Experience gifts are a great way for kids to not only experience new things, but often create lasting memories with the people who love them most. We have found that although material gifts are fun, we would much prefer when our kids are given experience gifts. If you are thinking of adding a few experiences to your kids’ birthday or Christmas lists this year this post is for you. I hope you enjoy the list of over 65 experience gift ideas for kids!
What are Experience Gifts?
This is a simple term to describe a gift that is more focused on an experience versus a material gift. Experience gifts can have physical components, but the focus is more on spending time with a loved one, learning a new skill and trying something new. This is a great opportunity to create lasting memories with people you love the most.
Why Would I Give An Experience Gift?
Less Clutter & More Memories
Most of us don’t need more things in our house, but we all could use more time with loved ones. Less stuff, more memories- that is a winner in my book!
Experience Gifts Can Be Budget Friendly
Some years are tight financially and this is a great way to gift something without blowing your budget – and honestly, it may be the best gift the person receives!
To Spend Quality Time With a Loved One
Many of these ideas can be done with the person you are gifting the experience, which creates a great opportunity for bonding and quality time. There is nothing sweeter than creating memories with others.
To Pour Into Your Child or Loved One In a Unique Way
Gifting something that the child may not have otherwise had the chance to experience is priceless.
How to Wrap an Experience Gift
When we give experience gifts there are a few ways to make it a fun surprise and get the kids excited about whatever it is you are gifting.
You can add a little toy or something very small to represent the gift you are giving. We have wrapped up ski lift tickets that we made out of construction paper or handmade tickets to a football game, etc. I have also wrapped up a little beta fish for my nephews to represent swim lessons – my sister loved that one 🙂
Another idea would be to take make a puzzle or scavenger hunt that the kids have to solve in order to find out what the present is. That will take a little more effort, but it sets the stage that this gift is a little different and the experience of a riddle or scavenger hunt is just the beginning!
65+ Experience Gift Ideas
Gifts for the Adventurous
- Passport book
- Think of it like a coupon book that the child can redeem at any time. This can be incredibly budget friendly as there are lots of free options to include such as going to the library or local park.
- Rockwall climbing class
- Many climbing centers have a parent & me option which is a great way to spend some quality time with your child while boosting confidence and having fun
- Escape Room
- This is a great option for older children. Even better- make it a full family experience!
- Money towards a summer camp
- Speaking as a former summer camp counselor, this gift is priceless. Teaching children independence, giving them confidence to try new things and creating lifelong friendships, this gift is a winner every year
- Trip to a National Park
- There is nothing better than experiencing the great outdoors with the ones you love
- Overnight stay at a waterpark
- I always look at Groupon before purchasing this gift as there are usually great deals for an overnight at a local waterpark. My kids would be happy with this gift year after year.
- Trampoline Park tickets
- Even better, go with the person you are gifting this to to make some awesome memories
- Hot air balloon ride
- There are lots of cool hot air balloon festivals in the summertime that happen all over, this would be a fun once in a lifetime experience!
- Camping gear with a summer camping trip idea/itinerary
- Going camping is an awesome way to let kids explore nature and give them some great quality time with loved ones, it is also a very inexpensive vacation
Budget Friendly Experience Gifts
- Yes Day
- Be ready for some fun with this one- Huckleberry Care has some awesome ideas to create a yes day for someone you love
- Coupon Book
- Give your kids a book of fun coupons to use whenever they want. Fun ideas are a few passes to stay up past bedtime to play games, get out of chores pass, extra 30 min of screen time, etc.
- Park Day
- Give a coupon for a “park day” and spend the day going to all of your favorite nearby parks in your town or a new city. With a stop for ice cream and a picnic it will be a fun day to remember.
- Magazine subscription
- My kids have been gifted National Geographic for Kids, Highlights, Ranger Rick & Clubhouse Jr. and look forward to getting a new magazine every month
- Volunteering together at local charity
- This not only gives you some sweet time to pour into each other, but also allows you to teach about the joy of serving others
- Weekend with cousins
- We try to do this yearly with our family and it is such a wonderful way to pour into our nieces and nephews and create a space for some special memories for my kids with their cousins
- Family Game night
- You could gift a new game, or just pull out some family favorites, and have a fun game night complete with the child’s favorite snacks
- Going roller skating
- Disco lights, 80s music, roller skates- that sounds like a great time to me
- Day volunteering at animal shelter
- Free option that is not only fun for the child, but also allows them to experience the joy that comes with volunteering
- Date to the coffee shop
- A very inexpensive option, this experience often lends to great conversation with your loved one
- Overnight stay at grandparents house
- This is a great free gift that will be sure to create memories that will last forever, there is nothing more sweet than family time
- 1:1 date day
- This is one of my favorite options for an experience gift, pouring into the child, allowing them some 1:1 time and letting them have some quality time with an adult who cares for them. This can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be
- Movie night at home with snacks and treats
- Set up your living room into a theater, maybe bring a few mattresses down and make a cozy fort. Pick out a couple special treats from the dollar store and pop some popcorn – this will be sure to be a memory maker
- Craft or baking afternoon
- A very inexpensive way to spend quality time with a child you love, you could even deliver the goodies to others when you are done baking
- Going to a petting zoo
- My kids never get tired of petting zoos, and we have many that are free of cost in our city. The kids love the animals and this fills their cup
Passes and Classes Gifts
- Cooking Classes or subscription box
- If you have a little one who loves helping in the kitchen then a cooking class or cooking/baking subscription box is a great option to spend some quality time together.
