If your kids are anything like mine, the last thing they need this holiday season are more toys that will be played with for a week and then collect dust for the next three months. The holidays are all about creating memories with our kids, not about the material things that they receive from family and friends. This holiday season, we’ve decided to give experience gifts instead of things. Not only are experience gifts a stress-free way to survive the holiday gift-giving craziness, but they are also an opportunity to create lasting memories with the kids in our life.
What I’ve discovered in my quest for finding the perfect experience gifts is that we’re very lucky here in Milwaukee. We have an over-abundance of different memberships, classes, activity passes, and shows that all make fantastic experience gifts for kids. We truly have something for kids of all ages, across a wide range of interests!
Here are some of my favorite experience gift ideas to help make it even easier for you to gift experiences this holiday season:
Annual memberships are an experience gift that keeps on giving because they can be used all year by the entire family. Many of the memberships pay for themselves in just a couple visits so they are a great bang for your buck!
- Milwaukee Public Musem membership
- Betty Brinn membership
- Zoo Pass (Bonus: add parking!)
- Mitchell Park Domes membership
- Discovery World membership
- YMCA family membership
- Urban Ecology Center membership
- Sky Zone membership
- Little Sprouts Play Café membership
- Hoyt Park Pool Pass
Personally, I love gifting classes or gift cards to places where kids can select their own classes. The one thing to keep in mind before gifting classes is that they can be a burden on parents’ busy schedules, so always check ahead of time before gifting a class to a kid.
- Sharon Lynne Wilson Center music classes
- Tinkergarten outdoor education classes
- Goldfish Swim School swim lessons
- Cloud 9 art classes
- Adventure Rock rock climbing classes
- Zoological Society zoo classes
Tickets to Local Activities
This experience gift category is endless with all the different activities offered around Milwaukee. These are a few of my personal favorites and what I’ve heard as recommendations from other local moms.
- Green Meadows passes
- Monkey Joe’s passes
- Springs Water Park passes
- Shalom Wildlife Zoo passes
- Kids in Motion 10-pack passes
- WI State Park pass
- Waukesha Co. Park pass
Tickets to a local sporting event are always a hit with kids. Add a fun twist to this gift with some team apparel to wear to the game!
Gifting tickets to a show is the perfect way to give an experience gift that creates lasting one-on-one time and memories with the kids. Many of these shows are downtown so it can be fun to layer in a gift card to a restaurant and make a day of it. There are lots of great restaurants downtown for kids – Milwaukee Public Market, Safehouse, or AJ Bombers are great go-tos.
- Tickets to Trolls Live
- Tickets to Disney on Ice
- Tickets to Monster Jam
- Tickets to Blippi Live
- Tickets to Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live
- First State Children’s Theater show tickets (variety to choose from based on a kids’ interest and age)
What other experience gifts have your kids loved? Or, what would your kids love to receive?
As the kids get older and grow into the tween and teen years it can become even harder to find the right experience gifts for them. But, you’re in luck there because we have another post dedicated to just that. Check it out!
If you’re looking for other experiences for the kids throughout the holiday season, be sure to check out our guide to everything holiday. You’ll be sure to find lots of activities to make it a magical holiday season!