Unforgettable Experience Gifts for Kids


Okay, so I am one of those people. I’m one of those people that start Christmas shopping in like July. Part of it is that financially it is so much easier on our pocket books. Also, it is because I start seeing things that make me think of family members or friends, and instead of trying to think of everybody all at once, I try to slowly get it done. That way, when it comes to the madness of the holidays, my shopping is usually already done!

So in my usual fashion of Christmas shopping, I already have a few gifts and I actually got a couple small things for Jonathan’s stocking the other day! I’m really hoping to have 100% of my shopping done by at least mid-November! (That’s only two months away! AH!)

This year though, Colby and I have agreed to make Jonathan’s bigger gift an “experience” gift, instead of something material. Jonathan is so very blessed with awesome family and friends. When I have looked at all the toys in our backyard and the toys in his playroom, I quickly realized that we have only bought a handful of them. The majority of his huge amount of toys have been gifts or handed down from family or friends with kiddos. Seriously, I feel like this kid wants for nothing!

For those of you that don’t know what an experience gift is, it is simply something that helps create memories for the child. Sometimes it is simply a giftcard or day trip to a local museum, or it could even be something material, like a cookbook, that ultimately leads to a family experience of cooking with one another. The big thing with experience gifts is that you are creating lasting memories with one another, instead of buying something that only lasts so long. Memories are for a lifetime!

So once my husband and I had decided to get Jonathan an experience gift this Christmas, I obviously turned to Pinterest for some ideas. Honestly, there are SO many that could truly create a lasting memory for you and your family, but these are just a few that stuck out to me.

Trips and/or Time Together— Most of these locations could be gifted as a one day trip, or even a membership. A fun way of presenting this type of gift would be to have their tickets or memberships in a box, wrapped up, ready to open. Or, if they only give digital versions, and you have an older kiddo, you could even create a scavenger hunt where they ultimately are able to figure out what their gift is. There are a lot of fun ways to present this type of gift!

  • Zoo– Pack a lunch and head to your nearest zoo to spend the day together!
  • Aquarium– This could also be an option if the zoo is too cold in the winter months!
  • Science museum– There are so many awesome science museums out there with great exhibits and hands on activities.
  • Children’s museum– We are eager to hit up a children’s museum! They always look like so much fun for active kiddos like mine!
  • Indoor playground– You can play your days away at an indoor playground. This is typically a great gift for kiddos between 9 months and 12 years!
  • Mommy and/or Daddy Date— Let your child decide the location of your date! He/She could choose where you eat and/or even what activity you do. This could be a great way to get one-on-one time with a child, especially if you have multiple kids. I know that can be a challenge sometimes!
  • Family Movie Night– Let your kiddo choose the movie, throw some popcorn in the microwave, or grab a snack of their choice, and relax as a family for a couple hours!
  • Hike– Go outdoors and go for a hike! There are hiking trails all over for your family to enjoy. Make it a family adventure!

Giftcards– This can be a great alternative to buying for a child when you really don’t know what to get them! Though it could lead to the child having material items, it is still about the experience of letting the child shop for whatever they want to get (within reason, of course!). If you were to give a giftcard to Build-a-Bear Workshop, a lot of kiddos would be ecstatic to not only get to build their own bear, but also get to spend their own “money”.

Items that Lead to Experiences– Sometimes people just feel like that have to gift a “thing”. I totally get that! Part of me feels weird not having a bigger gift under the tree when Jonathan wakes up Christmas morning. Thankfully, he is only one and doesn’t have expectations of what is to come! If you are one of those people, here are some gift ideas that will lead to experiences, though you would be gifting an item.

  • Cookbook, apron, and cooking utensils— Take a cooking class together, or simply plan on certain evenings that you will cook together!
  • T-ball stand, glove, and ball– Sign your child up to be apart of a little league!
  • Art supplies– Get your child signed up for an art class! Or take some time out of your busy schedule to sit down and craft with your child. Getting messy with paints can be fun!
  • Bicycle or Tricycle– Go for rides together! You can simply go around the block, or find a park or trail to ride on. Getting outdoors together can always be good fun!

Seriously, this is only a TINY list compared to all the other amazing things you could for your kiddos. I have even heard of some families going on a vacation every Christmas instead of giving gifts. I LOVE that idea and would seriously like to start that tradition once my son is older! I hope this gets you some ideas of some great experience based gifts for your kiddos! 🙂

I am in no way associated with any brands mentioned above. These are all my opinions and I get no kickbacks!

So until next time,

Okie Mom

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