10 Gift Ideas for Kids That Aren't Toys.

December 12, 2017 | Malisa Lieser

Kids need more toys like you need another load of laundry to do, am I right?! I’m all about giving kids new things for their birthdays and Christmas, but sometimes it just gets to be too.much. Between parents, Santa, grandparents, daycare providers, and aunts & uncles, it gets to be impossible to come up with ideas for gifts, and I seriously do not need (or want) more junk in the house.

One remedy for reducing the amount of gifts your kids get? Ask for experiences instead of gifts!

I asked my mom to plan a fun day outing with each of my daughters this year and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with. Not only are we limiting the amount of new “stuff” coming into the house, but my daughters have the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with my mom, form a closer bond with her and get to experience something new.

Here are several ideas of experience related gifts in Minnesota -- for toddlers through tweens --  that will be enjoyed and remembered longer than the latest cartoon character or stuffed animal.

experience gifts for kids

1// Minnesota Children’s Museum Membership: We’ve had a Children’s Museum Membership this year, and since they completely remodeled and redesigned the entire space with new exhibits, it’s been a blast. My kids are 2 and 4, but even younger toddlers and older elementary school aged kids can be seen having fun. It’s great to always have something in your back pocket for when you just need to get out of the house!

2// Minnesota Zoo Membership: Being open 363 days a year means that the zoo is another great way for kids to burn off energy any time, and gives you a reason to leave the house, even in the dead of winter. Indoor and outdoor spaces mean the zoo can be enjoyed year-round!

3// Concert or Play Tickets: The Twin Cities is home to tons of opportunities to see shows, plays and concerts. Whether your kid is interested in Paw Patroltheatre or the latest teeny bopper singer, tickets to a show will make for a memorable experience.

4// Nickelodeon Universe Day Passes: Make a family day out of a trip to Mall of America to enjoy the rides, go out to eat and maybe hit a movie at the end of the day.

5// Staycation at Waterpark of America (or other nearby resort): Book a room for a night and spend time at the waterpark, ropes course bowling alley and more.

6// Science Museum Membership: If science, technology, history and culture are of interest to your kids, a science museum membership might be a great fit for your family!

7// Sporting Event Tickets: We have lots to choose from in Minnesota -- Timberwolves, Wild, Twins, Vikings, plus soccer, women’s basketball, and minor league teams. Whatever your child’s interest, there’s a team to watch!

professional basketball game

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

8// Spa Day: What sounds better than a spa day with your tween or teen? Manicures and pedicures, facials, massages, or just time relaxing in a hot tub or sauna. It’s a great way to spend time together and get pampered, too.

9// Dave & Busters Unlimited Passes: School-aged kids would get a kick out of spending a day at Dave & Busters playing games and eating cheeseburgers. They can use their tickets to get a prize to help them remember the day, and mom & dad can get in on the fun, too.

10// Lessons or classes: Art, swimming lessons, music lessons, etc. are all great gifts that are more than just a one-time event! Community ed classes are generally $50-$75 for 6-8 classes, which is a very reasonable price for an experience gift.

mom and daughter on street

Photo by London Scout on Unsplash

There are also more budget-friendly options that would be a great add-on to the other gifts you’re giving them, such as:

  • 1:1 movie date with each of your kids (with candy and popcorn, of course!)

  • Visit to an indoor play place and lunch

  • Trip to the bookstore to pick out a new book, plus hot chocolate and some reading time

  • Indoor pool day passes with a pizza party afterward

Kids love one-on-one time with their parents, so any activity where they get your undivided attention and get to have fun is sure to be a hit!

Are you giving your kids any experience gifts this year?

TAGS: Christmas Gifts, Kids gifts, Non-toy gifts