Local Christmas Gift Ideas that Don’t Add to the Playroom
If you’re like me, you start your semi-annual playroom clean out around this time of year.
Last weekend, I got three bags of trash and old toys out of the 400 square feet we call the playroom. My children are not allowed to store toys in their rooms (because I’m a crazy woman), so at least this does include ALL the toys, art, stuffed animals, and glitter that comes with having two girls. We are in clean out mode because Christmas is coming.
My village is awesome and my family is big.
For us, this means that our girls feel incredibly loved this time of year. They will get most of their wish list, somethings times two. To me, I get overwhelmed by all the stuff. I love my children, I love my family, but if we get another stuffed animal I may lose my mind! My six year old is slowly realizing the value of a gift card, playdate, and gifts that keep on giving. Praise the Lord, let the angels sing “Hallelujah!” I don’t want to sound ungrateful. We are incredibly fortunate. I know that I will eventually have a quiet house, full of antiques, and I’ll no longer step on legos, or sweep up glitter on the regular. Until that day comes, I’ll joyously embrace the chaos, hope for gift cards, and be thankful for experiences.
I’ve come up with some local, and some not so local, gift ideas that do not include lots of stuff.
Ultimately, our children do not need more stuff, more crayons, more toys. Our children need our time and our attention. Instead of another toy, ask your family and friends to spend their money on an experience for your child. Something that goes beyond a screen, a stuffed animal, or legos. Ask for something that encourages family time and interacting with your child.
Gift Card Ideas
Kid Friendly Restaurants
- Deano’s – a Deano’s gift card and a bag of quarters for the arcade section will make my kids’ dreams come true.
- Chick-Fil-A – Hello, Play Place!
- Hershey’s Ice Cream Company – There’s also Great American Cookie Company in this space, if the child isn’t a fan of ice cream.
- Borden’s Ice Cream Shoppe – Old School ice cream fun!
Family Fun Activities
- Clayfish Bisque – I know this technically breaks the rule of “no more stuff,” but it is a fun experience to create pottery as a family, have it fired, and pick up a pottery piece completed and ready for display.
- Children’s Museum of Acadiana – The Children’s Museum offers memberships starting at $105. This is pricey for some, but it includes a lot. I’d suggest making this one a group gift. We’d be more than willing to pay for half to help out the giver. The membership includes free admission for a year, and discounts on birthday parties.
- Zoosiana – The Lafayette zoo also offers yearly memberships starting at $29.99 per adult, and $19.99 per child (3 and under are free!!).
- Kart Ranch – Gift cards can be purchased on their website. There are also a number of coupons found there.
- Sky Zone – Lots of discounts and gift cards can be found on their website. Also, Sky Zone offers a number of special events and camps you can register, and pay for online. Buy my kid a week of summer camp, and I love you forever.
- Skate Zone – The Skate Zone has rebranded to Fun Nation. The new facility now includes an indoor playground.
- The Little Gym – Open play is a blast for younger children. Starting at 4 months, you can participate in Mommy and Me classes, open play, parents’ night out, and camps.
- The Learning Train – Open play times are open for children around 6 months of age and up. There are also classes that encourage children to play together. See their website for more information on how to purchase open play and classes as a gift.
- Bowling – There are two local bowling alleys (Acadiana and Lafayette Lanes). Acadiana Lanes is wrapping up a massive renovation, and will have an arcade area, food, and of course bowling. Lafayette Lanes has these amenities as well. We love bowling on a rainy day!
- Mix-It-Up – If your little one enjoys cooking then this is the place for you. Mix-It-Up offers cooking classes for various ages, including some Mommy and Me, and some drop off classes.
Mail is a lost art these days. Some of these ideas violate my “no more stuff” rule, but are so very cool.
- Kidstir – A Kidstir subscription delivers cooking utensils, recipes, and family games or activities straight to your door. As a parent, this one will take a little work because you will have to pick up the food to complete the recipe. I think this is a great idea for kids who love to work in the kitchen. Recipes are kid friendly, utensils are smaller and perfect for kid hands, and the family activities look so fun! Great for ages 5 and up. Prices start at $15 for a one month box.
- Highlights – My big girl (6 years old) loves the hidden picture activities in Highlights Magazine. She gets one every two months, and is always excited to get mail! There are different subscriptions based on your child’s age starting around $40.
- Dolly Parton Imagination Library – This one is FREE people! Free! Good Ol’ Dolly wants to promote literacy in children! The program sends a child a book a month for their first 5 years of life. All you have to do is sign them up. Also, because Dolly is awesome, you can register multiple children per household. They also send age appropriate books so depending on age, you won’t get the same book. There’s literally no reason not to sign up for this!
- Green Kid Crafts – These subscription boxes run around $25 a box. There are coupons to be found for 50% off. The cool thing about these is it is a craft box with all materials, but they are centered around a certain topic. Topics include weather, animals, etc.