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No Toys Holiday Gift Guide: Gifting Experiences in Collin County

Christmas is a magical time! Lighting the tree, meeting Santa, and eating endless amounts of Christmas cookies are all on the holiday bucket list. But one thing I don’t look forward to is all of the new toys that will be given to my children this holiday season. I know, I know! I am a total Grinch. But you know the toys I am talking about, the ones that will be played with once or twice, then stuffed away into a basket in the playroom. This over abundance of stuff always ends up stressing me out and there’s just no way my two year old will ever be able to independently clean up ALL THOSE TOYS. We’ve tried toy rotation and it can work. But honestly, I would rather just have less stuff and only keep the toys that my children genuinely love. 

For my son’s first Christmas, we received two gifts that created memories I know I will be looking back at for a lifetime. One grandparent gifted us a membership to the Dallas Zoo. We were able to enjoy trips to the zoo for an entire year courtesy of grandma! Seeing my son grow in his interest and excitement over the zoo trip that calendar year was an absolute blast. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a gift that covers a multitude of ages and interests. It even qualifies as a group gift since you can choose to purchase a family membership. I’ve heard the same is true for the Dallas Arboretum, so I am adding that one to my Christmas list this year. 

The second gift he received was six months of swim lessons at Aqua-Tots. We loved this gift so much we actually ended up extending the lessons and are still attending, and he’s almost three years old! The gift of lessons is hard to beat! It is pure magic watching your child learn something new. Maybe in your household you have a one activity per season rule, so Christmas could be the perfect time to gift your child with a new or extra series of lessons to a hobby they’ve been dying to try out. 

This truly is the best solution to the “too many toys dilemma.” You can never have too many fun experiences with your kids, right?! Therefore, I give you this giant no toys gift guide to all of the non-toy gifts for children in the Collin County area (and beyond). Send this link to parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles—you’ll thank me later! 


Dallas Zoo 

Fort Worth Zoo


Dallas Arboretum 

The Perot Museum

Gift Card or Punch/Pass Cards

Play Street Museum (Allen, McKinney, Frisco, & Plano locations) 

The Coop

Safari Run 

Kid Mania 

Urban Air




One Day Experiences

Dallas World Aquarium

Grapevine Sea Life Aquarium

Grapevine Legoland

Moviehouse Eatery 

Six Flags

Pottery Painting 


American Girl Bistro

Staycation at Great Wolf Lodge

Build-A-Bear Workshop

Mavericks Game Holiday Pack


Soccer Shots

Aqua-Tots Swim Class


Little Gym

Hydrous Wake Park 


Kiwi Crate

Tinker Crate

Little Passports 

**I’ll admit many of these experience ideas in this no toys gift guide are an investment, so if you’re looking specifically for budget-friendly gifts, here are a few ideas:

Under $50 Experience Gifts

Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park 

National Geographic Kids magazine subscription

Build-A-Bear Workshop

Color Me Mine

Play Street Museum (single visit)

Moviehouse Eatery


What experience gifts will you be giving in an effort to make more memories this holiday season? Let me know what to add to our no toys gift guide!

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One Response to No Toys Holiday Gift Guide: Gifting Experiences in Collin County

  1. Sharon December 16, 2017 at 5:18 pm #

    Heard Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary membership