6 Best Experiences to Give as Gifts

6 Best Experiences to Give as Gifts

There are nights where I wake up nearly screaming from a bad dream.  Maybe you’ve had it, too.  It’s the dream where I’m drowning in all of the toys and clutter in my children’s rooms!


A few years ago I realized that my kids didn’t need more toys every Christmas or birthday.  So I began asking grandparents, aunts and uncles, and godparents for things that they need (clothes, books, etc.) or for experiences.  It has worked wonderfully!  Some of our favorite gifts have been those experiences that we have enjoyed as a family.


If you would like to reduce toy clutter and promote enriching memory-making experiences, here are the

6 Best Experiences to Give as Gifts:



1. Craftsy Class

Do you have a teen or tween who loves photography, cooking, or crafting?  Craftsy offers high-quality classes in a wide variety of subjects.  I have recently been taking a cooking class, and I absolutely love it!  The videos are great, I can work at my own pace, and the materials are professional quality.  The courses would also make great gifts for other family members.  Do you have a mother who loves to quilt?  A father who is into gardening?  A sibling who wants to learn to make jewelry or decorate cakes?  There’s a course for that!  There are currently some really good deals on the courses (up to 50% off!), so take a look HERE!


2. Museum Membership

This past Christmas, my parents gave our family a yearlong pass to our local children’s museum.  It has been a life-saver!  At least once a month I have taken the kids there on rainy days, snow days, hot days, or days where we just needed to get out of the house.  We easily paid for the cost of the membership within the first three months.  Is there a museum near you?  How about a zoo?  An amusement park?  Some other attraction?  Consider asking for a family membership this Christmas, and you will make memories all year long.


kiwi crate

3. Kiwi Crate

If you are wanting to provide a fun educational experience for your kids (or if you homeschool and would like some additional resources), then Kiwi Crate is for you.  Kiwi Crate is a service that sends a box to your house filled with an educational magazine on a theme (such as flight) and exploratory activities and supplies related to that theme.  You can purchase a crate based on your children’s ages and interests.  Kiwi Crate also has a variety of options as far as frequency is concerned.  You can purchase a single crate, a three month gift, a six month gift, or a year-long subscription.  Kiwi Crate would be a great gift for grandparents to give to grandchildren.  They will think of you and thank you for each month’s fun!



4. Lessons or Sports

We have had great success asking grandparents to give the gift of lessons or sports for our kids.  They have paid for swimming lessons, baseball, and soccer.  One Christmas my parents gave Big Brother swimming lessons.  My mom, being the creative person that she is, made a nice little package for him with a swimsuit, goggles, and a “gift card” for the lessons.  He loved it and had a blast swimming that summer.  Fun, practical, and no clutter.  A win!




5. Magazine Subscriptions

Magazine subscriptions are one of my go-to gift ideas.  I love finding great deals on magazines that fit the interests of people I love.  For example, a couple of years ago I saw an amazing deal ($8 for an entire year!) on a popular cycling magazine on the website Best Deal Magazines that I knew my brother would love.  It made a fantastic Christmas present that he was able to enjoy the whole year.  My kids also receive magazines (Highlights and National Geographic Kids) from their grandparents.  Great fun!  You can find hundreds of magazine subscriptions (some–like Family Circle and Women’s Day— as low as $5 for a year!) on Best Deal Magazines.  Check it out!




6. Park Passes

If you live near a national park or are planning a summer road trip, then the America the Beautiful Annual Pass would make a perfect Christmas present.  For $80 you can have unlimited access to any national park, as well as national forests.  We live very close to Shenandoah National Park and would love to visit more frequently; however, it’s $20 a visit.  An annual pass would allow us to take advantage of the amazing hiking trails and scenery more often.  (I think you know what’s on my Christmas list this year!)


This year I’m looking forward to giving and receiving many gifts of experience, to making memories with my family, and to taming the toy clutter.  How about you?


What are your favorite experiences to give as gifts?


(This post contains affiliate links.  Please see my disclosure policy for more information.)

(Linked to Thrifty ThursdaySmall Victories SundayShare the Wealth.)

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9 thoughts on “6 Best Experiences to Give as Gifts

  1. Some of the best gifts my parents gave me were being at all my sporting events to cheer me on, on the sidelines, even when I was not the best person on the team. Their presence was enough.

  2. One of the best gifts I have ever gotten was an annual pass to Biltmore in Asheville, NC. At the time, we lived nearby, but we had never been because it was costly to take our whole family. When I graduated from college, a friend of mine bought me the pass, and I found out that passholders can bring their children 16 and under for free. At that time, all of my children were young enough to go for free. We went many times that years and only paid for my husband. It was such a blessing! Passes often come with bonuses that regular admission does not cover. Great list!
    Amanda @ The Fundamental Home recently posted…Amazing $1 Thrift Store Christmas Gifts- VideoMy Profile

  3. I WISH I could get our families to give experiences as gifts more often; they have a few times in the past and we always enjoy them so much more than toys that are left on a shelf after a week. Last year we did get a gift certificate to Great Wolf Lodge and a couple years back my boys all got gift certificates to Coco Keys. Talk about generous!!

    • Wow. A gift certificate to Great Wolf Lodge sounds awesome! What a great gift! Last year my in-laws took our family to the Busch Gardens in Williamsburg to see the lights. So fun!

  4. Great post! I’m a big fan of experiences over toys and we’re doing a lot of that this year! I’ve chosen this post to feature at Share The Wealth Sunday tomorrow night! Thanks so much for linking up with us each week and I hope you have a fabulous holiday!

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