2019 Holiday Experience Gift Ideas (Experience Gifts for Kids)

Now that the holidays are approaching, we’re exploring the best experience gifts for kids & other present ideas. 

Give the gift of an experience this year…with less wrapping paper and clutter. 

Experience gifts give more family time and bonding, so it can’t get much better than that….


Give the Gift of Experiences

To kick things off, we’ve got experience gift ideas to keep the magic of the holidays alive even after the New Year.

Here are some of our favorites:

Experience Gifts & Ideas  |  Non-Toy Gift Ideas  |  Tech Gifts & Electronics  |  Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Experience Gifts & Ideas 

Give the gift that keeps on giving…& is less mess!

50% OFF Family 4 Pack – Paradise Park: ONLY BLACK FRIDAY

Starting November 28th at midnight, a Family 4 Pack of Day Passes will be on sale – ONLY for 24 hours, on Black Friday.

(regularly $139!) ONLY $69!
The biggest sale on Adventure Day Passes includes:
-4 Adventure Day Passes, good for use by August 1, 2020
-Unlimited play all day long on all our Adventure Attractions:
-Go Karts
-Rock Climbing
-Mini Golf
-Bumper Cars
-Laser Tag Maze
-Foam Factory 

Gift Cards to a store or restaurant

Try the local outlet malls or big sporting goods like Scheels. You can’t go wrong with providing options.

You can also get gift cards to US Toy, where kids can pick from TONS of toys, crafts, school supplies, costumes, & party supplies.

When you give a child a gift card, you’re giving them the freedom to explore & discover what they really enjoy.

Tickets to see a movie or show

B&B Theaters has several locations in the KC metro, plus the new ScreenPLAY! option that adds a twist on the typical movie.

The Coterie Theater at Crown Center offers both classic and contemporary options for all ages.

Memberships to local attractions.

Each has given us the chance to spend time together as a family – it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Membership gifts could include: Union Station, College Basketball Experience, The Kansas City Zoo or Science City.

Paradise Park also offers their annual memberships, which are great for family nights!

Tuition for a class, camp or activity

Camps & activities continue to give as the year goes on.

Swim lessons are a great experience gift! Your children will learn to swim safely & get to escape the cold for a fun, warm pool 🙂 With the Swim Lesson Gift Set from Aqua-Tots Olathe you get a towel, gift certificate, & goggles so you have a physical gift to give with the experience. 

Gift ideas for activities include skiing, sledding, and snowboarding at Snow Creek, The College Basketball ExperienceHuman Foosball, Coding workshops, Weston Red Barn Farm, or local history museum. These would be especially good for a first-time experience gift.

Kids can also enjoy the experience of cooking classes at Taste Bud’s Kitchen (Leawood) or The Cooking Station in Lee’s Summit!

Painting or ceramic classes at Potter’s HavenCeramic Café or Paint Glaze and Fire, piano lessonsswim lessonssports programs, martial arts lessons, or  horseback riding lessons are also great gift ideas.

Go to a local play center or indoor park

There are tons of experience gifts that get kids active!

Kids can bounce around KC at Urban Air, Sky Zone, Giggles-N-Jiggles, Pump It Up, or Jump City.

Other fun play experience gifts include Landmark 2 SkateField Station DinosaursParadise Park, Aerial Yoga, Gymboree, are all great options.

For older kids, TopGolf and iFly Indoor Skydiving could be great experience options too.

Go Visit Alpacas!

This is a very unique experience to gift your children.

Our kids love animals, so this is right up their alley!

YaYa’s Alpaca Farm teaches your children about how the alpacas live and also lets you interact with them. 🙂

Donate to a Charity in Their Name

You can give a unique experience gift that teaches your child the value of giving back.

The Farmer’s House or Charlie’s House are just a few.

Trip or Vacation

Going on a weekend road trip is perfect for students of all ages on winter break.

Going somewhere new is alway exciting, especially when it’s with people you love!



Non-Toy Gift Ideas


It’s always a good time for learning and I am a huge fan of gifting books for special occasions.

Reading provides children with the opportunity to use their imagination and dive deep into other worlds.

