9 Fantastic Gift Ideas for Kids that AREN’T Toys and That Parents Will Love!

If you have kids in your life, either your own, or nieces, nephews, grandkids etc., the odds are good that you’re beginning to think about holidays gifts. As a parent of 2 young children, let me tell you where to spend your shekels for gifts that will not only go over well with kids but will be appreciated by parents.

1. A Trip to the Movies.

Costco sells these packages for kids; it’s a move pass and child size popcorn, drink and treat combo for like $11.99 plus tax. Buy these! Buy loads of these! It’s such a great gift. You can buy them in-store, and they’ll give you a voucher, or you can buy them online, and they’ll send you an e-voucher you can print off. Costco also sells adult combos, for $29.99 plus tax, you get two adult passes, a regular popcorn, and two regular drinks.


2. Theme Park/Water Park Pass

I had my parents do this for my kids this year. Calypso, the local water park had a sale on 2019 season passes at the end of this season. We’re a 30-minute drive away, and Bill is off in the afternoons, so we asked them instead of toys if they would like to put money towards the kids season passes. They jumped at the opportunity, and now, Bill and the kids will be able to head to the water park as often as they would like next summer!

3. Zoo/Aquarium/Museum Passes

Much like the water park idea. Most attractions like these offer gift cards, or season passes and a lot of them have programming that is catered specifically towards children, that makes learning fun.

4. Spa Day

Treat the little humans to getting their feet tickled, their nails prettied and they hair done up. Let them drink cucumber water and wear a fancy robe and be treated like royalty. It’s an enjoyable way for both of you to spend an afternoon.

Dude and his big bag

5. Fancy Lunch/Dinner Out

Let the littles in your life put on their fanciest clothes and dresses, and go out for a fancy meal, in a restaurant with cloth napkins, candles on the table and elegant water goblets. Let them order fancy drinks and whatever they want off the menu. Just enjoy spending time with them, having conversations and teaching them which fork to use! Don’t worry about what they eat or how much or little they consume, take what they don’t finish home in a fancy foil swan.

6. Camping Trip

Pretty self-explanatory. Offer to take the munchkins on an overnight adventure in the wilderness. My son is super pumped at the prospect of sleeping in a tent, and if someone offered to take him camping, he would be over the moon thrilled.

7. Night in a Hotel (with a pool!)

A mini adventure! What kid wouldn’t get excited at the prospect of a sleepover? Order room service desserts, eat ice cream in a big bed and stay up late watching movies.


8. Concert or Play

Depending on their age, there are tons of travelling shows geared towards families. Everything from the Paw Patrol and Disney on Ice goes across the country. There are even travelling Monster truck shows. Or you can support local theatre work, and get tickets to a local production. For example, last year the local theatre company put on Beauty and the Beast that was fantastic! Check your local arena and theatres for upcoming events and shows.

9. Lessons/Classes

After chatting with Mom and Dad, maybe there is something new the kid in your life would like to learn? You could give them the gift of music lessons, skate lessons, ski lessons, karate, etc. Or, there are businesses all over offering one-day classes on everything from scrapbooking, stain glass, paint nights, pottery, knitting, jewelry making etc. Your local Michaels store is an excellent place to check out for art and craft classes. There is a bistro here in Cornwall called Love Love Food that offers cooking classes to adults and classes specifically designed for children. A quick search on facebook or a call to the Chamber of Commerce can point you in the right direction towards businesses offering these types of classes.

Miss D Loves Santa

Note that none these gift suggestion are toys. That’s because kids have way too many, or at least my kids have way too many, a lot of which only get played with sporadically. Instead, they collect a lot of dust and create visual clutter within our home. Don’t get me wrong, my kids will receive new toys this year from Santa, but I’m sure the big guy will make his selections uber carefully and limit his choices to just a few unique items each, choosing quality items over quantity. Instead, I have encouraged our family and friends to choose gifts of activities instead of the suggested list above.

Are they any non-toy gifts your kids would go nuts for? Let me know in the comments!

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