It's time to think outside the gift box this Christmas.

Let's face it, your kids probably don't need another toy or video game. Instead of heading to the local big box store for a cartload of gifts that they will either play with for a few hours and forget about, or will leave them looking at a screen for days on end, give them a memory, something for their future, or a gift that will indulge their curiosity.

Here are a few options:


No matter where you live, there are bound to be some cool adventures lurking. Is there a favorite theme park that you've always wanted to visit? How about taking a helicopter ride or going swimming with dolphins? Maybe you can go on a charter fishing trip or go horseback riding in the mountains. Broaden your horizons, search online, and chances are you'll discover a unique adventure that your child will remember forever.

Behind the Scenes

There are often behind the scenes tours at cool sites in many communities. For instance, sports teams often host tours of stadiums that give an inside glimpse that few get to see. You can also see if there are special tours of zoos, theaters, or other places that fascinate your kids.

Expand Their Minds

You can't fit a life experience into a gift box. Help your child indulge their curiosity or expand their horizons by giving them a series of cooking classes or sculpting classes at a local college or university. If your child is interested in music, art or dance, you can easily find classes in these disciplines as well.

Go Live

Tickets to concerts, ballgames, or theatrical performances are a great gift that will give your child something to look forward to and will be an outing for you and your child or your entire family to enjoy.

Gift for Tomorrow

Who doesn't love getting money? I'm not advocating writing your kids a check, but you can give them money in the form of a savings account or buying them stock that will grow as they do. When they turn 18 or 21, they'll be thrilled to have it.

Get Creative

If your kids are little, find a gift that will allow them to pretend, create their own worlds and build their own experiences. For instance, Kidsonroof sells cardboard rocket ships, playhouses and other cool stuff.


Does your son or daughter have a favorite athlete, singer, or actor? You can find a piece of memorabilia — or even an autographed picture — that will hang on their wall and provide a sense of inspiration if they aspire to similar success.


A present can only be opened once but a gift that keeps giving throughout the entire year is a membership to a children's museum, play gym, or science museum.

Old Favorites

Your kids might get as much enjoyment out of a new book or puzzle as they will a shiny new toy or video game. Another old standby is a deck of cards or board game that will not only teach them something new but build in some quality time with the family.