The “Experience” Gift You Hadn’t Thought Of


Christmas week is finally here! I don’t know if it’s because Thanksgiving was late this year, or if it’s because we all tend to pack in as many holiday events as possible, but it seems as if December has completely flown by, and the big day is almost here. If you’re looking for that last minute gift idea for your child or hubby, we’ve got you covered, and it isn’t another plastic toy, or beard trimmer. More and more families are now leaning towards the gift of an “experience”, but maybe you’re having a hard time thinking of something outside of the typical Zoo membership. Maybe you’re looking for something more unique.  Below we’ve listed some of our favorite local experiences, and there is something for everyone on your list to enjoy!

Nolan enjoys his infant swim class

For your Baby:

Gymboree Play & Music classes

Music Classes at Songbirds or Kindermusik

Swim Lessons

Eleanor discovers new skills at Gymboree

For your Toddler:

A membership to an indoor playground such as KidVentures, The Playground, or Funbelievable

Show tickets to Disney on Ice (January 23-26), or Daniel Tiger (Feb 29)

For your Little Kid:

Junior Science Club at the Fleet

K1 Speedway

A gift card for a trampoline park such as Rockin Jump or Jump Around

Overnight Adventure on the USS Midway 

Broadway show tickets to the upcoming Disney’s Frozen production

A membership to the Fleet Science Center or Birch Aquarium 

For your Big Kid:

iFly Indoor Skydiving

SkyRopes ropes course at Belmont

Flightline Safari at the San Diego Safari Park

Tickets to Monster Jam (Feb 1 & 15)

Animal encounter at SeaWorld or San Diego Zoo.

Megalodon and the big trucks return to Petco Park in Feb

For your Family:

Balboa Park Explorer Pass

Boarded, A Pirate Adventure aboard the Californian (December 28th)

Camel rides at Oasis Camel Dairy

Tickets for the upcoming Cirque du Soleil show, OVO (March 5-8)

Overnight staycation (Big Bear? Idyllwild? Santa Barbara?) in an Airbnb

Tickets to a Gulls Hockey Game

Rent a boat for the day, and explore the bay!

Oliver swabbing the deck during our Pirate Adventure

For your Partner/Husband:

Adults Only Roar and Snore at the Safari Park

Axe Throwing

Falconry School

Escape Room

Flying Lessons

Cruise through the Coronado Cays on a Gondola

Date Night Cooking Class at Sur La Table

Bruno takes a flying lesson at Learn to Fly San Diego

So go ahead…fuel a passion, spend quality time together as a family, or create a lifelong memory. Because gifting an experience for Christmas is not only giving them a present, it’s giving them something to look forward to. Something special to talk about for years to come!

One of our absolute favorite experiences, is taking the kids to see Disney on Ice. The lights, the familiar music, the fun characters, and the impressive skating is something our whole family enjoys. This season, we are excited to share that with one lucky family, who will win a 4-pack of tickets to see the January 23rd or 24th showing at Pechanga Arena.

To be eligible to win, comment below with your favorite San Diego experience. Who knows, your suggestion may be exactly what another mama is looking for!

18 thoughts on “The “Experience” Gift You Hadn’t Thought Of

  1. Christina Ruvalcaba says:

    We recently discovered Poway Lake park and harbor. They sell duck feed and the kids love feeding the ducks and climbing the rocks. There’s a playground and tons of grass hills to play on. They even rent paddle boats. We haven’t tried the hiking trails yet, but I hear they’re great.

  2. Joyce says:

    Apple picking in Julian or apple pie eating in Julian 🙂

  3. Alison says:

    When my husband and I were dating we loved looking at the SD Reader and finding free things to do together all throughout San Diego. Now? I love a good high tea without the kiddos. 😉

  4. Carrie Gray says:

    Favorite SD experience: hiking Torrey Pines followed by sitting at the cliffs at the glider port to watch people take off and land. If you’re lucky you’ll see some dolphins too!

  5. Stacey says:

    We enjoy Oma’s Pumpkin Patch and Christmas Tree Patch. At Christmas, it’s less crowded and not so hot, so we enjoy getting away and relaxing.

  6. Lynn says:

    We love the outdoors and hiking and Annie’s canyon is one our favorite hike experiences. We to take the kids since it’s not a strenuous hike and the kids love the narrow parts of the hike.

  7. Joseph says:

    For the second year in a row, I took my family to see the Nutcracker. My kids loved it!

  8. Veronica says:

    My kids love feeding the seals at Sea World. 😊

  9. Vanessa says:

    Year round we love to hike, there are countless trails in San Diego! At Christmastime our favorite family experience is The Grinch at Old Globe, so much fun!

  10. Jasmine Richards says:

    For my kids right now they love the tide pools at birch aquarium and SeaWorld ! They love to be able to interact with the animals. For my husband he loves tickets to see the San Diego Gulls especially on Friday nights when they do $1 bud lights at their tailgate party . For me I’d love a night away at one of our local luxury hotel with full amenities . A book , spa treatment , and room service would be perfect to refresh this mama !

    Would love to take my boys to Disney on ice !!

  11. Jess says:

    Tide pools during winter months! Free and always an adventure!

  12. Cyndi W says:

    We love to bike Coronado! There’s so much to do on the island and it’s so easy to bike from one end to the other, stopping at so many fun places along the way 😀

  13. Veronica Moore says:

    There are so many good ones but memberships to the Living Coast Discovery Center are wonderful. Its a perfect, easy outing for us in the South Bay.

  14. Therese says:

    Camping has been a great family experience for us. Lake Morena has heated cabins and clean bathrooms and worked out great for cooler months. South Carlsbad state beach was amazing for beach-side camping.

  15. Our family couldn’t live without our zoo membership. It’s given us so much fun over the last four years. I recently gifted my husband a hangliding experience at the Torrey pines glider port and he’s really looking forward to it! Personally I love to get away for a massage. 🙂

  16. Erin Hawn says:

    We love seeing San Diego Broadway plays! They have some really amazing shows and at least one or two a year are kid appropriate. We have taken our daughter to see The Little Mermaid, Cinderella and Aladdin (coming next year). It’s such a special treat!

  17. Erin Rudolf says:

    One of our favorite San Diego experiences is the Princess Academy tea parties at Kid Ventures. We did one with Elsa where she read us stories, sang songs, had a tea party with hot cocoa and cookies, plus we got to take a photo with her after! We are big fans of Disney princesses in our house so getting to meet on in real life was AWESOME! We would LOVE to have the chance to see the Dare to Dream Disney on Ice show!

  18. Paula Miranda says:

    My son and I are big Sea World fans. It’s always so much fun! Also, I’ve gifted my husband flying lessons and a race car driving experience! He loved both of them. For me, I think a day at the spa would be ideal!

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