Gift Them Experiences 2016 ~ Gifts that Give Kids Amazing Experiences

Posted on: November 17th, 2016 by
Jersey Family Fun participates in online affiliate marketing programs that allow business owners and bloggers to earn referral fees by placing links to products for sale on their own websites. Some of the listings below are affiliate links. Others are ads placed by our regular advertisers. We may earn a small commission from your purchase to help support our free service for helping families find out about family fun in New Jersey. This does no affect your price. In fact, in some cases we are able to offer exclusive discounts to Jersey Family Fun readers.


Gift Them Experiences


This year put an EXPERIENCE under the tree!


Gift a kid a gift that gives back through unforgettable experiences!


We have been publishing a Gift Them Experiences gift guide since 2011! This is our SIXTH year of providing a gift guide that encourages parents, grandparents, and loved ones to look beyond the toy aisle this year when it comes to gift giving. We want to show you how you can find great unique gifts for kids that don’t involve standing in line or fighting for the last item on the shelf. We guarantee the items and ideas in this gift guide don’t require you do any of those things. Take a look.


To advertise your gift giving promotions on this page, please contact [email protected].


Sahara Sam’s Tickets & Memberships as gifts

What is the one gift that lets any day be a beach day? It’s a Sahara Sam’s gift. It might be rainy and gloomy outdoors, but inside Sahara Sam it’s warm and inviting.


Maybe your kids find the beach boring. Then, Sahara Sam’s indoor activity pools, water slides, and rides will give them a thrill! Give a Sahara Sam’s ticket or better yet an annual pass as a gift and Sahara Sam’s can be your staycation all year round.


Read more about Sahara Sam’s in our Sahara Sam’s blog posts.

  • Sahara Sam Friday, December 16 ONE DAY SALE One Day Ticket Price $24.95 per ticket Sahara Sam Regular One Day Ticket Price $36.95 per ticket
  • Sahara Sam Annual Pass Friday, December 16 ONE DAY SALE Price $49.95 per pass  Sahara Sam Regular Annual Pass Price $74.95 per pass
  • Click over to the Friday, December 16 ONE DAY SALE page at the Sahara Sam’s site to make your purchase.
  • Sahara Sam Black Friday Sales One Day Ticket Price $21.95 per ticket Sahara Sam Regular One Day Ticket Price $36.95 per ticket
  • Sahara Sam Annual Pass Black Friday Sales Price $49.95 per pass  Sahara Sam Regular Annual Pass Price $74.95 per pass
  • Click over to the Black Friday sale page at the Sahara Sam’s site to make your purchase.


Unique way to wrap your Sahara Sam’s gift:

Wrap your Sahara Sam’s ticket or Sahara Sam’s annual pass in a new beach towel with some sunscreen. Your kids won’t know the real gift is inside until you have them open up the towel. Amazon has a great collection of beach towels for kids and tweens, with designs in colors, stripes, superheroes, Disney characters and more.


Sahara Sam's Black Friday Sale


Diggerland USA Tickets & Memberships as gifts

How fortunate are we?! New Jersey has the only family attraction in the country where kids can operate construction equipment. Diggerland has 14 acres with over 25 activities involving construction equipment. Diggerland one day tickets include driving full size backhoes, digging giant holes with real excavators, and operating construction equipment – from skid-steers to ARGOs. Admission also includes climbing one of the world’s tallest ropes courses, having an off road adventure in a military truck, scaling the rock wall, playing in the video arcade or watching a daily heavy machinery stunt shows. After one day, you’re going to want to go back for more Diggerland fun. Take advantage of Diggerland’s Black Friday sale to get a Diggerland USA annual pass for just a few dollars more than a regularly priced one day ticket.


Read more about Diggerland USA in our Diggerland blog post series.

  • Diggerland USA Friday, December 16 ONE DAY SALE One Day Ticket Price $21.95 per ticket Sahara Sam Regular One Day Ticket Price $36.95 per ticket
  • Diggerland USA Annual Pass Friday, December 16 ONE DAY SALE Price $44.95 per pass  Sahara Sam Regular Annual Pass Price $64.95 per pass
  • Click over to the Friday, December 16 ONE DAY SALE page at the Diggerland USA’s site to make your purchase.
  • Diggerland Black Friday Sales One Day Ticket Price $21.95 per ticket Diggerland Regular One Day Ticket Price $36.95 per ticket
  • Diggerland Annual Pass Black Friday Sales Price $44.95 per pass  Diggerland Annual Pass Membership Price $64.95 per pass
  • Click over to the Black Friday sale page at the Diggerland USA’s site to make your purchase.


