8 Gift Ideas: Beyond Toys!

1. Get Tickets to a Show.
Every year, my kids ask for gift cards for Ticketmaster from all the grandparents. My kids LOVE seeing shows but at $150-200 a pop, it adds up quick with a family of 5. This gives us a chance to see a show and get better seats than we might normally purchase if we were paying the full price for the family. Plus, it’s something to look forward to!

2. Give an Experience.
One year for Christmas, we purchased tickets for the kids to have a Penguin Encounter. It was truly a magical experience. To this day, the kids remember sitting there so still as these tiny little penguins came waddling up to them and then all huddled underneath my dad’s legs! Our guide told us that the penguins always choose a “mother” and they had chosen my dad. The kids still laugh about “Papa” being chosen as the mother. The Bronx Zoo also has a Cheetah Encounter and Wildlife Encounter which can include fox, porcupine, parrot, snake, alligator, owl, penguin, sloth. Bronx Zoo Unique Experiences. Wrap up one of these 2″ Stuffed Penguin with a handmade card explaining what you’ll be doing.


3. Give Magazine Subscription.
My kids love getting their own mail especially when it’s a magazine. Highlights, National Geographic Kids, Sports Illustrated, Teen Vogue etc.

 4. A Day in Town.
Teens and tweens will love a day in town. Get gift cards to Starbucks, the movies, a sweet treat spot or place they might like to get lunch. Throw in a manicure gift card for girls.

5. Personalize It.
Especially if you have more than one child, personalized sleeping bag,, blanket, backpack and lunchbox, dance bagpillowcase can go a long way.

6. Bundle items.
If you don’t have one big gift for one of your kids, put lots of little things in a box or basket,
e.g. a craft basket, a photo box, a super heroes basket, a box of favorite book set, a cooking basket
with a cookbookutensils, recipes and an apron,  etc.

7. Give to a Charity
As kids get older, they appreciate more how much they have. It depends on your child,
but many kids will appreciate if you give to a charity in their name.

Food Stirs

8. A Monthly Subscription Box
There are some awesome monthly boxes out there. For kids interested in apps and coding, there’s Bitsbox sends. For kids that are hands-on, try Tinker Crate. For little chefs, Food Stirs has really crazy, fun cooking boxes. If you’re not ready to commit to a year, try one of these boxes–Dinosaur Science Box or a music science discovery box— and see if they like it.


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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine, Heather Leahy Zachariah, left her career in publishing after baby number number one. She now works from home as a freelance graphic designer and a chauffeur to her 3 busy kids. "Working on TipsFromTown has been a wonderful outlet for me. It renewed my love of publishing where I can design colorful, enticing pages online and allows me to share the things I love about being a mom." Heather grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place that still is near and dear to her. " After living in Brooklyn for 18 years and studying Graphic Design at Pratt Institute, she now lives in the Jersey burbs. "I love living so close to NYC, but in my heart, I'm an Ohio girl."