A 36th birthday can mean something different for everyone, which is why gift ideas can be challenging. Just halfway through their 30s, some may be excited for a new change in their careers or personal lives, or just trying to keep track of everything already going on.
A 36th birthday can be a time to reconnect with yourself, take better care, and squeeze in much needed ‘me time’.
For this gift guide, I’ve picked out the best gifts for men and women to live a balanced life, with gifts for the stressed; the tech guru; the creative mind, and even the social butterfly.
You may even want to combine a gift from another category for an especially memorable 36th birthday!
Better yet, these unique gift ideas will fit any budget.
Stress Relief Gifts 36th Birthday Gift Ideas
For the 36-year-old who’s finding themselves stressed on their birthday, I recommend these unique stress relief gifts.
Whether they’re in a high demand career, a busy parent, or both, these are much needed ways to help them keep up their energy and at their very best in their 30s.
Better than Therapy Gift Set
Not sure where to start, or don’t know the 36-year-old you’re buying for all that well? This stress relief gift set from Knack Shops is a safe bet and something they’ll appreciate on those especially hectic days.
The curated options include a mindfulness coloring book with colored pencils; a night bath balm; a dream catcher herbal tea; and a soy candle. Even better, you can add or take out items to customize this set for your budget and their personal needs. Buy Here.
Smart Squeeze Stress Ball
A stress ball gets an upgrade with this Smart Squeeze Ball from Uncommon Goods. This isn’t just your basic stress ball.
The bright stress ball syncs with an app that tracks your grip to help gain awareness of how it’s changing day by day. Buy Here.
Serentile 3X Hand Therapy Stress Ball Bundle
Looking for a more traditional stress ball, or have a tight budget? I love this stress ball bundle as an alternative gift.
The set of three ergonomic stress balls uses density hand therapy to release tension, alleviate stress, and even improve focus. The fabric won’t tear and keeps its shape after use. Buy Here.
RainSo Magnetic Therapy Bracelet
Magnetic bracelets for men and women make for a practical 36th birthday gift, in a minimalist design that can work with most outfits.
Made out of stainless steel, the bracelets use magnetic therapy, which has been shown to improve circulation, reduce pain, and even improve sleep in some individuals (please do not buy for anyone with heart issues, or using a pacemaker).
Stress Less Cards for Mindfulness & Meditation
A colorful deck of cards is strikingly modern, fun, and almost feels like a game. I love that these are easy to take or store wherever you are, with 52 unique exercises for coping with stress and anxiety.
Be Calm: Proven Techniques to Stop Anxiety Now (Jill Webber, PhD)
This book is a great gift for a 36-year-old you know personally and who’s in need of some stress relief–and some motivation for reading time for themselves. But let’s face it: someone celebrating their 36th birthday may not always have time to fully commit to a dense read.
The good news is that Dr. Webber’s book includes an index where you can skip to whatever scenario you need help with most; it also encourages active engagement with journaling prompts.
Dr. Webber combines acceptance therapy, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral therapy (something that has personally helped me) for an accessible but balanced approach. Buy Here.
For the tech guru, here are my top technology gifts for their 36th birthday. In their mid 30s, it can be easy to lose track of keys, build up clutter, and overall let disorganization run from house to office.
All of these ideas will help them stay organized, keep sane, and please as gifts for their inner geek.
Tile Mate Bluetooth Tracker
Are they always losing their keys? I’ve been there, which is why I love this smart tech device to make their life easier. The Tile Mate Bluetooth Tracker works with an Alexa device and app to help locate everything from keys to purses and anything you like.
Compatible with both Android and iOS, it’ll locate anything within 200ft. For anything outside of the 200 ft radius, it’ll notify you of the last location. You can also opt for a subscription that provides smart alerts and free battery replacement. Buy Here.
Hercules Tuff Charging Station
Cords everywhere can make for a tangled mess, and if they’re a busy 36-year-old with multiple cords to keep track of, this could be a better solution. This gift idea features a durable charging station for countless devices, from iPhones to Androids, E-book readers, and more.