Unique way to wrap your Diggerland gift:

Tuck your Diggerland ticket or annual pass gift in a beach bucket or big toy truck with sand. Then, make your kids DIG for their gift. You can also tuck Diggerland tickets into a hard hat for a child’s gift. You can get a 4 pack of beach buckets (one for every family member) on Amazon. And yes, you can order sand online too.


Diggerland USA Black Friday Sale


Tuckerton Seaport Tickets & Memberships as gifts

A Tuckerton Seaport day includes a day of learning and fun both indoors or outdoors. Climb the lighthouse. Play on the pirate ship playground. Watch a crafter make a decoy or basket. Explore the grounds and buildings. Create a craft or read a story in the Jersey Family Fun Kids’ Quarters. Participate in an event like Privateers & Pirates or taste new foods at one of their Tuckerton Truckerton Food Truck Festivals. There is always something fun to do at the Tuckerton Seaport and another reason to come back.


Painting Flatties at the Tuckerton Seaport


A Tuckerton Seaport family membership provides your family with unlimited general admission for a full year. It also includes admission to ALL Tuckerton Seaport events. You’ll receive discounts on purchases at Tuckerton Seaport Gift Shop plus advance notification of Seaport happenings via a weekly email blast.


Read more about the Tuckerton Seaport in our Tuckerton Seaport blog post series.

  • Tuckerton Seaport Ticket Sales Price $8.00 per ticket for adults. $5 for children 5 and older.
  • Tuckerton Seaport Family Membership Sales Price $40.00 per family membership. The membership rates will go up to $60 in 2017. This is your chance to lock in the 2016 rates.
  • Tuckerton Seaport Membership Black Friday and Small Business Saturday Sales for Friday, November 25 and Saturday, November 26. Write Jersey Family Fun in the comments box and you will be given an extra year free.
  • Click over to to make your purchase.


Unique way to wrap your Tuckerton Seaport Membership gift:

Why not tuck away your Tuckerton Seaport tickets or membership in a play tug boat? (I like these toy tug boats on Amazon.) Have the tug boat tug along smaller boats representing the various attractions at the Tuckerton Seaport. One smaller boat could contain a lighthouse. Another boat would include surfboards. Another boat could include toy turtles. Your child won’t just be excited with a new toy, but also the ways they can learn and play at the Tuckerton Seaport.


iPlay America Gift Cards as gifts


Want to have a boardwalk amusement park experience all year long? You can with iPlay America in Freehold, New Jersey. iPlay America’s indoor family attraction has rides, boardwalk games, an arcade, laser tag and more.


Plus, this year get in on iPlay America’s Holiday Promotions HUGE Black Friday Deal: Buy $100 in Gift Cards and receive 2 Unlimited Ride Passes for FREE – that’s a value of $59.90 for FREE!!!


Read more about iPlay America at link.

  • You can purchase iPlay America gift cards online at this link before November 30 and after December 25 for their regular prices.
  • Between November 30 and December 25, purchase gift cards at this link. When you buy $50 in gift cards, you get a $10 bonus game card FREE! You can also purchase 2 Unlimited iRide Plus Passes and receive 2 $10 Bonus Game Cards for just $60! ($10 Bonus Game Cards valid January 1 – March 31, 2017.)


Unique way to wrap your iPlay America gift:

Think of the boardwalk when you wrap up iPlay America gift cards. Include the gift cards with salt water taffy, glowsticks, a wallet for keeping their gift card safe, and a back pack for holding their prizes while on the rides.


Gagasphere Gaga Ball sessions as gifts

In search of a gift for the kid who already has everything? A gaga gift experience is unique – it’s a fast-paced game for an active 5-12 year old boy or girl. The gift of Gaga from The Gagasphere in Waldwick, NJ, will keep your kids moving and laughing through the winter season. The Gagasphere is the only indoor facility in Northern New Jersey dedicated to the game of Gaga!


Gagasphere 5 pack


They have two great Gaga experience gifts:

  • Ultimate Gaga Package – One hour gaga session PLUS a Gagasphere T-shirt $25 (value $30)
  • The Gagasphere 5-Pack Card – Get 5 hours of gaga fun for the price of 4. $80 (value $100)
  • Gifts and experiences can be purchased online at or by calling 201-445-2546. Don’t know what gaga is? We bet your kids do. Learn more at


Unique way to wrap your Gagasphere gift:

Get your child ready for an epic Gaga Ball session with a Gaga Ball ($12) and the “Original Ga-Ga Glove” ($15). Both are available at the Gagasphere location in Waldwick or by calling 201-445-2546.

