135 Best Experience Gifts for Kids: Unwrap Memories in 2024

What are experience gifts for kids?

Experience gifts for kids are presents that make unforgettable memories!

Escape the toys and random trinkets that litter your floors. Stop drowning in stuff. There’s a solution! And you will still see your children’s faces light up!

kids experience gifts and gift ideas for 2023

But Do Kids Appreciate Experience Gifts?

Yes! You might need to get creative with wrapping (keep reading!). But my kids beg for the experience gifts now that they know what to expect.

How Can I Give Experiences Instead of Gifts?

I still want my kids to have fun opening a gift. And unwrapping a piece of paper is not exciting. That’s why you’ll find ideas for what to wrap as well.

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how to give active kids experience gifts pin
Don’t miss the free gift certificate at the end!

Choose items you already have at home, or make a small purchase. Either way, you will have a blast in the moment of gift-giving AND building memories later too!

Cheap Experience Gifts: Toddlers & Elementary

When kids are young, it’s often not worth spending a lot of money on gift experiences. Start with one of these crowd-pleasers first.

experience gift ideas for toddlers, elementary kids

1. Park & Picnic

  • Wrap: a fun lunch spread & drinks

2. Coupons

Coupons are incredibly versatile. Give them a chore pass, extra screen time, staying up late, a fort day, and more.

kid coupons template printable
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3. Frisbee Golf

  • Wrap: frisbees

4. Splash Pad

  • Wrap: swimsuits, snacks, popsicles

5. Movie Night at Home

6. A Free Local Event

Go to a concert in the park, high school sporting event, or another community outing.

  • Wrap: a t-shirt with the local team or band on it

7. A Trip to a Faraway Playground

  • Wrap: snacks and drinks

8. A Trip to a New Cool Library

  • Wrap: their own library card

9. Gift Certificates For Monthly Family Hikes

  • Wrap: trail map, hiking shoes, backpack, trail mix

Cheap Fun Kids Experience Gifts

These kids experience gifts cost a little bit of money but have incredible value for the price.

learn with microscope non-toy gift ideas for kids

1. A Cooking Day With Kids

2. Starting a Garden

3. Craft/Art Day With Friends

4. Trip to Chuck E. Cheese

  • Wrap: the tokens

5. Petting Zoo Passes

  • Wrap: snacks and money to feed the animals (a wagon is fun if you’re willing to splurge on a bigger item)

6. Exploration Experience Day For Children

7. Karaoke Night

8. Dance Party

9. Science Experiment Day

One year, I gifted a box of homemade science experiments to my son. I had all the ingredients and notecards with what to do. It was a HUGE hit.

10. A Monthly Card in the Mail

Kids LOVE real mail. If you can spare the cost of 12 cards and a stamp, you’ll make the day of a child by sending them regular cards. Add a crossword puzzle or pictures for extra fun.

  • Wrap: A note describing the gift and telling them to go look in their mailbox for the first card.

Good Subscriptions For Kids

Subscriptions are kids experience gifts that keep on giving.

Pro Tip: Use the wrapping ideas, or make your life simple and wrap the first box that comes in the subscription.

unique learning gifts: subscription boxes

1. Cooking Box

Raddishkids.com >>

2. Little Passports

3. Lovevery

4. STEM Box

We’ve enjoyed KiwiCrate

5. Baking Box: Experience Kids Gifts

baketivity.com >>

  • Wrap: baking dishes

6. Highlights Subscription

Note: Subscriptions can overwhelm you with stuff. Start with a shorter period and designating a “leftover box” for supplies you can play with again later.

Fun Family Experience Gift Ideas

The next ideas make for great things the family enjoys together.

gifts of experience for kids: aquarium memberships, 7 year old

Memberships Everyone Will Love

These experience gifts for kids give everyone something to look forward to. And they help you get out when you’d otherwise be stuck inside.

1. Aquarium

2. Zoo

  • Wrap: a stuffed animal, animal book, and animal crackers

3. Science Center

4. Trampoline Park

5. Amusement Park

6. Botanical Garden/Arboretum

7. Outdoor Waterpark

  • Wrap: a swimsuit, money to spend at the park

8. YMCA or Community Center Membership

9. City Pool Membership

10. Indoor Playground

These playgrounds are helpful in the hot and cold months, and usually come at a discounted membership price.

  • Wrap: tennis shoes, snacks

Tickets and Gift Cards Ideas

adventure experience gifts for kids: 9 year olds, 12 year olds, 6 year olds: baseball game

1. Baseball Game

Or choose another sporting event like football, soccer, or tennis.

