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experience gifts for kids

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.

While the pandemic has made experiences a little trickier, you can totally still find a perfect gift. Many places offer reservations or specific time slots now to ensure social distancing—just be sure to double check that before sending to your favorite little one!

#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. A book bundle or subscription to Highlights

2. Gift card to restaurant (or takeout) for the family

3. Trampoline jump passes

4. Kid-friendly cooking set for home (bonus: add this play kitchen)

5. Streaming services for a year—we love Disney+

6. Trip to the bookstore to pick out new books

7. Local + national state park passes for a year

8. Plane or train ticket to visit someone special (grandma, aunt, etc.)

9. Pass to an art museum

10. Cooking class for kids. The Kid's Table offers virtual options!

11. A farm stay

12. Meditation subscription

13. Pottery making classes

14. Out of country airfare + accommodation (if you want to be truly indulgent)

15. Swim lessons

22. Ceramic painting class

23. Payment for summer camp or a virtual camp they want to attend

24. A language learning app or software

25. Zoo membership

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—or do it at home

32. Indoor climbing excursion

33. Mommy + me music classes

34. Tickets for Disney on Ice

35. Passes to the local waterpark

36. Children's theater season passes

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. Full session for new sport (gymnastics, football camp, etc.)

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 gift card for the local theatre (some are offering reservations)

49. Volunteer trip (Toys for Tots, food bank, etc.)

50. Donation to future college fund

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In This Article

Sunday Citizen

I live in the Northeast and when I woke up this morning, my house was freezing. It had been in the mid 40's overnight and we haven't turned the heat on yet. Suddenly, my normal duvet felt too thin. The socks on my bare feet too non-existent. Winter is coming, and I'd been drinking rosés still pretending it was summer.

I couldn't put it off any longer. It was time to do my annual tradition of winterizing my home—and I don't mean making sure my pipes and walls have enough insulation (though obviously that's important too). I mean the act of evaluating every room and wondering if it has enough hygge to it.

If you've never heard of hygge, it's a Danish word that means a quality of coziness or contentment. And what better time to make sure you have moments of hygge all throughout your house than right now? As far as I'm concerned it's the only way to get through these dark winter months (even more so during a pandemic.)

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Stowaway Collection Maternity: Modern maternity wear that shows off your bump.

Finding clothes that still make you feel like yourself isn't always easy. With their premium fabrics and universally flattering cuts, we can't get enough of the maternity wardrobe essentials from Stowaway Collection maternity. Even better? Everything from the mama/daughter duo owned brand is sewn in Long Island City, NY and they source USA-made fabric whenever possible.

Superkin: High tech, low maintenance clothing designed for mamas.

Superkin's line of focused essentials (launched by two retail execs, Miriam Williams and Tara Henning, who worked for world-class brands like Louis Vuitton, Walmart, J.Crew and Narvar) are meticulously designed with the needs of mamas in mind. Made from luxurious, wear tested fabrics and featuring thoughtful design details, they've created a line of clothing women actually want to wear. Each piece is a welcome addition to a solid maternity capsule wardrobe, making them a worthy investment from the first trimester.

Tellus Mater: Sophisticated, luxury maternity wear with a minimalist aesthetic.

Founded by a former ELLE and Marie Claire beauty editor, Tellus Mater offers high-end, sophisticated maternity looks. Designed for mamas who are looking beyond the standard ruched dresses and oversize T-shirts, the considered line features classic white blouses, tailored trousers and fitted turtlenecks with a minimalist aesthetic. Their classic feel can easily carry mamas from meetings to business dinners all in one day.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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100 unusual + surprising baby name ideas

From Adelia to Ziggy.

Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


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