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Ultimate List of Non Toy Gift Ideas ~ Maximize the Memories

Give the gift of memories, of time spent, of experiences had. They will last longer than any toy you will ever give! These Non Toy Gift Ideas will get you on your way to reducing the clutter and maximizing the memories!
The Ultimate List of Non Toy Gift Ideas from Starts At Eight. Maximize the memories with activity gifts like ice skating or sewing classes, board games, gift cards and family trips and more!

Ultimate List of Non Toy Gift Ideas

It is that time of year where family is asking for gift suggestions for the kids. I know with my children being older it can be hard because so many of the things they want are so expensive. When they were little it was hard because we had SO many toys already!

If you feel like you have enough toys, or you would just like to mix it up some and get something different, then this list of non toy gift ideas is for you!


  • Museum
  • Zoo
  • Acquarium
  • Amusement Park
  • Aviary
  • Butterfly Conservatory
  • Jump (trampoline) Clubs
  • Laser Tag
  • Ice Skating
  • Ski Passes
  • Theater Performance
  • Ballet (The Nutcracker perhaps?)
  • Movies
  • Bowling
  • Roller Skating
  • Mini-Golf
  • Sporting Event (basketball, football, hockey, soccer, tennis, etc)
  • Disney on Ice
  • Music Concert
  • Chuck E Cheese
  • Dave and Buster’s
  • Video Arcade
  • Zip Lining
  • Rock Climbing
  • Batting Cage
  • Go Kart Racing

Larger Experiences

  • Hot Air Balloon Ride
  • Train Ride
  • Ice Skating in Rockefeller Center (this is one we did while already in NYC that my daughter and I loved)
  • Horse & Buggy Ride (Central Park?)
  • Helicopter Ride
  • Spa Getaway (even for a short day to do mani/pedis)
  • Special Dinner Out & Activity (our kids have loved going to Hibachi type places or Melting Pot for fondue)


  • Swimming
  • Gymnastics
  • Ninja Warrier
  • Soccer
  • Football
  • Karate
  • Ice Skating
  • Skiing
  • Dance
  • Horseback Riding
  • Musical instrument
  • Pottery
  • Art
  • Crafting such as sewing or knitting (places like JoAnn’s and Micheal’s often offer opportunities like this)

Family Trips

As a family you might choose to forgo the traditional gift giving and plan a fun excursion instead!

  • Hotel with an Indoor Water Park
  • Disney/MGM
  • Historical Trips (Washington D.C.,  Mt. Rushmore, NYC, etc)
  • Camping
  • Road Trip (to visit family or friends or to see designated sights)
  • Beach Trip
  • Any Overnight Hotel Stay

To go along with your trips you could give things that are needed like bathing suits for the beach, or camping gear for camping.

Physical Gifts (Non Toy Gift Ideas)

  • Scrapbooking Supplies
  • Memory/Photo Book
  • Journal
  • Book
  • Non-Battery Games
  • DVDs
  • Music CDs or gift cards like iTunes so they can download music they love
  • Craft Supplies
  • Science Kits
  • Magic Kit
  • Telescope
  • Microscope
  • Binoculars
  • Art Supplies
  • Pets (my daughter got her horse for Christmas – a little early – this year) but you could do small animals too. A couple of years ago we had “Santa” bring a cage with supplies and a note that she would be going to the store to choose her own guinea pig.
  • Supplies for existing pets – fun treats and trinkets for their most beloved animals.
  • Camera
  • Watch
  • Flashlight
  • Nightstand Charging Stations/Radio
  • Sled/snowboard snow brick makers or other winter outdoor accessories
  • Bike
  • Scooter
  • Trampoline (one year my mother gave 2 of my children a joint gift of a trampoline – it was the BEST PURCHASE EVER!)
  • New Bedding (my kids have loved getting themed sheet sets like Buffalo Bills, horses, favorite character, etc.
  • Clothing that is a theme favorite ie. t-shirts, hats, gloves, socks with things like favorite sports team, their sport, horses, characters like Harry Potter, etc.

Gift Cards

I know people don’t often like to give these, but I can tell you that as non toy gift ideas go, my kids LOVE getting gift cards for the places they love.

You can give gift cards or certificates for many of the activity places above, as well as gift cards for food, clothing, and toy places.

  • Starbucks/Tim Horton’s/Dunkin Donuts
  • Favorite Restaurant
  • Target
  • Amazon
  • Toys R Us
  • Playstation
  • Xbox
  • iTunes

Simplifying Christmas

Simplify Christmas Using Categorized Gift Tags: Want - Need - Wear - Read from Starts At Eight. Christmas shopping/giving can become overwhelming, over done, and over spent. Try to Simplify Christmas Using Categorized Gift Tags: Want, Need, Wear, Read.

Something else to consider this Christmas is slimming down and making it easier. This year I am really cutting out a ton of holiday stress by using Categorized Gift Tags.  That means buying less, and having each thing be more purposeful and meaningful.

More Gift Ideas

Create Easy and Affordable Personalized Gifts on Canvas
Battery Free Tween Games ~ Get Them Out of Their Phones and Into the Fun!
20 Fun Educational Games To Play With Your Kids
Gifts for Teen Boys: Easy Buys Under $30
7 Top Building Construction Sets for Kids
Last Minute Christmas Stocking Stuffers

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