Toronto Gift Guide: The Gift of Experience 2016

kidsintorontogiftofexperience2016Whether you’re a mall-shopper or online-clicker, parents across the city are plowing through wish lists this gift-giving season. So what’s on your 2016 list? Chances are a lot of stuff. Things pile up (quite literally), so we’ve been trying to add some adventure under the tree for the whole family to enjoy. Here is a round up of some of the best gifts to experience the city with your kids in TOw.

Outdoor adventures: Sure, you can always toboggan down your local hill OR you can treat the family to a day of tubing at one of the ski hills around Toronto. Check out Glen Eden in Kelso Conservation Area in Milton, Chicopee Tube Park in Kitchner or Snow Valley near Barrie. More into summer fun? Organize a tubing adventure for next year on the Grand River near Hamilton.

Got some grade 4 or 5’s in TOw? You can get them three days of skiing for $29.95 through the Canadian Ski Council. More than 150 ski areas across Canada are part of the SnowPass program.

Indoor adventure: A gift of a membership to one of Toronto’s attractions – the Ontario Science Centre (gift idea: sleepover on February 25, 2017), the AGO (gift idea: sign ’em up for a cartooning, claymation or stop motion class), the ROM (gift idea: sleepover on January 27, 2017) or Legoland Discovery Centre to name a few – are gifts that give all year long.

But for the real thrill-seekers in your family, we’re talking skydiving. iFLY in Oakville replicates almost perfectly the free-fall portion of a skydiver’s jump. (PS – this is the training centre for the paratroopers from the Department of National Defense.) Kids as young as 4 can participate.

Get locked in a room. Escape rooms are still all the rage for the ‘big kid’ crowd and we’ve been raving about how families can also get in on the action. We’ve got these on our hit list for 2017: Secret City Adventures and Escape from the 6. (Stay tuned for full reviews!)

Date at the theatre: There is no lack of great theatre in Toronto, even for the little ones in TOw. Make it a date night (or day) for one of these performances:

  • Seussical The Musical at the Young Peoples’ Theatre is on until December 31, 2016. (Or fill your stocking with tickets for one of this season’s performances in 2017James and the Giant Peach in February-March and Munschtime in April-May.)
  • Soulpepper’s Alligator Pie brings to life the children’ poems by Canada writer Dennis Lee at The Young Centre for Performing Arts at the Distillery District on December 27, 2016. PS – they also have a full line-up of performances as part of the Family Series all December long.
  • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is in concert on December 29 and 30, 2016 on the big screen at the Sony Centre, accompanied by the Academy Award®-winning score performed live by a full symphony orchestra. Two performances on December 29 and 30, 2016.

Gift of giving: Gifts that give back should be on every list. This year Giftagram, the mobile app that lets users send thoughtful gifts in less than a minute (no mailing address required) has launched Canada’s first-ever mobile toy drive with CP24 CHUM’s Christmas Wish. To donate with Giftagram, you just download the app, browse the “Christmas Wish” category, choose a toy (from $10-$150), and press “donate”.

For more ideas that gift back, Today’s Parent put together this list.

More gift guides:

Kids in T.O. 2015 Gift of Experience

Kids in T.O. 2014 Gift of Experience

Give the Gift of Toronto

Etsy Gift Guide for the Toronto Mom + Kid

 

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