7 Experience Gift Ideas That Are Better Than Presents (2021)

1. Bug & Goose Play Passes

Toys are fun, but real live experiences are even better! This year, we’re highlighting seven unique experiences from our local partners that make great holiday gifts.

You’ll find options from:

Bug & Goose Play Cafe (Elm Grove)

Country Christmas at The Ingleside Hotel (Pewaukee)

Dave & Busters (Wauwatosa)

Little Sprouts Play Cafe (Shorewood & Mequon)

Sky Zone Greenfield

Urban Ecology Center (Milwaukee)

Wisconsin Conservatory of Music (Milwaukee, Fox Point, & Brookfield)

Read on for all the festive details!

Give the gift of PLAY! Bug & Goose Play Café is an indoor play space designed for children ages 6 months to 6 years to engage in imaginative play.

Your child can play in over 3,000 square feet of FUN including:

  • large play structure with two slides
  • craft corner
  • dress up closet
  • tons of toys
  • gated area for 18 months and younger
  • coffee for caretakers
  • and more!

Reserved Open Play:

They offer three hour time blocks for reserved open play.  Reservations must be booked on bugandgoose.com.  You can come right at the start time, arrive late, leave early or stay the whole three hours.

10 Pack Play Passes:

For multiple kids and frequent visitors, they offer 10 pack play passes that result in $15 of savings on 10 play reservations!  Purchase here.

Purchase a 10 Pack Play Pass

2. Country Christmas at the Ingleside Hotel

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Country Christmas, Wisconsin’s most spectacular drive-through holiday lights event. The display runs November 27 – January 2, 2021.

With your admission to Country Christmas, through  you can experience the Christmas Country Trail which takes you through Bearville, a captivating 200-foot tunnel of 30,000 computerized, pulsating lights, and more.

Plus, you can go into Christmas Village to see an incredible model train display, take photos, and purchase hot cocoa.

You can also walk through the Streets of Bethlehem with nearly life-sized Fontanini nativity characters.

There are also wagon ride experiences available through Christmas Country Trail!

Purchase a Pass to Country Christmas

3. Dave & Busters Gift Card

Gift Card

Get a gift card to Dave & Busters in Wauwatosa! Check out their Million Dollar Midway, tons of interactive games, chef inspired menu creations for every age range, top of the line prize redemption, and fun drinks for kids! Purchase here

Purchase a Dave & Buster's Gift Card

4. Little Sprouts Holiday Experience

Little Sprouts Play Cafe is bringing back the ultimate holiday experiences to their community of families this year.

Private Play with Santa: 

During Private Play with Santa, the cafe transforms into a mini winter wonderland – complete with hot cocoa bar. Each 1 hour private playtime includes a special visit from Santa. In addition to bringing a small gift for each child, Santa will bellow into playtime with singing, will spend time meeting your kids, and will pose for pictures with your families. Your kids can even bring in letters for the Big Guy.  These events are $165 and are for 16 total people (with a max of 8 kids per playtime). They are a perfect size to share with grandparents, cousins, or even your neighborhood friends. You can even buy gifts from the Little Sprouts toy store for Santa to wrap and deliver to your kids during your Private Play visit. December 9 – 12th at their Shorewood cafe | December 16 – 19th at their Mequon cafe. Register here

Santa Deliveries: 

Celebrate this holiday season with a visit to your house from Santa Claus this year! Hugely popular last year, the Big Guy is back and spreading cheer by hand delivering small gifts to your kids and posing for pictures outside your own home. This is perfect for families that want to see Santa without all the hassle. Delivery dates include December 10 – 12th (with additional dates added as needed). Deliveries are $45. Specific delivery areas and dates are listed on the Little Sprouts web site. Sign up here.

Yearly Memberships: 

After a bit of a hiatus, Little Sprouts Play Cafe is offering a limited release of Yearly Memberships again. In addition to including 52 passes, these memberships include access to both cafes (Shorewood & Mequon), Member Only Events, guest passes to share with friends, discounts on toy store and cafe items, and more! Only 30 Yearly Memberships will be released, so don’t sleep on this. Yearly Memberships will be released Thanksgiving week! Find out more


Purchase a Little Sprouts Experience

5. Sky Zone Greenfield Gift Card

Gift Card to Sky Zone Greenfield

Have you picked up your stocking stuffers or those gifts for “hard to please” loved ones? Sky Zone Gift Cards make awesome gifts and right now you will receive a $10 Bonus Card for every $40 Gift Card you purchase! You can keep a card for yourself and bundle others with your gifts! Terms & Conditions Apply.

Black Friday:

Sky Zone Greenfield is dropping the price on their Annual Pass for Black Friday. With this sale, you can Jump every day for Less than $1/Day. Major deal, major FUN! It’s Sky Zone Greenfield‘s biggest deal of the year – but you better hurry because there are very limited quantities only available from 11/19/21-11/26/21 and they will go fast! Pay close attention to their websites and social media to stay up-to-date. You can keep the pass for yourself or bundle it with your gifts! Terms & Conditions Apply.


Cyber Monday:

Save and Go Big on Parties This Year! Only on Monday, November 29th, get a major discount on select Sky Zone Greenfield’s Party Packages. Pay close attention to their websites and social media to stay up-to-date. Make birthdays extra special for your child, save on the future experience, and a party at Sky Zone Greenfield is a great gift for the cold holiday season. Or you can hold onto the information and surprise your child with when their birthday rolls around in a few months. Best bang-for-your-buck on an awesome, healthy, and fun birthday party.
Call Sky Zone Greenfield at 414-409-8150 for more information, and visit their website for class schedules, events and special promotions.

Purchase an Gift Card to Sky Zone Greenfield

6. Urban Ecology Center Membership

Urban Ecology Center Membership

Give your loved ones the gift of experience and community with a membership to the Urban Ecology Center!

UEC members receive free access to outdoor adventure equipment, invitations to members-only events, and discounts on programming.

Members get 20% off of exciting programs such as Candlelight Walk for Kids, Adventure Days for children when school is out and other many family programs.

Visit  www.urbanecologycenter.org/join and then be sure to check “This membership is a gift”. Order by December 21 to ensure (electronic) delivery by December 25.


Purchase a UEC Membership

7. Wisconsin Conservatory of Music Lessons & Classes

Gift Certificate for Music Lessons

Give the gift of music this holiday season! You can purchase a gift certificate for private lessons and/or group music classes at Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.

Gift certificates are available for:

6-week Private Lesson Package for just $245, starting at any level, ages 3+.

Smart Start™ Early Childhood Music program starting at just $229* for a 16-week semester.

Gift certificates can be digital or hard-copy. Gift certificates do not expire and are redeemable for all WCM locations.

Purchase an Gift Certificate from WCM

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