42 Experience Gifts for Kids That Are Way Better Than Another Toy

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. You can learn more about that process here.

There’s nothing like seeing the smile on your kid’s face as they tear open their gifts on Christmas morning…or the frown on yours as you tidy up the mess and realize that they’ve already broken/lost/gotten bored of their gift before noon. This year, why not give the gift of incredible memories instead? Here, a list of our favorite experience gifts for kids that promise to make a lasting impression (without adding clutter to your living space).

The 72 Best Gifts for Teens, According to Teenagers

experience gifts for kids magic 101 show and lesson
Uncommon Goods

1. Magic 101: Show And Lesson

Kids ages 13 and up will be dazzled by elite magician Ming Da, and even more delighted when they learn how to wow their own friends with those very same tricks.

experience gifts for kids annie s kit clubs young woodworkers club1
Annie’s Kit Clubs

2. Annie’s Kit Clubs Young Woodworkers Club

Sign up for this woodworking craft subscription and every month your kid will receive everything needed—including high quality, kid-sized tools, and easy-to-follow instructions—to complete a construction project that will inspire pride.

experience gifts for kids little passports science expeditions
Little Passports

3. Little Passports Science Expeditions

From aerodynamics to forensics, this STEM subscription box covers a new area of scientific inquiry every month with fascinating experiments that guarantee hands-on fun.

experience gifts for kids kiwico maker crate

4. Kiwico Maker Crate

Here a crafty subscription box that will keep teens busy making Pinterest-worthy decorative objects that look so impressive, you’ll want to sign yourself up, too.

experience gifts for kids bowling passes
lisegagne/Getty Images

5. Bowling Passes

Bowling is a blast for all but the youngest kids and an excellent opportunity for teens and tweens to socialize with friends. Give the gift of an all-expenses paid trip (or several) at the bowling alley, and your kid will have Friday night plans worth looking forward to.

experience gifts for kids fender play guitar lessons
Richard Bailey/Getty Images

6. Fender Play Guitar Lessons

Aspiring musicians of all ages can learn guitar on their own schedule with a Fender Play subscription—an innovative teaching app that relies on engaging, bite-sized lessons to produce big results.

experience gifts for kids paint your pet portrait class kit
zeljkosantrac/Getty Images

7. Paint Your Pet: Portrait Class & Kit

A portrait of a pet is a thoughtful present for any child who has a special bond with a furry friend, but the gift of having a pro help them paint their own is even more precious.

experience gifts for kids season pass to a museum
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/ Getty Images

8. Season Pass to A Museum

Speaking of art, why not give the kid in your life a season pass to a favorite museum, so they can visit and soak up some culture whenever the mood strikes?

experience gifts for kids kiwico koala crate

9. Kiwico Koala Crate

Hands-on activities, pretend play props, and crafting materials are among the goods young kids will receive from this monthly STEAM subscription. It’s an invitation to play in a box.

Experience Gifts for Kids Limo and Dinner Night. Group of kids in a cheers and smiling.
Zero Creatives/Getty Images

10. Limo and Dinner Night

Give your kid the star treatment for the night by renting a limo to take her and a few friends to a favorite restaurant. Needless to say, the novelty factor is high, so the Insta-worthy experience is sure to be a memorable one.

experience gifts for kids concert tickets
Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

11. Concert Tickets

For a teen who’s always tuned into Spotify, there’s no better gift than being able to check out a live performance of their favorite band with a friend.

experience gifts for kids death by chocolate truffles class kit
Uncommon Goods

12. Death By Chocolate: Truffles Class & Kit

This virtual learning experience, led by a professional chef and educator, will be right up the alley of a teenager with an interest in culinary pursuits (and a sweet tooth).

experience gifts for kids brazilian cooking for kids experience and global cooking kit
Uncommon Goods

13. Brazilian Cooking For Kids Experience And Global Cooking Kit

This exciting culinary class includes 60 minutes of live instruction from pro chef Rowena Scherer and is designed specifically for kids ages 13 and older who have a desire to prepare a restaurant-quality meal while picking up some new skills in the kitchen. Bonus: If you play sous-chef, you’ll probably learn something, too.

experience gifts for kids holiday baking for kids experience and global cooking kit
Uncommon Goods

14. Holiday Baking For Kids Experience And Global Cooking Kit

Here, another multicultural kitchen adventure for teens led by chef Rowena—specifically, a Turkish-themed baking lesson with a very sweet reward.

