As a parent, finding the perfect gift for your tweens and teens can sometimes be a challenge. While material items are a typical choice, why not consider experience gifts for kids?
These adventures and activities can provide kids with lifelong memories, skills, and joy that extend far beyond the initial excitement of unwrapping a present.
Here are some of my favorite experience gifts for kids, from 9-19.
This post contains affiliate links. I will earn a commission at no additional charge to you if you make a purchase using my links. Click here to see my full disclosure policy.
Experience Gifts for Kids
1. Outdoor Adventure Days
- Treat your kids to thrilling outdoor experiences like paintball, ziplining, horseback riding, or rock climbing. These adventures encourage a connection with nature and foster a love for exploration.
2. Cooking Classes
- Encourage culinary creativity with hands-on cooking classes. From baking delectable treats to whipping up savory dishes, your child can develop valuable life skills while savoring delicious results.
3. Art Workshops
- For budding artists, enroll them in art workshops, where they can unleash their creativity, experiment with various mediums, and bring their visions to life on canvas, clay, metal, wood, film, and photography
4. Museum and Zoo Memberships
- Invest in annual memberships to local museums, science centers, or zoos. This gift keeps on giving, fostering a love for learning and exploration.
5. Theme Park Adventures
- Visit theme parks, amusement parks, or water parks for an exhilarating day filled with laughter and excitement. It’s the perfect way to celebrate special occasions.
6. Science and Space Camps
- Fuel their curiosity about the cosmos with science and space camps. These programs provide hands-on experience in astronomy, physics, robotics, and even astronaut training.
7. Junior Gardener’s Kits
- Encourage a green thumb with junior gardener’s kits that include seeds, tools, and guides. Your child can discover the joys of gardening and watch their plants grow. Some local garden centers offer classes.
8. Concert Tickets
- Teens often develop a strong connection to music. Surprise them with tickets to see their favorite band or artist in concert. It’s an experience they’ll remember forever.
9. Gaming or VR Experiences
- For the tech-savvy teen, consider gifting a virtual reality experience or tickets to gaming conventions. It’s a fantastic way for them to indulge their passion.
10. Skydiving or Indoor Skydiving
- Thrill-seeking teenagers might adore the idea of skydiving. For a safer alternative, indoor skydiving facilities offer a similar adrenaline rush.
11. Driving Lessons
- The teenage years mark the road to independence. Get them started on that journey by gifting driving lessons, allowing them to gain vital life skills.
12. Theater or Acting Classes
- Whether they’re interested in the stage or not, acting classes can boost self-confidence and improve public speaking skills, benefiting them in various areas of life.
13. Music Lessons
- Foster their musical talents with music lessons in their instrument of choice. Whether it’s guitar, piano, or violin, these lessons open the door to creative expression.
14. Coding Camps
- Equip your teens with the valuable skill of coding. Coding camps and courses can prepare them for future tech-related careers and provide a creative outlet.
15. Sporting Lessons
- Sporting lessons and camps offer a structured environment where young athletes can receive expert coaching, work on their techniques, and foster discipline, teamwork, and a love for the game that can last a lifetime. Don’t overlook opportunities beyond the usual youth sports teams, think horseback riding, ski clubs, or martial arts.
The Gift of Memories
16. Family Vacations
- Invest in family trips or vacations that create lasting memories. Explore new destinations, cultures, and cuisines together, fostering a sense of togetherness. Include extended family members and friends.
17. Adventure Camps
- Send your kids to adventure camps focused on outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, or wilderness survival. These camps teach essential life skills and promote self-reliance.
18. Language Immersion Programs
- For the linguistically inclined, consider enrolling them in language immersion programs. Whether it’s Spanish in Mexico or French in Quebec, this gift broadens their horizons.
19. Charity or Volunteer Trips
- Inspire empathy and a sense of responsibility by organizing charity trips. Help your kids understand the value of giving back and making a positive impact on the world.
20. Outdoor Gear
- Equip your kids with outdoor gear for camping, hiking, fishing, or other adventures. Encourage a love for the great outdoors and physical activity.
21. Historical Site Visits
- Explore history together by visiting museums, and historical landmarks, or even traveling to cities with rich historical significance.
22. Tickets to a Sports Game
- Cheer for their favorite teams and athletes with tickets to sporting events including all levels of professional sports and college teams.
23. Build Something Together
- Share a creative journey by building a large project together, fostering teamwork and problem-solving skills. Woodworking, obstacle courses, or rebuilding a car. Small or large, it’s the time together that matters.
24. Weekend Visits to Colleges or Technical Schools
Explore potential future pathways with weekend visits to college campuses and other opportunities for higher education.
25. Theater Tickets
Experience the magic of the theater with tickets to captivating shows and performances to see plays, operas, and other forms of performance arts.
More Ideas for Experience Gifts for Kids
26. Trampoline Park Passes
27. Bowling Gift Certificates
28. Ice Skating or Roller Skating Passes
29. A Round of Mini-Golf
30. Batting Cage or Driving Range Tokens
31. Paint-Your-Own Pottery Class
32. Jewelry-Making Class
33. Movie Tickets
34. Tickets to a Fair or Festival
35. Streaming Services for a Year (Like Disney+ or Spotify)
36. Salon Appointment for Mani-Pedis, Hair, or Other Spa Treatment
37. “Behind the Scenes” Experience (Ice Cream Factory Tour, Going Backstage After a Show, etc.)
Final Thoughts Experience Gifts for Tweens and Teens
These experience gifts for kids, tailored to different age groups, offer unique and enriching opportunities. They foster personal growth, ignite passions, and create lasting memories that your children will treasure for a lifetime.
By choosing experience gifts, you’re not just giving presents; you’re offering the gift of exploration, learning, and joy beyond the confines of a toy box or closet.
So, consider these ideas as you plan memorable surprises for your kids and watch as they unwrap the joy of unforgettable experiences.
Other Gift Ideas for Tweens and Teens
- 25 Best Gift Ideas for Teens
- 125+ Amazing Gift Ideas for Teenage Girls
- 11 + Awesome Gifts for Teen Boys
- 10 Awesome Gifts for Tween Girls She’ll Love
- 10 Top Gifts for Tween Boys