The Crayola Experience

A family day trip that encourages creativity, a place where making messes is okay, you can not go wrong with gifting a child tickets to the Crayola Experience. Little kids to teens, will love and enjoy the Crayola Experience. Just take a look at all the activities my boys did and loved in our article, Our Favorite Ways to Experience the Crayola Experience. Then, Melanie discovered how art comes alive in a new Crayola Experience activity she visited with her family last July.


Read more about The Crayola Experience in our articles.

  • The Crayola Experience Ticket Sales Price for Jersey Family Fun readers is $14.99 per ticket. The Crayola Experience Regular Ticket price is $19.99 per ticket.
  • Click over to to make your purchase. Use Jersey Family Fun as the store name.


Unique way to wrap your The Crayola Experience tickets as a gift:

Pack your Crayola Experience tickets inside a gift that encourages creativity. Slip them inside a new box of Crayola crayons (like the ones here), the pages of a new sketch pad, or inside a new pail of art supplies. Don’t forget to encourage the recipient to open up the gift and take some time to be creative. In doing so, they’ll discover your creative Crayola Experience gift.


He may almost be a teenager, but he LOVES the Crayola Experience as is going to be thrilled to have tickets to go back.

He may almost be a teenager, but he LOVES the Crayola Experience and is going to be thrilled to have tickets to go back.


Sesame Place

Sesame Place is the only amusement park created for kids with Sesame Street in mind. Located in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, Sesame Place offers meet and greets with characters, wet rides, dry rides, live theater shows, parades, and more. The design of the park is made for families with young children in mind. You can walk down Sesame Street over to Mr. Hooper’s store or through Elmo’s World. Kids will recognize their favorite scenes from Sesame Street and they’ll gaze in wonder at what was once just in their imagination.


Sesame Place


Read more about Sesame Place in our articles.


Unique way to wrap your Sesame Place passes and tickets as a gift:

Who is your child’s favorite Sesame Street character? Pack the Sesame Place tickets or pass in the hands of a plush of their favorite Sesame Street character. Even better include some Sesame Street storybooks that your child can read on the way to Sesame Place.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center

LEGOLAND Discovery Centers are family attractions designed for kids aged 3 – 10 years, filled with over 2 million LEGO bricks under one roof. WOW! What kid or master LEGO builder wouldn’t love that? With a 4D cinema, LEGO rides, master model builder workshops, party rooms and a huge LEGO shop this is one experience kids would love to be gifted with. The closest LEGOLAND Discovery Center is in Westchester, NY. There are additional LEGOLANDs in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Kansas City, and Toronto.


  • The LEGOLAND Discovery Center Ticket Sales Prices start at $12.50 per ticket.
  • Click over to to make your purchase.


Unique way to wrap your Legoland Discovery Center tickets as a gift:

Pack your LEGOLAND Discovery Center tickets inside what else but a box of Legos. For a younger child, make the tickets easy to find. For an older child, consider tucking the ticket in the pages of the direction booklet, but be ready to watch their excitement when they discover them.

LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Atlanta


Movie Tickets & Movie Gift Cards through Fandango

Fandango Now Tickets for AMC Theatres! Family movie nights are some of the best ways to have family fun. My boys have gotten movie gift cards a few times as gifts and they love it. They can buy their own movie tickets and even decide the movies they want to see. This holiday break Star Wars Rogue One, The Space Between Us, and other kids movies will be out. In 2017, Disney will release Beauty and The Beast, and sequels to the Cars movies and Pirates of the Caribbean.  Other 2017 releases include the Batman LEGO movie, Smurfs: The Lost Village, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul.


To take advantage of Fandango’s offers to buy movie tickets as gifts, click one of the links below.


Unique way to wrap your movie tickets and gift cards as a gift:

Tuck the Fandango movie tickets or gift cards inside plastic popcorn cups with boxes of classic movie theater candy.


Gift the kids a night at their favorite restaurant with a restaurant gift card

Ask my boys what they want for dinner and many times they will ask, “Can we go out to dinner?” It doesn’t matter if they are just going to order chicken fingers or a plate of pasta, there’s something about going out to eat that they enjoy. If your kids are like mine, gift them a restaurant gift card. Let them be in charge of dinner one night. We’re recommending the restaurants below, they are some of our favorites. And bonus if your child or someone else in your family has food sensitivities or allergies, Longhorn, Red Lobster, and Olive Garden do a great job of accommodating that while still having lots of yummy options.


To take advantage of Darden’s gift card offer or to buy a restaurant gift card to Longhorn restaurant, Red Lobster restaurant, or Olive Garden restaurant click below.


Unique way to wrap your restaurant gift cards:

Pack a to go bag with the restaurant gift card. In the bag include card games and activity books that will keep your kids busy as they wait for their food when your family does goes out to eat.


