MomPreneur Life

Making this Christmas Magical with More Experiences, Less Toys!

Every year I watch the same scenario unfold with my girls and the toys they want for Christmas.  The TV is flooded with ads about this year’s hottest toys and my mailbox is overflowing with American Girl catalogs.  

It is so fun to watch them decided which toy or two they really want to ask Santa for and it is so magical to watch them open it on Christmas morning! The toys, however, are played with for a short amount of time and then pushed aside and eventually put into the closet….

A couple years ago I started asking for “experiences” rather then toys when relatives ask what to get them! My girls LOVE THIS! They get excited to make a list of activities they would love to do and I love the memories we make!

A day adventure can be expensive and absolutely a treat for many families and they make a great gift!! Some of the experiences we have received are listed below!

  • Movie and Lunch Date package
  • A trip to Great Wolf Lodge
  • Tickets to Lego Land
  • Tickets to a Kids Bop Concert
  • Tickets to Santa’s Village
  • Tickets to Disney On Ice
  • Dance Class Gift Certificates
  • Riding Lesson Gift Certificates
  • Art Studio Gift Certificates (my girls love to paint ceramics!)
Dance Class!
Disney on Ice!
Great Wolf Lodge!
Lego Land!

I would love to hear about the experiences you have with your family! Please let me know in the comments, I am always looking for new adventures to add to my list!!


  1. I love this so much! Experiences are so much better than just “stuff!” Thanks for the great reminder before the holiday season starts to great crazy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Alexandra

    Some great ideas I have to say! I cannot wait to have kids of my own so I can share Christmas with them ๐Ÿ™‚ It is such an important family day!

    1. Thank you Alexandra! Christmas is so special in our family and with all the great experiences we stretch out the fun!

      I love to give experiences as gifts too! I get tickets to local attractions for nieces & nephews too!

  3. Denise

    I am all about experiences they are the form of gifts that last a lifetime. I am definetely putting together some ideas for my little family. thanks for sharing

    1. Hi Denise! Thank you for reading!! We also love adventures and the girls enjoy making out experience bucket list!

  4. candy

    Couldn’t agree with you more. Stop spending the money and make family and memories. That is what they will remember.

    1. Yes!! Thank you Candy for responding! I treasure all the memories we make!!

  5. I love the thought of giving activities instead of gifts. Seems like we struggle to find a gift for everyone on our list. Many of the toys we buy end up in a yard sale by summertime! I’d much rather give an activity gift!

    1. Andrea so true! As I type my girls are going through a tote of forgotten toys! We love to get experiences as gifts and I treasure the memories!!

  6. I love this! We too, try to be very intentional about sharing experiences together. This year we will attend a ballet performance of The Nutcracker, attend a local light show, and performance of Handel’s Messiah. Your post is helpful. I will be looking into riding lessons. I would have never thought of that.

    1. Hi Ashley! Thank you so much for reading! The Nutcracker is such a great idea too, I am going to add that to my list!

  7. This is so true and a great idea. We have family members that insist on buying as many toys as possible. But I and going to ask for experience gifts this year and see what we get!

    1. Hi Ashley! I have had family members struggle with buying experiences rather then toys too! My girls like to make a little “Experience Bucket List” and they excitedly talk about it with friends and family. I have had family members package the experience with a small gift too which helps them haha! One year the girls got a dance outfit to open with their dance lessons and a new swimsuit with goggles that they opened with tickets to a water park!

  8. I totally agree with this! It is so important that the spirit of the season isn’t revolved around toys.

  9. This is GREAT! I am all about giving less toys and more experiences. Such a better way to spend our time and money. I will add all of these to my list!

    1. Thank you for reading!! I agree it is such a better way to spend time and money!

  10. Yes yes yes! We’re all about experiences these days! I’m incorporated the minimalist lifestyle and this Christmas we’ll be very intentional about the amount of toys we let into our home. Experiences make the best gifts for sure!

    1. We are also all about the experiences, I love to make memories with the girls to extend beyond the Holiday season!

  11. Erin Haugerud

    Love this!!i canโ€™t believe how gift centered Christmas is!

    1. That you for reading Erin! It really is so centered on toys and we have loved our “adventure gifts” as my little one calls them!

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