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50 awesome experience gifts to give—instead of toys

Yes, it’s called the giving season, but who says that “giving” always has to mean toys, clothes or just more stuff? Gifting experiences, from museum memberships to sporting passes, can give your kids more than just another object for their playroom. It can create memories, help build skills and provide fun for the entire family.

#TeamMotherly agrees. We asked what experiences you want for your kiddos instead of toys, and you happily told us. Here are some of the best experience gifts to give:

1. Children’s theater season passes
2. Gift card to restaurant for the family
3. Trampoline jump passes
4. Zoo membership


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5. Full session for new sport (gymnastics, football camp, etc.)
6. Trip to the bookstore to pick out new books
7. Local + national state park passes for a year
8. Plane ticket to visit someone special (grandma, aunt, etc.)


9. Pass to an art museum
10. Cooking class for kids
11. A farm stay
12. Tickets for child + friend for a local play
13. Pottery making classes
14. Out of country airfare + accommodation (if you want to be truly indulgent)
15. Swim lessons




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16. Aquarium yearly pass
17. Subscription box
18. A train ride to somewhere they’ve never been
19. Musical instrument + lessons
20. Flower or herb seeds to plant a garden
21. Ballet classes + tutu




22. Ceramic painting class
23. Payment for summer camp
24. A language learning app or software
25. Kid-friendly cooking set for home
26. Indoor rock climbing experience
27 A camera to use for adventures
28. Horseback riding lesson
29. Tickets + gear for sports team






30. Gift for charity, let the child decide where to give
31. Miniature golf adventure
32. Indoor climbing excursion
33. Mommy + me music classes
34. Tickets for Disney on Ice
35. Passes to the local waterpark
36. A book bundle





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37. Music class gift card
38. Camping gear for a weekend away
39. A hot air balloon ride
40. Subscription to Little Passports
41. Year fees for school
42. Whale watching day trip
43. Materials to build terrarium
44. Weekend stay at Great Wolf Lodge





45. Game night bundle
46. Season pass to attraction (Disneyland, Island of Adventure, etc.)
47. YMCA family pass
48. Movie Pass for the local theatre
49. Volunteer trip (Toys for Tots, food bank, etc.)
50. Donation to future college fund




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