This year I wanted to buy my son a Nugget Couch for Christmas but they ended up selling out before I could place an order. Once that fell through I started thinking more about experience gifts. They’re a little less exciting to open on Christmas, but with some creative wrapping or pairing, they can still be the best under the tree! One of the gifts I’m now most excited to give is tickets for our family to see Dinosaur World Live in Boston next month. I’ll be wrapping the tickets in a box with a new dinosaur sweat suit. Hopefully he’ll love it!
If you’re struggling with what to get a kid on your list who has everything, check out these 15 experience gifts that you can find locally. Wrap a pair of movie passes with their favorite snack, a membership to the zoo with a stuffed animal they might spot during their visit, or gift tickets to LEGOLAND with a small set of LEGOs.
15 Local Experience Gifts
- Gift card to Taste Buds Kitchen in Beverly – Use for a parent/child class or themed cooking classes or camps for kids only.
- Museum Membership at Wenham Museum – Go for the trains (perfect for any child or adult who likes to push buttons!), stay for the exhibits. Exhibits change every couple months so it’s worth getting the annual membership. They also have a gift shop with some really unique toys that could be wrapped with the Museum Membership.
- Gift Tickets to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston – The Discovery Center is a fun day trip to Boston, but since it’s actually located at Assembly Row in Somerville, there is ample affordable parking, kid-friendly lunch spots and outlet shopping for parents to enjoy. The Center includes rides, a climbing structure, amazing city replicas built out of LEGOs, play zones and a 4-D movie theater. Wrap this one with a LEGO set for maximum excitement!
- A visit to Discovery Museum Acton – This museum is located about an hour’s drive for most of us, but is well worth the journey. The unique exhibits focus on science, nature and play. Different areas will appeal to different age groups, but you’ll find tons of interactive, play-based learning experiences. Pack a snack or lunch and entertain the kids for hours here! Individual passes are not for sale online, but you can purchase annual memberships here.
- Gift passes to the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire – Another fantastic, interactive museum, located about an hours drive from many towns on the North Shore. We visited last month and had a great time with the Build it. Fly it. Exhibit as well as the Dino Discovery.
- Tickets or Membership to Stone Zoo – A little closer to home, the Stone Zoo, offers membership or single visit tickets. If you plan to go before January 4, you can also treat the kids to Zoo Lights and the Brick Safari. We loved the Brick Safari and posted more about it here.
- Session of Music Together – Winter 2020 Sessions of the weekly Music Together classes begin in January. Register kids from ages 0-5 for either their babies or mixed ages classes. We got this for my son’s first Christmas and he really enjoyed the classes. Offered in Andover, Topsfield, Reading, North Reading, and Newburyport through Music Together Around the Towns and in Salem, Beverly Farms and Marblehead through Music Together of Salem.
- Classes at The Little Gym – Another multi-week class series, The Little Gym of Danvers classes include gymnastics fun along with songs, bubbles and more! They offer a wide range of classes for ages 4 months to 12 years. My son loved the Birds class!
- Session of Lil Kickers – For most ages, Lil’ Kickers classes are offered every day of the week (except Mondays) at Danvers Indoor Sports. My son has participated in both the Bunnies and Thumpers programs and had a lot of fun at both. In addition to soccer skills the classes also teach teamwork and include activities like running an obstacle course or playing with a parachute. This is also a great way for younger kids to burn some energy during the mornings of the long winter month ahead!
- Gift Card for Extra Innings – Located in Middleton, Extra Innings, has batting cages that baseball and softball players will love visiting to practice. But, don’t overlook the batting cages for a fun outing for the whole family! Gift cards are also valid at the Pro Shop for new gear.
- Round of Golf at Aloha Mini Glow – Did you know you could play mini golf in the Northshore Mall? Located on the first floor, near Nordstrom, Aloha Mini Golf is a glow in the dark, 18-hole, indoor, mini golf course. They don’t sell gift cards online, but you can get creative by wrapping some glow sticks and promising the kids a round of golf! (Kids under 4 get in free.)
- Movie Passes to AMC Theater at The Liberty Tree Mall – If the kids haven’t seen Frozen II or Jumanji: The Next Level yet, this could be a perfect outing for the (2 week!) upcoming school vacation. For older kids the new Star Wars movie, The Rise of Skywalker, opens this weekend too. E-gift cards can be bought online (at the last minute). Couldn’t be easier than that!
- Little Singers – The Frozen II Session – Little Singers is a music program for preschoolers (ages 3.5-5.5 years old) to explore music independently, offered at A Mom’s Village. Each session has a popular music theme, and January’s is Frozen II! Six week session begins January 9 with Miss Lindsey.
- Gift Certificate to SkyZone Danvers – This indoor trampoline park is fun for all ages. This week, purchase a gift certificate online and receive a free Jump Pass and Sky Socks.
- Visit to Curious City Peabody – Curious City is an interactive, children’s museum right in our own backyard! Serving kids ages 2-10. You can’t purchase gift cards online, but you can reserve tickets for a specific day and time. My son and I were both really impressed when we visited their original Peabody location back in the spring. (If you’ve already blown your holiday budget you can also reserve free tickets to Curious City through most North Shore libraries.)
If we missed your favorite experience gift, share it in the comments! You can also view all of our 2019 Gift Guides on the Holiday Fun Resource Page. Happy gifting!