9 Experiential Gift Ideas for School Age Kids

As the holidays approach, we are all trying to find that perfect gift.  The one that will excite, bring smiles, and not clutter the house!  Toys, electronics, even art projects eventually become mundane.  There has been a lot of talk about experiential Christmas gifts.  An experiential gift is one that involves our most precious asset - time.  We have to take the time to make special memories, attend an event, or learn something new.  Below are some ideas to create a holiday season of experiential gifts that can be redeemed all year! 

Experiential Gifts for School Age Kids

1. National Geographic Live

From the Secret Life of Bears to Wild Seas, Secret Shores, the productions from National Geographic are visually and conceptually stunning.  Presented at the Kauffman by the cinematographers that make the films, National Geographic live opens our eyes to sights we may never be able to see in person in our lifetimes.  The Kansas City shows are select Tuesday evenings in the Spring. Tickets start at $32.50. 

2. Mystery Science Theater

This comedic production loosely follows the film Making Contact as you explore the science behind it all.  This production is the Time Bubble Tour that is perfect for school age children.  The Kansas City show is January 22nd.  Tickets start at $50.

3. The Harlem Globetrotters

Who doesn't love watching amazing basketball tricks performed live!  This action packed, comedic, and entertaining show is perfect for your sports lovers of any age. The Kansas City shows are February 12-13.  Tickets start at $20.

4. Cooking Camp

Even if your child hasn't expressed interest in the kitchen, cooking camp is the perfect gift!  Look at your local culinary center or even a small business in your area that caters to this need.  Most camps are around 3 hours.  Many venues offer a variety of time.  In the Kansas City area, try Taste Buds offering winter break camps for ages 4-14 (split by age).  Cost is $60 per day. 

5. Sports Camp

Whether you have a soccer player, basketball player, gymnast, or are just looking for an overall fun camp, sports camps are the perfect fit!  In the Kansas City area, many gyms offer a winter break camp for ages 3 and up (split by age).  Try a ninja camp for the all around or novice athlete! Pinnacle offers a variety of camps over winter break starting at $25 per day. 

6. A Night at Great Wolf Lodge

Looking for a miniature stay-cation?  Try booking a night at the Great Wolf Lodge or other themed hotel.  Kids will love the opportunity to let loose at the water park, participate in mini golf, and more! Book a future date on one of the kids' days off school to save! 

7. Harry Potter Live Orchestra

If you haven't taken the time to read the Harry Potter series as a family, order it now! It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my parenting career.  But wait... there's more! Now, the symphony offers a film + concert to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (my favorite book) live! In the Kansas City area, check out tickets January 20-23 at the Kauffman Center.  Tickets start at $58.50.

8. Add an Excursion to a Planned Vacation

Going somewhere next year? Make the trip extra special by adding a fun excursion!  Our family is planning a trip in the Spring and we will be adding a horseback riding tour ($25 per person) to our excitement!  Other ideas include hiring a local guide, a culinary tour, a scavenger hunt, exploring a museum or zoo, bumper cars, the ideas are endless!

9. Tickets to the Ballet 

Tickets to the ballet are the perfect way to introduce your child to the arts.  The overall experience is mesmerizing: from taking in the performing arts center, to watching the dancers on stage.  Our local ballet is putting on the Wizard of Oz May 13-22. Tickets start at $42.50.

Memories last a lifetime!  Encourage friends and family to help you make them by gifting experiences for your loved ones this holiday season.  Don't forget to take lots of pictures and add them to your digital picture frame to keep the memory fresh in your little ones' minds. 

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Tags: Holidays, Parenting, Family
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