Experience Gifts for Kids

If I had a dollar for every time I heard a parent say, “My kid(s) has/have too many toys!”, well, I’d have even more makeup than I do right now. I asked friends for ideas for Gift Guides and “Gifts for Kids that Aren’t Toys” was one of the top ones.

My first suggestion when I hear this complaint, is to buy “experience” gifts vs. physical gifts. Winnipeg is a great city for finding things to do in all seasons as long as you know where to look. (Note: prices quoted below are for an individual child’s admission or membership. For more information on family, adult or senior rates, please click on the links).

For a learning experience:

We’ve taken daughter and cousins to the Children’s Museum (admission $11+GST; membership $45+GST) several times and it’s always hours of fun. With such a wide age range (oldest is 5 years older than the youngest) it has always been a challenge to find something that the littlest ones can do that won’t bore the older ones. I feel the museum appeals to all the age ranges, especially at the water table.

Other ideas: Manitoba Museum (admission $7 – $17.50; membership $35+GST, note: memberships are 15% off until Jan 8) and Winnipeg Art Gallery (admission $8; membership $30).

For an outdoor experience:

I think the majority of people in Winnipeg have been to the new Journey to Churchill exhibit at the Assiniboine Park Zoo (admission $10.50; membership $40) but if you haven’t made it yet, I highly recommend it. Definitely go in the morning if you go in the summer, the animals are much more active than in the afternoon. Also, Daughter and I recently went to a birthday party at the zoo at the end of November and wandered around afterwards and were surprised at how active most animals were in the wintertime, especially the tigers! The zoo is open 364 days per year and we really enjoyed the wintertime experience. When you visit, take a rest at the Tundra Grill to have some lunch and check out the Polar Playground.

Polar Playground: play structure and interactive displays

Other ideas: Fort Whyte Alive (admission: $6; membership $55) and Oak Hammock Marsh (admission: $6; membership $15)

For a playdate:

Photo courtesy of GreatBigAdventure.ca

For those days when it’s -30oC plus wind chill and the kids just need to run around, we’ve had a great time at Great Big Adventure (admission: $11.95 + taxes; special promo for unlimited 2017 visits $129.99 + taxes). There’s climbing, slides, a small structure for babies/toddlers and a large sitting area for parents. While they don’t allow outside food or beverages, there is a variety of food options including pizza, popcorn, veggies & dip, yogurt, pop, etc. We love going first thing in the morning and meeting other friends and their moms and dads there. Excellent playing time for the kids and visiting time for the adults.

Other ideas: Sky Zone (admission: $12 for 30 mins; $16 for 60 mins; $20 for 90 mins; and $24 for 120 mins) and Kid City

To relax:

I love going to the movies. I would go to the movies all the time if I could. My favourite thing to do is occasionally sneak away from work early on a Tuesday, pick up Daughter from daycare early and go to a 5 pm movie. We get hot dogs and popcorn and have a great time together! For the Christmas season both Cinplex and Landmark are having extra deals on their giftcards: with the purchase of the giftcard, get coupons and/or extra freebies. (See links for details).

Any experience-type gifts that I missed? Please leave me a comment. Happy Shopping!

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