Gift Ideas for Kids

I don’t know about you but it seems like as each year passes my children are accumulating more “stuff” than I have space for.  It has gotten to the point where we almost have to rent out a storage unit if we accumulate much more this Christmas.  Also, let’s be honest, most of the toys, puzzles, and games that our children receive for Christmas are hot commodities in the house for all of two weeks. Then it is up to mom to find a place to store “more stuff” and that storage location is often that toys burial ground because we know it’s seen its last days of being the “it toy”.  However there are a few that slip through the cracks and do end up being your child’s all time favorite, we’re talking can’t go anywhere without it, toy.  And that toy is often the most obnoxious thing since Budweiser’s “What’s Up” campaign. Oh, and did I mention, the “it toy” often also requires 4 AA or AAA (or fill in whichever type of battery you never have on hand) batteries that it eats up in a similar fashion as Cookie Monster eats up cookies (well he used to eat cookies when I was a kid, I think he sneaks the occasional cookie these days, poor guys is probably a diabetic from all the sweets). That same toy that is causing you to cancel your hair appointment and coffee with friends just so you can keep up on the toy’s battery addiction is also driving you nuts because the “it toy” makes unbearable sounds and noises in various pitches and when it speaks you find that it is bilingual (nothing like being annoyed in two different languages). So this year instead of breaking the bank to purchase a storage unit, or a toy burial ground, or enabling a toy’s addiction to batteries, why not regain your mental state, no more mama loco (or whatever language your toys speak). This year request and give the gift of experiences. Here are a few ideas to get you started.


Art Classes from the Toledo Museum of Art

There are fun art classes for all ages at the Toledo Museum of Art.

Dance classes

Cooking classes

Sewing classes

Musical Instrument lessons




A Membership to Imagination Station

Tots become Docs at the Imagination Station.

A Membership to the Zoo

See what the buzz is all about at Natures Neighborhood in the Toledo Zoo.

The Toledo Zoo offers so many fun and engaging activities for children at Natures Neighborhood and there are great family activities that occur throughout the year.

The best part about giving the gift of a membership for Christmas is that you are not only providing wonderful family memories throughout the year but you are providing mommy with much-needed sanity time.  Moms can stop by The Toledo Zoo, Imagination Station, heck, I would even throw in Coscto’s (seriously, what person, parent, or child, doesn’t enjoy a few samples and perusing the merchandise?) for an hour or two, or just stop in to see their child’s favorite animal, display, or food sample, without feeling financially obligated to make a day of it. Sometimes a little monkey business does a Toddler good, and then it is home for a nap, and hopefully the Toddler with take a snooze too!

Tickets too….

A sporting event

Muddy and Madonna are the “it couple”, Go Mud Hens!

Toledo Mud Hens

Make it a family event, Mommy and Daddy are sure to have fun too!

Toledo Walleye

It’s a bird…it’s a plan…it’s flying Spike!

T-town Hockey!!

The movie theater

Alvin and the Chipmunks- Shipwrecked is the perfect family film. They had the Chipmunks figurines out when we went to see The Muppets, another great family movie.

There are so many fun children’s Movies coming out in the near future (Rave ).

Seeing a movie together as a family is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. What a wonderful experience to give to a family and/or friends?

Tickets to a fundraising event ….

This is a great idea for a gift, not only does the recipient get a fun night out but the money goes to a great cause. Some friends and I just attended Christmas by Candlelight, a fun event to raise money for the Beach House, a family shelter.

Here we all are next to the Christmas tree at the Christmas by Candlelight event.

The “host” of each table had invitations they sent to their guest (each table sat 8) and they decorated the table as they pleased; only the linen tablecloth was provided.

This was our table.

It was so much fun walking around and seeing all the creative ways other tables were decorated for the event. There was also a silent action and DJ, what more could you asks for?

Another table at the event, so elegant

I really liked this table as well. This would have been a great “experience” gift.

This table was decorated and set as a classic Christmas.

Another great fundraising event that would also be a fantastic gift for locals are tickets to, Junior Leagues Chocolate Soiree, an evening of chocolate decadence, where selected restaurants and businesses will showcase their best chocolate creation.

Tickets to a play….

Huntington Center ,Disney on Ice, Harlem Globetrotters, Professional Bull Riders, Freestyle Motocross, Monster Jam Monster Trucks, and more

Tickets to Cedar Point

Tickets to Kalahari


Granted there are some grandparents, aunts, and uncles that can be sticklers when it comes to embracing the “Experience” as a gift idea. So, if they still want to get your child something to open and play with for Christmas, encourage something small that is related to the experience. For example, if they are getting him tickets to a sports event maybe they could also get him a hat with the team’s logo or mascot on it. Or, if they are getting the child dance lessons maybe they could also purchase dance shoes for them to open Christmas morning, you get the idea. If they still will not budge and insist on purchasing toys express that there are so many children out there that have gone without so much this year, and they will be delighted to receive their toy donation. Remind them that Christmas is not about toys, it is about expressing gratitude, spending time together as a family, and creating wonderful memories all of which are fostered by “experiences” for gifts and donating to those less fortunate.

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Categories: Give a gift of an Experience, Uncategorized

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5 Comments on “Gift Ideas for Kids”

  1. December 9, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    I’ve always loved the idea of giving the gift of an experience, but I never realized there were so many options! I’ll definitely refer to this list in the future. Thanks for all of this useful info. I also think it’s wonderful for the gift-giver to share the experience as well to really make the gift memorable for everyone.

    • December 12, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

      I agree that sharing the experience with the person you gave the gift to only adds to the gift and memory. It is funny, looking back at my own childhood I do not remember all the gifts I received under the tree but I do remember the experiences together with family. I remember going to the Manor house with my grandparents, going to Children’s Wonderland with my uncles and cousins, and going to the Lights before Christmas at the Zoo with close family friends. Often those same experiences tend to evolved overtime and ultimately become wonderful traditions. You brought up an excellent point Lilly, thank you for sharing.

  2. December 11, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    What a great idea! Love the variety…

    We have our kids make a list for Christmas and the limit is 15. Which means 5 from us and 5 from each set of grandparents. That way it makes them consider what is most important to them. It has worked great for the last few years. And now they have the concept that Christmas isn’t getting crazy amounts of things.

    • December 12, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

      I like that idea, what a great way to keep the focus on the reason for the season and not drive mommy crazy trying to find a home for an abundance of toys. You have inspired me; I think we will adopt this idea for next Christmas. Thanks for sharing Susan


  1. Save batteries! Give the gift of Experiences: Tickets to Harlem Globetrotters (info in post) | Mom on the go in Holy Toledo - December 7, 2012

    […] So this year instead of breaking the bank to purchase a storage unit, or a toy burial ground, or enabling a toy’s addiction to batteries, why not regain your mental state. This year request and give the gift of experiences.  […]

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