Saturday, November 7, 2015

10 Experience Based Gifts for Little Kids for Under $25

Photo Credit: Eric M Martin via Compfight cc
The Holidays are approaching & as I trip over a doll while I pick another piece of lego out of my foot, I'm starting to dread the avalanche of stuff that's coming at Christmas. While I love seeing the unadulterated joy on the faces of my children when they open up a gift & immediately start to play with it, I hate the aftermath. I also know that some of the things they love the most aren't things, but experiences. They love zooming down hills on the bike. They love searching for the beaver in Hinge Park (still haven't seen it yet). They love watching the "mighty machines" that do road work, garbage pickup, & construction in our neighbourhood.

I'm not going to lie, I've already bought the kids stuff for Christmas. Things. Objects. I may regret having such a large collection of books next time I slip across the living room hardwood on one. However, this year for all gifts we give--birthdays & Christmas--I'm going to try to get more experience based things. Since I thought you might be interested in this idea too, I've made a list of experience based gifts for little kids under $25.

  1. False Creek Ferries or Aquabus cruise. Who doesn't love a trip on a boat? Kids of all ages find it fun to board a tiny little ferry & bob across False Creek. Both companies offer mini cruises as well as strip tickets so you can ride the whole route or spread out the fun over multiple days. Ten tickets or a cruise for one adult & one child are $25 or less.
  2. Beaty Biodiversity Museum tickets. This museum is an amazing treasure trove of specimens. From the blue whale skeleton suspended above, to the thousands of drawers full of weird & wonderful animals & plants, there is a lot to see. I recommend taking a tour--it's really useful to have an expert show you around so you don't miss out on some of the cool things there. One child & one adult can go for less than $25.
  3. Collage Collage workshop. We were a bit sad to see this lovely little children's art studio move--it was two blocks from home--but their new space has much more room for all the amazing classes & drop-in crafting. The studio offers a wide variety of creative workshops for kids (& adults, actually) using all kinds of different media. $12+
  4. Date Coupon. By this I mean a handmade certificate that will entitle the bearer to have some one on one time with their parent/grandparent/aunt/uncle/friend. It could be anything from a bike ride on the seawall & fancy hot chocolate, to cheesecake at a dessert bistro. The time together (& maybe the sweets) are the important part. 
  5. Swimming or Ice Skating tickets. There are some great pools & ice skating rinks in this city & it's really cheap to use them. You can get a gift card in any amount that is valid for all kinds of different activities at the rec centres around the city.
  6. Baking kit. While this does involve physical stuff, I'm going to count it as an experience based gift as it's consumable. A bag of flour, a hunk of baking chocolate, plus a few other ingredients (maybe not the eggs) & a recipe card, et voila! You & your giftee can get together one afternoon to bake up a storm.
  7. Kerrisdale Play Palace 10 ticket bundle. If you haven't heard of it before, Kerrisdale Play Palace is a giant bouncy castle paradise for kids. They have an inflatable slide, obstacle course & two separate bouncy castles for kids to jump out all their sillies. They also have ride on toys & toddler toys. Technically, 10 tickets are only $25 for kids under two, but if you're giving to two children under 12, it'd be $38 for each kid to go five times.
  8. Riefel Bird Sanctuary membership. Grab a birding guide from your local library (or buy one at the Riefel gift shop), pick up a bag of seed, & head out for a walk on the flat trails of this wildlife refuge. One visit is $5 for adults, $3 for children, but a single annual membership is just $25.
  9. River Critters Baking Class pass. The River Market in New Westminster offers baking classes for children under five weekly. Kids get to make cookies or decorate cupcakes with Katia of Pamola Bakery. It's just $22.50 for a five class pass.
  10. Buses, Trains, & Boats day pass. Also known as a Translink DayPass. $7.50 for kids & $9.75 for adults will get you a ticket to ride wherever you want to go all day on the Skytrain, buses & Seabus. I recommend stopping at Waterfront Station, leaving via the western exit & walking past the new convention centre to watch the seaplanes land & take off at the Coal Harbour airport.
There you have it! Ten affordable gifts that will leave only smiles behind. Have you got any additions to my list of affordable experiential gifts for kids? 

Follow Spokesmama here too:


  1. For kids a little older than tickets! Costco has a cheap package of ticket plus small popcorn, drink and treat for just over $10. I have friends that buy a bunch of these to have birthday parties at the cinema! It seems that once they get to grade 3 or so, kids want to see every movie possible in the theatre. My littles are still afraid of the loud speakers in theatres, but J loves theatres.

  2. OH, and other than experience based gifts, my children know I like to buy useful gifts. So they always get socks, clothes, a book, toothbrush etc. This year I've got even more useful things on the list...someone's getting a sleeping bag under the tree.

  3. Movie tickets are a great idea--that could totally work for a kid Linny's age or older.


Thanks for commenting! (I've had to enable comment moderation on older posts to thwart spammers, so your post may not appear right away.)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...