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Inside: 50 experience gift ideas for kids (that the entire family will love).
Raise your hand if you have more toys in your house than you or your children know what to do with! 🙋🙋🙋🙋
It can be overwhelming when people ask, “What can I get your child?”
I usually have zero ideas and say, “Nothing!”
My child ends up with a Target gift card, and my child buys another toy that will never be played with.
But this year, I changed my strategy and asked for experience gifts.
There are SO many experience gifts for kids out there; I just needed to think outside the box and find the right ones for my family. (Plus, it’s a great way to spend quality time together).
So, I put together a list, hoping it will help your family, too!
What are Experience Gifts For Kids?
Experience gifts or experiential gifts allow the recipient to experience something. (Put simply: they are memorable and fun things to do!)
These experiences can include activities, lessons, tickets, trips, and physical items like camping supplies, art materials, or other things that can create an experience.
What are the Benefits of Experience Gifts for Kids?
Besides removing the stress of finding the perfect toy, experience gifts can improve relationships, give kids a chance to learn, have fun, enjoy entertainment, and make memories that they will remember forever!
Here are five other reasons we LOVE experience gifts!
1. Less Stuff
Toys clutter homes quickly and can cause arguments between family members.
Physical clutter often causes stress and reduces the ability to focus.
When experience gifts for kids are given, there is no fighting over who got what or meltdowns when the batteries run out. It’s simply an experience your children can look forward to.
2. Entertainment and Fun
Experience gifts can be a lot of fun and entertainment for the child and the whole family.
3. Bonding Experiences
Every parent knows that experiences are often more memorable than material gifts. Research shows that experience gifts bring people closer together and improve relationships.
4. Growth and Learning
Experiences like the local museum passes, lessons, and supplies for different hobbies allow kids to develop new skills and even spark new interests.
5. Lasting Memories
Experiences are more memorable than material gifts because we respond emotionally greater to them, and this causes us to remember them longer than a plastic toy that will be at the bottom of the toy bin in two days.
12 Months of Experience Gifts For Kids
You’ve decided to ask for (or give) experience gifts instead of physical ones this year, huh?
It’s a great idea, and whether grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends are gifting the experiences, every child will love them.
Here are some of the best experience gifts for kids for all months of the year.
Experience Gifts For Children During The Fall And Winter
These experience gifts for kids are perfect for the year’s colder months when hot chocolate and blankets are the norms.
But don’t worry, most of these activities are inside, so we can keep everyone warm and toasty.
Indoor Rock Climbing
If you have older children, indoor rock-climbing gyms are absolutely awesome!
There are simple gyms where your child can practice climbing up the wall and more complex gyms with tunnels, climbing points on the ceiling, and more!
This will be the perfect gift if you have an adventurous child on your hands!
A children’s museum is always a fun time! Most are interactive, and we all know kids love to touch things!
You could consider a yearly pass. They are usually inexpensive and will allow you to take your child any time (think rainy days when you need an emergency plan!).
Children’s museums also host events like story time, STEAM builds, and other interactive activities and shows.
If you do not have a children’s museum near you, regular local museum passes will do!
Animal lovers will love heading to the aquarium for an experience day.
The different underwater attractions are always breathtaking; if the child loves all things fish, sharks, or jellyfish, the aquarium is the place for them.
Some aquariums have outside areas, so check to see if the aquarium is fully inside or if this gift may be better for warmer weather.
Many aquariums offer unique experiences like seeing a penguin, playing with a sea lion, or touching a stingray.
Many kid-friendly musicals and plays like Aladdin, Lion King, and Wicked exist.
Most kids love the songs, dancing, and story.
If you have older children, you might want to head to an evening performance, or for younger viewers, a matinee would be a good choice.
There is no other wintertime gift experience that’s quite as magical as ice skating.
(You could even gift ice-skating lessons.)
We have a big outdoor ice skating path through the forest near me. It’s simply awesome.
So lace up those skates and have some fun!
(Plus, the hot chocolate afterward makes it a win-win)
Kids love trampolines (even though I don’t).
I’m on high alert anytime my child steps into a trampoline.
But, if you are okay with it, it really is a ton of fun for the kids.
The best thing about most trampoline parks is they have many other activities, like zip lines, obstacle courses, dodgeball tournaments, and trampoline basketball.
When a child can go to a trampoline park, there is so much more to do than jump.
Getting your nails done is a great experience.
Most nail salons have a little kid’s package, including painting and some nail art.
This will be an extra special day for you and your little one!
If you are looking for unique self-care ideas that you can do WITH your kids. Check out this post!
Experience Gifts For Kids in The Spring And Summer
These experience gifts for children are a little better for the year’s warmer months.
Many involve being outside — so bring on the sunshine!
Hot Air Balloon Ride
Okay, I admit, I’m a little afraid of heights, but if you have a kiddo who likes to take things to new heights, this might score you some mom points.