It’s even a great gift for gamers on the Nintendo Switch. With six 2.4 amp ports, it can charge up to 80% more quickly than your typical charger. Buy Here.
Wireless Qi-Certified Charger
For the coffee lover, I love this clever gift to help them keep their coffee (or tea) warm while they’re busy doing other things.
Wireless charging nixes the annoying cords and can keep drinks hot–or cold–to their desired setting. It’s great for use at home or even in an office when they’re short on desk space. Buy Here.
Phonesoap Smartphone Sanitizer
I’m guilty as anyone else: we’re all glued to our phones, and we tend to forget how dirty they can get. This gift idea is a minimalist case that takes away the need for wipes.
It works by enclosing on a smartphone and using ultraviolet light to sanitize for up to 45 cycles at a time without charging. You can even play music on your phone. Buy Here.
Satisfy their inner artist with these gift ideas for their 36th birthday. I love how these gifts are unique, updated, and will feel personalized to them.
These aren’t gifts you’ll find just anywhere and are the perfect surprise for celebrating their mid 30’s.
There are ukuleles, and then there’s this smart ukulele. Not only a great gift for musicians, but this ukulele is also easy to learn for just about anyone and is a lot of fun.
The ukulele syncs with an app to help train the user songs and chords. A light-up board helps make learning more intuitive. The app even includes a feature for easy recording and sharing. Buy Here.
Molecular Gastronomy Kit
Combining culinary arts and science, I love this kit as a unique gift idea for a 36th birthday. From the chemist to the foodie, this gift has a wide appeal and transforms a kitchen into a gourmet experience.
The kit includes additives, tubes, pipettes, molds, syringes, and instructions to make bread, chocolate, spaghetti, and more. Buy Here.
Plot Thickener Card Game for Writers
A perfect gift for writers, this portable card game helps to break through a creative funk that is all too common when we get too busy, overworked, or stressed out.
Unique and handmade, you’ll get a deck of 60 cards, 2 distinct card games, and a mix of fun and creative inspiration. Buy Here.
365 Days of Art: A Creative Exercise for Every Day of the Year (Lorna Scobie)
This book is great for inspiring a 30-something who wants to get back into, or get back to, artistic activities.
The journal-style book includes activities as simple as sketching to practicing mindful coloring and more.
The illustrations alone are inspiring, and the prompts will keep things feeling fresh. Buy Here.
Gifts for Entertaining
Let’s face it: 2020 wasn’t a great year for entertaining or social events. But as we head into 2021 and beyond, maybe there will be more options. And even if you can’t host a party in person, these are great gift ideas for entertaining through Zoom parties too.
I love these as fresh, tech-forward gifts ideas for the 36-year-old who loves being social but already seems to have everything.
Karaoke Microphone Speaker
Bring karaoke home or even on road trips with this microphone speaker that’s portable for any situation.
It connects with a karaoke app of any kind and is easy to use. With a simple design, it’s perfect for belting out songs for professionals and terrible singers like me alike. Buy Here.
Pocket DJ Mixer
This portable music device allows you to be your own DJ, no heavy equipment required. It can be hooked into any Mp3 player, laptop, or smartphone to play and mix music as you like it.
Also a perfect gift for creatives, it’s a great way to entertain and host a party without having to take a step outside of the home. Buy Here.
My go-to as a fun gift for beer lovers, this handmade board game is perfect for parties.
A pinewood game board offers challenges, from dancing moves to rhyming and more. Players move bottle caps and try to stave off elimination.
Of course, I recommend this game not be played around a young family, but for a friend’s only night. Buy Here.
Personalized Stainless Steel Multi Bottle Wine Chiller
If they don’t have room for a full wine cooler, this is a great, personalized gift idea for entertaining and serving wine.
Made out of polished stainless steel with a finish that won’t tarnish, it can hold three standard bottles at a time and also has knobs for carrying.
I love the ability to add a personalized engraving of up to 18 characters on the side. Buy Here.
