10 Experience Gift Ideas for Families They’ll Never Forget [2024]

From Rainy Day Activities to Big Thrill Adventures, These Are the Things Your Favorite Family Can Do Together to Make Memories

Finding activities that the whole fam will find fun is no simple task. Mom and dad probably don’t put Cocomelon marathon at the top of their list, and kids might not be so into taking a day off to just sleep in. Not to mention, if you’ve got little ones of different ages, there’s a big difference between what your toddler and your teen consider a good time!

That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best experience gifts for families. These activities are fun for all ages, from small kids all the way to grandparents. With options for homebodies and thrill seekers, foodies and budding artists, any of these options will help your favorite family bond with one another and make memories none of them will ever forget.

Here’s a sneak peek at what we have in store today:

  • Creative activities that result in family keepsakes
  • Adventures that will thrill family members of all ages
  • At-home activities they can do right in the living room

Get to Know GiftYa, The Ultimate Family Gift Idea

Forget about the old way of giving gift cards – GiftYa makes it easy!

Traditional gift cards are single-use plastic. Not to mention, there are several drawbacks to entrusting the experience gift for family with it. Not everyone in the fam thinks it’s awesome? You’re stuck with it. Never remember to bring it with you when you're out or use it when you shop online? Well, you’re just out of luck.

That is, unless you choose GiftYa digital gift cards. Text or email them for easy, instant delivery. Plus, you can customize your gift with a “wrapper” and a personal message in just a few clicks. There are so many ways to redeem a GiftYa, too –  like using as an egift code, connecting it directly to a card for automatic use, cashing out to a bank account with Zelle, swapping for another merchant, or even trading it in for a physical Visa gift card if that’s more their style.

We’ll shout out brands currently available in the GiftYa catalog in this article, so if it feels like a match you can send it in seconds. But now, let’s jump into the list!

1. Build a Bear

Build Your Own Family Friends to Boost Your Confidence and Wellbeing

Text a Build a Bear gift card

Build A Bear might seem like a place for little tikes, but is having a stuffed animal to cozy up with something you ever really outgrow? Studies have even linked cuddling or even just looking at a fuzzy stuffed friend can help kids and adults with everything from stress to anxiety to mental health disorders.

Not to mention, in addition to the traditional stuffie shapes popular with kids the world over, Build A Bear does plenty of collabs that will appear to older kids as well. So if you or your child love SanRio, Pokemon, Girl Scouts, or any of the other popular brands BAB partners with, you’re sure to have a great time choosing and fluffing your own stuffed animal.

PS – Build A Bear also offers the option to add a recorded message that plays when you squeeze your toy. Parents can leave a voice message to comfort kids who are scared of the dark, homesick at summer camp, or would just appreciate a little extra love when their parents are at work.

Text a Build a Bear gift card

2. The Adventure Challenge

The Ultimate Boredom Buster for Weeks and Weeks of Family Fun

two kids climbing through a laser course of red yarn in their home thanks to one of the best experience gift ideas for families The Adventure Challenge
The Adventure Challenge: Family Edition contains tons of activities like this yarn laser obstacle course to keep you and your kids entertained for dozens of weekends to come. Image courtesy The Adventure Challenge.

Scratch off a surprise adventure! If you’re simply out of answers to the plaintive Mooooooom, I’m bored! you hear every weekend, this is the perfect gift for your family. This book contains 50 adventures concealed under a scratch off coating, plus room for you to write notes about the activity and place a photo to preserve the memory.

Before you scratch off a square, you can see key info about what’s underneath, like time of day for the activity, price, whether it requires driving, and how messy it is. But everyone has to agree going in – once a square is scratched, no take backs!!

The Adventure Challenge: Family Editions contains activities designed for families of 4-8 people and kids in the 4-15 age range, but anyone can get in on the fun! With projects and activities that cost anywhere from $0-$50 and can be adjusted to fit your budget, this is an experience gift any family will have fun with.

3. Ziplining

See the World From a Birds Eye View with the Family in Tow

you girl in a yellow shirt and orange helmet ziplining through a verdant foreset
Calling all adventurers – this is a great experience gift for families who like to get outdoors.

Calling all adrenaline junkies! This one is for you. Take the whole family on a perfectly safe but pulse-pounding adventure high above the forest floor. Zipliners are double tethered into their line (one and another for back up) as they make their way through a course of several lines. Typically, ziplining courses go down mountains, like at ski resorts or in foothills. But other ziplining courses are built into family-friendly arcades or just set up in the park.

Just make sure to clip in all together – you’ll be in the same order for the whole duration of the day because you’ll never be completely unclipped for safety! And don’t worry – if the thrill of flying through the trees turns out to be too much for anyone, they can always climb down and catch a ride back to base.