“A reader lives a thousand lifetimes…” -George R.R. Martin 

With hundreds of thousands of different titles to select from, the possibilities are virtually endless when it comes to book gifts.

If your child life has a Kindle, tablet, or e-reader, you could give them a gift card to purchase books they choose too.

Depending on the age and reading level of your recipient, a book series can provide hours and hours of entertainment.

Book suggestions include:

  • Classic Children’s Books (all ages)
  • Llama Llama Red Pajama Books (toddler)
  • Pete The Cat Books (preschool)
  • Ivy & Bean Books (school aged)
  • Judy Moody Books (school aged)
  • Harry Potter Series (preteen)

Gift Cards

We know they aren’t the most personal gifts, but they can be thoughtful if you get them to their absolute favorite store!

Your kids can choose what they want! So much easier…

Here are a few places we suggest for gift cards:

  • Claires – they often have ‘Buy 3 Get 3 FREE’ sales so your gift card can go further.
  • Five Below – everything in the store UNDER $5, so a little can go a long way
  • The bookstore (See #1 for more details)

My 6 year-old daughter absolutely loves shopping at the mall.

The joy she gets in shopping for earrings, “makeup” (relax, it’s just lip gloss…we’re not there yet), and other little things that the kids enjoy these days is really special.

When you give a child a gift card, you’re giving them the freedom to explore, to discover what they really enjoy.


As adults, many of us enjoy subscription boxes that come once a month or once a quarter.

Why not give subscription gifts for the kids?!

We all know how much kids love getting mail…at least ours do!

There are several great options for subscription services specifically designed for children. Many give you the flexibility of deciding how frequently you want to send the boxes (read: how much you’re willing to budget for).

We found subscription gift ideas that you might be interested in exploring as gift for this year (please note that we have not used these ourselves and, as such, do not provide our endorsement for any of the following) online:

  • Little Passports
  • Kiwi Crate
  • Doodle Crate
  • SproutKin

A “Yes” Day

I recently read an article that discussed how utterly exhausted (and beyond happy) actress Jennifer Garner was after successfully completing a “yes day” with her kids.

It’s a concept I’ve never heard of but is, apparently, based on the book Yes Day by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.

The idea is simple – spend a day with your kids and let them take the reins in planning what they want to do.

You set limits and rules for the day (budget, time, etc), then allow your kids to call the shots.

If it sounds as exciting to you as it does to me, check out the book from your local Mid-Continent Public Library branch and consider giving it to your child this Christmas.

Board Games

There’s nothing like sitting down with the family and playing an old-fashioned board game together!

Add in some popcorn and their favorite candy, and it won’t disappoint!


A guitar, violin, flute, or any other musical instrument is a great gift for budding Mozarts.

Along with a few pieces of sheet music, the kiddos will have loads of fun that stimulates their mind!

Polaroid Camera

For the tween crowd, a Polaroid camera is a perfect option for memory makers!

They’ll be able to enjoy their photos immediately, too. Pose for a photo on Christmas morning!


Tech Gifts & Electronics:

It seems like with every new month come a new gadget of some sort, but we’re here to help you keep up!

Last year, our resident tech expert, Burton Kelso, came up with a list of the best tech toys – most of which are still very popular and still on the shelves… and on your kids’ Christmas lists this year, too.

These tech gifts excite long after Christmas is over.

You can also give the gift of understanding technology with coding classes from Code Ninjas of Leawood!

Tech gifts for KIDS

  • Amazon Fire Kids Edition

Another tablet, yes. But, the Amazon Fire Kids edition gets you a two-year worry-free guarantee. If your little one breaks or damages it, Amazon will replace it for free for up to two years.

  • Nintendo Switch

A huge trend last year, another big trend for this year. The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid, portable home console. Your kids can play it on your HD TV at home or take it on-the-go to enjoy games on the built-in HD display.

  • Lego Creator Robo Explorer

Legos are all the rage and it’s not stopping anytime soon. Watch your kiddo build and assemble a fully functioning robot that is transformable into other fun objects as well.

  • littleBits Electronic Music Inventor Kit

Kids have the ability to write and produce their own music with this all-in-one kit for any child that enjoys singing or dancing.

  • Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 03 Vehicle Kit

In collaboration with a Nintendo Switch, this kit allows kids to build a fully functional car, then play with it!

  • Baby Alive Real As Can Be Baby

This baby is the real deal.  Feed it, burp it, take care of it. Watch the baby doll suck on her bottle and even respond to your child’s voice and touch!

Tech gifts for HER

  • Fitbit Flex 2 Bangle

This activity tracker doubles as a beautiful piece of jewelry. With all the features of a Fitbit, your special lady can keep up with daily activities in style.

  • Everpurse Kate Spade Small Harmony Tote

This black tote will hold a 13-inch laptop and has a charging dock for a smartphone. The bag will even recharge it by placing it on a charging mat.

  • Stylish Headphones

It seems like today you can purchase headphone of any type, color, or pattern from thousands of websites online.  Do some digging and find the perfect ones for her. She’ll never take them off!

  • Fossil Q Harper Smart Hybrid Watch

No more bulky smart watch for her! Flaunt a new hybrid watch that is fashionable and functional for everything she’ll need.  With the sleek, stylish design, you’d never know all it’s abilities until you use it for yourself!

Tech gifts for HIM

  • DJI Phantom 3 Standard Drone with 2.7K HD Video Camera

Drones are what’s “in” right now, but the best ones are not cheap. The DJI Phantom is a great all-purpose drone that is more reasonably priced, especially for beginners.

DJI Spark Alpine White with Remote Control and Parrot Mambo Fly are also good options.

  • Samsung UHD TV Curved Screen Smart TV

The Samsung is a trusted and reliable TV brand on the market. The Smart UHD TV is hard to beat – beautiful curved screens, built-in apps and amazing picture quality. Perfect for watching the next big game!

  • Anker PowerCore II 20000

Does someone in your life constantly need a phone charger, walking around most of the time with a dead phone?  A portable charging stick is simple yet necessary! This one from Anker comes with all the accessories, too!

Tech gifts for All Ages

  • Smart Watches

We’ve mentioned the Fitbit Flex 2 more tailored to women, but there are several other popular fitness trackers on the market too. Some of the latest are the Apple Watch Series 4, the Fitbit Versa. This article mentions a few others along with the product’s features.

  • The Amazon Echo

Amazon’s products have made the list of popular gifts for techies for several years now. You can get a variety of versions from the Echo, the Dot, the Spot, the Look and the Show. All of these great products can turn your home into a smart home.

  • Google Home Smart Speaker

Google’s version of the Amazon Echo, Google’s Home Smart Speaker can control the same smart home accessories as Amazon’s smart speaker, in addition to members of the Google Chromecast family. The bonus with this device is you have access to Google’s database for information.

  • Apple Airpods

Time to get rid of those messy cables and wireless headphones that constantly need charged. Airpods connect with any iPhone or iPad over Bluetooth and have become increasingly popular with the releases of Apple’s latest iPhones.

An Android-friendly, non-Apple alternative is the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless Headphones, which have been reported to produce high-quality sound as well.

  • Philips Hue Bulbs

Philips’ Hue bulbs are many people’s first smart home accessory. Since smart homes are becoming more common, there’s a good chance these bulbs will become harder to find than usual this season.

  • Amazon Fire Tablet

The Fire tablet is the ultimate choice for casual tablet users. You can use it to read eBooks, browse the web, watch Netflix, or play light games. It’s not the most powerful or capable tablet on the market, but it’s definitely the best choice under $50.

  • Nest Smart Home products

With the Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest Protect smoke & carbon monoxide alarm and Nest Cam security camera, Nest is creating a home that’s better than smart.

Ring Video Doorbell 2 is another similar product that has voice-activated features and security capabilities.

  • Sonos One Smart Speaker

The Sonos One is an updated version of the audio company’s popular PLAY: 1 speaker. It sounds better, has the intelligence of Amazon’s Alexa baked into it, the One will also work with your current Sonos system without requiring a new app or hub.


Stocking Stuffer Ideas

…good things come in small packages

Finding fun stocking stuffers can be tricky!

Stocking stuffers often get a bad rap.

They are usually the last presents to be opened – after we’ve unwrapped the big, colorful boxes.

