Create memories, not clutter, with the gift of an experience this holiday season!
Champaign-Urbana experience gifts that you and your family will love to give or receive.
Tips to giving the gift of an experience:
- Give the child a small, inexpensive item that relates to the “experience” gift. Want to give that pool membership to, say, Indian Acres? Wrap up a pool toy. If you give movie tickets, pick up a cute popcorn bucket and throw in some candy.
- If the event has a specific date, create a countdown calendar for the child to post in his/her space. Doesn’t have to be purchased; homemade or printouts are good enough.
- If the gift is something they’ve never tried before or haven’t been to, get them excited about it by watching related videos on YouTube or finding photos.
Here we present our 2018 “Experience” Gift Guide:
- The Indian Acres Swim Club membership is a great option for every family. Because who isn’t dreaming of summer in December?
- Kids will jump for joy with a gift card to Elevate Trampoline Park in Champaign. Cards can be purchased on site or call to order over the phone.
- Got a child with an artistic flair? Plan a trip to The Pottery Place in Champaign or Paint Like Me Party Studio in Mahomet where you can make beautiful creations together that will last a lifetime.
- Check out the fun to be had at the State Farm Center, including the upcoming Harlem Globetrotters event on Jan. 25, or The Illusionists magic show, on May 15.
- What kid wouldn’t want Illini basketball tickets? Great options for games coming up, especially those over winter break right after the holiday.
- Want to swim indoors? Get a punch card to the Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center, and your sharks and fishies can swim all winter long. A five-pass card is $25; 10 punches are $50.
- You can purchase gift certificates to Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in any domination. These gift certificates never expire and can be used at the Intermezzo (the cafe), the Promenade gift shop (which has cool stuff!), and the Ticket Office.
- Leonard Recreation Day Pass: A day at the Leonhard Recreation Center is filled with opportunities for fun! Play in the indoor playground – great for children ages 12 & under. Take a few laps around the indoor walking/jogging track or try out the weight room to get your fit on. Passes are sold for $5 each (or $10 for a non-resident); a bundle of 5 makes for a great gift. Or buy an annual pass! WHERE TO PURCHASE: Leonhard Recreation Center located at 2307 Sangamon Drive, Champaign
- Buy a package of lessons– music, gymnastics, dance, ice skating, roller skating, martial arts? The list is endless. Check out our super kids activity guide for ideas.
- Recipe and Ingredients. Kids love cooking with their parents. Print out a recipe, take a shopping trip to the store to purchase all the ingredients, and set a date for cooking together. Your work product is edible (hopefully!).
- Get a family membership to the Staerkel Planetarium. Depending how big your family is, this pays for itself in three or less visits.
- Give tickets to see a family-friendly show at Little Theatre on the Square in Sullivan or The Virginia Theatre in Champaign.
- Buy a membership to the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum in downtown Champaign.
- Buy a family photo package. Maybe not for your kids, but for yourselves!
- Spa treatments. My girly girls love being pampered. Pedicures always are a welcome gift.
- Know a family that loves to visit family-favorite Curtis Orchard? Give the gift of a Curtis Orchard season pass.
- Make them flip with an Open Gym Punch Card at IPower School of Gymnastics or Puma Playtime Pre-K Open Gym at Champaign Gymnastic Academy.
- Buy a gift card for roller skating at Skateland in Savoy, or take to the ice with the gift of ice skating at the University of Illinois Ice Arena.
What are your tips for giving alternatives to toys?
For more Shop Local Gift Ideas, See our 2018 Champaign-Urbana Shop Local Trail
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