Are you looking for Christmas Gift Ideas that are not toys? How about giving the gift of experience? Here’s a list of the top gift experience ideas you can have in the Mid-Michigan and surrounding areas! This is a perfect non-toy gift idea!
Top Experience Gifts In Michigan
After the kids have ripped open all of their gifts this year, the novelty of each toy will fade, and parents will soon hear, “I’m bored!” Instead of adding to a pile of things that will likely end up in a donation bin, why not give the gift of an experience? Give children something fun to do and give their parents a break! Consider gifting kids with classes or even simply a play day out to create new memories or learn new skills. Stumped on where to begin? Here are several places to check out here in Central and Mid-Michigan areas.
Do you have teen boys? Be sure to read my tips on gift ideas for teen and tween boys here ->> 15+ CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS FOR TEEN BOYS
Jester’s Court– This indoor, inflatable play space gives kids somewhere to burn off energy when the weather just isn’t right for playing outside. Children 12 & under cost $10, 2 & under are $5, under 9 months get free admission, and adults (including kids 13 & up) pay $1.50 to get in.
Tarry Hall Roller Rink– Gift kids some good ole’ fashioned fun set to groovy music! There’s a lot on the schedule, including lessons, but Saturday Sessions go from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and cost $7.00. (Rollerskate rental is included in the price, but renting rollerblades will cost $2 more.) Parents pay $3.
Catch Air– This indoor play space was created specifically for children 10 and under, and has everything to keep them entertained for hours! Socks are required. Admission for children under 2 is $7, and 3 to 10 is $10.
Salvation Army Kroc Center– This Community Center has so much going on that the programs and classes would make great gifts for adults, too! Be sure to check out Toddler Tuesdays, which goes from 9:00 a.m. to noon, and costs $5.50 for non-members. During this designated time, little ones can play with blocks, scooters, and balls in the gymnasium, swim in the zero–depth entry area in the Aquatics Center, and more. Older kids will enjoy Camp Kroc during school breaks, which offers overnight, Full-day and half-day camps.
Grand Rapids Children’s Museum– There are tons of fun exhibits, daily programs, and special events to keep children entertained here, rain or shine. Admission is $8.50, but babies under 1 are free and seniors over 65 are $7.50.
The Mud Room– This DIY art studio lets kids get their hands dirty and lets the creativity flow with pottery painting, glass fusing, and clay and pottery wheels. Parties, camps and even coupons are available! Prices vary.
Joyful Sounds Music Studio– This studio offers music classes for children of all ages! Classes generally run for ten weeks, and tuition includes a registration fee and lots of take-home materials. Sessions run $175 for the first child with discounts for each sibling after that.
John Ball Zoo– See everything from tigers to species from the tropics at this award-winning zoo! There is even a zip line, camel rides, and a petting zoo, among other activities. Check the website before you go to see what’s on the calendar for the day. Prices and hours vary based on the season, but at most are $10 for adults and $8 for children.
Treetop-Climbing and Ziplining Course for One or Two at Grand Rapids Treetop Adventure Park (Up to 26% Off)- Right now you can score a Ziplining Course for 1 for the 2017 season. My boys love going zip lining, so this would be a great gift idea! You can also explore season pass options and gift card options (buy 1, get 1 50% off) by visiting their website.
Be sure to check out: Free/Cheap Things To Do In Grand Rapids
Kids Gym, Inc.- Children as young as one can participate in gymnastics classes at this facility. The facility is available for parties and hosts special events throughout the year. Contact Kids Gym, Inc. directly for prices.
Kalamazoo Valley Museum– Expect planetarium shows, musical performances and hands-on crafts at this museum. The best part? It’s FREE! Admission to the planetarium is $3, and you do have to pay for parking.
Jungle Joe’s– At this family fun center, you’ll find tons of bounce houses and arcade games. The facility is available for parties, as well. Admission is $10 for kids, $2 for toddlers under 2, and $3 for adults. Socks are required. The Jungle Joe’s “Frequent Bounce Card” costs $40.
Bounceland– Admission is $2 for toddlers under 2, $8 for kids over 2, and $5 for playing adults. One adult is allowed in for free to supervise each child. Socks are required. The “Friday Family Fun Pack” includes two open jump passes for children, one large pizza and one two-liter of Coke for $25, starting at 4:00 p.m.
Air Zoo– Think of this unique place as part museum and part amusement park, complete with rides and exhibits. Give an Air Zoo membership, which includes unlimited admission to the Air Zoo, free or reduced admission to more than 1,200 museums and science centers worldwide, exclusive discounts at local businesses, invitations to special member events, and much more.