There are a lot of places where you could take a balloon ride, but some of the best ones are Napa Valley, Letchworth State Park, Grand Canyon, and the Rocky Mountains.
If you’re looking for gift experiences for 12-year-olds or above, getting them tickets to a sporting event is a fantastic idea.
Take them to see their favorite football, hockey, or baseball team.
Plus, children love concession stand food!
Grab this free 101 Encouraging Words for Kids Poster and never run out of positive things to say to your kids again!
Going to a theme park is sure to land some brownie points with your kids. Most kids go bananas for the thrill of roller coasters! (you could also get them a season pass).
Most amusement parks have rides for all ages, so families of all ages and stages can enjoy a great day together!
If you have an amusement park nearby, consider gifting a season’s pass!
There are zoos throughout the world, and they are full of outstanding and unique animals like lions, tigers, and bears.
Most children love looking at the animals and learning new things about each one.
Zoos often donate part of their daily proceeds to programs for protecting animals or helping reintroduce animals to the wild, making it a win-win.
So, if you have an animal lover on your hands, consider an afternoon at your local zoo!
The driving range is fun for kids who enjoy golf or just like smashing a ball as far as possible.
Plus, for adults who like golf, it creates a shared interest that you can carry with you and your child for years to come.
(Tip: Ensure your child knows a few safety rules before swinging the golf club.)
A more all-ages-are-welcome golf experience is mini golf.
Mini golf courses contain traps, obstacles, and often fun themes like pirates, princesses, or outer space.
The best thing is mini golf courses often have golf clubs for all ages, from toddlers to adults.
Go-karts are like a right of passage.
The rush of having no idea what you’re doing or how to drive a car is the BEST.
The go-kart track is the perfect experience day for a child who likes car racing or even Mario Kart.
If you’re looking for experience gifts for toddlers, a petting zoo is pretty perfect.
Most kids love to look, touch, and feed all the different types of animals.
Deer, rabbits, pigs, and goats are all harmless and so much fun to our littlest children.
Who doesn’t love a summer scavenger hunt? You could also make it a treasure hunt filled with adventure.
I know I do!
You can grab our free Scavenger Hunt printables here. These are great times for older kids and younger kids.
Supply/Lesson Experience Gifts For Kids
These experience gifts may be suitable for family members or friends who live a little too far away to be present for a fun day out!
Although subscription boxes are not experiences outside the home, they can make for some great in-home experiences.
Little Passports, Kiwi Crate, and Raddish Kids are subscription boxes that allow parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles to gift a child an experience.
Whether learning about faraway places, building something, or cooking, there are plenty of subscription boxes out there to fit the interests of any child.
Cooking is a great skill; kid’s cooking classes can be a fun learning experience!
Many cooking classes focused on kids help get them into the kitchen and create some delicious and beautiful masterpieces, from decorating cookies to cooking a pizza.
There are so many choices regarding what the child will enjoy making and then, of course, eating!
You could give many different lessons as an experience gift — dance, swimming, music, art, horseback riding, skiing, and pottery classes. I could go on and on.
Think about what the child enjoys or has mentioned wanting to do before. Perhaps it’s music lessons or maybe dance lessons, then consider buying a couple of lessons to help them start a new hobby.
Art supplies may be a great experience gift if you have a little artist.
Canvas, paints, colored pencils, really anything to get the child into artist mode and be able to start creating.
Adventure is out there, and giving camping supplies and gear is an excellent gift for kiddos who want to be outside or head into the woods for a few nights.
Consider giving items they could potentially keep for a long time, like camping pots/pans, silverware, etc.
This is a beneficial experience (and maybe even a life-saving one).
Swimming lessons at the town pool or a private pool can help children learn how to swim, dive, and be safe in, around, and out of the water.
You could also give gift cards or certificates during the year or holiday season for a hobby or activity your kids enjoy.
Other Experience Gift Ideas For Kids
Here is a list of experience gifts that are perfect for your special kid and will make lasting memories.
These are in no particular order.
- Book/magazine subscription
- Weekend getaway
- Laser tag
- Escape room
- Ropes course
- Fruit picking
- Camp tuition
- Movie theater gift card
- Historical tour
- Cooking tools
- Snow tubing
- Roller skating passes
- Pumpkin Picking
- YMCA membership
- Library card
- Art classes
- Playground date
- Fishing or fishing gear
- Limo and dinner date
- Online classes
- Podcast subscription
- Gardening supplies
- Apple picking
- Visiting a farm
- Yes day
- Disney + subscription
- Top Golf
- Restaurant gift certificate
- Pottery Painting
- A train ride
- Concert tickets
- Science center
Best Experience Gift Ideas for Kids
There you have it! Over 50 experience gifts for kids.
I’m certain you can find a suitable experience gift for your child.
Consider writing down a few ideas and saving them for later. Or you can PIN this post as a reminder to return and get some inspiration later!
Experience gifts have so many benefits, and children absolutely love them.
So I encourage you to put down the toy, walk out of Target, and try something different!