50 awesome experience gifts to give—instead of toys

Experience gifts can be the best gifts for kids.

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!

We asked what experiences you want for your kiddos instead of toys, and you 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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