13 Great Experience Gifts for Kids (That aren’t Toys!)

13 Great Experience Gifts for Kids (That aren’t Toys!)

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I love Christmas. Really, I love it a lot. I love watching my kids in the Sunday School program, decorating our home, listening to Christmas carols, and giving gifts. But sometimes Christmas leaves me feeling a little like the Grinch.

Remember that scene where he starts complaining about all the “noise, noise, noise”? Just picture me, complaining like him but replace noise with toys. Now, I love giving my kids toys as much as the next parent but my kids have a lot of toys. And sometimes Christmas leaves our already full home feeling a little overstuffed.

To combat all the over-cluttering we have tried to give our children more experience-based gifts over the past few years. We’ve also encouraged others who give our children gifts to do the same. Most of the time our family members still like to give toys and that’s ok. I want them to have the choice to give whatever they want to give. This year in addition to some toys my parents gave our boys a family zoo membership, something that they are extremely excited about. We are going to take our boys on a trip as the main part of their gift.

If you are looking for something to give your child (or grandchild, niece, nephew, etc.) that isn’t a toy here are a few ideas:

  • Zoo Membership
  • Movie Tickets
  • Bounce House Pass
  • Children’s Museum Membership
  • Science Museum Membership
  • Mini-Golf Pass
  • Ice-Skating Rink Gift Card
  • Theme Park Pass
  • Trampoline Park Pass
  • Sporting Event Tickets
  • A Trip
  • Children’s Theater Tickets
  • A Special Class or Lessons for an Area of Interest

Some of these are more expensive than others but many of them are relatively inexpensive. A day pass for a bounce house, for example, can be less than $10. Try to think of an interest that your child has and try to think of an experience to match it. Is your child an animal lover? Then a family zoo membership is an awesome gift because you can go back to the zoo all year long. Is your child an art lover? Look for art classes in your area that they may enjoy.

Personally, we have found that our boys are really enjoying these type of experience-based gifts. They still like toys but they’re not at all disappointed to get things like this. In fact, I’m pretty sure they might even prefer these sorts of gifts because they’re all about adventure, getting out, exploring and experiencing new things.

About the author

Cat is a former teacher turned stay-at-home mom to 2 little blue-eyed boys. When not busy chasing them around she enjoys traveling, sewing, cooking, and blogging. As self-described "jack of all trades, master of none" she enjoys trying all kinds of projects and sharing them on her blog Mary Martha Mama. Through it all she hopes to inspire and encourage others try new things, especially if it involves a glue gun or a sewing machine.

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