- Annual pass to the local children’s museum
- This is a parent’s dream gift as it gives them the opportunity to get out of the house and spend quality time with their child without paying each visit.
- Passes to an amusement park/theme park
- Who doesn’t love the thrill of a roller coaster or tilt-a-whirll? This is a great idea to gift a whole family for a day of memories, screaming, laughter and maybe a little motion sickness 🙂
- Tickets to the a local Science Center
- A great gift for kids of all ages
- Art classes
- I love looking at our local community education courses for these classes, they make great gifts for kids of all ages
- Trip to the local zoo (or a year long pass)
- The zoo is always a hit in our house. Its worth looking to membership options, often once you pay for a few tickets it starts to make more sense to just jump to a year long pass
- Gymnastics or Dance Classes
- A great choice for the creative kiddos in your life
- Swimming lessons
- A great idea for kids of all ages
- Planetarium Passes
- Perfect for a child who loves space, if you are looking for a full family gift this is a great choice
- Horseback Riding Lessons
- This is a great gift for the animal lover in your life
Experience Gifts for Teens
- Laser tag
- This is perfect for older kids and teens and a fun indoor activity for cold winter months
- Ninja Park
- Watch out, you may get into this more than the child you gifted this to. This is perfect for older kids and teens
- Ice Hockey or street hockey equipment
- Gift a couple helmets, sticks and pucks and it will create hours of fun for the hockey enthusiasts in your life
- Day away snow tubing or skiing
- I love this gift as it is so much fun and also gets you out of the house during those long winter months
- Axe Throwing
- Perfect for that teen in your life that is so hard to buy for!
- Tickets to a Game
- You could go big with an NFL game or small with a local baseball game, a great option for any budget
- Ninja Slackline for an at home obstacle course
- An awesome gift to help kids with coordination, stamina and parents will thank you as it will wear out even the highest energy kiddos
- Going to the batting cages
- If you have a baseball lover in your life this is such a fun outing to take them on
- Going to a driving range or Top Golf
- This is a great option for teens in your life
- This is a great idea for a full family gift!
- Indoor Skydiving
- If you have an adventurous teen in your life this is the gift for them
- Ice Skating
- You could gift lessons or family ice skating trip. This is such a fun experience and great way to get out of the house on a cold winter day
Gifts to Learn Something New
- DIY Kits
- There are so many choices from tie-dye to stepping stones to friendship bracelets, be sure to set aside time to sit with the child to help them complete these kits
- Woodworking Kits
- As you know, hands on activities with kids are some of our favorite things at Fox Farm Home. Home improvement stores have some great, inexpensive options for kids kits
- Pottery Painting Studio
- Often there are options for adults to join the child in a class, and you end up with a masterpiece to take home with you
- Music Lessons
- This is an awesome idea for a child who is interested in learning a new instrument
- Musical Instrument
- What an awesome way to encourage a life-long skill
- A pet (that’s easy to care for & pre-approved by parents 🙂)
- My son was once gifted a fish that then lived for 2 years, it was the easiest pet we’ve ever had and was a gift we will never forget
- Subscription boxes
- Science Kit
- There are some really cool kids out there from making volcanoes to digging for gemstones, they are perfect for the curious kids in your life
Experience Gifts for Everyone
- Tickets to a musical or broadway show
- This gift is a real show-stopper 😉 My kids were gifted tickets to the Broadway show The Lion King and almost a year later still talk about it
- Charity donation in the child’s name
- There are a lot of options for this, you could sponsor a child through Compassion International or other agency of your choice and let your child write the sponsored child letters through the year. Another idea is allowing the child to pick out items from Samaritan’s Purse so they can tangibly see what is being gifted.
- Spa day
- If you have a girl in your life that likes all things pretty a spa day may be right down her alley
- Mini golfing
- A fun gift for all ages
- Taking a vacation
- This can be a more expensive option, but there is nothing better than time away with family. If the vacation is in the future it is fun to gift a paper chain or countdown calendar to build up the excitement and allow the child something to unwrap
- Afternoon at an arcade
- This is a great gift for the gamer in your life and you may find yourself enjoying it just as much as them
- Movie tickets
- This is awesome especially if you know there is a movie out that the child has been excited to see
- Going out to eat
- This is a great way to do 1:1 dates with a child to create quality time with them. It’s fun to let the child pick the restaurant and allow them to order whatever they want.
- Bookstore gift card
- There is nothing better than the gift of reading
- Going to Chuck-E-Cheese
- There is something about a stuffed mouse, endless games and pizza that seems to just draw my kids in. A friendly warning, if you do this they will be begging to go back again!
- Gift Certificate
- This could be to a favorite restaurant, local store or event. Make it even more special by joining the child when they use the gift card
- Day at the aquarium
- Toddlers to teens love this, and who am I kidding, adults do too! Great choice for something to look forward to in the winter months
Quality time with a loved one is the perfect gift for any occasion. I hope that this post has helped you decide how to create the gift of quality time with a child in your life.
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