14 of the Best Experience Gifts for Kids

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Giving the gift of memories are the gifts that genuinely last a lifetime and while a child’s memory is limited in what it will remember long-term, giving them experiences won’t be a waste of time or money.

First, you will remember. You will remember the big squeals and smiles, you’ll remember your child’s infectious enthusiasm, and you will probably remember the inevitable meltdown if the fun goes on for too long (always bring snacks). If you take pictures, they will help your child remember, too.

Secondly, you are putting value on memories and experiences. By giving your child gifts that aren’t physical objects and toys, you are teaching them that time with family is a gift and that they are fun gifts.

Finally, this may be a bit selfish to say, but let’s face it, who wants more toys in the house to trip over. Experience gifts won’t clutter your house, won’t lead to arguments over who has to pick them up, and they won’t have a chance to break leading to you frantically trying to repair it and ending up in a sad, gluey mess.

The gifts listed below, are ones the whole family can participate in and give you the peace of mind of flexible exchanges, long expiration dates (20 months), and even free extensions in some cases.

So go ahead.

Plan something fun for your kids (and you, too).

Some of the links below are affiliate links where I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. See full disclosures below.

Memorable experience gifts for kids

1. Photo Shoot

This is a fun memorable gift because your child gets to play dress up and pretend to be a fairy, elf, or superhero. You get gorgeous photos to remember them forever and your child will be excited to see the results, too!

This experience is for four family members over the age of 5 and includes refreshments throughout the experience. Oh, and you get a 12 x 8 photo included as well.

Being able to get up close and personal with animals is something most kids enjoy (depending on the animal) and will remember.

As a parent, I like the fact that exposing children to animals teaches them to love and respect the creatures we share the planet with. When you teach them to love animals as kids, they grow into adults that value their existence and are willing to protect them. So here are a couple of animal interaction activities you can experience with your kids.

2. Walking Alpacas

Get up close and personal with soft, adorable alpacas. Your family gets to take them for a walk and learn all about the cuddly animals.

The farm is also home to giant bunnies, pygmy goats, chickens and runner ducks.

3. Meet Meerkats

The Animal Experience in Ely, is home to some incredibly friendly meercats. Not only do you get to feed them, but they will climb all over you!

A fun unique experience for your family. Minimum age is 8 and beware, the meercats may eat your shoelaces.

4. Piggy Pet and Play

If you have kids that have watched Babe or Charlotte’s Web then this experience is bound to be exciting for them.

Kids of all ages can head into the pens to play with, pet, and groom micro pigs and piglets!

5. Farmer Ted’s

Farmer Teds has something for kids of all ages and when I say all ages I mean dads and grandads will have fun, too. There are soft play areas and a café, animals to visit in the barn and activities like pedal go-karts, zip lines, and other places to play sprinkled through the site. A really fun day out for the whole family.

Season Tickets also available.

6. Acorn Farm

This sweet little farm is perfect if you have toddlers because it’s small. It’s easy to walk around and see everything before your little one gets burnt out.

There is a fun animal experience where your little ones sit on bales of hay and have different animals brought to them to pet. Olivia loved the rat and we found out that Lee is allergic to guinea pigs. Good times.

experience gifts for toddlers

7. Child’s Beach Horse Riding Experience

If you have ever been to the beach and given in to your kids riding on the donkeys, then this experience is likely to be right up their street. Complete with helmets and smaller horses for the kids, this beach riding experience is not only fun, but a safe one, too.

Not all successful experience gifts for kids have to include animals. Here’s some animal free adventures for you.

8. Dreamland Margate Entry and Unlimited Rides

Dreamland is a fun seaside amusement park that has rides for all ages. The unlimited wristband also includes access to The Octopus’ Garden for younger kids and THE ROLLER DISCO!

A fun day out that could be part of a weekend minibreak, too.

9. Steam Train Day Out

There’s just something fun about riding a train and this day out includes unlimited rides! There’s a refreshments room, play area, and plenty to see throughout the station. You can even visit the 1930s Engine room where several movies have been filmed including Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

10. Family Surf Day

Fistral Beach Surf School offers their surf lessons year round, and coming from this California girl, as long as you have a wetsuit, you’ll be fine no matter the season.

You get a private lesson for your family and once you are all up and surfing you get the equipment for the rest of the day to enjoy what you learned. 

