No matter how much your kids want the latest toy or game, no matter how much they think they need a hoverboard or a VR headset or a new phone, those aren’t the gifts that they’ll remember years from now. Quality time is an invaluable gift to give your children… so why not swap the stuff for one of these experience gift ideas next time?
Childhood goes by so fast… and you and your kiddo will both be glad to have these memories to cherish once they’re grown and out of the house.
That’s why today we’ll be covering some of the best things you can do with toddlers, kiddos, and tweens, including:
Plus, we’ll throw in links to corresponding GiftYas whenever they come up.
Okayyyyy, when you’re a kid, getting a gift card is kind of lame. The only thing worse might be getting socks and underwear. But with GiftYa, your experience gift can be sent straight to mom or dad’s email or text messages – or for older kids, even their own phone. Translation? It’s way cooler than a chunk of plastic.
Not to mention, GiftYa is easy to customize with a photo or video – maybe a family snapshot, or a live photo of them goofing around?
GiftYa can also be used in a variety of ways:
To get started, all you have to do is take your pick from thousands of local and national brands, make your customizations, and finish it with a personal message. You can send it immediately or schedule it for a future date.
But whether you take the little tike out for an adventure together or you text them a gift to use whenever they want, here are our top experience gift ideas for kids!
As a kid, there’s nothing more special to you than your favorite stuffed animal. Whether you build them a new best friend when they’re little or their old favorite might need to be retired as they get older, making a new cuddle buddy at Build-A-Bear is an experience they won’t forget.
They’ll follow all of the steps to bring their stuffed animal to life:
Got a kid who could benefit from burning off some of that excess energy? Take them to a trampoline park for a fun way to get up and get moving! With activities for jumpers of all ages, it’s a great experience that you can have together.
Trampoline parks like Sky Zone aren’t just trampolines in a room. Depending on your location, you’ll find other attractions and activities like:
So no matter what age you or they are, there will be something fun to do at the trampoline park.
School is important… but is missing one day really that bad? For kids who are doing well in class and wouldn’t fall behind with one little “sick” day, playing hooky is an experience they will never forget.
Load them up in the car like you’re taking them to school, but veer off and stop for breakfast. After that, the day’s wide open! Just you, them, and quality time.
Consider heading to a museum or children’s museum. Interactive science centers like the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA also make for great destinations. They’re still educational, but it will be way cooler than school.
For introverted kids or ones prone to taking on a LOT of extracurriculars, it can also be a lesson in how important it is to take a self care day when your mental health needs it. Just stay home, have a spa day, watch movies, cook something cozy and healthy together – whatever relaxation means for the two of you.
With this experience gift idea, it’s really up to you!
The Zoo or Aquarium is a pretty classic destination for kids and families… but when you go with the goal of making it a gift, there are plenty of experiences you can opt into to make the day one to remember!
Look for opportunities like:
And even though the gift shop is probably overpriced, now is the perfect time to stock them up on the souvenirs they’re always eyeing – maybe a hat, a stuffed animal, some candy. It’s a special experience, after all!
Got a budding artist on your hands? If your fridge is packed full of 2D masterpieces – paintings, drawings, cut out designs – maybe it’s time to bring their creativity into the third dimension with a pottery painting.
Painting studios like Color Me Mine take the technical challenges of sculpting out of the equation. Choose from a variety of precreated projects – all you and your kiddo have to do are paint it. That can mean ceramics like:
It will likely take a few days for the Color Me Mine team to fire your creation to permanently set the artwork, but when it’s done, it’s a memento you can treasure for years to come.
“Moooooooom, I’m boooooooored!”
You can wave goodbye to bored kids when you get them the kids version of The Adventure Challenge. With 30 scratch off activities that kids ages 6-12 can do with minimal parental participation, they’ll have fun for hours playing nature bingo or hosting a glow in the dark dance party. Plus with the parent key, you can gently guide them toward scratching off an activity that won’t disrupt your day.
Best part? All of the adventures are repeatable, so they’ll get to experience it again and again.
The research is in – there’s no denying that music poses impressive benefits for kids. Not only is it a way of expressing their emotions that will remain cool into their teenage years, it has measurable benefits on their communication, retention, and social skills.
You don’t have to get them a drum kit or an expensive guitar to get started. Your local Guitar Center will have plenty of beginner friendly instruments like the ukulele, kalimba, and electronic keyboards (that headphones plug into). Sign them up for a lesson or class to kickstart a love of music that will serve them for the rest of their life!
Ziplining is a thrilling experience, and it’s totally safe. Snapped into a harness on a line (and a backup line) at all times, your kid will get to experience flying through the trees like Superman or Edward Cullen.
The adventure should run you $40+ per person, but it will be a whole afternoon of unforgettable fun.
Being a kid is great in some ways – mom and dad handle cooking, laundry, and with the exception of a couple chores taking care of the house. They buy the clothes, the groceries, the toys… so what could be a cooler experience gift for a kid than putting (just a little bit) of that grown up power in their hands with a Visa gift card?
Accepted anywhere that Visa credit cards are accepted, giving a Visa gift card is basically like giving cash. That means the kid in your life can use it to upgrade to the cool binders and name brand Sharpies for school or get a soccer ball to kick around the yard. They can finally get their hands on the video game they’ve been wanting, or they can feel like a big shot and treat the family to their favorite meal for dinner. The choice is totally up to them.
With Gift Card Granny’s build a card feature, you can design an amazing gift in just a couple of clicks. Choose from an expert created design or add your own photo and message – maybe a cute selfie of you guys together?
Most custom gift cards print the same day and ship out the next, so you won’t have to experience waiting for the gift for more than a couple of days!
From creative to adventurous, educational to, well… less educational, we’ve covered some of the best experience gift ideas you can give to a kid. Whether you pull them out of class for a day to play hooky or put them in a music classroom to learn a skill that will serve them for the rest of their lives, kids will remember these experiences until they’re adults themselves!
And remember – if none of these ideas are quite the right fit, you can explore the GiftYa catalog for more great ideas. Happy shopping!