I don’t know about you guys, but I’m at the point in my life where I feel like we’re drowning in clutter and things that we don’t need. It’s hard to tell your kids that they don’t want or needs all those toys they’re oogling in the catalogues, but we all know for a fact that at the end of the day 3/4 of the toys kids get for birthdays and Christmas just end up sitting untouched and eventually donated or placed in a garage sale. So why not try to take the focus off material things a little bit and try to come up with “experience gift ideas” for your family this year. What’s an experience gift? Well, it’s doing something together. It’s making memories that they’re remember forever. It’s turning that boring Saturday into an adventure filled Saturday. It’s giving your kids the opportunity to try something new and different that maybe has been on your bucket list for a while! So, today in an effort to break up traditional holiday gift giving, I have rounded up over 25 Experience Gift Ideas. These experience gifts are specifically for my area in Columbus, Ohio and Central Ohio areas, but you can take these same ideas and look for similar companies that are local to your area. Let’s get started with some experience gift giving!
Experience Gifts for Kids in Columbus, Ohio
- Gift a Columbus Zoo membership for the kids in your life. It’s really the gift that keeps on giving and is a perfect gift for grandparents to give to their grandchildren or to give to a family with young kids…especially a family where the mom stays at home with the kids!
- Consider a Code Ninjas class for kids who like video games. This is a fun experience that helps them have fun and use critical thinking to accomplish their goal.
- Sign up for a cooking class with your kids who like to cook or bake. Here’s a list of different Columbus, OH kids cooking classes: Young Chef’s Academy Gahanna, Columbus Food Adventures Kids Cooking Classes, Our Cupcakery Cupcake Baking Class, The Seasoned Farmhouse
- Gift your children a COSI membership (or other science or art museum membership) so that you have an indoor place to visit any day of the year!
- We’ve personally started taking one night a year and gifting our kids an overnight stay at Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, Ohio. We give it to them on Christmas and we visit there for New Year’s Eve with friends!
- Another fun experience idea would be something outdoors like Zip Lining in Columbus, Ohio. Here’s a few zipline options in Central Ohio: Zip Zone Tours, Hocking Hills Canopy Tours, Tree Frog Canopy Tours, The Wilds Zipline Tour.
- Is your child a movie lover? Consider a movie club membership for them!
- Another fun option is to give them a gift card to their favorite restaurant along with a gift card to their favorite place to play. For example, a gift card to Swenson’s Drive Ins followed with a pass to Laser Tag or a Trampoline Park or to Magic Mountain…another one to consider is Top Golf.
- Sign your kids up for swimming all year round with a membership to Gold Fish Swim School for swim lessons (we go there and LOVE it!).
- For the little girls in your life, consider something like a mother/daughter date to get your nails done. We personally love visiting Zoom Mani in Polaris Mall and The W Nail Bar off Polaris Parkway…a gift card for nails along with a lunch at their favorite restaurant would be so fun!
Experience Gifts for Families in Ohio
Our family loves gifting quick overnight weekend trips throughout the year to keep things interesting and fun. Here’s some experience gifts for families in Ohio year around.
- Stay in a yurt at the Wilds (a branch of the Columbus Zoo) for a night and do a safari tour during the day.
- Put together a basket full of snacks and board games with a paper confirming a cabin rental in Hocking Hills for the weekend!
- Take a staycation in the Easton area with a stay at the Hilton Easton and a trip to Legoland for the day! Let your kids pick their favorite restaurant to eat at while they’re there (Chuy’s Mexican is my personal favorite) and be sure to grab yourself a bottle of wine from Cooper’s Hawk Winery for your visit there!
- Do you have a sports fan in your life? Consider a night out at a Blue Jackets game or give your kids tickets to the Columbus Crew or Columbus Clippers games. Another obvious sports choice is an Ohio State game (basketball, football, or otherwise).
- Head down to Cincinnati for the weekend and visit the Newport Aquarium or hit up a Cincinnati Reds or Cincinnati Bengals game. While you’re there, visit Jungle Jim’s for a fun grocery experience!
- Gift a membership to Cedar Point for the summer for your family to enjoy a full summer’s worth of rides and fun!
- Another super fun family idea is to camp at Alum Creek State Park for an evening and then rent a boat in Alum Creek Marina over the summer for a day on the water!
- For the fisherman and outdoorsmen in your life, give the gift of a chartered fishing trip on Lake Erie!
- Consider taking an overnight trip to Put n Bay or Kelley’s island this summer as a gift idea!
- Take a day and visit Snow Trails in Mansfield, Ohio.
Experience Gifts for Adults in Columbus, Ohio
- Need an experience gift idea for your husband? Consider taking a Columbus Food Tour with friends!
- Take your husband on a Beer Brewing adventure with North High Brewing Company
- Visit Camelot Cellars and make your own wine!
- Consider a stay at Belamere Suites in Toledo, Ohio for a romantic evening.
- Another romantic evening idea is an overnight visit to the Inn at Honey Run
- Sign up for an escape room adventure for an evening!
Ohio has so many options and opportunities for experience gifts. Think outside the box this year and surprise your children, your spouse, or your family with an outside the box gift idea that is sure to show them that you care, that you thought hard about them, and put some real effort into something that they’d enjoy for years to come.
As a follow up idea to an experience gift, give them a framed photo or picture album full of the photos from when you used the gift in previous years! Each year they can look forward to making memories, as well as having documentation of those memories for years to come!
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