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10 Best Experience Gifts for Children

November 24, 2019

The holiday season is upon us, and for many of us, that means holiday gift-giving! Shopping lists abound, but if you’re already feeling daunted by the prospect of the post-holiday toy overflow, you might be looking for an alternative to traditional presents.

Maybe you’re looking around your child’s play area wondering where on earth you would put any more toys; maybe you finally pared down your possessions thanks to this year’s organizing trend. Either way, we’ve got you covered with experience gift ideas!

Experience gifts are a great alternative to toys because they give your family an opportunity to spend time together and something to look forward to once the glow of the holidays starts to wear off. The best experience gifts for families are ones that you can do together soon after your family’s holiday ends, since it can be difficult for children to wait until the spring or summer. Tickets or passes to local attractions, free or low-cost activities, or classes you can take as a family are all great ways to make memories together.

Do you think an experience gift could make it under your Christmas tree or Chanukah bush? Will you plan your family outing by the light of your menorah or kinara? Read on for our top 10 choices of experience gifts to share with your family this year!

Note: Minimum costs are based on admission for one adult and one paying child.

1. Indoor Playground Passes

The weather outside may be frightful, but indoor activities are delightful! Check out indoor playgrounds in your community like Balls of Fun and Playtown in Mississauga, or More Fun With Bounce and Kidnetix Edu-Play Centre in Brampton.

Cost: $8+

2. Skating at Celebration Square

The end of the holiday season is the perfect time for skating. Enjoy the beautiful festive lights and get active outside at Celebration Square’s free winter skating rink.

Cost: Free (skate rental is extra)

3. Family Classes

Does your child love watching you bake? Sign up for a family cooking class! Are they constantly moving? A family dance class may be more their speed. Classes are a great opportunity to spend time with your child, develop skills together, and nurture their interests.

Cost: Varies

4. Tickets to the Toronto Zoo

Children will love watching the animals and learning about different species and habitats. Head over on December 26th for 50% off the cost of admission.

Cost: $18.50+ on Boxing Day; children ages 2 and under get in free

5. A Halton Parks Membership

With a Halton Parks Membership, families can enjoy access to seven Conservation Halton parks year-round. Learn about Haudenosaunee culture at the Crawford Lake longhouses, see a free Bird of Prey show at Mountsberg, and more!

Cost: $135.50

6. Tickets to a Live Show

Check out a family-friendly performance! These can offer music, dance, or even a meet-and-greet with some of your child’s favourite characters. See what performances are coming up at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga, The Rose Theatre in Brampton, or your local community theatre.

Cost: Varies

7. Tickets to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Children of all ages can appreciate the bright colours, beautiful fish, educational exhibits, and interactive activities of the Aquarium.

Cost: $43+; children ages 2 and under get in free

8. Tickets to the Ontario Science Centre

Stoke your child’s curiosity and love of learning with tickets or membership to the Ontario Science Centre. A perfect year-round activity.

Cost: $35+; children ages 2 and under get in free

9. Tickets to the Royal Ontario Museum

With interactive exhibits for children spread over 6 floors and 30+ galleries, the ROM is sure to have something for everyone in your family.

Cost: $37+; children ages 3 and under get in free

10. A Coupon Book

Can’t decide on just one activity? A coupon book gives an older child lots of options. Add activities that you love doing together, like a movie night, board game, or baking day, and make them into homemade coupons.

Cost: Free

However you’re celebrating this year, we wish you a joyous holiday season full of family, love, and time spent together.

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