Whether you just can’t bear the idea of heading to the mall, or you’re tired of watching the kids play with that plastic thingamajig for all of ten minutes, I’m here to help with a round-up of great Northwest experience gifts for kids and families.
Now, I’ll be honest: These gifts may not all be greeted with cheers on Christmas morning. But they’re likely to be the ones remembered for years to come. Plus, you know you can’t compete with all the loot they’re getting from grandma anyway, right? How about
A Discover WA pass! Give the gift of access to our great state parks all year long. You can now transfer these between two vehicles, and they’re simple to purchase online. For 30.00 this would be a great family gift.
A Hiking Guide. If you’re looking for hikes with kids, Best Hikes With Kids by Joan Burton is my favorite. I’d normally insert my Amazon link here, but if you want it by Christmas, use REI, and go fast-they’re guaranteeing Christmas delivery if you order by 10AM today. QueenBeeCoupons has the details. Or, you should be able to find it at most any bookstore.
A day of local Family Fun! The Family Fun Center is still on Groupon, and it’s a great deal! If you have litte ones, or friends who do, Discovery Village in Gig Harbor is on Living Social, and you can get an afternoon of fun for less than 5.00!
Tacoma area readers may want to grab a similar offer to the play area at the Frog n Kiwi cafe in University Place. A dry place for your toddlers to play for an hour for 2.50? This would be a great little thank you gift or stocking stuffer.
You might also consider gifts of fun from our sponsors at Trampoline Nation FederalWay, Tiffany’s Skate Inn, (special skating all winter break!) or your favorite family fun spot or restaurant. Stop in and skip the mall!
A season’s pass or membership. Wild Waves Theme Park has a sale on now. I also love to get memberships to the Point Defiance Zoo, and this year we used some of the money from our in laws to get a Pacific Science Center membership. These are spendy, but they do pay for themselves quickly, and many times a portion of your membership is tax deductible! Museum memberships are also Great experience gifts.
Tickets! Tickets to a show are a wonderful experience gift. Goldstar has discounts to the Big PNB Nutcracker right now, plus Oliver, and other family friendly fare. You might also consider the the Monster Truck show coming to the Tacoma Dome or the Stunt Dog Experience coming to Tacoma. If those are too spendy think about smaller, local groups, or get gift certificates or gift cards for Fandango or the movie theater (not a total bargain-but a great solution for tweens and teens, and you can find ’em at the grocery store)!
Camping! You can buy gift certificates in ten dollar increments from the Washington State Parks system. Use ’em for camp sites, yurts, and more! They also have a Gorgeous calendar for sale right now.
Music! O.K…..check with your sister before you buy your nephew a tuba, But….the gift of music lessons, classes, or an instrument, really is the gift of a skill for a lifetime. Our oldest is taking the trumpet, and he was pretty much over the moon with the stand we bought him to hold his books. Sometimes it’s the little things! Our sponsors at Ted Brown Music have a list of great gift ideas, or you can click their ad in my sidebar for their whole holiday flyer.
The gift of time! Seeing as it’s almost Christmas, I’ll just go ahead and give my inner cornball free reign, and remind you that often the best gifts don’t come from a store. Make up a certificate for your favorite little people for a special tea party, a mommy and me manicure day, a weekday movie night, a pajama hike around the neighborhood, or breakfast for dinner. They’re the kind of gifts that are free but priceless!
Do you have a favorite experience gift to give or get? I’d love to hear your ideas!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and links to some of my advertisers. As always, I appreciate your support of the site, but I never want you to get in on any deal that isn’t a great one for you!