The minimum age for this experience is 6 years old.

11. Family Cinema Tickets and Snacks

It doesn’t matter how may times you go see a film, it’s an activity that never gets old. The snacks and the smell of the popcorn all was a treat in itself and brings back so many memories for me, so here’s your chance to give your kids those memories, too.

12. National Trust Family Membership

This may seem like a strange one, but let me tell you, Lee and I visit a National Trust several times a month with the girls and they love the experience every time. Many of the sites have playgrounds, cafés and other activities and events specifically for kids.

If you  have toddlers, you can take them to any and just let them run free because let’s be honest, toddlers just. Want. To. Run. Might as well be somewhere pretty.

National Trust membership

13. Scavengerhunt.com

This is a fun gift for the whole family where everyone over the age of 6 can have an active role. The scavenger hunt is based on the city of your choice where you get to explore landmarks and hidden gems in the city over approximately 2 hours (though you can pause for breaks and site seeing).

The hunts can be done any day you choose even holidays and are good for two years giving you plenty of flexibility in planning your adventure. There’s even at-home adventures available if you aren’t ready to be out and about.

14. Swimming Lessons

If you want to think beyond amusement-style outings, giving a kid lessons for something like swimming is a lifelong skill that will make other activities possible (like water parks) in the future.

Gifted lessons give kids a chance to learn something, try something new, and possibly discover a passion and make new friends, so even if it isn’t swimming lessons, giving lessons of any kind would be a great gift.

experience gifts for kids

Experience Gifts Will Mean More to Your Kids Than Toys

Yes, your kids can and will still create a list of things they want a mile long, but let me tell you, if given the choice they want to spend time with you.

The last year I taught primary school, I had the kids write two letters, one to Santa asking what they wanted for Christmas, and one to their parents asking what they wanted for Christmas.

The letters were very different. The Santa letter had the toys and game consoles, but the parent letter included simple things like a trip to the park.

I then told the kids they could only send one letter. They all sent the parent letter.

My students chose time with their parents over all the toys and technology.

Chances are your kids would make the same choice. They just want time with you.

Hopefully, you found some fun gift ideas in this list or have been inspired to find others.

Toys will eventually lose their appeal, but memories are forever. So whatever the occasion consider giving an experience.

Which experience are you most excited to give? Let me know in the comments below.

14 Fun Subscription Gifts for Kids

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Christmas, birthdays, and any other occasion that needs gifts can easily become an overwhelming time for kids. When they get so many gifts that it all becomes one big blur, and they don’t appreciate everything they’ve received.

Whether you are buying for nieces and nephews, grandkids, or even your own child, subscription boxes are a unique gift that not only keeps on giving, but is spread out so your child can notice and appreciate it.

When you give a subscription box to your child, they get a gift that is sprinkled over a few months to a whole year. Your child will not only have something to look forward to ( and let’s be honest, getting something in the post with your name on it is exciting enough as a kid), but it also means that your child is thinking of the gift giver (you) more often, which is heart-warming especially if you aren’t the child’s parent or live in another country (both me!).

There are so many options with subscription gift boxes for kids that you can choose one based on the child’s interests or maybe you find something that will spark a new one- could be baking, gardening, traveling, science, who knows?

Subscription gifts can be expensive if you buy a whole year, but many offer one-off, 3, and 6 month options as well, making them affordable for most budgets. Some boxes even have a sibling option where there is one main piece, but two sets of worksheets and activities so siblings can play together!

Many of the links are affiliate links where I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. See full disclosures below.

1. Young Baker’s Club Subscription Box

This subscription is available in 3 month, 6 month and 12 months options and includes all the dry ingredients, recipe cards and an activity for the kids to bake some yummy treats. You just add the wet ingredients and adult supervision. Some past treats have included Rainbow Blondies, S’mores Cupcakes, Gingerbread Penguins and Spooky Chocolate Cake.

2. Toddler Book Subscription (Children’s Book Subscription and Baby Book Subscriptions are also available)

Grow Your little one’s reading library with a new book delivered to their door each month. This gift is has an extra feel good factor, as with every subscription sold a book gets donated to Book Aid International to help their vision of a world in which everybody has access to books that enrich, improve and change lives.