  • Wrap: a baseball hat or team shirt, ballgame snacks like sunflower seeds

2. Circus

3. Live Shows

(Disney on Ice, Sesame Street Live, Monster Jam)

  • Wrap: glow wands for show & theme shirt

4. Musical

  • Wrap: soundtrack or iTunes gift card

5. Concert

  • Wrap: an outfit to wear the night of the event

6. Comic Con

7. A Museum

We have several kids museums in the area that are hands-on and sensory-based. If they’re older, take them to a cool art exhibit.

  • Wrap: extra tickets for your child to invite a friend, a themed item similar to the museum (blank painting canvas, marble run, etc.)

8. Ballet Tickets

9. Planetarium

planetarium for family outing

10. Factory Tour

  • Wrap: the item the factory highlights (marbles, chocolate, etc.)

11. An outing to their favorite restaurant

  • Wrap: a gift card to a restaurant

12. An outing to find their favorite books

Related: Great Interactive Kids Books

13. Children’s Theater Tickets

  • Wrap: tickets, information about the play/musical, themed item from the specific play

14. Tickets to a Magic Show

Adventure & Active Kids Experience Gifts

kids activities and things to do while camping

1. Camping

2. Indoor Water Park

3. Night in a Hotel

4. Spa Day

  • Wrap: slippers, robe, nail polish, face masks

5. Arcade Day

  • Wrap: tokens/tickets to use, snacks

6. Shopping & Lunch

7. Ice Cream & Movie

  • Wrap: movie snacks and the movie listings

8. Fishing Tournament

9. Water Adventures

Try kayaking and paddle boating. Or learn to sail together.

10. Hiking Adventure

  • Wrap: hiking boots, walking stick, a backpack full of snacks/trail mix

Active Kids Experience Gifts

active kids experience gifts and gift ideas

1. Horseback Riding

  • Wrap: a cowboy hat, riding jeans

2. Indoor Rock Climbing

  • Wrap: chalk for your hands, activewear clothing

3. Go Kart

4. Mini Golf: Experience Gift Ideas For Kids

  • Wrap: golf shorts & hat

5. Daddy/Daughter Night or Mommy Son Day

  • Wrap: a fancy outfit for dinner out, bowtie, corsage, etc

6. Build a Treehouse

This is a great active gift if your child helps build it. But even if you do it yourself, it’s a fun way to build anticipation.

  • Wrap: wood, tools, building materials, snacks for a work break

7. Build a Toolbench

8. Skiing

  • Wrap: ski passes, ski attire

9. Ice Skating

  • Wrap: hot chocolate packs, gloves

10. Roller Skating

11. Bowling

  • Wrap: money for snacks, custom bowling shoes, bowling ball

12. Batting cages

13. Surfing lessons

  • Wrap: a surfboard, a wet suit

Active Gifts to Wrap For Experiences

These are active gifts you wrap and double as meaningful kids experiences. They are also great for getting your kids outside!

adventure active experience gifts for kids and teens 2022

1. Outdoor Obstacle Course Set

See an obstacle course here >>

2. Kites

See kites here >>

3. Bikes

See bikes here >>

4. Rope Climbing (or Jump Rope)

See rope here >>

5. Basketball Hoop

See a basketball hoop here >>

6. Trampoline

See trampolines here >>

7. Hammock

See a freestanding hammock here >>

8. Outdoor Play Equipment

This includes swings, slides, water tables, etc.

9. Pogo Stick

See a pogo stick here >>

*Related Post: Best Gifts For Outdoorsy Kids

Unique Family Ideas & Adventures

Next, these family experience gifts get creative.

family with hearts in the air

1. Paying to Stream Disney or Netflix

  • Wrap: A list of movies/shows they’d love to watch, snacks, and drinks

2. Game Night Gift Basket

3. Helicopter Ride

4. Boat Ride

  • Wrap: A boating hat, sunscreen

5. Train Ride

6. Fruit Picking

  • Wrap: insect repellent, gloves, wet wipes

7. Movie Night Kit

  • Wrap: favorite classic movies or a list of movies to stream, snacks, drinks, a blanket

8. Outdoor Movie Night

More Great Family Fun:

Best Experience Gifts Teens & Tweens

fun family experience gifts for teenagers and tweens: girls & boys

1. Drawing Class

2. Painting Class

3. Gymnastics

  • Wrap: a leotard and matching hair scrunchie

4. Martial Arts

  • Wrap: hand and feet wrap

5. Cooking Class

  • Wrap: an apron and kitchen utensils

6. Swimming

  • Wrap: goggles, swimsuit, swim towel

7. Jewelry Making

8. Rosetta Stone Classes

  • Wrap: Spanish crosswords, Italian dictionary, Rick Steves Germany book, etc. 

9. Music Lessons

  • Wrap: a guitar pick, music sheets, instrument case

10. Dance Classes

Try ballet, hip-hop, etc.

