As a mom of a two little ones, we’re still in the early stages of our gift giving and receiving for holidays and birthdays. That said, thanks to very generous grandparents, family and friends, the kids seem to have everything they’d ever want. With this in mind, Andrew and I started to talk about gifting the kids more experiences instead of “stuff.”
Don’t get me wrong. I love to see my kids light up when they receive a toy they’ve wanted and to watch them as they spend hours playing with these toys. But, as they grow older, I see how much they learn and grow from enrichment activities so I’m starting to value those experiences more and more.
If you feel like your kids or kids on your holiday gift list already have a lot of “stuff,” I rounded up my five top picks for gifts this holiday season to provide learning, lasting and fun experiences beyond the gift wrap.
But first….a GIVEAWAY! Make sure to enter my Holiday Experience Giveaway (valued at $300+) here:
One lucky winner will receive:
– A holiday package (worth $220) from Goldfish Swim School (includes: 2 months of swim lessons, annual registration fee and a gift basket of Goldfish retail items)
– $59 credit to Pearachute, which provides parents and caregivers access to thousands of activities and classes for kids
– $50 gift certificate to Blo Blow Dry Bar
It’s super easy and quick to enter. Just click the link above and follow the prompts. I’ll contact the winner this Saturday, December 9. Good luck!!
The Style Du Jour’s Top Five Picks for Kids’ Holiday Gifts
Photo Credit: Goldfish Swim School
Goldfish Swim School
While the last thing I want to be caught wearing is a bathing suit in the dead of winter, I will say that the winter is the perfect time to register kids for swim lessons. I’m always looking for indoor activities during the cold months to keep my pre-schooler active and learning, plus the lessons will help prepare them for warm spring break travels and for the summer months ahead. We’ll be hitting the pool this winter at Goldfish Swim School which has a dozen locations in the Chicagoland area and is available in 21 other states (check for your town’s availability here). For the holiday season, you can purchase a holiday gift package that includes two months of swim lessons, the annual registration fee, and a gift basket of Goldfish retail items for $189 (regularly $220). Make sure to enter my giveaway for a chance to win your own holiday gift package (see how to quickly enter above!)
Like a Class Pass for kids and families, Pearachute provides one-stop access to drop-in classes, sessions, events and camps in your area that match with your kids ages and interests. We’ve been enjoying the beauty of Pearachute (which appeared recently on ABC’s Shark Tank, no big deal) – from the kids’ first bumper bowling to Sloane’s first ballet class – and I’m already a fan. I love that you can explore a type of activity, class set-up and venue with your kiddos to see if they (and you) enjoy it before investing in a long-term class. I also love that you can search for activities that accommodate the ages of more than one child. I feel like I’m constantly in search of activities to cater both my four and two year old (it’s not always easy and I run out of ideas) so Pearachute is giving me new and fun classes to explore. An added bonus: you can cancel an hour ahead of your scheduled activity without losing your money or on the flip side register the night before (depending on availability). Pearachute is available in five cities, including the Chicago area, and is rolling out soon to cities across the country. Check here for availability in your town. (Psssst…did you enter the giveaway above?!)
Feeling glam with my “pillow talk” blow out this fall.
I think this is a perfect pampering gift idea for women of all ages on your gift list. Blo, Blow Dry Bar, with its first Chicagoland location in the Southport Corridor (plus locations all over the country), offers hair (blow and style) and makeup, with blow outs starting at only $35 (on Mon-Wed and $45 other days). You can choose from a menu of blow dry and curl styles which makes it easy to sit back and relax and get pampered. Beyond gift certificates, it’s a convenient stop-in locale to get glam before a holiday party or New Year’s Eve event.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’re familiar with my obsession and registered dietitian approval for this wholesome, kid-inspired meal delivery service available in the Midwest (my recent thoughts are here). Wise Apple now has gift cards (yay!). Let’s be real, this is a gift that keeps on giving – benefitting both the parents and kids.
These character-building, creativity-inducing games create fun and memorable experiences every time they are played. I can personally attest to this because they are my kids’ favorite games and we always love to watch a new friend or family member laugh and get silly the first time when they play with us. (Pssst. You can get my full review of Animal Act and Silly Street from this recent post). They’re available at national stores (Toys R Us, Walmart and Target) as well as Amazon (hello, Prime and last minute gifting!). Bonus: Silly Street is currently on sale for less than $15!
This holiday season, consider these experience gifts as a unique present for kids who seem to have all the “stuff.” If you have another creative gift idea, please share it with me!