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How to Give Kids Experiences, Instead of Things

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Ameris Bank

Does your child (or grandchild) really need another toy to stuff in his or her overflowing toy box? Giving the gift of a unique experience, something fun to create lasting memories, can often make a bigger impact. Here are a few ideas for kid-friendly experiences that you can gift your special little someone:

Jump for Joy

Buy a day pass for the nearest indoor trampoline center or jump zone. The kids will have a blast, you don't have to worry about the weather and can enjoy relaxing in the adult lounge (if you don't want to jump yourself, that is!).

Batting Cages

Have some old-fashioned fun at the batting cages. If your child isn't already a baseball fan, this may introduce them to a new sport or encourage them to be a sports fan.

Escape Room

Escape rooms bring puzzles to life with riddles to solve and problems to work out as a team. Gather the family for a group outing that will have you working together to beat the clock.


Geocaching, like the uber-popular Pokemon Go game that can be downloaded on a phone, helps children explore their surroundings, like a virtual treasure hunt. It’s a unique way to learn about landmarks in your own town on a family outing or while visiting a new city.

Children’s Museums

Many community children’s museums offer interactive exhibits that teach kids about art, science and math in an entertaining way. A yearlong membership or even an outing for a special exhibit can be a memorable way to spend time together.

Community Theater Tickets

Exposing your special little one to the arts can be a rewarding endeavor that spurs a lifelong love of theater. Many community theater groups offer affordable performances of family-friendly features that can make a fun family treat.

Picnics at Local Parks

You don’t have to buy a ticket to an event or venue to give a child a memorable experience. Pack a picnic basket full of goodies and head to your nearest park. Don’t forget the frisbee, football or fishing pole.

Bowling or Skating

Try some old-school fun at a bowling alley or skating rink, where you can gather with other families or friends. These are great activities to get kids off their phones and devices and engage in some physical activity with a group.


Youth-friendly classes to explore skills like cooking, painting, photography, coding and sewing can be found at community centers, children’s museums, art centers and craft stores. Help your young one find a new hobby or perfect one that they have an interest in.

Creating Together

A creative project can be a wonderful bonding experience. Try making treats together like baking cookies, decorating cupcakes or making candy. A craft project like creating holiday cards or photo gifts can also turn into a meaningful afternoon. 

Giving Back

Find a charitable cause, such as a food pantry or a fund-raising event, where you and your young one can volunteer together. Fostering a love for giving back to the community is something you can continue to enjoy together in the coming years. 

One-On-One Time

A special afternoon outing to a movie, out to lunch or to tea is extra special when it’s just you and your little one. Often the gift of time is the most memorable gift of all.

Instead of heading to the toy store for your next gift-giving occasion, give an experience that you and your young one can enjoy while creating lasting memories.