Experience Gifts for Kids DIY Bath Bomb Workshop
Uncommon Goods

15. DIY Bath Bomb Workshop

Why get the tween and teen a bath bomb making kit that might end up gathering dust when you can gift a workshop with promised results instead? This virtual experience includes all the materials needed to create sixteen beautifully scented bath bombs, plus an hour of live instruction from a skilled arts and crafts teacher to ensure the craft is completed to perfection.

experience gifts for kids ice skating passes
Meredith Winn Photography/Getty Images

16. Ice Skating Passes

Encourage your kid to turn off the tube and hit the rink with friends for a much-needed breath of fresh air and an undeniably fun winter boredom buster.

experience gifts for kids yeschef subscription
Westend61/Getty Images

17. YesChef Subscription

Junior cooks stand to gain quite a lot from YesChef—a subscription service that grants access to a huge number of cooking lessons led by the world’s best culinary experts. That said, it’s worth noting that YesChef is not intended specifically for kids, so this one is best gifted to an older teen.

experiences gifts for kids kiwico yummy crate

18. Kiwico Yummy Crate

If the other culinary experiences on the list seem a little too sophisticated for the young foodie in your life, you’re in luck: KiwiCo’s Yummy Crate is designed for ages 6 to 14, so even the under-ten set can enjoy a hands-on introduction to the joy of cooking.

experiences gifts for kids little passports usa edition
Little Passports

19. Little Passports Usa Edition

This subscription box from Little Passports takes grade school kids on an action-packed, simulated roadtrip across the United States. The experience is sure to satisfy their wanderlust, while teaching them a thing or two, to boot.

experience gifts for kids kiwico tinker crate

20. Kiwico Tinker Crate

Give your future innovator a headstart with a STEM subscription that includes the materials and instructions necessary for designing some seriously neat stuff. (Think: hydraulic claw and walking robot.)

experience gifts for kids podcast subscription
ONOKY - Brooke Auchincloss/Getty Images

21. Podcast Subscription

When it comes to beating boredom during the winter months, an engaging podcast is right up there with a good book. Fortunately, there are a whole host of podcasts for kids available, so it shouldn’t be hard to find one that speaks to your child’s unique interests.

experience gifts for kids fashion illustration and design course

22. Fashion Illustration And Design Course

This flexible eight-week virtual course is sure to inspire creativity and feed the imagination of any tween or teen with an eye for design and a love of fashion.

experience gifts for kids smartest artists
Marko Geber/Getty Images

23. Smartest Artists 12-week Course

Artists between the ages of 4 and 9 will learn a wide range of new techniques from this 12-week session of thoughtful art lessons, in which every major academic subject is incorporated into the creative process. (Bonus: There's even the possibility of a sibling discount.)

experience gifts for kids level 1 creative photography class

24. Level 1 Creative Photography Class

If Instagram isn’t already in your tween’s life, it will be soon enough. Help them up their photography game with a flexible four-week course that covers all the basics of composition and lighting, while encouraging creativity.

Experience Gifts for Kids Green Kid Crafts Steam Box

25. Green Kid Crafts Steam Box

Give your kid a well-rounded STEAM experience with this Green Kids box, which boasts four to six separate activities that spark the imagination, encourage exploration and provide hours of hands-on, screen-free fun. From science experiments to art and engineering projects, this one checks all the boxes, and chances are you’ll both be grateful to have it around on a rainy day.

experience gifts for kids amusement park trip
andresr/Getty Images

26. Amusement Park Trip

Gift your young thrill-seeker tickets to a theme park—the adrenaline rush of the roller coaster rides won’t last forever, but the memories surely will.

experience gifts for kids little ninjas martial arts inspired movement and play class

27. Little Ninjas: Martial Arts Inspired Movement And Play Class

A badass mama with a black belt in mixed martial arts and a background in fitness instruction teaches this flexible four-week class for littles ages 3 to 7. If you’ve got a kid who’s bouncing off the walls, this gift will pay dividends for both parties.

experience gifts for kids little passports early explorers subscription
Little Passports

28. Little Passports Early Explorers Subscription

A subscription box chock-full of materials for globetrotting adventures geared towards the youngest in your brood. Sign up and your kid will be a regular cosmopolitan before he starts Kindergarten.

