DMB’s Top 7 Non-Toy Gift Ideas

I can’t be the only mom who is overwhelmed with, not only the amount of toys my kids already have, but the toys they are asking for for Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE my children and would absolutely LOVE to give them the world … but I just don’t have the space for it! I don’t have the capacity to house another collection of … whatever the new hottest toy is!! 

So here’s a thought, this year, instead of gifting toys to my/your/ours/their children (with their ever-so-fleeting attention span), why not gift something more… something better … something memorable???

#1: Subscription Boxes


This is a gift that gives long after it’s been given. Seriously. Most of these offer one, three, six, or 12 months subscriptions. And there are so many different types of subscription boxes out there; crafty, bookworms, travel fans, video gamers, science fans, fashion, and imagination play. So many age groups too! Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, elementary age, tween, and teen age. Some of our favorite subscription boxes are:

Kiwi Crate

Gift Lit

Little Passports

Kid Stir

 #2: Class/Activity/Camp Registration


Does your child have a favorite sport or activity they participate in? Soccer, gymnastics, swimming, art, football, dance, summer camp, etc.? Purchase a gift certificate for this activity. If gift certificates are not available, make one! It doesn’t have to be something fancy. Just something to show the kid that you pay attention to what they are interested in and you care. Some of our favorite places for youth classes/activities in + around Detroit are:

Goldfish Swim School (location in Clarkston, Rochester, Farmington Hills, Ann Arbor, Canton, Macomb, and Birmingham)

YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit

Stars & Stripes Kids Activity Center

Joe Dumars Fieldhouse

#3: Puzzles, Books, Art Supplies


I don’t classify these as “toys.” Puzzles, books, and art supplies are timeless. They never go out of style. These classics are staples for any household. Especially good quality products; wood puzzles, board books, hardcover books, quality art supplies, etc. Some of our ideas for puzzles, books, and art supplies are:

Melissa & Doug Puzzles

Lakeshore Learning Store has a lot of creative ideas

Crayola is a classic that offers new ideas

#4: Museum/Zoo Membership


These memberships are annual. And often, buying a membership for one place can grant a discounted ticket to affiliated museums/zoos. Often times, just the IDEA of taking the kids to the zoo or museum is overwhelming! Once you add up parking, admission, food, and souvenirs, we have to dip in to the college fund just to afford it all! And in an effort to get our money’s worth, we plan to spend the whole day there; which is, again, stressful. But with a membership, we plan on taking the kids more often. We will pop over to the museum for a couple hours and check out the place sections at a time. Or if we go to the zoo and spend our time looking at only three animals, we don’t mind! Some of our favorite places to get a membership in + around Detroit are:

Detroit Zoo

Cranbrook Institute of Science

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

The Henry Ford Museum

#5: Movie Passes


As the cold weather creeps in, so does the desire to NOT be outside. Another great non-toy gift idea is a day to the movies. A great treat for some of our older kids is a gift card that includes movie tickets, popcorn, and a drink. An All-Inclusive Movie Pass, if you will. Some of our favorite movie theaters in + around Detroit are:

Emagine Theaters (locations in Royal Oak, Macomb, Canton, Rochester Hills, Woodhaven, and more!)

AMC Theaters (locations in Livonia, Auburn Hills, Dearborn, Clinton Twp, Madison Heights, and more!)

MJR Theaters (locations in Brighton, Chesterfield, Southgate, Sterling Heights, Waterford, Westland, and more!)

#6: Day Pass to Indoor Play Area


Cold weather got ya going stir crazy? Ya know what would be a great remedy? A pass or gift certificate to an indoor play area! The kiddos can get their wiggles, giggles, jumps, and climbs out of their system, you get to sit down for more than 0.5 seconds, and the kiddos will be so worn out that they’ll sleep like your husband. You can finally have some peace and quiet for some alone time with yourself or your significant other. Some of our favorite indoor play areas in + around Detroit are:

Fort Clarkston

Pump It Up (locations in Auburn Hills, Canton, Shelby Twp, Taylor, and Wixom)

Funtastic (locations in Canton and Woodhaven)

Detroit Kid City (locations in Southfield and Clinton Twp.)

#7: Tickets to a Sporting Event


This is especially a big hit with the older kids. Tickets to a sporting event is a promise for awesome memories, whether or not your team wins! What’s great about sports is that there are so many opportunities to attend a game. There are many different sports, at many different levels (major league, minor league, local teams, or high school teams). A few of our favorite sporting events in + around Detroit are:

Detroit Tigers

Detroit Red Wings

Utica Unicorns

Detroit City FC

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