CityPASS New York City

Do you love taking the kids to NYC for the holidays? Have you wanted to take them on more NYC day trips or perhaps stay overnight for a minivacation to New York? CityPASS New York City makes it doable and easy. With a CityPASS New York City you can visit The Empire State Building Experience, American Museum of Natural History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Top of the Rock Observation Deck OR Guggenheim Museum, the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island OR Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum OR Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. SIX attractions for one price, it’s like six gifts in one! Save money, provide 6 gifts AND create family memories in New York City. Once you use your CityPASS, it is valid for 9 days.


Click over to read about how we used our CityPASS New York City!


Unique way to wrap your CityPASS NYC gift:

Package up a small collection of classic NYC icons: a Statue of Liberty statue or crown, an apple, a toy ferry boat. Between the toys and icons, place the CityPASSes. Wrap the box in a NYC map and challenge the kids to figure out what all the clues have in common.

Hotel offers to help you save on your stay in New York City


Ripley’s Believe it or Not!

Crazy! Strange! Unusual! This historic Times Square museum is home to rare artifacts and thrilling interactive exhibits. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square is home to some of the most incredible exhibits found in New York City, many of them discovered and owned by Robert Ripley himself! The NYC Ripley’s Believe It or Not! location, a family friendly attraction is the largest Ripley’s in North America!


Learn more about Ripley’s Believe It or Not! at their site.


Unique way to wrap your Ripley’s Believe It or Not! tickets as a gift:

Include your Ripley’s Believe It or Not! ticket gift with a copy of books with strange and unusual themes that are sure to fit with such an unusual, but fun gift. We recommend these books on Amazon: Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Special Edition 2017, Ripley’s Fun Facts & Silly Stories, Guinness World Records 2017, or Weird but True Gross: 300 Slimy, Sticky, and Smelly Facts.


CityPass Boston

Give the gift of a family vacation to Boston with Boston CityPASS. The CityPASS for Boston offers a discount to 4 of Boston’s top attractions, making it easy for you to save money and gift your family a Boston vacation! Visit the Museum of Science, the New England Aquarium, the Prudential Tower Skywalk and Observatory and the Museum of Fine Arts OR a Boston Harbor Cruise at a discount as compared to buying individually. Once tickets are activated, you have 9 days to use them. Keep reading to find out how we used our Boston CityPASS!




Click over to read about how we used our Boston CityPASS!


Unique way to wrap your Boston CityPASS gift:

Grab a new travel bag for the kids. Drop in some new journals and fun pens and pencils for notetaking. Slip the CityPASSes in a pocket with maps of Boston. Then, see how long it takes the kids to discover where they are going.


Hotel offers to help you save on your stay in Boston


Philadelphia CityPASS

You can’t go wrong with a day trip or family vacation to Philadelphia. The Philadelphia CityPASS includes some of our favorite Philly attractions as well as ones we still want to explore.


Read more about Philadelphia CityPASS


Unique way to wrap your Philadelphia CityPASS gift:

Philly is known for its pretzels, sports teams, and being the birthplace of our nation. Include with your Philadelphia CityPASSes a small Liberty Bell, a bag of pretzels, a small flag, a Philly Fanatic, and a set of binoculars.


Hotel offers to help you save on your stay in Philadelphia


Busch Gardens

Thrills await you at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia. From world-class roller coasters and rides to character appearances, shows, and animal interactions, Busch Gardens offers fun for the whole family.

Busch Gardens has locations in Tampa Bay and Williamsburg.


Read more about Busch Gardens on their site.Busch Gardens Tampa Bay


Unique way to wrap your Busch Garden tickets as a gift:

For this adventurous gift, why not include your Busch Garden ticket with a gift bag of essentials needed for day at the amusement park. For example, include an drawstring backpack with sunscreen, sunglasses, small bills for last minute park lockers and souvenirs.


SeaWorld & Aquatica - Two parks. One great deal.SeaWorld theme parks offer roller coasters, rides, shows, tours, attractions & family-friendly activities for thrill seekers and animal lovers.

SeaWorld has locations in Orlando, San Antonia, and San Diego.


Read more about SeaWorld on their site.


Unique way to wrap your SeaWorld tickets as a gift:

Which water animal is your child’s favorite? Pack the SeaWorld tickets with a plush of their favorite water animal inside a bowl with blue tissue paper to symbolize water. Even better include this Ocean: A Visual Encyclopedia book that your child can use to identify the animals at SeaWorld.

More great ticket ideas for giftable experiences

Madame Tussauds New York

Tickets For All NHL GamesSporting Events


Taylor Swift TicketsConcerts for Kids




Disney on Ice FrozenLive Theater & Performances



Gift Them Experiences gift that give kids amazing experiences

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