  • Wrap: clothing and shoes that fit the dance style

Unique Experience Gift Ideas For Teens

These ideas work best for older kids. They make for unique gifts they’ll adore.

good experience gift ideas for teens, 13 year old boy, 11 year old boy, girl

1. Subscription to a Meditation App

Help them deal with stress and anxiety. Headspace and Calm are both popular.

2. Subscription to a Workout App

Make taking care of their bodies easier.

3. A Language Learning App

4. A Ride in a Hot Air Balloon

  • Wrap: a jacket, sunglasses, camera

5. Indoor Skydiving Experience Gift For Kids

  • Wrap: pictures of skydiving, clothes for the event

6. Donation to their College Fund

Or a vacation with friends, a car fund, etc.

  • Wrap: a picture and a few accessories for what they’re saving for

7. Gift card to a Nail Salon

  • Wrap: the gift card, and a new nail polish

8. Historical Tour at a Local Place (Haunted house, etc.)

  • Wrap: information about the history of that place, a themed movie (haunted house movie, documentary, etc.)

9. Broadway Tickets (or Off-Broadway Tickets)

  • Wrap: the tickets, a nice outfit to wear, related movie

10. Experience Coupon Gifts for Teens

  • Wrap: Give them coupons to use for special privileges: staying out later with friends, filling up the gas tank to their car, a pass on chores, etc. See a blank coupon template to make your own.

11. Escape Room Gift Card (or Tickets)

  • Wrap: a riddle they have to figure out to know what the gift is

Related: What Am I Riddles With Answers

12. Pottery, Ceramic, or Wood Making class

great experience kids gifts for teens and tweens
  • Wrap: A canvas or piece of wood to bring

13. Audible Gift Card

14. Kindle Gift Card

15. Spotify or Music Gift Card

16. Tea or Dessert at a Fancy Restaurant

  • Wrap: a tea time hat, tea pot with tea, or fancy outfit

17. Chocolate Tasting

  • Wrap: fancy chocolates

18. Tickets to Paintball

  • Wrap: paintball gear

19. Tickets to the Symphony

  • Wrap: a fancy outfit

20. Tickets to a Comedy Show

21. A Room Makeover

  • Wrap: a gift card to a home store for them to pick out, paint samples, or the actual items (lamp, bedspread, pillows, etc.)

22. A Cozy Reading Nook

Like the room makeover idea, give your tween or teen a corner to re-decorate for reading.

  • Wrap: twinkle lights, bookmarks, inspiring books, a bookstore or home goods gift card, paint color samples, lamp, etc.

Travel Experience Gifts for Family

Next, these experiences are family vacations that your kids will remember for a lifetime.

Fun experience gifts for kids, family, teens 2023: car ride

1. Disneyworld

2. Universal Studios

3. Beach Vacation

4. Roadtrip

5. Flying on an Airplane

6. National Parks Annual Pass

7. Legoland

8. Seaworld: Experience Day For Children

9. An International Trip

  • Wrap: Food from the country you will be visiting, the country marked on a map, culture or language book

10. Whale Watching

11. Tickets to a Novel Event

Try something new and get tickets to the Kentucky Derby, a major Nascar race, etc.

  • Wrap: A hat or earmuffs that fit with the event, themed shirt

Great Gifts to Charity

And finally, these gifts help kids think outside of themselves too. Let them be the ones who give the money and fill out the paperwork so that they feel amazing doing something good for the world.

1. Save the Children

2. World Wildlife

3. Kiva

Free Printable Gift Certificate

Grab the free pdf to give too!

best experience gifts for kids free gift certificate printable pdf for birthdays and holidays

Why Kids Need Experience Gifts

Unlike junky plastic toys, experience gifts give kids…

Novel Experiences

They help kids branch out and try new things. It’s possible they’ll find a new passion through one of these gifts.

Strengthen Family Relationships

Many experience gifts for kids are done as a family. This builds connection and love within your tribe.

Give Kids A Boost

By learning a new skill or subject, their confidence and self-esteem increase.

Make Your Family Happier

In a recent study done by the University of Texas, researchers found that consumers are happier when they spend money are experiences versus material goods (Science Daily).

To Consider With Family & Kids Gifts of Experience

Best experience gifts for kids and teens, ideas for Christmas gifts

Don’t forget to document these beautiful experiences with custom photo albums and calendars. This allows you to live your moments with the kids again and again. (It also helps pass the cabin fever winters!)

And if you’re looking for more gift-giving ideas that are not junk, head over to this big list of kids gifts that are not toys for practical and meaningful ideas.

What have been your favorite experience gifts for kids? Leave a comment below!

“If you want to be happier, shift some of your consumption away from material goods and a bit more toward experiences. That would likely lead to greater well-being.” – Amit Kumar

Other kids posts you’ll love…

List of Fun Gift Experiences Kids & Families Love

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