Skip to Content

25+ Experience Gifts For Kids in 2022

More and more people are trying to accumulate less stuff and more memories. If this is you, one of the best ways to get started to is give experience gifts for kids instead of yet more toys. 

Below you will find some experience gift ideas for kids of all ages including toddlers. There are even experience gifts for families s that everyone can enjoy your generous present. 

If you are worried about disappointing your kids by not giving them as much to unwrap this year, read on for some great ways to wrap experience gifts and keep the magic alive. 

experience gifts for kids

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure for more information. 


101 Free Things To Do With Kids That Will Keep Them Busy, Not Bored

25 Winter Activities That Are Easy On The Wallet

How To Wrap An Experience Gift

Let’s face it, kids like opening presents. Even though parents love experience gifts, just opening a gift card can be a bit of a let down for little ones who are used to receiving toys. 

Luckily there are tons of really fun ways to wrap your experience gift to make it super exciting. 

  • Add in a themed book

This is what I often do. So for example, if I were gifting passes to the zoo, I would wrap the pass with a zoo-themed book (Polar Bear Polar Bear by Eric Carle is a great choice for preschoolers). 

You could include movie candy for a cinema pass or special socks for trampolining. 

  • Create a scavenger hunt as part of the gift

Make finding the gift fun by having it be the final prize in a themed scavenger hunt that starts under the tree. 

  • Use lots of boxes

Make opening a gift card way more fun by wrapping it in increasingly larger boxes until it ends up being a huge present. Kids will have so much fun opening all the boxes and to make it extra special, you could put a little candy or treat within each box. 

Top 10 Experience Gifts For Kids

Below are the top 10 experience gifts for kids in 2022. Most of them are pretty budget friendly and would work for children of all ages. 

Check online as many attractions will let you buy an e-gift cards so you don’t even have to go shopping at all! 

1. Zoo Pass

A family pass to the zoo or attraction like a butterfly conservatory or reptile place makes a great experience gift for kids. Parents will love having a ready-made idea for a day out and it’s one of those things that cost a lot of money for many families. 

If you can swing it, a seasons pass is awesome but even tickets for a one day pass make a great gift. 

2. Entrance to a play place

Play place passes make an awesome gift and are normally affordable enough for even school friend gifts. Everyone loves to have a play place pass in their back pocket for rainy days where there is nothing else on. 

3. Bowling 

Bowling is making a comeback and it is a great family friendly activity that kids love. Some bowling alleys even have disco nights where the lanes glow in the dark which makes it extra special. 

4. Mini Golf 

One of the most fun experience gifts for kids! Mini golf or crazy golf is tons of fun and a really affordable activity to give as a gift. 

5. Show Tickets

Even if you don’t live near Broadway shows, almost every city has a local theatre company that has kid-friendly plays and pantomimes around the holidays. 

6. Trampoline Park

If you have one in your city, passes to a trampoline park are awesome for the 3+ crowd. They are normally pretty inexpensive and make a fun family morning out. 

Want to really make your kid’s day and make the experience last even longer?

How about getting your own backyard trampoline? We recently got one and it has kept the kids off the screens and exercising almost every day. 

Here’s a guide to finding the best trampoline for your family. 

7. Sporting event 

Baseball, hockey, football – going to a game is a really exciting experience for kids and one that is easy to tailor to your budget and their interests. 

8. Manicure or pedicure voucher (mini spa day)

Lots of spas will sell you a gift certificate for a mini-pedicure or mani for a little girl. You can even get mini spa makeovers at some locations which make a fun experience gift. 

9. Paint your own pottery class

A gift certificate for a local pottery studio makes a wonderful present for older children who like arts and crafts. 

10. Cooking class 

Many grocery stores have kitchens where they host cooking classes for kids. My local store even lets you buy the tickets online so it’s a really easy experience gift for kids. 

6 Ideas For Family Experience Gifts 

If you want to buy an experience gift that the whole family can enjoy, your choices really depend on the age of the children that you are buying for. That being said, most of the gift ideas below can be tweaked to suit any age. 

1. Family outing – a local aquarium, zoo or other local attraction

A family pass to a local farm, aquarium or other popular attraction is always a hit and gives your recipient a “free” day out for a future date. Bonus points if you can get a pass that works any day. 

2. Movie tickets

Movie tickets and a coupon for popcorn make the perfect gift for families who have tons of toys and would prefer to make memories. After all – who doesn’t like going to the movies? 

3. Tickets to a live performance

Depending on interests and your location, you might be able to score reasonable tickets to shows like Monster Jam, Disney on Ice or local theatre productions. 

4. Gift card to a fun family restaurant like Dave and Busters 

If you can’t think of a specific event to buy for, a gift certificate for a restaurant is always a hit, especially if it is a kid-friendly eaterie with entertainment or activities. 

5. Theme Park tickets

Older kids and parents will love tickets to a theme park as they can get really expensive once you factor in food and snacks. Paid for tickets make an awesome gift idea for families of all ages if the theme park has rides for smaller children. 

6. Family photoshoot 

This one isn’t an experience per se but it’s a great way to give an experience instead of gifts. A voucher for a family photoshoot is such an awesome present and a way to create memories that will last forever. 

Experience Gifts For Families With Toddlers

Families with toddlers are always looking for things to do! Busy toddlers are always on the go and keeping them entertained is a full-time job!

The other thing is that most toddler households are just bursting at the seams with toys so instead of exchanging gifts, they will more than likely be thrilled with tickets to a toddler-friendly attraction or event. 

1. Art Class

A toddler art class allows the kids to get messy somewhere other than home! Parents will love you! Many art studios have special toddler days with footprint crafts or messy art activities. 

2. Zoo or aquarium admission

Toddlers love animals and entrance to a zoo or aquarium makes an great gift for any holiday or birthday. 

3. Disney on Ice or Sesame Street live tickets 

This is seasonal but if you have a show coming to town, you can get some great tickets that toddlers love. The Wiggles are coming to my town this holiday season so it’s on my list to buy for my kids. 

4. Weekend at a family-friendly resort 

This is a pricier option but if you have a budget, buying a weekend to a resort like Great Wolf Lodge is an amazing gift for families with toddlers! 

5. Mommy and me zumba or yoga passes 

Mommy and me exercise classes are all the rage and a pass to try a session would make an awesome experience gift for families with toddlers. Dads welcome! 

Need More Experience Gifts For Kids Ideas? 

If none of the ideas above work and you are truly stumped, go back to basics.

Classes and lessons are another great idea if you are looking for experience gifts for kids for any age. Ideas include swimming lessons, music classes, skating, dance and anything that the children are interested in. 

Looking for a way to simplify your holiday season this year?

Last year I started using a Christmas Planner and it completely streamlined my holidays and made me so much more organized.

The planner I use has planning pages for Black Friday, Online purchase trackers, Christmas card lists and gift budgets and planners.

It also comes with a 50 page bonus printable Christmas journal for kids which makes a great stocking stuffer that will keep them occupied all holiday long.

The Stocking stuff journal has pages where children can note down their favorite Christmas memories and activities which makes it the perfect companion to your experience gift. 

Check out the planner and the bonus journal here

More Gift Ideas For Kids

The Best Princess Gifts For Preschoolers 

Girl Power Gifts For Girls Of All Ages

Bananas Toy Review & Unboxing

Like This Post? Pin it! 

experience gifts for kids

I accept the Privacy Policy