It’s the holiday season when many people hit the stores to buy all their loved ones a special gift. I am often at a loss what to give, especially little ones who are inundated with toys and technology. As a parent of two grown children, I have come to appreciate those gifts that are “experiences” and memory-making events.

Here are some great gift giving ideas for kids of all ages and families, too.

Tickets to museums and local historical sites. Most adults and children of all ages love to visit museums. Whether it is an art or a history museum, trips to these facilities can foster an interest in the arts, science or history. Not to mention, museums and historical sites bring school subjects to life.

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Zoos and state parks may be another great experience. Many facilities talk about wildlife conservation in addition to rescuing and rehabilitating injured animals. With exhibits and live demonstrations, zoos help us learn how to be good stewards of the earth and its natural resources.

Get crafty! Arts and crafts kits are great ways to foster creativity in your family. With a few odds and ends from around the house, or a simple craft kit, your family can spend some precious time together while making something fun.

Don’t want the mess of a project, pay for a class. Many local studios have kids’ classes and adult “paint and sip” nights. You don’t have to be an artist to enjoy time with family or friends. 

Give the gift of a trip, sports team game or show. Living in the metropolitan area has many benefits including opportunities for day trips, Broadway or comedy shows and local sports teams.

Give the gift of camp! Parents often look for quality programs for their children to enjoy during school breaks. From science to sports camps, there are many options for kids who have varying interests and hobbies.  

Give the gift of your time. If you search your memory for the best gifts you have ever received, I am sure you will agree it was the time spent with a cherished love one. You don’t have to spend a lot of money or travel far to find some activity to enjoy. Being present in someone’s life is sometimes the only gift that you need.