by Texas Homesteader ~
Several years ago our grown children requested: “Please, no new toys – the kid’s rooms are packed!” So we started a new tradition – experience gifts for our grandchildren! Each year RancherMan & I decide on a fun activity to do with the kids. It’s a win/win since it gives us a chance to spend some special time with them too.
It usually involves a restaurant meal and spending the night at our house for a little more time spent with them. And there’s usually homemade Hot Cocoa involved. 🙂
Are you looking for experience gift ideas too? C’mon in, I’m sharing the experience gifts we’ve given to our grandkids over the last several years.
This was our first time to do an Escape Room Challenge. But together with our grandkids we put our heads together to solve the clues in a defined amount of time to be deemed worthy of Blackbeard’s Challenge. They also had murder mystery challenge and a couple of cabin-themed challenges.
We contacted the venue beforehand to make sure Blackbeard’s Challenge was suitable for our teens. This was SO much fun!!
One year we took the grandkids to the Ft Worth Stock Show Rodeo. In addition to the rodeo there were also many museums onsite complete with dinosaur exhibits & fun dino-dig activities among others. RancherMan & I picked up some inexpensive cowboy/cowgirl hats, bandannas and vest with sheriff’s star. We wrapped up the western wear and a stock show informational brochure for them to open on Christmas Day. Then they each wore their cute getup on their trip to the stock show.
Live Production Play
Live production plays are favorite pastimes for RancherMan & me. So one year we took them to a professional production of ‘A Christmas Story’. The play was fantastic!
Another year we took them to see a live production of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ in an old renovated 1940’s theater. RancherMan & I enjoy attending plays and we wanted to share that love of theater with our grandchildren.
Drive-Through Animated Light Display
It’s a fun tradition for many families to bundle up the kids to go look at Christmas lights.
So one year RancherMan & I decided to take the kids to enjoy a very large commercially-run drive-through display in a nearby city. It was HUGE! The road wound around each themed display and the kids had fun picking their favorites.
Now that the kids are getting older we were looking for something a little more physical for them. Since the Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course was all the rage on TV, we knew the kids would love this. We chose Urban Air for our fun location as they had the largest variety of options.
In addition to the obstacle course there were several trampoline features too, including a dodge ball court on trampolines, a slam-dunk basketball court on trampolines and an area where you can bounce off a trampoline and into a huge air-filled pillow. RancherMan & I even joined in on the trampoline fun. The kids all had a blast.
This was the kids’ favorite experience gift. There are many rock-climbing facilities all around since this is such a popular sport. Many of them include an auto belay for inexperienced or young climbers. This is a rope attached to a device that keeps tension on the rope as the climber ascends. If they fall or even purposely push away from the wall, the auto belay will lower them slowly to the ground.
Ways To Save
There are many opportunities to save some cash for these experience gifts so it doesn’t break the budget.
Oftentimes the restaurant meal with our grandchildren costs nothing out of our pocket even though there are SIX of us! That’s because we often use our credit card points to pick up restaurant gift cards. I’ve written before about how RancherMan & I Save Money using that program.
Inexpensive Idea For Longer-Lasting Memories
If the kids will be spending the night with us, I often take a photo of all of us enjoying our experience gift together. Then when we get home I’ll send the photo to a 1-hour photo processing place.
Then the next morning I’ll give the kids inexpensive black frames I’d previously purchased and a white paint pen. I’ll let the kids decorate their frames whoever they like.
Then we’ll insert a photo of our fun into each child’s frame. This is an inexpensive way to give them a keepsake to remember the fun long after Christmas is over!
Contact The Venue
I contacted the Ft. Worth Stockyards and they were happy to send free admission tickets. Sometimes the ages of the kids will reduce the price of the tickets. And sometimes you can even score tickets for FREE! You never know, so it’s always helpful to at least contact the venue.
Do you give ‘Experience Gifts’? What’s your favorite?
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