My kids have enough toys. Like, seriously, enough. But I still want them to have the best-Christmas-ever and be excited with what was waiting for them under the tree. So this year I say, “forget you Toys-R-Us” and I’m giving experiences, activities and memories that will outlive any plastic toy on the market.

Here’s a list of ideas for non-toy holiday gifts that any kid would love!

1. Classes. Music, painting, riding, drawing — classes are a great way to encourage children to explore their interests and find a future life passion.

2. Memberships. Zoo, science museum, children’s museum, bounce houses, YMCA membership, etc. These are great options for the entire family and you’ll always have something to do. Check out “Places to Go” directory for ideas on local diversions.

3. Subscriptions. My kids LOVE the National Geographic Kids magazine and even better, they love getting mail! Encourage your child’s’ interests in different areas of life and sciences. See here for a list of great kids’ magazines for all ages.

4. Events. Grab a pair of movie passes or tickets to a play, concert or sporting event. Go as a family or for some one-on-one time. Getting the tickets in advance also gives you all something to look forward to.

5. Activities. Plan an activity outing like bowling, ice skating, ziplining, nature hike or indoor karting. Kids love to see their parents laughing and having fun right along with them. Check out “Places to Go” directory for ideas on local diversions.

6. Baking. Last year I bought my kids each an apron and a kids’ cookbook and they loved it. We’ve had a blast choosing recipes and cooking together. And, to see the pride on their faces make it taste all the sweeter.

7. Crafting Date. My daughter loves crafts and I do, too actually. Sometimes we’ll grab a stack of plain folded note cards and envelopes and get busy with our stamps and stick-ons and create birthday cards, thank you cards, etc. so that we have always something unique and personal on hand.

8. Coupons. These are also really big in our house and we love them. Give the kids an envelope of different coupons for things like movie and popcorn night, game of Monopoly, special hour with mom or dad, ice cream outing, stay up 1/2 hour past bedtime. Fun!

9. Restaurant Gift Card. My kids still don’t appreciate “eating out” really, but they do love going out for ice cream or hitting up the local bakery for a gooey hot cinnamon bun. What a treat! 

10. Group Outings. Reserve a private sleigh ride or factory tour over the holiday break with a group of your family and friends. Most only require 8-12 people which would be easy to gather up and a ton of fun!

11. Date Night. We do one-on-one date nights with each of our kids and it’s sooo awesome. The kids love the special attention and it allows us to communicate and enjoy each other’s company without any distractions. Check out our “Making Memories: 7 Great Ideas for Date Night– for you and your Kids” article for some inspiration.

12. A Night Away from Home. Kids LOVE hotels. Any hotel. Anywhere. Grab a deal on Expedia or Priceline for a hotel room with a pool (this is a must), grab your bathing suits and a change of clothes and away you go. Even if it’s two towns away. Their happiness is as simple as that.

What are your favorite non-gift ideas? Share with us in the comments below!

Leave a Reply