Kingdom Soccer– Kingdom Soccer offers youth soccer, drop-in classes, and camps. Toddler Open Play, for example, is held every Monday and Wednesday and costs $5 per visit or $40 for ten visits.
Kalamazoo Nature Center– There are lots of gift-giving options at this sanctuary! You can “adopt” an animal for a child (and then take the child to the center to see the species), or you can purchase a membership, which will give the recipient year-round access to KNC.
Echo Valley– At this winter sports park, kids of all ages can play in the snow instead of being cooped up inside! Tubes and toboggans are provided. Admission is $18 for the day or $50 for a season pass.
Jumpin’ Jax Bounce Arena– This 10,000 square foot facility is designed for kids 2 to 12. It’s full of inflatable playscapes, including an area just for toddlers. Admission is $8 for kids 2 and up, and $4 for tots under 2 (or free with a paid sibling).
Extreme Fun– This inflatable playground is located inside the Lansing Mall, making it convenient for families who might be shopping or dining anyway. It’s only $5 ($10 on weekends) and includes bounce houses, an arcade, snacks for sale, and a play center for little ones.
Zap Zone– This activity center encourages families to play together. It has laser tag, glow golf, bumper cars, and a trampoline area. The “Fun Factory Special” costs $18 per person and lets you pick any 3 activities. Find daily specials on the website.
Potter Park Zoo– This gift idea may not be ideal for older children, but younger kids will love going to the zoo and enjoying all of the activities happening all year long. Plus, with a membership at Potter Park Zoo, also means you can visit other zoos with the reciprocal zoo/aquarium program.
Spare Time Entertainment Center– What other bowling alley do you know of that offers sand volleyball, laser tag and bumper cars? The website has tons of promotions, so check it out before you go! Save 50% off on a $40 Game Card (get it for just $20 bucks, go here)
Impression 5– This hands-on learning and fun center have more than 150 activities for kids to interact with. There’s no shortage of entertainment here! Admission is $8.50, with babies under one being free. Memberships start at $75.
Fenner Nature Center- Do you have a child that loves nature or you want to expose your grandchild to the beauty of nature? A membership to the Fenner Nature Center is the perfect gift. Memberships start at $30 for individuals, $45 for families, $60 for families and grandparents, and on.
Roller-Skating Package with Skates, Soda, and Pretzels, for Two or Four at EDRU Skate-a-rama– Do you have kids that love to skate? Grab this package deal available for a limited time! This package starts at $20 and goes up depending on the options you select.
District 5- a new attraction to the Mid-Michigan area, but one that all the kids love! Flight options start off at $10 per hour.
All-of-us Express Children’s Theater– Do you have a child who loves to act? How about getting him or her involved in our local theater? Memberships to this children’s theater in Lansing starts off at $35 per year.
Aim High Sports– If your child loves sports, have them start taking classes at Aim High! They have a variety of classes (depending on your child’s level of expertise) for basketball, hockey, skating and more!
East Lansing Aquatic Center– Not a gift idea they can use right away, but they will appreciate you when the hot summer months rolls away around, and they can go splash and play in the water all day at the Aquatic Center. Passes start off at $40.
River Town Adventures: Do you have a kid that loves to be outdoors? How about buying them an outdoor adventure with River Town Adventures? Paddleboarding in the winter or summer is sure to be a fun and unique gift experience.
Le Chat Gourmet- Do you have a child that loves to cook? A cooking class specifically for kids is the perfect gift idea! I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things about this cooking class for kids in the Lansing area, so it’s worth the price! You can order gift certificates and give them to a child who is an aspiring chef! Who knows, this gift could be the gift that keeps on giving!
play.– Your little one will have so much fun learning and engaging at play. Get a gift certificate as a Christmas gift idea this year.
Here are a few more ideas:
- Gift Cards to Celebration Cinema, NCG or Regal Cinema.
- Tickets to an MSU Basketball or Football Game
- Tickets to a Piston’s Game
- Swim Lesson (Gold Fish Swim in Okemos is a great one to check out!)
- Horseback riding experiences
- Membership at Reach Art Studio
- Capital Ballet Theater
- Membership to the YMCA
The Petting Farm at Domino’s Farms- Here, kids can learn about and feed a variety of barnyard animals, and take hay rides and pony rides! Admission is $6, but kids under 2 are free. An annual family membership costs $75.
