The Gift of Experiences

This is the perfect year to think outside the box when it comes to holiday gifts. Rather than a mountain of presents that will all too quickly become outdated or broken, give the gift of a special experience. This gives your family something to look forward to and enjoy together, and once it is over, you all have a special memory that lasts much longer than the holiday season. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Our great city is filled with opportunities for budding artists to develop their creative muscles. The Cincinnati Art Museum offers a full of calendar of family programs, including workshops led by local artist, studio classes, sketching tours, and family Saturdays. For the Love of Art, a local art studio in Loveland is running special deals for gifting art classes, and The Wyoming Art Center has a full calendar of art classes lined up this winter. Try a new form of art at Brazee Street Studio, a glass studio that offers a range of kids’ classes for all skill levels. Or give pottery painting a try at Mad Potter, a pottery studio in Madeira that offers gift certificates.

If your child loves taking center stage, look no further than The Children’s Theater of Cincinnati. Tickets to the main stage performance would surely be a big hit, or try a gift certificate to enroll in classes like dance, drama, vocal music, and technical theater.

Give your kids a place to get moving at Climb Time, a climbing gym and training facility in Blue Ash. Memberships and punch passes are available for kids of all skill levels to challenge themselves to a day of bouldering and top rope climbs.

Ninja Warrior in training? Check out Revolution Fitness, a family friendly fitness facility that offers classes for kids and teens like Ninja Warrior training, yoga, and boxing.

The Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad (LM&M Railroad) offers historic train rides in Warren County departing from downtown Lebanon. These vintage passenger cars offer themed events all year long for the entire family. Think Easter Bunny Express and Family Pizza Night Train. Oh, and grown ups - there is also a Wine & Cheese Train and a Bourbon Tasting Train.

The family scientist will love a gift certificate for the Cincinnati Museum Center. The repair and restoration of Union Terminal is now complete which makes it a great time to explore the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, and the History and Natural History Museums. Gift certificates can be used for a membership, general admission tickets, programming like overnights, or summer camps.

Thrill seekers will love a gold season pass to Kings Island. Kids, teens, and families will have no trouble finding fun at Kings Island and Soak City. A gold pass will also give access to Halloween Haunt in the fall and WinterFest in the winter. Bonus: If you buy a 2019 pass now, you can use it for the remainder of 2018! This means you can still enjoy WinterFest this year!

Still not sure? What about a gift card to do it all at Newport on the Levee? Gift cards can be purchased here and used at any Newport on the Levee merchant, restaurant, or entertainment venue. This includes places like Gameworks, AMC Theater, Newport Aquarium, Dart Rush, and bowling at Axis Alley. Everyone can find something to love in Newport!

Cincinnati is filled with great places for the entire family to play and explore! This holiday season take a break from all the toys and gadgets, and find an experience to enjoy together.

Happy holidays!

Written by Joy Becker, Mentoring Coordinator and Author of 44 & Oxford