Gift like theGrio: Give kids’ gifts that transcend toys

Trade out toys for fun memories with kids' gifts that unwrap the magic of experiences this holiday season.

In a world dominated by screens and swipes, gadgets and gizmos, and instant gratification, it’s worth reimagining gift-giving for children. In the era of social media, the landscape of childhood is constantly changing — and as many educators have shared online, there is a growing concern for the literacy, social skills and overall etiquette of future generations. So, whether you’re hoping to protect the children in your life from picking up on negative habits or don’t want to clutter family homes with toys that kids will forget months later, consider giving the gift of experiences this holiday season. 

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Trade out toys for fun memories and help children unwrap the magic of experiences this holiday season (Photo: Adobe Stock)

 TheGrio is here to help with a list of gift ideas that transcend the tangible to unlock joyful memories. 

Polar Express train ride

Gift the youngsters in your life a golden ticket for a ride on the iconic Polar Express train. The immersive experience takes children into the fictional world of the popular children’s book and film, making them feel like passengers on the Polar Express. 

Click here to find the closest magical train station and purchase tickets. 

Membership at local children’s museums 

Children’s museums serve as dynamic spaces tailored specifically for young learners by fostering education through hands-on play and exploration. Offering a variety of fun activities covering a range of topics, age-appropriate museums give children up to 12 years old the autonomy to explore on their terms while interacting with peers and educational materials. Membership prices may vary depending on your location, so click here to find your nearest children’s museum. 

If you don’t have a children’s museum nearby, explore kid days/tours at your local museum, planetarium, zoo or aquarium. 

Disney experiences

From Disney’s various amusement parks to Disney on Ice, team up with a few of the other aunties and uncles to surprise the little ones with a trip to see some of their favorite characters. Or, if you know that the family is planning a trip to a Disney theme park, a gift card will help cover meals or souvenirs during their trip. 

Amusement park tickets

On a similar note, you can offer tickets to any amusement park like Legoland, Six Flags, water parks or any other local attraction. Whether you choose to tag along as a chaperone or receive virtual updates, you’re guaranteed to earn excited squeals and big smiles. 

Help them unlock new talents 

Whether they are little basketball stars, dancers, artists, or culinary prodigies, support your little ones’ hobbies by covering the costs of some of their lessons. If they’ve always wanted to explore something, a gift is a great way to try something new. 

Activities could include instrument or cooking lessons, karate, pottery or painting, gymnastics, etc. 

Escape rooms 

For your little detectives, escape rooms are a fun winter-friendly activity you can do with the whole family. Encouraging collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills, the thrill of deciphering clues and puzzles makes for a fun experience that also enhances cognitive skills.

Trampoline parks

Trampoline parks or activity zones are perfect for hyperactive little ones who need to release their energy during the colder months. Booking a day pass can be the perfect escape during winter break. 

Haniyah Philogene is a multimedia storyteller and Lifestyle reporter covering all things culture. With a passion for digital media, she goes above and beyond to find new ways to tell and share stories.

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