35 Experience Gift Ideas Kids Will Love

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A growing trend is to gift kids “experiences” instead of physical toys for birthdays and holidays. We have put together a big list to give you some great ideas for experience gift ideas kids will love to receive!

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We are now more than a decade into this whole parenting gig. We have had lots of ups, a few downs, many all arounds, and never quite imagined how the human body can function on such little sleep. (Hey, I didn’t say it was functioning well.  I simply said “functioning” and left it at that.)  One thing that has never ceased to amazing me is how wildly out of control the toy pile could become. And that’s not entirely accurate right? Because who has just one toy pile?  We have about 72. We have toys in baskets, bins and buckets. We have toys stuffed in closets and lined on shelves. We have toys in almost every room of our house because the playroom is at capacity and has started spewing toys out of it like a volcano.

I can’t imagine we are alone.

Furthermore, it probably won’t surprise you when I tell you that I dread the new toys that come with Christmas and birthdays.  Seriously!  I dread the mountains of toys that come into this house when we already have more toys than any 40 kids should own.

This is why every year before every Christmas and every birthday, we purge. We set aside toys to sell at local consignment sales and we donate several boxes of toys to local charities and non-profits. Some year our elf shows up with a toy donation challenge.

Experience Gifts are Becoming Super Popular!

It is no surprise that in recent years, giving an experience gift to kids has become a very popular occurrence. I feel like my sister and I have always been very receptive (actually grateful is more like it) when our kids receive experience gifts from grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc. Experiences are a great way to make some new memories, log some screen-free family time, and explore new (or favorite) places.

Experience Gifts Can Fit ANY Budget

Here’s another reason that experience gifts are so awesome: they fit any budget.  Really! When I say “experience gift” I am not talking about a trip to Disney (though if that’s in your master plan, go for it). Your gift could be a membership to some place local, like a museum. It could be 2 tickets to go ice skating one afternoon at a local rink. Those options alone give you a huge price range. You can choose the gift that fits your budget/spending limit.

List of Experience Gift Ideas Kids Will Love

  • Tickets or Membership to your local zoo
  • Tickets or Membership to your local aquarium
  • Tickets or Membership to a local museum
  • Tickets or Membership to a local amusement or theme park
  • Sports game tickets
  • Ice skating tickets
  • Roller skating tickets
  • Trampoline park tickets
  • Bounce House park tickets
  • Movie tickets
  • Theatre tickets
  • Concert Tickets
  • Vacation
  • Day pass for laser tag
  • Day pass for water park
  • Day pass for paintball
  • Day pass for indoor rockclimbing
  • Camping trip
  • Fishing trip
  • Train tickets
  • Day trip to a close major city
  • Pottery class
  • Pottery painting
  • Art class (painting, sewing, etc)
  • Sports lessons
  • Karate lessons
  • Dance classes
  • Swimming lessons
  • Cooking classes
  • Magazine subscription
  • Box subscription that fits their interest
  • Horseback riding lessons
  • Bedroom makeover
  • Favorite restaurant gift card for a family meal together
  • National Park Pass
  • Boardwalk ride tickets/pass

Philadelphia Area Ideas for Annual Passes/Trips

Some ideas for my local readers:

  • Franklin Institute
  • Academy of Natural Sciences
  • Philadelphia Zoo
  • Elmwood Park Zoo
  • Lehigh Valley Zoo
  • DaVinci Science Center
  • Crayola Experience
  • Adventure Aquarium
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Mercer Museum
  • Legoland Discovery Center
  • Sesame Place
  • Hersheypark
  • 6 Flags Great Adventure
  • Dutch Wonderland
  • Dorney Park
  • Kimmel Center
  • Walnut Street Theatre
  • Kalahari Resort
  • Great Wolf Lodge
  • Diggerland
  • Sahara Sam’s
  • Morey’s Piers/OCNJ Boardwalk
  • Phillies/Iron Pigs/Phantoms/Union/Flyers/etc game pack
  • Tyler Arboretum
  • Morris Arboretum
  • Longwood Gardens
  • Please Touch Museum
  • Disney on Ice
  • Monster Jam

What would you add to our list?

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35 Experience Gift Ideas Kids Will Love

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