10 Unforgettable Experience Gift Ideas for Kids

From Escape Rooms to Teddy Bears, Arcades to Art, These Are the Activities That Will Build Memories That Last a Lifetime

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:

  • Adventure activities for all ages
  • Creative experiences that will give them a memento
  • Experience that will secretly help them for years to come

Plus, we’ll throw in links to corresponding GiftYas whenever they come up.

Get to Know GiftYa

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:

  • Used directly from their phone using the GiftYa app
  • Linked up to mom or dad’s Visa or Mastercard so they’ll never forget it at home
  • Cash out to a bank account using Zelle
  • Swap it for a physical Visa gift card
  • Or even exchange it for another gift card in the GiftYa catalog in just a few clicks

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!

1 - Build a New Best Friend Together

Let Them Customize Their New Favorite Stuffed Animal at Build a Bear

Send a Build-a-Bear gift card

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:

  • Choose the stuffed animal they’d like to make, ranging from bears and bunnies to officially licensed characters and special edition friends
  • Work with a Build-A-Bear employed to get their bear just the right amount of fluffy or floppy
  • Pick out a satin heart, give it a kiss, and have it hand-sewn inside
  • Deck out their new toy in clothes, shoes, and accessories
  • Print out their adoption certificate to make it official
  • Carry their friend home in their very own colorable cardboard house

Send a Build-a-Bear gift card

2 - Spend Some Energy at the Trampoline Park

Jump Parks Like Sky Zone Are a Great Way to Get Up and Move

Buy a Sky Zone gift card

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:

  • Foam pits
  • Ziplines
  • Aerial silks
  • Vertical jumps
  • Trampoline dodgeball courts
  • Inflatable jousting
  • Sky ladders
  • Rock walls
  • Ninja warrior course
  • Giant slides
  • Basketball hoops designed for dunking
  • Toddler zones for smaller kids

So no matter what age you or they are, there will be something fun to do at the trampoline park.

Buy a Sky Zone gift card

3 - Play Hooky 🤫

And Visit Your Nearest Children’s Museum or Science Center

Swap one educational experience for another as a special treat.

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!

4 - Take a Trip to the Zoo

Classic Destination for Family Fun

They might have been to the zoo before, but there are plenty of ways to turn it into an unforgettable experience!

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:

  • Getting up close and personal with wildlife at the petting zoo
  • Participating in a cold weather penguin march
  • Sign up for an unforgettable animal encounter with their favorite creature

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!

5 - Paint Pottery

Create Your Own Masterpieces or Make One Together

Grab a Color Me Mine gift card

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:

  • Mugs
  • Plates
  • Ornaments
  • Bowls
  • Planters
  • Figurines
  • Treat jars
  • And more

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.

Grab a Color Me Mine gift card

6 - Get Your Game Face On

Head to the Arcade and Game Together

Buy a Chuck E. Cheese gift card

7 - Adventure Challenge: Kids Edition

Spark Creativity, Play, and Imagination with Scratch Off Adventures

The Adventure Challenge: Kids edition has fun adventures just for kids. Image courtesy The Adventure Challenge.

“Moooooooom, I’m boooooooored!

Sound familiar?

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.

8 - Music Class

Learning an Instrument Pays Dividends for Kids

Get a Guitar Center gift card


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!

Get a Guitar Center gift card

9 - Ziplining

You Don’t Have to Be Superman to Fly Through the Skies


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.

10 - Visa

One of the Coolest Experiences a Kid Can Have – Buying What They Want!Build a custom Visa gift card in just seconds by following the link!

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!

Create a custom Visa gift card

And There You Have A List of Great Experience Gift Ideas for Kids!

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!

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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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