experience gifts for kids amazon explore gift card

29. Amazon Explore Gift Card

There’s a whole world out there and your kid is hungry to explore it. Good news: Amazon Explore boasts an extensive selection of immersive tours of destinations around the globe—you know, so your kid gets a virtual travel experience of her choosing, and you save on airfare.

experience gifts for kids masterclass membership
The Good Brigade/Getty Images

30. Masterclass Membership

Masterclass is all the rage right now—and although there’s no specific filter when it comes to finding classes for kids, there’s plenty of content that will appeal to tweens and teens. (Skateboarding lessons with Tony Hawk, anyone?)

experience gifts for kids hot air balloon ride
edelmar/Getty Images

31. Hot Air Balloon Ride

Book a hot air balloon ride and your kid will be on cloud nine. Plus, when they come back down to the earth, they’ll be raving about the unforgettable experience for quite some time to come.

experience gifts for kids mystery adventure club subscription

32. Mystery Adventure Club Subscription

The Mystery Adventure Club subscription provides elementary schoolers with the thrilling opportunity to play detective and solve a new mystery each month. Best of all, the activities can be enjoyed solo or in groups—either way, both imagination and critical thinking skills will get a boost.

experience gifts for kids backpack the world cultural geography kits

33. Backpack The World! Cultural Geography Kits

Future globetrotters will learn about new cultures while mapping out potential travel adventures with this subscription kit, which includes puzzles, language learning materials, and other resources to help kids get a lay of the land.

experience gifts for kids movie theater gift card
Klaus Vedfelt/Getty

34. Movie Theater Gift Card

The young film buff under your roof will be pleased as punch to see what the local cinema has on offer without having to dip too much into his allowance.

experience gifts for kids my garden box

35. My Garden Box

Kids of all ages can reap the rewards of some time spent in the garden (i.e., a hands-on activity that connects them to nature). This gardening subscription box features indoor and outdoor plants, along with the supplies and step-by-step instructions needed to ensure success for new plant parents.

Experience Gifts for Kids Snail Mail Weekly Subscription Box

36. Snail Mail Weekly Subscription Box

Here, a painfully adorable gift idea for the little one in your life. This subscription box promises younger kids (think: ages three to eight) personalized letters every week from a pen pal, Sunny the Mail Snail. The content of each note is imaginative and educational, and the correspondence even includes interactive activities like puzzles and codes to crack. That said, we think the highlight of this experience is simply the joy and excitement that comes from getting a special piece of mail.

experience gifts for kids tickets to a sporting event
Rebecca Nelson/Getty

37. Tickets to a Sporting Event

Sports fans of all ages will be wild about seeing their favorite athletes show off their stuff in real time.

experience gifts for kids roblox studio intro to game building course

38. Roblox Studio - Intro To Game Building Course

After completing this four-week flexible Roblox course, your enthusiastic gamers will have learned the skills to build a whole new world, translating their creativity into a playable game of their own making.

experience gifts for kids beginner sewing camp

39. Beginner Sewing Camp

Once young fashion designers have mastered the artistic skill required for sketching their designs (see above), they can start learning the basics of how to turn their visions into wearable art with this beginner-friendly sewing class.

Experience Gifts for Kids America’s Test Kitchen Kids Food Art Box
America’s Test Kitchen

40. America’s Test Kitchen Kids Food Art Box

Kids ages 6 and up can cook up some pretty cool stuff with this fun and educational Food Art Box, which includes hands-on experiments, two food-based STEAM activities, America’s Test Kitchen-approved recipes, and even a self-guided recipe challenge so kids can really unleash their creativity in the kitchen. In other words, budding chefs will have such a blast with this one, that parents might reconsider the ‘no playing with food’ rule.

experience gifts for kids donation to a gap year fund
Virojt Changyencham/Getty Images

41. Donation To A Gap Year Fund

Your high schooler wants to take a gap year after graduation and see the world. Well, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Just kidding—you aren’t invited. Instead, lend them a hand with a monetary contribution that supports their travel plans and ensures they start freshman year of college with some amazing bucket list experiences under their belt.

Experience Gifts for Kids Book a Farm Stay
Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty Images

42. Book a Farm Stay

Check out options for kid-friendly farm stays near you and reserve a weekend spot. This unique gift idea guarantees a truly memorable experience—complete with hands-on tasks, face-time with animals and all the farm fresh food they can eat—in a beautiful rural setting.