35 Experience Gift Ideas for Kids: No Gift Christmas Ideas
We’ve reached a point where my girls have SO many toys that there are very few things left to actually buy them. Lots of their toys sit unplayed with and eventually get donated after months of no use. I love the idea of creating memories and giving experience based gifts for birthdays and holidays instead of just stuff. If you’re searching for fun and unique no gift Christmas ideas, check out my list of 35 experience gift ideas for kids.
1) Museum membership or day pass
The local kids museum can be a constant source of hands on learning. I love that the exhibits change, making a membership even more worth it!
2) Zoo Membership
There is always something new to see and do at the zoo. Even if the exhibits don’t change often, the animals are unpredictable and can make each visit unique.
3) Movie Passes
My girls love going to the movies so receiving movie passes is a great experience gift.
4) Factory Tour Passes
If your kids have a love of learning, touring a local factory can be another great experience. Factory Tours are sometimes even free (or very cheap) just requiring an advanced reservation.
5) Subscription to Netflix or Disney+
6) Dance Class
Dance can be expensive, but when given as a gift, it makes for a worthwhile experience your child will love.
7) Trampoline Play Zone
Another experience gift idea is time spent at a trampoline park. The perfect play space to burn off some extra energy, most trampoline parks offer single play admission, punch cards or long term memberships.
8) Subscription Box
Kids love getting mail! A monthly or quarterly subscription box is a also gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. Here’s a list of several awesome subscription boxes designed with kids in mind.
9) Movie Night Package
A favorite movie on DVD paired with popcorn, drinks, and delicious candy makes for a fun night the whole family will love.
10) Rock Climbing
We took my daughter rock climbing earlier this year and she keeps asking to go back. Definitely a fun and unique experience gift idea!
11) Favorite Restaurant Gift Card
Kids love being able to pay for things and choose their favorite meal to eat. A restaurant gift card gives them the flexibility to pick both and can also be such a memorable experience.
12) Cooking Classes
My daughters both love to help in the kitchen. Cooking classes are a great investment to give them a fun experience while also teaching them valuable skills they’ll need in life.
13) Mini Golf Passes
My husband and I love going min golfing for date night. Since having kids, we’ve made it a family affair and enjoy taking our girls along too. Passes to a mini golf place are a great gift the whole family can enjoy.
14) Theatre Class
If you have a child who loves the limelight, check into theatre camps and workshops at your local community theatre. It’s a great opportunity for kids to build confidence and explore the world of performing arts.
15) Arcade Tokens
What kid doesn’t love a trip to the arcade? Buying tokens or game cards to use at a local arcade or even Dave and Busters can be an experience gift idea for kids they’ll absolutely love.
16) Indoor Skydiving
iFly offers indoor skydiving experiences for anyone age 3+. My husband and I did this before we got engaged and it was such a fun experience. I can’t wait to take my girls in the near future!
17) DIY Voucher Booklet
If you love to craft, try making a DIY voucher book. These coupons for skipping chores, extra dessert, choosing the family movie, etc can make your kid feel extra special without the need for a physical gift.
18) Butterfly Kit
My girls are both obsessed with butterflies. This fun butterfly kit comes with everything you need to grow butterflies in your own home. What a fun experience to watch them change and release them in the spring!
19) Family Game Night Kit
A few board games and some healthy competition is all you need for a fun family game night. Here’s a list of the best games for families by age.
20) Swim Lessons
Especially living in Florida, swim lessons are more of a necessity than a luxury. Several places offer heated or indoor pools so you can have swim lessons year round in preparation for summer time.
21) Camping Supplies for a Camping Trip
Whether you like the great outdoors or ‘glamping’ is more your style, a few sleeping bags, a tent and some s’mores make the perfect camping memories.
22) Gardening Kit
Another fun non toy gift idea is a gardening kit. Kids love to get dirty and explore new things. A garden is an educational, hands-on way to explore outside and learn about how things grow.
23) Tickets to a Show or Sporting Event
As my daughter’s grown older, we’ve taken her to several show sand events. Last Christmas she saw the Nutcracker Ballet and absolutely loved it. We also took her to Monster Jam and Disney on Ice which were great memories as well.
24) Theme Park Tickets or Annual Pass
It’s no secret that my family loves Disney World. Annual Passes or theme park tickets are an awesome way to experience something fun with the whole family. Check out my tips for visiting Disney World with a preschooler.
25) Personalized Book
Kids love seeing their name on something and a story book is no exception. Make bedtime extra magical with these personalized story books that put your child’s name into the book.
26) Indoor Play Place Pass
There are several indoor play places locally that my girls enjoy visiting. It’s the perfect escape for rainy or extreme weather and also provides a comfortable, safe play space for my kids. Most places sell monthly memberships or punch cards to save on multiple visits.
27) Aquarium Passes
Aquariums can transport you to another world and make for a great experience for kids. If you have a local aquarium, day passes or a longer membership is a great experience gift idea for kids.
28) Bowling Vouchers
Bowling is another activity the whole family can enjoy. Most bowling allies have gift certificates or discounted rates on select days to save extra money. Be sure to ask for bumpers for little ones or rolling rack assistance.
29) Magazine Subscription
I remember receiving Highlights magazine every month as a kid and loving it. Kids love receiving mail and these magazines are educational and also tailored to specific ages for engagement.
30) Community Theatre Subscription
Most community theaters offer memberships with discounted or free tickets. If your child loves watching live shows, this option will give you the opportunity to see dozens of shows throughout the year.
31) Painting Class
Painting with a Twist or similar businesses offer classes themed to specific pictures with the opportunity to paint. They can make anyone feel like an artist and usually offer gift certificates or vouchers to give as a gift.
32) Pottery Making Class
Similar to painting classes, there are also lots of pottery businesses where you select your mug, sculpture or pottery piece and enjoy painting it with your own creative flair. This experience is lots of fun for a budding artist.
33) Horseback Riding Lessons
All little girls love horses and there are tons of benefits to learning how to horseback ride. Riding lessons are a fun experience gift idea for kids.
34) Water Park Passes
Especially living in Florida, water parks are accessible for most months out of the year. Water park passes are a great way to stay cool and provide an experience gift idea kids will love.
35) Music Lessons
If your child has an interest in music, learning how to play and instrument or taking vocal lessons may build into a huge passion. Gifting music lessons is also a great way to help encourage their artistic endeavors and provide a meaningful experience they’re sure to remember.
How to Wrap an Experience Gift?
Obviously experiences are much harder to wrap to put under a Christmas tree. First and foremost, give a tangible item to represent the experience, especially if you have younger kids. For example, Mickey Ears for a Disney trip, a new bathing suit or beach towel for water park passes, etc. A second option is to print out a “certificate” of what the experience is. Finally, having a brochure or flyer with pictures can help a kid understand what they’re being given.
Why Choose an Experience Gift Ideas for Kids?
If your kids have ALL THE THINGS and way too much stuff, an experience gift is a great idea! Experience gifts provide fun memories your family is sure to love without having more things cluttering your home. Have you ever given an experience gift? Let me know in the comments below.