It’s finally happened — we’ve officially crossed over from fall into the treacherous territory of winter. But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom! The coldest season of the year comes with a few perks of its own: Namely, the sheer splendor of freshly fallen snow, icicles, and even the starkness of the trees against the whitened backdrop. Since we’ll be stuck in its clutches for the next several months, why not celebrate winter’s beauty with a beautiful snow globe that perfectly captures its essence? Take it from author Sarah Addison Allen, who wrote in her novel, The Sugar Queen ($13.03, Amazon), “Snow flurries began to fall … It was magical, this snow globe world.”
What is in a snow globe?
Snow globes, or models of scenes set in liquid that appear to “snow” when tiny particles found within are shaken up, may be made from a number of components. Most have a base of water, though some add glycerin or corn syrup to thicken its consistency and make “snowflakes” (typically crafted from plastic particles) from falling too quickly. Others may use small amounts of antifreeze to keep the water from freezing during shipping.
The History of Snow Globes
The origins of snow globes are a bit dicey. Though many credit Austrian Edward Perzy of Original Vienna Snow Globes with the invention circa 1900, others claim to have seen the wintery treasures on display decades prior at the 1878 Paris Universal Exposition.
It wasn’t until the 1940s, however, that these cherished mementos began to gain steam, thanks to a movie called Kitty Foyle, in which Ginger Rogers’ character shakes a snow globe. They have since become major collector’s items that can be displayed all season long — and beyond!
The Best Snow Globes
Whether you’re looking for a little inspiration for a last-minute Christmas gift or just a seasonal way to decorate once the trimmings have been taken off your tree, you’ve come to the right place. Keep scrolling for Woman’s World’s picks for the best snow globes on the market.
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Best Winter Snow Globe
Crystal Snow Globe
Where to buy: $56, Uncommon Goods
Bring a little piece of nature indoors with this breathtaking crystal snow globe from artisans Liz Ross and David Westby. Modeled after rose quartz, aka the “love stone,” it makes for a mesmerizing picture when shaken, as sparkly silver glitter flakes rain down over its ice-like edges.
Best Snow Globe Wonderland
Cool Snow Globes Lab in the Woods
Where to buy: $65, Amazon
Transport yourself into the quiet stillness of the winter woods with this scenic globe, which features a Golden Retriever and a cardinal among the snowy trees. It’s crafted from hand-blown glass and is hand-cast with hand-painted scenes.
Best Snow Globe Kit
Neil Enterprises Create Your Own Photo Snow Globe
Where to buy: $13.99, Amazon
Freeze your favorite moments in time by encapsulating them in this DIY snow globe. This plastic, kid-friendly kit includes everything you’ll need to create your very own personalized keepsake, including a twist-off base with spots for two 2 x 3-inch photos and four customizable base inserts.
Best Cardinal Snow Globe
Wondershop Cardinal on a Branch Snow Globe
Where to buy: $10, Target
A bright red cardinal — a beloved bird of winter — peeks out from behind the glass of this snowy globe. A turn of its key will play the Christmas classic “Fur Elise,” and a 2019 emblem allows you to commemorate the year.
Best Peanuts Snow Globe
Roman Snoopy Snowflakes Snow Globe
Where to buy: $26.53 (Originally $42.95), Amazon
Get lost in Snoopy’s world of imagination as he takes his doghouse for a spin in the snowy skies, aviator cap and all. The snow blows around the dome with three AA batteries (not included, $14.57, Amazon), making the scene come to life.
Best Disney Snow Globe
Enesco Beauty and the Beast Snow Globe
Where to buy: $66.75, Amazon
Relive a tale as old as time with this globe depicting Belle and the Beast’s iconic ballroom dance from the 1991 Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast. An intricate, royal blue base lends intrigue to the scene, and glistening swirling sparkles recall the pair's charming snow fight from the animated film.
Best Rotating Snow Globe
The Holiday Aisle Musical Village With Rotating Train
Where to buy $48.99 (Originally $56), Wayfair
For a snow globe with a little added flair, check out this rotating version from The Holiday Aisle. Not only does it play “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” when wound up, it rotates around its “snow”-covered base to give the illusion that its train is on the move through an enchanted village.
Best LED Snow Globe
Polar Bear Family Snow Globe
Where to buy: From $41.99, Amazon
Not only does this pick feature nature in all its glory with a smiling polar bear mother and her cub together in their snowy habitat, it plays music and lights up with multicolored LED bulbs when three AAA batteries (not included, $12.59, Amazon) are inserted. Its resin based reads "I'm Wild and Free."
Best Nutcracker Snow Globe
The San Francisco Music Box Company Nutcracker Snow Globe
Where to buy: $65, Amazon
Adorned with no less than seven brave nutcracker soldiers, this hand-painted, hand-crafted globe is as regal as they come. It plays “The Nutcracker Suite” and has 18-note mechanical movement.
Best Musical Snow Globe
Reed & Barton Ballerina Water Globe
Where to buy: $60, Dillard’s
Bring the beauty of the ballet home with this prima ballerina globe, which features a singular dancing figure and her pointe shoes within the globe, plus a score of dancers dressed in white and pink along its silver base. Best of all, it plays the famous score “Swan Lake” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Best Christmas Snow Globe
Rudolph and Santa Snow Globe
Where to buy: $8.98 (Originally $17.98), Home Depot
Keep the holiday spirit alive all season long with this iconic snow globe featuring Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer next to Santa at the North Pole. It features a push button at its base that plays a medley of Christmas melodies. Three included AA batteries are required.
Best Harry Potter Snow Globe
Enesco Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle Snow Globe
Where to buy: $64.99, Barnes & Noble
Harry Potter fans, rejoice! You, too, can get in on the wintertime fun with this highly-detailed mini model of Hogwarts castle, which features Hagrid's Hut and Hippogriff at the bottom of the hill. Its snowflakes are made of opalescent glitter.
Best Unicorn Snow Globe
LED Unicorn Water Ball Globe
Where to buy: $41.99, Wayfair
The more whimsical among us will marvel at this unique unicorn globe, which is enclosed in a silver, crown-like base and lights up with LED bulbs as snow falls around the majestic beast within. It requires three AA batteries ($14.57, Amazon).
Best Precious Moments Snow Globe
Precious Moments Love You Tons Elephant Snow Globe
Where to buy: $36.99, Bed Bath & Beyond
A stellar gift for a baby shower or a new parent comes in the form of this darling elephant snow globe from Precious Moments. With a heartfelt inscription that reads “Love You Tons,” and Brahm’s lullaby playing sweetly, it will be a memorable addition to any nursery.