Out of the Toy Box Gift Guide: Gifts that Give all Year

We have a big family, lots of friends, plus four kids, that means lots of presents. I appreciate (LOVE really) creative non-toy gifts for our family and/or children. Watch this week for a series of Out of the ToyBox Gift Guides to give you ideas on ways to gift big without filling your house with stuff.

OutoftheToyBoxWe’ve already talked about subscription boxes which is a great way to make a gift last all year long.  As we head into a what is predicted to be a (hopefully wrong) long and cold winter, gifts that can help get you out of the house and entertain the whole family are great alternatives to large toys that just take up space. I find these kinds of presents really great for larger families and those with kids in school all day. Gift cards and certificates seem boring  to you? Look for the “Make it a gift” after each listing for fun ways to wrap it up!

Play Places

Give the gift of energy! Buy a punch card and let the kids jump off of someone else’s walls and scream without making their parents crazy:

  • Bella’s Bouncies {Lake Villa} offers daily open bounce times with free Wi-Fi for mom and dad! Bella’s offers 5 and 10 jump passes. Call them at 847-838-3644 for more information and to purchase. Make it a gift: Attached the pass to a bag of high bounce balls.
  • Jump America {Gurnee} indoor trampoline park offers daily open jump hours as well as events for families and teens. They offer 5 ($50) and 10 ($85) hour jump cards. Call them at 224-325-5867 for more information or to purchase. Make it a gift: Attach it to an OgoBld Bits using springs for the feet.
  • Treehouse {Lake Zurich} the best indoor playground in our area offering climbing, slides, and a cafe for mom!  They offer 3-month membership packages ranging from $100-200 depending on the number of children.

Museum Memberships

Museum Memberships are the gift that keeps on giving as we have found when you have a membership you go way more than when you pay per visit. This gifts benefit the whole family and allow families with younger kids to go for more frequent but shorter visits. We have several great local options and many of them have reciprocal memberships with other institutions so it can benefit grandma and grandpa too when the grandkids come to visit!

  • Round Lake Children’s Neighborhood Musem: Family Membership is $85 for two adults and two children (additional children $30, additional care providers are $10 each). Other benefits include 20% off programs, member-only hours, and free t-shirt.
  • Kohl Children’s Museum {Glenview}: Memberships start at $110 for two adults and all the children in one household, additional membership levels  available as well. Includes discounts to events, member-only hours, and discounts on museum store purchases. Kids Club Plus level provides Reciprocal admission at children’s museums nationwide.

Classes and Entertainment

Foster their interests and creativity by buying punch passes for open or drop-in play at some of their favorite places.

What are some of your favorite non-toy gifts that can be used all year? Share them with us in the comments!


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About Melissa Haak 843 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

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