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….

Kansas City Experience Gift Ideas for Kids

Give the Gift of Experiences: Experience Gifts & Ideas 

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

To kick things off, we’ve got experience gift ideas to keep the magic of the holidays alive even after the New Year. You can also find Non-Toy Gift Ideas for additional gift ideas for kids. 

Here are some of our favorites:

 

1. Memberships to Local Attractions

Annual memberships give us the chance to spend time together as a family – it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Check out these local memberships & experience gift ideas:

> Union Station Membership: Science City, Planetarium & More

With the Union Station Membership comes many benefits, including special member events, reserved times to see Santa, free train rides, skip lines on busy days & FREE (unlimited for 1 year) admission to the below attractions:

  • Science City admissions
  • KC Rail Experience, including KC Southern Holiday Express Train
  • Model Train Exhibit 
  • Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium: 1 free admisison per person, then 60% off for additional visits

There are different membership levels, depending on the number of people you would like on the pass. Family  passes are available. 

> Paradise Park Annual Passes

You have 2 options for fun experience gifts for the whole family!

1. Family Pass to Discover Center & Foam Factory

Get access to over 30 activity stations and play areas! You can purchase this annual pass for $149, or pay $17.99 per month. You will also receive 50% off all Adventure Day Passes & Operation Laser Tag. 

2. 2020 Adventure Passport – $99 (limited time price)

This is an individual pass, good for children 6 & older, teens & adults. 

Each pass holder receives unlimited play, all day long on:
-Go Karts & Junior Karts
-Rock Climbing
-Mini Golf
-Bumper Cars
-Laser Tag Maze
-Foam Factory 

> SkyZone Memberships

There are 3 different membership levels, starting at $19.99 per month. 

Each SkyZone membership is individual, but allows the pass holder to jump whenever they want!

> Kansas City Zoo Membership Pass

You can choose between individual memberships or the family membership. In our opinion, the family membership is a much better deal…

For $80 more you get your entire family into The KC Zoo for all of 2020. The Family Membership includes 2 adults & up to 10 dependents (under 18)

Pro-tip: Clay & Jackson County residents can save up to 30% OFF!

> Pogo Pass Kansas City

This activity pass gets you access to 17+ KC attractions for families – all for only $39.98! 

> Deanna Rose Farmstead Annual Membership

The Friends of the Farmstead pass allows 2 adults and all minor children free admisison to Deanna Rose for one calendar year. You can play all year long!

> Overland Park Arboretum Annual Membership

There are different membership levels, depending on the number of people on the pass. It gives the pass holders free admission to the Overland Park Arboretum for one year.

 

2. Gift Cards to a store or restaurant

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

Here are a few places we suggest for gift cards:

  • Claire’s – 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) 
  • Your local mall or sporting goods shops like Academy Sports or Scheels.

You can’t go wrong with providing options. Your kids can choose what they want! So much easier…

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

 

3. 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. Or, grab tickets to another local movie theater!

Or if you’re looking for a live show, The Coterie Theater at Crown Center offers both classic and contemporary show options for all ages. You can also explore kid-friendly shows & concerts at Starlight Theater

 

4. Sporting Events & Activities

> Family Pack of Kansas City Mavericks Hockey tickets! It includes 4 tickets (you can add more), drinks & hot dogs. 

If your children are into other sports, consider buying tickets to a game!

Join the KC Chiefs Kids Club! This gives you access to exclusive family events at Arrowhead Stadium like movies on the field & trick-or-treating at the stadium. 

 

5. Tuition for a class, camp or activity

Camps & activities continue to give as the year goes on. Plus, your children will grow while learning new things!

> Sports Leagues as Gifts

Sports leagues with i9 Sports are a great gift! 

SAVE $10 with code iFamKCRocks on any i9 Sports league for children.

> Cooking Classes as Gifts:

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

They’ll be able to cook your family dinner in no time…

> Educational Activities as Gifts

If your children are interested in technology, give them coding classes from Code Ninjas of Leawood!

Or, visit Wonderscope Children’s Muesum or local history museum. You can explore all the best museums in Kansas City to find the perfect experience gift for kids…

> Art Classes as Gifts:

Kids can paint their own pottery at Ceramic Café or Paint Glaze and Fire in Overland Park. 

> Music Lessons as Gifts:

Give piano lessons with Lori’s School of Music or Shining Light Music offers music lessons for pretty much every instrument possible – drum & bass, saxophone, guitar, flute, percussion, violin & viola…you name the instrument, they probably have a class for it. 

> Other Programs & Physical Activities

You have so many options! Choose from:

Swimming Lessons Experience Gift

Bundle with swim lessons

i9 Sports Coupon Discount Code

6. Play Together at Play Centers, Activities & Indoor Parks

There are tons of KC experience gift ideas that get kids active!

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

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

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

 

7. Escape with Your Family

Escape Artist KC has escape rooms designed especially for children!

Your kids can solve the puzzle rooms on their own, or you can try to escape as a family. 

 

8. 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. 🙂

 

9. 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.

 

10. Take a Trip or Vacation

Going on a weekend road trip is perfect for students of all ages on winter break. Explore the 18 Best Road trips from Kansas City to find the perfect spot for your family!

Going somewhere new is always exciting, especially when it’s with people you love…

 

Non-Toy Gift Ideas

Books

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)

Subscriptions

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!

Instruments

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!

 

Bonus: 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!

This year give technology or give the gift of understanding technology…

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.

 

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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