3. Little Explorer Kids Subscription

This is a great gift for the aspiring traveller in your life. The subscription starts with a little wooden suitcase containing everything your child needs to start learning about the world; a world map, travel journal, passport, activities, photos and stickers and each month they will receive a letter from their country and a souvenir from that country, like a Russian doll from Russia! A fun way to learn about the world and teach your child to appreciate other cultures as well!

4. Little Astronaut Subscription

This cute box starts with a wooden astronaut suitcase and passport for discovering the planets. Each month your child will receive stamps for the passport, fact cards, activities and a small souvenir as they discover a new planet with each box. The gift is also personalised making it extra special and comes as a one off box, 3, 6, and 12 month options. This box is created for kids 4 -10 years old.

5. ‘Female Role Model’ Children’s Art Subscription (Sibling Kit available)

I love this kit as it includes 4 art activities inspired by one female creative. The kit includes the story of the artist inspiring their activities and are designed to inspire your little ones as well as have fun with the art. The box is aimed for kids 3-10 and sibling boxes with enough supplies for two kids are available as well.

6. Explore Letterbox Science Subscription

This fun subscription box contains 3-4 experiments each month for your little scientist and includes everything you need except water. The box is designed for kiddos aged 6 and up.

7. Letters from a Mermaid (Fairyland Letters also available)

This sweet 3 Month subscription is colourful 2-page letters delivered to your child from a Mermaid! The letters are written to appeal to both boys and girls and can easily be read to less confident readers.

8. Children’s Wellbeing Subscription

Watching the effects 2020 has had on my 6-year-old niece, I found the timing of stumbling onto this subscription perfect.

Designed for kids between 4 and 12 years old, the box helps your child work through difficult emotions like anxiety, anger, and stress using crafts and play. The subscription is for 6 months and will help your child’s confidence and coping skills for difficult times. (Could be good for their parents, too)!

9. Storytime Magazine Subscription

This 12 month subscription is for kids aged 4-9 and includes 52 pages of a great selection of short stories including fairy tales, poems, myth & legends, tales from other cultures, awesome animals and beautiful illustrations, plus puzzles, games and activities. These are nice to have around for school holidays and road trips, too. The paper is also FSC certified!

10. Brilliant Brainz

This magazine subscription for kids 6-12 is filled with subjects from art to science, music and books, and even technology and apps. There are activities, quizzes, and challenges throughout and surely better use of your child’s time than the Simpsons magazine I read as a kid! (Click to Preview a Sample Issue).

11. Green Kids Crafts

This lovely subscription box is filled with nature-based STEM/STEAM activities for your 2-5 year olds or 5-10 year olds. There are 4-6 activities in each box and use green and eco-friendly materials when possible and have green and eco-friendly themes, too. You can even order one-off boxes based on your child’s interests. They are based in the US but offer International Shipping and for each subscription box sold, Green Kid Crafts plants a tree. A gift for your child and the planet. Win!

12. Mud and Bloom (Sibling boxes available)

This amazing little box encourages your 3-8 year olds to connect with nature. Each box has 4 seasonal gardening and nature activities using organic seeds and peat. The activities include growing fruit, veg, or herbs, art activities like pine cone gnomes and activities you can do on family walks like fungi spotting. The more we teach our littles to love and appreciate nature the more likely they will grow into adults that protect and take care of it.

 

13. KiwiCo

These boxes are pretty amazing just because of how much customisation they offer. The boxes are designed for kids of all ages- literally 0-14+ and can be filtered by interests like Science and Tinkering, Art and Design, Geography and Culture, or Early Learning. The subscriptions can be started, paused, and stopped any time giving you all kinds of flexibility in your gift.

14. One Third Stories

This subscription is for budding linguists and world travellers ages 4-9. The box gradually teaches your child Spanish, French, German, or Italian using books that introduce the language in context using stories written in English.

They include audio versions so you can get the pronunciation right and flashcards to practice. This box can reinforce what they are learning in school, but my favourite bit is that you get to learn with your child.

Getting a second language to stick depends largely on using the language and practicing with someone. You and your child are each other’s someone! I was lucky to get a sample lesson when they first started and it was brilliant, but Olivia was only a baby so I’ve been patiently waiting for her to get older so we could start this together.

While 2020 may have thrown experience gifts out the window, hopefully you find that these subscription boxes are a great gift, too without being just another toy to add to the pile.

Let me know which box you are most excited to try in the comments below.