4. Taste the World Gift Box

Introduce them to New Cuisine in Locations Around the World

taste the world placade in front of a table spread with salads, drinks, and olive oil
Taste the World allows you to experience practically any kind of cuisine you want right from your family’s kitchen. Image courtesy of Taste the World.

Trying to introduce the kids to new foods? It doesn’t have to be tricky anymore.

Taste the World is more than just a gift voucher. It’s a planet-friendly option that never expires, and it unlocks their choice of one of over 1100 experiences in cities around the world. They can cash in this eVoucher to make Delicious Boston Donuts or craft Mad Science Mocktails and Cocktails. They can take a Small Group Cooking Class in Hanoi or learn about Moroccan cuisine in Marrakech. So whether they want to enjoy a culinary experience in Austin or Argentina, Fort Lauderdale or Phnom Penh or Wellington or Andros, they can cash in this voucher to cover the cost for up to four people.

5. Admission to the Local Theme Park

Fun and Thrills with Games and Rides for the Whole Family

Theme parks are one of the quintessential experiences a family can share – playing games, eating fair food, seeing who’s tall enough to ride the roller coasters, getting soaked on the water ride. And that’s why admission to the local theme park makes our list of the best experience gifts for families.

Theme park tickets are getting expensive these days, often selling for $60 or $70 per person. For a family, the total quickly adds up, making it a luxury that isn’t always in the budget. So whether you spring for full admission or just get a gift voucher that will put a dent in the price, they’re sure to appreciate a day of fun in the sun at the amusement park.

6. Or Admission to the Local Waterpark

Make the Most of School Being Out for the Summer

Waterparks are a great way to cool off on a hot summer day. So call off work, load the kids into the car, and head out to the local waterpark, like Sandcastle in our hometown of Pittsburgh. Waterparks have plenty of options, from relaxing lazy rivers to heart-pounding water slides.

No matter what they choose, they’re sure to have a great day together soaking up some rays in cooling off in the water.

7. Camping Gear

Get the Family into the Great Outdoors

family of four roasting marshmallows over a campfire on a camping expereince
Camping is a great way to get away from the distractions of the modern world and spend some time together as a family.

Today, families are busier than ever. Between work, school, clubs and activities, friends, and electronics, sometimes spending quality time together takes a backseat. So put family fun at the forefront when you gift the family in your life camping gear to help them get away from it all.

That can mean tents and telescoping forks for smores around the fire or reservations at an Airbnb or glamping cabin. You can get them rock climbing gear or hiking boots, camp chairs or bear spray. There are so many options that fit into this category.

8. Pottery Painting

Get Creative with the Kiddos and Paint Your Own Pottery

Text a Color Me Mine Gift Card

Pottery painting is a fun activity for any family. Whether you preserve your little ones’ handprints on a bowl before they’re not so little anymore or have the whole gang make their own special cocoa mugs or dinner plates, you’ll have a ton of fun picking pottery, painting it, and waiting in anticipation for a week or two to pick it up together.

Text a Color Me Mine Gift Card

9. Musical Instruments + Music Lessons

Give the Gift of Self Expression to Your Kids

Text a Guitar Center gift card

dad playing a guitar while his child sits on mom's lap and they sing together
Music is something that family members of any age can participate in.

The research is in, and the results are clear – music therapy and music activities are great for you, from early childhood development to the teenage years and beyond. It can help kids and teens relieve stress, express themselves, and build habits of doing both that will last for the rest of their lives. Not to mention learning music theory for guitar or any other instrument is a great way to help kids see patterns and flex their brain muscle.

Musical instruments and music lessons will help your kids connect with peers outside of the home in band class or a band of their own, plus you can connect with them in a new way by jamming together. Guitar center has instruments for every skill level and price range, from beginner guitars and easy-to-use kalimbas to the same guitar Carlos Santa uses.

Text a Guitar Center gift card

10. Dinner + a Movie

Upgrade Family Movie Night to the Big Screen

Send an AMC Theaters gift card

families experiencing a movie together in a theater with red seats
There’s nothing quite like catching a movie on the big screen.

Take the family out on the town for dinner and a movie! It doesn’t have to be expensive – it can be $5 movie day and fast food for dinner. But simply taking movie night out of the living room and into the theater will make it feel like an event.

Send an AMC Theaters gift card

That’s a wrap on our list of the best experience gifts for families you can find out there.

We hope you found the perfect gift for your family or your favorite family on this list. With options ranging from musical instruments to pottery, fancy food to a night in nature, we think we’ve covered something for any family to enjoy.

Not quite sure you found the perfect gift? Explore the whole GiftYa catalog to find national and local e-gift options for everyone on your list.

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Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is the shopping expert here at GiftYa. Trae helps people find the best deals and ideas on popular new items to purchase.

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