Embracing the Spirit of Giving

The holiday season is upon us, and amidst the festive cheer and twinkling lights, there's often a familiar frenzy that accompanies the final countdown to Christmas. Last-minute shopping becomes a tradition of its own, as we search for that perfect gift to wrap and place under the tree. However, in the spirit of fostering memories and meaningful moments, why not consider gifting experiences rather than traditional presents this year?


Here are 10 unique experience ideas that will not only bring smiles but also create lasting memories for the little ones in your life:


1. Science or Art Workshop:
Enroll them in a hands-on science or art workshop where creativity knows no bounds. These workshops offer a chance for kids to explore their interests and create something special under the guidance of experts. Many local park districts will offer these types of workshops!

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

2. Indoor Adventure Day:
Plan a day filled with indoor escapades; a taste of rock climbing or zip-lining at a kid-friendly adventure park will give them a day to remember. We love Main Event with locations in Hoffman Estates and Warrenville. They offer bowling, laser tag, a ropes course and VR experiences - all indoors! Perfect for when the winter cabin fever sets in!

Photo Courtesy of Kaitlin Kirchberg

3. Theme Park Passes:
Grant them access to a world of excitement with a day or season pass to a local theme park. From thrilling rides to captivating shows, it's an experience that promises fun and laughter. This year our kids will find season passes to Six Flags Great America under the tree! 

Photo Courtesy of Six Flags

4. Zoo or Aquarium Visit:
Ignite their curiosity about the animal kingdom with a trip to a local zoo or aquarium. Interactive exhibits and shows add an extra layer of excitement to this educational outing. Our favorite zoos include the Brookfield Zoo and Lincoln Park Zoo and you can't beat the city's Shedd Aquarium! The Brookfield Zoo's Holiday Magic actually runs through December 31st, so you can put tickets for this under the tree and have a fun experience planned as a family before Winter Break ends!

Photo Courtesy of Brookfield Zoo

5. Cooking Class:
Nurture their culinary interests by enrolling them in a kid-friendly cooking class. They'll have a blast learning to create delicious dishes, fostering a love for the art of cooking. This is another activity that may be offered by your local Park District!

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

6. Sports Camp or Class:
If they're passionate about sports, consider enrolling them in a sports camp or class. Whether it's soccer, basketball, swimming, or martial arts, this experience will not only enhance their skills but also keep them active and engaged. We have loved the swim lessons offered by the Foglia YMCA in Lake Zurich and the indoor soccer programs offered by ELA Soccer, also in Lake Zurich! More indoor activities to help combat cabin fever this winter!

Photo Courtesy of ELA Soccer

7. Space or Planetarium Show:
Fuel their curiosity about the cosmos with a visit to a planetarium. A space-themed show is not only fascinating but also an educational adventure that might spark a lifelong interest in astronomy. We love the Adler Planetarium and also the space themed section of the Museum of Science and Industry! If you're considering adding several of these Chicago activities to your Christmas shopping list, consider a City Pass! This includes admission to 5 attractions including either the Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck Chicago, Field Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry, 360 Chicago Observation Deck, Adler Planetarium and depending on the time of year you want to plan your visit a Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture River Tour! Purchasing tickets via the City Pass saves you 48%! This year we decided to do this and book a hotel room as a surprise little staycation! 

Photo Courtesy of Adler Planetarium

8. Trampoline Park Day:
Bounce into joy with a day at a trampoline park. Packed with fun activities, games, and laughter, it's a delightful experience that ensures they burn energy in a safe and exciting environment. Our two favorites are X Factor Trampoline in Mundelein and SkyZone in Vernon Hills. 

Photo Courtesy of Kaitlin Kirchberg

9. DIY Craft Kit Subscription:
Inspire their artistic side with a monthly DIY craft kit subscription. Each month, they'll receive a new kit filled with materials and instructions to create something unique, fostering creativity and self-expression. Popular choices include KiwiCo and Cratejoy, both of which are still offering end of the year deals!

Photo Courtesy of KiwiCo

10. Escape Room Adventure:
Challenge their problem-solving skills with an age-appropriate escape room adventure. Whether enjoyed with friends or family, it's a thrilling experience that encourages teamwork and critical thinking. Our team recommends 60ToEscape, which has locations in Schaumburg and Gurnee! They have several different experiences to choose from so you can choose the puzzle that would most suit your families unique interests!

Photo Courtesy of 60 To Escape

When selecting an experience, consider the child's individual interests and passions to ensure a truly personalized and meaningful gift. This holiday season, let's shift the focus from material possessions to the joy of shared experiences, creating memories that will be cherished for years to come. Experiences are also great for kids that can be tricky to shop for (the teens and preteens!) and as that last minute shopping window approaches! I like to print tickets and wrap them up in a shirt box with some tissue paper and place them under the tree, so the kids still have something to open but are opening something much more meaningful that just a toy!


Happy Holidays!

Work With Us

The Blackshaw Messel Group is a full-service real estate team with exceptional expertise and an unwavering client-first attitude in the Northwest Suburbs and the entire Chicagoland area.
Contact Us
Follow Us