This holiday season, we love the idea of “less stuff, more fun”. For the kids who already have toys, gadgets and gizmos aplenty, holiday gifts of “experiences” can be exciting for the whole family. These types of presents can include fun activities that yield memories to last a lifetime.
–> Family Adventures: There are plenty of activities in Austin that provide some quality together time. Tickets, passes or gift cards to one of the following would make a great present that the whole family can enjoy.
— For the thrill-seekers:
- iFly Austin is an indoor skydiving facility in North Austin creates true free-fall conditions with a vertical wind tunnel that feels just like skydiving, without having to jump out of an airplane. Read all about our experience here.
- Lake Travis Zipline Adventures lets you feel like you’re flying through the treetops over Lake Travis.
— For the Rock Climbers: Day passes to try rock climbing at Austin Bouldering Project, CRUX Climbing Center or Austin Rock Gym make a great gift for some indor winter fun. Click here to read about our experience at Austin Bouldering Project and here to read about our visit to Crux.
— For the Golfers: The whole family can take a swing at some fun at Top Golf Austin. Click here to about our experience at TopGolf. If mini-golf is more to your liking, how about a gift card to Peter Pan Mini-Golf?
— For the Sports Fans: Get game tickets to cheer on local teams such as Round Rock Express baseball, Austin Spurs basketball, and Texas Stars hockey. Or hook ’em up with tickets to some Longhorns games on the UT campus.
— For the Sightseers:
- Ride the rails with the Austin Steam Train and feel like you’re traveling back in time aboard the historic train cars that travel through the Texas Hill Country. With several rides and special events, this can appeal to all ages. Plus, they offer gift cards to use to book future rides. Read our review of a ride on the Bertram Flyer here.
- Hop aboard the Lone Star Riverboat Sightseeing Cruise to take in the beauty of Austin’s Lady Bird Lake and enjoy a relaxing one-hour, narrated cruise. Click here to read about our experience taking the kids on the bat cruise.
- Spy fish and turtles in San Marcos’ Spring Lake in a glass-bottom boat tour at the Meadows Center. Read about it here.
- Try stand-up paddle or kayaking on Lake Austin. Click here for a list of where to rent watercraft.
–> Memberships: Memberships provide a gift that keeps on giving. It’s always nice to have a place to go when you want to get the kids out of the house, especially if you don’t have to worry about admission fees. Check out the membership options at these fun locations for families:
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
- Bullock Texas State History Museum
- Blanton Museum of Art
- The Contemporary Austin
- Austin Zoo & Animal Sanctuary
- Hill Country Science Mill
- Mt. Playmore
- Austin Aquarium
- Toybrary Austin
–> Show Tickets: With such great live theatre and music in Austin, you can give the gift of top-notch entertainment. Get tickets to a family-friendly play or concert! Click the links below to see what’s coming up at these local venues…
- ZACH Theatre
- Austin Scottish Rite Theater
- Long Center
- Paramount Theater
- Bass Concert Hall
- Erwin Center
- ACL Live at the Moody Theater
–> Staycations: A night or two at a nearby family-friendly hotel (that doesn’t require big travel hassles) is a great gift for both parents and kids. Check out these local resorts that have lots of amenities for children.
- Hyatt Lost Pines Resort & Spa
- Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa
- Horseshoe Bay Resort
- Lakeway Resort & Spa
–> More ideas:
- movie theatre gift cards
- cooking classes
- music lessons
- books & comics
- Gift cards to kid-friendly restaurants
What’s the best experience gift you’ve received? Tell us in the comments below.