If you’re like me, your kids probably have WAY too many toys. So, what if you could gift them an experience instead?
Experience gifts are becoming more and more popular among parents. And for good reason! As kids get older and accumulate more stuff, you realize how few of their toys and gadgets they actually play with. Let alone create any lasting memories from.
Enter, the experience gift. This whole new class of gifts doesn’t have to be boring. And it also doesn’t mean your kids won’t have anything tangible to open on their special day either!
Read on for over 50 ideas for experience gifts for kids, plus tips on how to wrap an experience to make it extra special!
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The Best Experience Gifts for Kids
When it comes to gifting an experience, you can go really big or really small. That’s the beauty of experience gifts: there is literally something for every kid and every budget!
Here are over 50 ways to gift an experience to kids:
Travel Experience Gifts for Kids
Want to take the family somewhere fun instead of buying lots of toys? You can make that fun to open too! Etsy has a ton of options for cute custom vouchers and tickets, like these scratcher tickets from the North Pole, these printable boarding passes (or Christmas version here) or these adorable gold foil tickets.
Theme Park Tickets
What kid wouldn’t want a trip to a theme park? Gift a trip with these adorable printable Disneyland tickets, or this customizable version for any theme park of your choosing. You could also pair your gift with something to wear at the park, like Mickey ears for Disney, or a custom shirt for Legoland.
If you have an upcoming trip planned, a new suitcase or backpack is a fun way to get kids excited for the trip ahead. Fill the backpack with fun things to do on the plane, or add some new pajamas or a swimsuit for the trip to come.
Maybe you already have your trip booked, but want to splurge on a special activity like a hot air balloon ride or ATV tour? Viator is a one stop shop for finding all of the best activities to do while on vacation: just search by your destination!
Little Passports Subscription
Can’t travel just yet? Gift a subscription box to Little Passports, which teaches children about a new country every month with hands-on activities, books, and souvenirs in each box!
Travel Keepsake Box
Have a keepsake box custom made for your special trip. Then collect tickets, maps and momentos to fill it with upon your return!
Other Ways to Gift a Trip
Outdoor Experience Gifts for Kids
A trip to the zoo is always a memorable day. This ‘Search the Zoo’ book makes a great pairing to zoo tickets, or better yet, an annual zoo pass.
Another favorite spot for our kids, pair a trip to your local aquarium with this ‘Life Under the Sea’ coloring book.
Water Park Tickets
Who doesn’t love a water park? Wrap a new swimsuit or hooded beach towel to get the kids excited.
State or National Park Pass
If you’re a family that loves to adventure, consider an annual pass to your state’s park system, or better yet, a National Park Pass!
Get them started young with this everything-you-need gardening set.
Horseback Riding Lessons
Search your local area for a place that offers horseback riding lessons or even a casual trail ride.
If you live near the coast (or plan to visit one), give your kids a totally unique experience with surf school lessons.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
Perfect for older kids, or those not afraid of heights, a hot air balloon ride is once in a lifetime experience!
Ziplining / Adventure Park
Whether ziplining, a ropes course, or an outdoor adventure park, let your kids go wild with this day out.
Jeep / ATV Tour
If you live an area full of outdoor activities, you’ll no doubt be able to find an adventurous Jeep or ATV tour that’s sure to excite the kids!
Stand Up Paddleboard / Kayaking Adventure
Ice Skating / Rollerblading
Artsy Experience Gifts for Kids
This could be tickets to a show at your local children’s theater, or a big name ticket like ‘Disney on Ice’ or ‘Insert-Favorite-Cartoon-Here’ Live.
Do you have a child that loves music? Enroll them in beginner piano, guitar, or other instrument lessons.
Jewelry Making Kit
Want to keep your child busy for hours? Consider a massive jewelery making kit like this one.
Read More: 25 Gift Ideas for Kids Who Travel
Staycation Experience Gifts for Kids
Gifting a trip doesn’t mean you have to go far. Here’s a few staycation ideas for activities you can do just about anywhere.
Children’s Museum Tickets
Perfert for younger kids that already have enough toys – visit your local Children’s Museum, or road trip to one nearby.
Go Kart Racing
Book an indoor or outdoor experience for the thrill seeker child in your life.
Local Hotel Stay
Fact: kids love staying at a hotel, even if it’s in your own city. Bonus points if it has a pool or indoor waterpark! For gifting, this adorable voucher is customizable to your stay.
Kid-Friendly Restaurant Gift Card
Give your child a gift card to their favorite restaurant, paired with this restaurant voucher and dessert for afterward.
Ice Cream or Sweet Shop Gift Card
Gifting an experience doesn’t have to be expensive! My daughter would go gaga for a trip to the ice cream shop or candy store.
Whether a sightseeing cruise, whale watching excursion, paddle boats adventure, or scenic gondola ride – as long as you have a body of water near you, you’re likely to have some sort of on-the-water adventure as well.
For the older kids who love a challenge, gift a trip to an escape room for them and a few of their friends.
Sports Experience Gifts for Kids
Sporting Event Tickets
For the sport fanatic in your life, you can’t go wrong with tickets to a game! These customized tickets are the perfect substitute when you don’t receive physical tickets to wrap. Add a new jersey or hat from their favorite sports team to make it extra memorable.
Up your family time game with new bikes for the whole family!
Have a little golfer in the family? Wrap some silly golf balls with a gift card to the mini golf course.
It doesn’t matter what age your kids are, a trip to the bowling alley is always the great equalizer. Make it a family fun night with pizza and arcade games too.
Kids Gym / Rock Climbing / Trampoline Park Pass
You’ll be hard pressed to find a kid that wouldn’t love an open gym pass!
Ski / Snowbarding Pass or Lessons
Live in a cold weather area? No problem! Give your child lessons or a pass to a local ski area. And if skiing or snowboarding isn’t your thing, plenty of places offer snow tubing and tobogganing options too!
Educational Experience Gifts for Kids
Science Museum Tickets
If you’ve got a STEM-loving kid, gift them one-time or annual pass tickets to your local science museum.
There are a million options to choose from (I’m still a fan of Highlights! for kids). For the gift that keeps on giving, wrap the first edition and let your kids know there will be lots more on the way.
Book Box Subscription
Kiwi Co STEM Box
Kindle Unlimited / Audible Subscription
At-Home Science Experiment Kit
What’s on your kids’ Christmas lists this year?