’s lived, as well as mugs that were gifts over the years. But his absolute favorites are the ones that remind him of a previous vacation because they bring back fond memories.

Last year, I discovered the National Park Color-Changing Mug Collection from Uncommon Goods and I knew it was the perfect gift for my husband. Not only does he love coffee, but he also loves the great outdoors, and the national parks are some of his favorite places to visit.

Credit: Kristina Vänni

At $28, these mugs are a really fun and unique gift idea for anyone in your life who loves exploring the national parks. However, these are not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill souvenir travel mugs. These mugs come alive and tell a story every time you use them.

At room temperature, the mug simply shows the park name against a black background. But when filled with a hot liquid, the mug changes and transforms into a stargazer’s dream with glowing constellations and moonlit artwork depicting an awe-inspiring night sky. It’s seriously cool to watch the mug come to life — it’s like magic! 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 collecting because there are nine different national parks available: Yellowstone, Yosemite, Acadia, Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Glacier, Rocky Mountain, and Zion. I bought the Glacier mug 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 to his collection next. Each ceramic mug holds 11 ounces and is technically microwave-safe, but should still be hand-washed to preserve the mug’s integrity.

If you’re looking for a gift idea for Father’s Day or maybe something for a grad, definitely check out these mugs over at Uncommon Goods

Buy: Uncommon Goods Collect Your National Park Color-Changing Mug, $28