I’m right there with you: why would I buy one more Lego set if I’m already killing my feet with the ones on the floor? Just kidding! My heart melts watching my kids play together. The mess is worth it! But lately, I’ve been looking to get more creative with family experience gifts. As much as my kids love to play right here at home, it’s nice now and then to get out so they can explore and see the world. With the holidays upon us, I thought this would be the perfect time to share my top ten list of experience gift ideas that your kids—and YOU!—will love. As always, it’s truly a joy to be your Houston family photographer. Happy holidays from my family to yours!
10 Family Experience Gift Ideas | Houston Family Photographer
1. First Family Ski Trip
Most ski schools enroll kids as young as three—and little ones pick it up surprisingly fast (watch out, Mom and Dad!). It’s not as scary as it sounds. Ski school instructors are incredibly skilled and well-equipped to teach little ones safely. Plus, you can enroll in an adult lesson while they’re at it! Then, hit the bunny slopes together and enjoy the winter wonderland we rarely get here in Texas. Check out some of the gentlest slopes in the US for families and beginners.
2. Walt Disney World
I think this one ends up on every family’s list at some point. Whether it’s your first time or your tenth, visitors young and old find this place truly magical. Gift Minnie or Mickey ears and family t-shirts to surprise your kids!
3. Colorado Hiking Adventure/Mountain Trip
Mountain towns like Estes Park and Colorado Springs’ Garden of the Gods offer family-friendly hiking adventures and other fun mountain activities.
4. Family Cruise
From Caribbean beach vacations to Disney adventures and even Alaska excursions (which are absolutely breathtaking and fun!), cruises are very family-friendly because they’re all-inclusive and offer a closed-in space with planned activities. However, keep COVID restrictions and safety in mind when planning.
5. Zoo Membership
The Houston Zoo is a local favorite. There are always new exhibits and events to experience, especially for each major holiday. Get a zoo membership and go whenever you want at a discounted rate—no reservations required! Then, you can take your time instead of trying to pack it all into a single visit. The animal encounters are a blast! Plus, friends get in at a discounted rate with your membership pass.
6. Space Center & Moody Gardens Weekend
Don’t want to go too far from home? You can travel to outer space or get lost in a tropical garden paradise right in your own backyard. Book a weekend trip and spend some quality time together at Space Center Houston and Moody Gardens.
7. Kids Subscription Boxes
From science experiments to book subscriptions and even little chef kits, subscription boxes are the new toys because they’re developmentally appropriate and foster healthy growth and development with hands-on fun. These curated educational boxes deliver interactive activities and surprises to do together as a family. Here are Good Housekeeping’s Best Subscription Boxes for Kids 2021-2022.
8. Sea World or Schlitterbahn
Texas is HOT in the summer, and there are only so many outdoor experiences that are tolerable in 100-degree weather. A trip to Sea World in San Antonio or Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels won’t disappoint!
9. Texas State Railroad Journey
This 50-mile train ride through the lush East Texas pines is the perfect length for families, whether you take the magical Polar Express journey or a Piney Woods escape. In addition to treats, meals, and drinks on board, the mid-way stop offers a park and upscale shops so you can stretch your legs. This true Texas experience belongs on your family bucket list!
10. Hill Country Weekend
Float the Guadalupe River or kayak together. Visit Garner or Pedernales Falls State Park. Enjoy the spring wildflowers. Pick Fredericksburg peaches in the summer. Experience the Bracken Bat Cave or Natural Bridge Caverns. Book a hill country stay and sit under the stars.
Know What Else Makes a Great Experience Gift??
A family photo session! You will have fun getting all dolled up and letting your kids explore the set while I capture priceless moments. And, you’ll also get the gift of gorgeous family photos that will last forever. The days may seem long, but the years indeed fly. Document each milestone while you can, and preserve the memories and childhood transformation through portraiture.
2022 is filling up fast! Get in touch today to book your family photo session with your Houston family photographer.