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Give the Gift of Experiences to Your Kids

The bright lights, festive music, and culmination of weeks of anticipation; unwrapping a toy under the Christmas tree is a magical moment for any child. And unwrapping an upcoming experience is just as wonderful, and gives kids something to look forward to. With some imagination and thought as to what your kids enjoy, fabulous holiday experiences can be given as gifts, too.

Wrap up the unique experience by creating a certificate with a picture and a description of the activity. Wrap the certificate up on its own or if appropriate to the activity, include an item related to the gift certificate: paintbrushes, ice skates, warm mitts, etc . This keeps the scenic vision of beautifully-wrapped presents under the tree, with a promise of memorable moments to come.

Some ideas for gifting experiences include:

Family downtime

  • Gift minutes of playing board games as a family, and gift your child’s favorite game.

  • Gift a bake-off and include baking utensils or fun cookie cutters.

  • Gift family craft time and craft supplies. Get crafty on a Saturday morning.

  • Gift a coupon for your child to be the Boss of Your Home for a Day. Gift them a professional-looking nametag.

  • Gift a treasure hunt. Gift a small treasure on the big day so they know what to hunt.

  • Create an invitation for your kids and hold a special-themed dinner at your ‘restaurant’ (a.k.a. house).

  • Buy flavored popcorn and have a family sleepover with popcorn and a movie.


  • Give the gift of spending a day at Bowness Park for some ice-skating and hot chocolate.

  • Gift a day of spending the day at a magical winter festival in the mountains.

  • Gift a day spent at a Farmers’ Market (and buy a few treats, of course!).

  • Book a day to head to the hills and go tobogganing. Gifting warm mitts would be perfect!

  • Gift passes to a movie at the cinema.

  • Gift passes and go wild at the Zoo. Enjoy their Safari Sunday brunch, too!

  • Rock on with your gift and go climbing at the Calgary Climbing Centre.

  • Gift a day of quiet time at the library reading books or partaking in library events.

  • Go old-school! Gift an outing to a local museum or an historical site, like Heritage Park.

  • Give the gift of STEM. Explore scientific wonders at TELUS Spark.

  • Give the gift of giving. Give your kids a set amount to spend at the grocery store and then deliver the goods to the food bank.

  • Give the gift of fun. Knock ‘em down with a day of bowling.

  • Give the gift of the great outdoors and leave your prints snowshoeing.

  • Give the gift of fitness and spend a day at an indoor rec centre.

  • Kids can be foodies, too! Take the kids out for a nice family dinner.

  • Give the gift of too much energy. Let the kids loose at a drop-in play space.

  • Give the gift of summer. Enjoy the lush and green at the indoor Devonian Gardens playground. 

Travel destinations

If you’ve already scheduled your vacation but the kids don’t know yet, make it a holiday reveal:

  • Gift special vacation outings, like snorkeling, or gift entry passes to destination sites.

  • Gift a visit to the mountains (skiing or dinner).

  • Gift a visit to West Edmonton Mall.

Local events

  • Gift admission tickets to local events.

  • Gift art workshops (adult and child can work on a project together).

  • Gift children’s theatre tickets (to Loose Moose Children’s Theatre or StoryBook Theatre).

  • Gift tickets to Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra’s Symphony Sundays for Kids. 

Corinna is a mom of three little ones with a fondness for gifts that expose her children to new ideas and happy memories.

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