Best Holiday Gifts that Aren't Toys
Best Holiday Gifts that Aren't Toys
October 18, 2019

Best Holiday Gifts that Aren't Toys

Best Holiday Gifts that Aren't Toys.
Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash
Best Holiday Gifts that Aren't Toys

Kids and toys go together like peanut butter and jelly, but guess what quickly follows: Clutter. And while a few toys provide endless entertainment for kids, too many can make choosing which ones to play with overwhelming for little ones.

Instead of adding more toys to the heap, consider giving experience gifts. These are special things for kids to do. Experience gifts encourage curiosity, build lasting memories and are a great way to spend time with little ones.

Take a look at some these fun ideas for babies and toddlers:

Zoo or Aquarium Passes


Kids love animals, and gifting passes to the local zoo or aquarium practically guarantees an exciting day for the whole family at a stroller-friendly venue. If there isn’t a zoo or aquarium nearby, a family farm that’s open to the public is a good alternative since they’ll likely have a petting zoo.

Children’s Museum Membership


If there’s a children’s museum nearby, it’s a great place for kids to burn off energy (while also learning). Interactive exhibits are perfect for littles who like to be hands-on with everything. From engineering and machines to gravity and plate tectonics, there’s so much to get kids’ minds working.

College Fund


Babies and toddlers don’t keep track of who gets them presents, which makes this the perfect opportunity to put gift money toward their future needs. Contributions to a 529 education savings plan will pay off at graduation—the money is invested and grows until it’s needed for tuition, fees and room and board.

Subscription Box

subscription box

Kids get a new surprise in the mail every month or quarter when you give them a subscription box—a box full of themed goodies from children’s books to crafts to play kits. It’s a fun experience they can do at home, and many come in special boxes or wrapped like presents. Here are some of our favorites.



Sign kids up for classes where they can learn skills like swimming or have fun banging on drums during music lessons. Parents will also appreciate getting out of the house with young ones for “mommy and me”-style classes (yoga is popular). Check out the parks and recreation department for the family’s city to see what they offer.

Movie Passes

movie passes

These days, most of us watch movies at home. That just makes a trip to the movie theater an even bigger deal, especially if it comes with big loungy seats, a box of popcorn or candy, or 3D glasses. Some theaters have special infant-friendly showings, so this also can make a nice gift for a newish parent looking to get of the house.



OK, we admit this is more of a gift for parents, but it’s one they’ll absolutely love. Present a gift certificate for a family photo session to capture this precious stage of life. Print images can be framed while digital images can be shared on social media—either way, they’ll cherish this gift.

Special Outing

special outing

Take a tot on a special excursion like ice skating, bowling, skiing or to see a play or puppet show at a children’s theater. Or, find an outing that syncs with a toddler’s interest. Have a kid that wears cowboy outfits non-stop? They’ll be thrilled to go on a horse or pony ride. Have a budding artist on your hands? Spend some time painting at a pottery studio. Want to encourage a future engineer? Find the closest robot or building blocks shop.

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