But, good things can come in small packages! Here are few Christmas gifts that can fit inside the “stockings hung by the chimney with care.”

US Toy has TONS of adorable, affordable stocking stuffers.

Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Kids

Stocking Stuffers for Kids:

Kids all like different things, but there are fun stocking stuffers any kid would love!

  • School supplies– pencils, pens, erasers and crayons make great stocking stuffers.  Kids have often lost or destroyed many of the items you purchased for back to school.
  • Virtual pets–If your kids are begging for a pet for Christmas, but you’re not ready to commit, this is a great way to buy yourself some time.  Have your kid take care of the virtual pet for a few months to show that he is responsible enough to handle pet ownership.  I know my children would either lose the pet, or at least lose interest after just a couple of months.  If your kids are more responsible, use that time period to save up cash to buy an actual puppy.
  • Cold Weather Gear– Socks, gloves and mittens work as stocking stuffers for kids (and adults) of all ages.  This is the perfect time to stock up, as many of them will be going on clearance soon to make room for next season.
  • Candy – who doesn’t love a little extra Christmas candy…?
  • Mini Lego Sets
  • Art Supply sets
  • Silly Putty or Slime
  • Card Games
  • Toiletries
  • Books
  • Sweet Treats

Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers:

Christmas shopping for toddlers can be tricky.

Many toys are too dangerous or delicate for their tiny hands. Try things like:

  • Stuffed toys – good for little bitty hands.
  • DVD/BluRay Disc featuring their favorite characters would be a hit.
  • Board books – these are both educational & fun!
  • Art supplies – Crayola no mess markers are a godsend. Your kids literally can’t draw on anything but the special paper.
  • Hair accessories – must be kept out of their reach though
  • Toddler safe toy cars might be a good idea for little boys.
  • Chalk
  • Bath Toys
  • Play Doh
  • Bubbles
  • Coloring Books

Stocking Stuffers for Teenagers:

If you have teenagers to shop for, you can make their Christmas wishes come true by stuffing their stockings with

  • Gift cards to their favorite stores, or even better, cash.
  • Earbuds/headphones
  • USB Drives
  • Wireless chargers
  • Candy cane chap stick – a Christmas special 
  • Hair Ties and Accessories
  • Makeup
  • PopSockets
  • Cologne/Perfume

Affordable Stocking Stuffers:

If you need to find affordable stocking stuffers, check out Five Below, The Dollar Tree, US Toy, Target, or even the clearance sections of your favorite stores.

There are deals to be found everywhere!

Some of the best Christmas gifts can be bought at your local discount store. Cruise the aisles of your local dollar store and stock up.

Five Below has SO many stocking stuffer options…all for under $5!

You’d be surprised at the awesome things that you can get for a few dollars or less:

  • Candy
  • Toys
  • Games
  • Food
  • Hair Bows, Hair Ties, Brushes
  • Kitchen gadgets
  • Toiletries like razor sets or lotion sets

DIY Stocking Stuffers – Handmade:

Finally, there is nothing as sweet as a homemade gift.  Be creative!

Your homemade cookies or brownies taste better than anything you could buy at the store.

Scarves and slipper socks are warmer when they are knitted or crocheted with love.

Give from your heart and your hands.

Pinterest has SO many DIY gift ideas:

  • Homemade brownies or cookies
  • Handmade scarves, socks or blankets
  • Photos
  • Scrapbooks
  • Handmade jewelry
  • Painting on Canvas
  • Plants
  • Handmade Letters

Print off some photos and do a DIY collage or frame set. Sites like Shutterfly allow for personalized photo gifts, calendars and prints.


So, what are you gifting this year?

An in-depth listing of resources available to your family this season in our Annual Holiday Guide.

We know that we’ve likely missed something, so we’d love to hear your BEST gift ideas! Leave us a comment below or let us know on social media what you’re getting for your loved ones this holiday season.

Sign-up for The Scoop now so you don’t miss anything for KC kids – movie premieres, free kids events at our clients, & more family fun.

Also, be sure to join the discussion on the iFamilyKC Kansas City Parent Facebook Community Group! You can pick a copy up starting November 1st in any of our 1,000 drop spots across the metro area or access it online.

From our family to yours, iFamilyKC. 

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