The Creature Conservancy- Children, can get up close and personal with a wide variety of rescued animals at this non-profit organization. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for kids 2 and up. They’re always looking for volunteers and donations. Your gift can be a “creature adoption, ” and there are many options to choose from!
Spun- If there’s a crafty little one on our shopping list, how about getting them a knitting class? From beginner to expert, there’s something fun for all knitters. Class costs vary.
Eastern Michigan University Children’s Music Classes– These non-credit music classes run from 8 to 10 weeks and cost $110 per child. Kids under five will build a foundation for future musical lessons through percussion and musical play, while older kids can take piano and keyboard classes.
Flipside Art Studio– Choose from several art classes at this facility, ranging from “Mommy & Me” programs to independent drawing instruction. Arts and crafts abound for all ages, and prices vary widely, so peruse the site to see all of the options.
Noise Lab– Give kids the gift of really fun music classes that feel more like jam sessions, and are taught by highly educated music professionals. Improvisation and creativity are encouraged here. Buy a Noise Lab Family monthly subscription package, which includes two family workshops per month, playlists and instructional videos for continued music making at home, live broadcasts and discounts to quarterly live Noise Lab music concerts. Then, make a one-time purchase of a starter kit, which includes a variety of musical instruments and a child size Noise Lab t-shirt and kazoo. Parents can then sign kids up for classes! Contact Noise Lab for prices.
iD Tech Camps- If you have a little techie on your list, consider giving them the gift of a session at one of the University of Michigan summer tech camps, where they can take courses in coding, game design, app development, web design, film, and photography. Day camps are approximately $800 a week. Overnight camps are available.
Wild Swan Theater- Classes, workshops, and camps are available for the junior thespian in your life at Wild Swan! Classes are generally four weeks long, cost $65, and are intended for elementary school-aged children.
Michigan Science Center– With both revolving and year-round exhibits, an IMAX dome, a 4D theater, and a planetarium, there’s plenty here to keep kids of all ages entertained. Admission prices range from $19 to $31, depending on which package you choose, but an even better gift idea is a membership. See the website for all of the options.
Detroit Zoo- This world-renowned facility has tons of attractions, fresh dining options, and plenty of space for kids to run free. There are special events throughout the year to keep guests coming back, like the day zookeepers feed pumpkins to the animals as a special Halloween treat. Prices start at $10, and there’s a fee for parking, so a membership would be the best deal. Those start at $53.
Detroit Kid City– Lots of places boast a coffee shop atmosphere for parents with a playscape for kids to combine the best of both worlds, but few are as clean and pay as much attention to detail as DKC. This mini-city has a Post Office, schoolhouse, firehouse, grocery store and even a recording studio, to name a few! With daily story time and lots of yummy coffee drinks for the grown-ups, the creators thought of everything. Daily admission is $10 or half off if you buy and have your tot wear the DKC t-shirt. Infants under 1 are free with the purchase of a drink.
Gymboree- Sign the littlest ones up for gym, art and music classes and take advantage of “open gym” hours at this location. Classes are separated by age and last 45 minutes. They run $72 a month, plus a one-time registration fee. This includes one class a week, plus unlimited open gym access. Members receive discounts in Gymboree clothing stores as well.
Born Yoga– From prenatal to teen, you can immerse kids in yoga thanks to this new center in Birmingham. The storefront sells cute gifts for little yogis, too! The drop in rate is $15 per class, so it’s a better deal to buy a package of classes. Prices and schedules vary. Check Groupon for frequent discounts as well.
Legoland Discovery Center– This hidden gem is a theme park inside of a shopping mall! Complete with rides, hands-on play areas and a food court, kids, can keep busy here for hours! With Toddler Time and Adult Night, the whole family will enjoy going. Tickets start at $18.50. Children 2 and under are free. Annual passes start at $75.
SeaLife Aquarium– Also inside of the mall, you’ll find a complete aquarium, with ten interactive zones to explore. Be sure to take advantage of the behind-the-scenes tour and don’t miss feeding time! Tickets start at $13 and children under 3 are free. Annual passes start at $60.
Another great idea, although not in Michigan, is a membership or gift card to Shedd’s Aquarium.
Hopefully, this list will give you some great gift ideas for Christmas! Although we love giving gadgets and toys, sometimes a different present turns out to be the best present! And the present that keeps on giving! Merry Christmas!
Live in the Mid-Michigan area? Be sure to check out other fun activities:
- 100+ Summer Bucket List of Things To do in Michigan
- 48 Hours In Lansing: What To Do, Where To Stay & Where To Eat
- Over 150 Free/Cheap Things To Do in Lansing
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