30+ "Experience" Gift Ideas for Kids, Family and Friends Anytime

"Experience" gifts that create memories that last a lifetime!

By Jourdan Card, Publisher of Macaroni KID Centreville-South Riding, Va. December 24, 2022

Do you dread all the "Stuff" the holidays bring? Is your home overflowing with stuff? After the last few years one thing that's become more apparent is nice it is to get out and do things! Maybe the next time you give a gift to your family or someone asks what to get for your kids you can think about experiences rather than things. Here are some ideas to help get you started.

If your family lives close by why not encourage them to participate in the experience? What a great way for them to spend some quality one-on-one time with your kids / family - the greatest gift of all.

Need ideas for great experience gifts? Here's 30+ ideas to help get you started!

FatCamera from Getty Images Signature via Canva

Lessons / Classes

Lessons and classes make great gifts for kids! Just make sure you have an idea of their interest level, and worked out any important details - like location and extra costs not included.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Art
  • Painting Ceramics - like Color Me Mine
  • Sports
  • Park & Rec. Classes
  • Swimming
  • Music 
  • Photography
  • Kids Cooking
  • Martial Arts
  • Dance
  • Gymnastics
  • Coding
  • Sewing 

Local around Town

Gift cards or homemade gift certificates can mean the world to parents and kids. 

Consider offering:

  • Babysitting or childcare for daytime or a night out
  • Gift certificates to a favorite frozen treat shop, movie theater, or bookstore 
  • Tickets to see their favorite sports team
  • Movie tickets
  • Tickets for an upcoming concert or theater performance

FatCamera from Getty Images Signature via Canva

Membership / Gift certificates 

Memberships are the gifts that keep on giving! Typically annual memberships come with free daily entry or tickets, along with other perks. Here are some ideas for places that may offer annual memberships, season passes or tickets are great fun for the whole family:

  • Indoor Playground
  • Zoo
  • Theater
  • Museums
  • Amusement Park
  • Fitness or Recreation Center 
  • Planetarium

Kampus Productions from Pexels via Canva


Experience gifts are a great way to encourage quality family time that everyone looks forward to. Here are some ideas for gifts that are priceless in terms of memorable family time. If you don't find something read-made get creative.

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Monthly subscription boxes:  Family-friendly subscription boxes for specialty foods, crafting, cooking, reading etc
  • A family movie night in a box:  All you need is a DVD or Redbox rental. Add popcorn, hot chocolate, candy, and a cozy new blanket
  • Picnic time:  A picnic basket filled with all the supplies and a blanket, all they need is the food, unless you want to give a gift certificate for that too
  • Day at the Beach:  Beach towels, chairs, cooler and sand toys or something to play with like a frisbee 
  • Plant a garden:  Wrap seeds and offer the gift of helping them create a backyard garden
  • Send them on a scavenger hunt:  Create a scavenger hunt in your home or community and have a fun prize at the end. It won't matter what the prize is - the gift is in the fun of the hunt!
  • Charter a boat:  Most local marinas have boat rental options that come with a captain or guide. Give the gift of a day on the water relaxing, swimming, fishing, and having fun with your family
  • DIY crafts:  Get an assortment of supplies or give a gift certificate for a local craft shop
  • Create gratitude journals:  Give one to each member of your family and encourage daily entries with prompts and ideas 

Jourdan Card is the publisher of Macaroni KID Centreville-South Riding, Va.

This previously published article was updated by Brenna Gutell, publisher for Macaroni KID Conejo Valley - Malibu - Calabasas