Entertaining Essentials Gift Box
This gift box is perfect for entertaining in a hurry at home. Equipped with a teak wood serving board, natural jam, heritage crackers, olive-wood knife, and an inspiring book, it’s a specially crafted gift for those interested in sustainable living.
Plus, it makes for a striking centerpiece in any kitchen or apartment. You can add a personal message when you buy. Buy Here.
Life is a Party: Deliciously Doable Recipes (David Burtka)
Are they not a chef but want to elevate their cooking and entertaining game? This 36th birthday idea is great for ideas for hosting and even daily cooking.
From chef and actor David Burtka, you’ll get over 100 recipes, 250 photos and 16 unique party ideas. Easy to follow recipes, full themes, and party tips are a plus.
You’ll find recipes with classics with an upgraded twist, like mint pesto pasta; thyme and gruyere popovers; and even signature drinks like cucumber-lime spritzers. Buy Here.
Professional/ Work Gifts
Just as it’s important to think of gifts for stress relief and entertainment, I also recommend considering gifts that’ll help make their professional and work life more enjoyable and comfortable.
These gifts help them stay healthy and organized for their 36th birthday and for birthdays to come.
Fit X Sports Portable Massage Chair
From carpooling to sitting in the office to hours bent over a computer, I love this gift idea for the 36-year-old who spends a lot of time sitting down.
We may think about backaches affecting you in your 50s and 60s, but it can affect anyone anytime. Even better, this can be a proactive option to support muscle health.
Soft foam support provides neck and lumbar support, with padding, 5 vibrating motos, and customized settings from the neck to the lower back.
It’s portable and heats quickly, making it great for use on the go or home. Buy Here.
obVus Solutions Adjustable Laptop Tower
If the 36-year-old on your list spends a lot of time on a laptop, I highly recommend an adjustable solution for more comfort and even for use with standing or active desks.
Highly rated for neck and muscle health, the adjustable feature reduces strain, is collapsable, and lightweight. I also love that it’s made out of aluminum and offers smart ventilation to keep your laptop cool. Buy Here.
Standing Desk Balance Board
Standing desks have become more and more popular, and this is a great idea for the 36-year-old who not only wants to stand more but even get in some activity while they’re working.
Rubber cushion, sturdy wheels and soft bumpers make this a fun solution. You won’t have to worry about leaving behind scratch marks or distracting co-workers with noise. Buy Here.
Boogie Board Blackboard
For a more affordable and fuss-free take on a tablet, there’s the Boogie Board Blackboard.
In some ways, I actually love that there aren’t so many distractions like there are on a tablet.
The board includes four templates; an instant touch clear button; and an app for both iOS and Android to capture, organize, search, and share. Buy Here.
Personalized Notebook Portfolio with Refillable Notepad
This beautifully designed notepad features custom engraving, from names to initials and even quotes on the inside and outside.
You’ll get a portfolio/ notebook that can hold lined paper, business cards, and credit cards.
Available in two sizes, with a contemporary style, it’s a classic way to stay organized, but with a personal touch. Buy Here.
Circuit Board Business Card Holder
Looking for a great 36th birthday gift for engineers, mathematicians, or tech-minded professionals?
This unique and handmade business card holder will keep them organized, professional, and still show off some of their personality.
The maple wood case is precisely cut, with a modern aesthetic that’s surprisingly thin and lightweight. Buy Here.
Frequently Asked Questions
A unique birthday gift for someone in their 30s might be a handmade gift from individual artists, complete with a personal note. If you want to be especially personal, consider what they love. A sci-fi guru may like Star Trek gifts.
A good birthday gift for a 36-year-old is one that is thoughtful, personal, and practical. Think about gifts for the home, gifts for the office, (or The Office themed gifts as a twist), and gifts to help them enjoy the day to day life more.
Finding a gift for a 36th birthday can be challenging. Consider supporting their hobbies or love of sports with active gifts, memberships, and gear. And be sure to check out my recommendations for best gifts for swimmers and best baseball gifts!