December 16, 2019 — By Wendy Sachs

Tis the season for gift giving! Choosing just the right thing for someone is a difficult process. It is easy to get drawn into the shopping frenzy. This season, however, you may want to consider something better for the earth and better for your relationships. Give the gift of an experience.

Giving an experience may not get you the wow moment when it is opened by a toy crazed 5 year old, but experience gifts are long lasting and a way to combat the materialism that can creep in and overcome everyone during the holidays.

Below are a list of great experience gifts. Pair this with a photo and a pretty box and bow and you are all set.

  1. Give a few cookie cutters in a box and the promise of an afternoon of baking. Kids of all ages can participate and this is also an awesome idea for when families are visiting.
  2. Give a membership or day pass to a museum of play space for the year. A great pick for kids from 3 and up is the LegoLand Discovery Center!! https://philadelphia.legolanddiscoverycenter.com (LEGOLAND Discovery Center 500 W. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting Pa 19462) in New York 39 Fitzgerald Street
    Yonkers, New York 10710. Or for your infants- check out the Adventure Aquarium
  3. How about a series ticket to the Philly Orchestra’s Family Concert Series! With experiences before the concerts- this institution will instill a love of music in kids and is a great way to spend a few Saturday afternoons together! https://www.philorch.org/concert/subscriptions/19-20/family-series#/
  4. If your musical tastes run a little more wild, check out performances by the School of Rock. These concerts are fairly family friendly and support students who are learning to rock out. They also have private and group lessons for older kids. https://locations.schoolofrock.com/philadelphia/events
  5. Not quite just an experience but certainly something fun and unusual for children of ALL ages is a magazine subscription from Cricket Magazines. They have BabyBug for children 0-13 and LadyBug for 3-6 as well as other options for different ages and interests. Each month for a year you have the chance to read content and enjoy together. https://shop.cricketmedia.com/#modal-close
  6. Time is the best gift you can give. So set aside a date in the future and let the child pick. Let them know you have a budget limit but they can pick whatever they want within the time and money limits. Go to a movie they get to choose? Play a board game uninterrupted by siblings? Go out to eat at their favorite restaurant? They get the power and you get the fun along with them.
  7. An overnight trip away from home can be a wonderful gift especially since Philly has loads of fun places a short drive away. For your toddler, plan a weekend to see the holiday lights at Hershey or a summer afternoon at Dutch Wonderland. For older kids check out the unique museums in D.C. or an afternoon skiing in the Poconos. Make it special by arranging an overnight for a sibling so that there is loads of one on one time.

Giving a gift that includes spending time with someone will always be something that is cherished. The bonus is that you often get thank yous in the form of hugs and kisses!