Amazing Experience Gifts for Kids to Give Memories, Not Clutter

Activities at HomeResources for Families

My absolute favorite gifts to give our kids has always been experience gifts! The idea of giving an experience that will create lasting special memories always appeals to me more than that of an item that will likely just add to the clutter in my house! Experience gifts are a wonderful way for kids to explore something new, add to their sense of adventure, and spend unforgettable time with loved ones. Need a little inspiration to get started? You’ve come to the right place! Check out our 2021 holiday edition of our yearly guide to the best experience gifts for your kids .

Our gift guide is sponsored by Kidsperience and TekyGo!.


The Holiday Season is upon us, and EXPERIENCES are all the rage. Meet Kidsperience the APP that is changing the way we give gifts for all occasions!

Kidsperience is a FREE APP download. No commitment, No shopping, No wrapping. Kidsperience is a completely customizable experience gift giving concept APP available for IOS and Android. Museum memberships, nutcracker tickets, monster truck shows, swim classes, anything you and your little one can think up! (add in a little extra for that souvenir you MUST have)

Friends, family, and guests can contribute ANY amount to your child’s chosen experience via PayPal or Stripe. Support local businesses and attractions as you collaborate towards the perfect experience. And for extra FUN, Kidsperience includes a virtual gift to open when you celebrate!

Let’s get out of the house and Kidsperience the world! Download the app for IOS or Android:


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2021 Holidays Experience Gift Guide

A Little Getaway, Vacation or Staycation

We’ve surprised our girls in the past with fun clues leading up to a special trip that they can look forward to in the coming months. The most special (and most extravagant) one we planned was a trip to Paris! A breakfast with chocolate croissants adorned with little French flags on top, followed by an envelope containing plane tickets to our destination of choice, made for a gift-giving experience I will treasure always. While a European vacation is not always in the cards due to budget constraints or just the current times that we live in, the idea is to think of some sort of getaway or change of scenery, and communicate it to the kids in a creative way.

A staycation in downtown Chicago or even a town in a different part of our very own state would be another awesome gift that is sure to delight! The best part after all, is quality time together as a family. And, of course, we have lists to get you started, from the best, kid-friendly Chicago hotel deals to one-of-kind, family-friendly Airbnbs in Illinois. Just think of the memories you’ll make!

Wonderful Winter Fun Gift Ideas

Experience gifts don’t need to be fancy or too far from home. Think about what your kids really enjoy, and how you can incorporate some outdoor winter fun into the mix! This can come in the form of tickets to a nearby event, or even just a homemade coupon attached to some hot cocoa for one of their favorite wintertime activities. A few ideas would be:

  • Tickets to the Morton Arboretum’s Illumination: Tree Lights display, a beautiful and mesmerizing spectacle where acres upon acres of trees are transformed with vibrant lights and a musical backdrop! The event this year will feature 150 colorful lanterns along a one-mile walking path, with opportunities to warm up near a cozy fire and to roast marshmallows for s’mores.
  • Another awesome light-filled holiday experience is Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic. This year will feature over 2 million lights, 27 gnomes hidden throughout the zoo, a skating rink, illuminated animal sculptures and more! The Kidlist team is planning to all go together with our families this year, and we’re really looking forward to it.
  • The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Lightscape is yet another lovely, twinkling display of dazzling lights. Sing along with the family amidst the warm glow of lights as you celebrate the season together in the merriest way.
  • And you can never go wrong with a skiing, snowboarding, sledding or ice skating excursion! These would be perfect stocking stuffers in coupon form.

Marvelous Membership Gift Ideas

Family memberships make for great gifts as they provide fantastic experiences that can be enjoyed year round. Plus, it’s often a cost-effective way to visit these destinations. Here are just a few of the many local memberships to consider for your children:

  • Morton Arboretum memberships are perfect for kids who love nature and science, and overall, is just a stunning landscape to visit as a family! The Children’s Garden there just can’t be beat.
  • Brookfield Zoo memberships are a staple for many animal-loving families as it allows you to visit frequently for the timeframe that suits you – whether that be an hour or two at a time, or for a full day.
  • The Forge: Lemont Quarries memberships are just awesome gifts for adventure-loving kiddos that deliver action-packed fun in the great outdoors no matter what the season!

Gift Ideas for Cool Classes

Does your child have a new skill they might want to learn, or perhaps an area you think they might really enjoy exploring? Classes make some of the greatest gifts and can be tailored specifically to your child’s interests. Here are just a few:

  • Cooking, art, drama and music classes are sure to bring big smiles to creative kiddos.
  • There are sports classes out there for absolutely everything. Peruse our kids sports classes list and pick out one that your child would enjoy!
  • How about a class experience that you can do together? Yoga classes are ideal for this!

Other Exceptional Experience Gifts

And last, but not least, consider tickets to a live event with the kids this holiday season! Theatre is back (hooray!) as are many other amazing in-person shows. There are plenty of options to choose from here:

  • Kid-friendly winter theater options, from big Broadway shows, to smaller community-theater productions, are a wonderful way to make lasting memories together.
  • Charlotte recently saw Blue Man Group with her family! Check out her very helpful review to see if this might be a good one to take your own kids to see.
  • Kidlist’s half-price tickets page is full of discounts to all kinds of kid-friendly shows and events.


With kids across the world spending more time at home, overuse of devices and prolonged screen time is a concern for parents everywhere. With the TekyGo! Portal and Junior Bouncer, playtime will be more than just pressing play. Kids and families everywhere can experience new worlds, go on incredible adventures, and discover exciting ways to learn and develop.

Once the TekyGo! Portal opens, the adventures can begin! Here is where families will find a growing library of games accessible through our monthly subscription designed for kids 6 and under that can help them improve their motor, cognitive and developmental skills alongside a new lifelong friend. Every game we have created is compatible with the Junior Bouncer, so kids can safely jump, bounce and spring into active play. 

Are you ready to awaken what’s next? 3, 2, 1….TekyGo!

Looking for more fun things to do with the family this winter season? Check out Kidlist’s Winter Activities page for the very best inspiration.

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