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Creative "experience" and out-of-the-box gift ideas for the kids in your life!

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

The holidays are upon us. I remember when my kids were pre-schoolers and I would race around trying to purge the toys to make space for new ones that would inevitably overwhelm our small house. Don’t get me wrong, I know how privileged we were to have more toys than my children ever needed! I still remember just how much all of the “stuff” overwhelmed me. As my kids got older and their Hanukkah list got shorter, I started experimenting with “experience” gifts, subscription boxes and other out-of-the-box unique gifts that wouldn’t be discarded in the pile of toys and labeled as “boring” by February!

Here are some of our favorites:

§ My mom started a tradition of giving my three kids a group gift. One year she did board games that she knew would accommodate all of their ages. Another year she did snow shovels, brick makers, snowball scoops, snow painting kits, and a huge box of their favorite hot chocolate packets. My kids always look forward to this huge box of goodies which by the way ended up being more economical than three separate gifts. I was thrilled because the gifts were always activity-based.

§ Kiwi crates! This subscription company has crates for all ages, abilities and interests. Our favorites were the Kiwi crates, Doodle, Eureka and Tinker.

§ If you are local to Metro Detroit, gift the kids a drop-in studio visit at the Art Experience in Pontiac. This studio is any creative kid’s (or adult’s) dream, full of every art tool you can imagine plus collections of paper, buttons, miniatures, canvas, paper… and anything you could dream up. It’s only $6 for studio time per person.

§ Do your kids get a little wild during the long winter? Memberships to trampoline park or bouncy house centers can be a great deal. Often if you take your kids twice, it ends up a better deal than paying for individual times. I love that this is no commitment. Instead of a class with a particular time and day, you can go whenever it works for you that week!

§ Did you know that the zoo is not just for summer days? In fact, the animals tend to be much more active when it’s not 90 degrees outside. Bundle up the kids and when you see that sun take a walk around the zoo. A pass to the zoo or a membership is a great holiday gift.

§ During the long years of social distancing and avoiding indoor gatherings, so many places started offering light installations you could walk through outside or view from your car. Many of them continue today! Take your family to one of these experiences as a great holiday “experience” gift.

§ Do your kids have an activity they are passionate about? Add an extra session, a one-time private lesson, or a special event… as an experience gift they are guaranteed to love!

What is your holiday gift-giving strategy for the children in your life?

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