15 Experience Gift Ideas Your Kids Will Love (2022)

The holiday season is officially here! This year, we’re highlighting unique experiences from 14 local partners that make great gifts:

You’ll find options from:

Bug & Goose Play Cafe (Elm Grove & Delafield)

Country Christmas at The Ingleside Hotel (Pewaukee)

First Stage

Immersive Nutcracker

Little Sprouts Play Cafe (Shorewood & Mequon)

Ruckus & Glee

Schlitz Audubon Nature Center

School of Rock Shorewood

Historic Milwaukee

Templaytes Puzzles

The Corners of Brookfield

Wisconsin State Fair

Wilderness Resort

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

Wisconsin Bakery and Cafe Book

Read on for all the festive details!

1. Bug & Goose Play Passes

Give the gift of PLAY! Bug & Goose Play Café (Elm Grove & Delafield) 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:

The 10-pack play passes are made for winter, indoor fun.
The play passes can be used at both the Elmo Grove and Delafield locations and can be used for multiple kiddos- 1 punch for each child reservation.
The 10 packs result in $15 of savings compared to if you purchased 10 spots individually.

Purchase a 10 Pack Play Pass

2. Country Christmas at the Ingleside Hotel

Admission to Country Christmas includes access to the following:

    • The Country Christmas Trail features over a million holiday lights festively displayed on over a mile-long trail. Back by popular demand, guests will enjoy traditional displays such as Bearville, a captivating 200-foot tunnel of 30,000 computerized lights, and more. Some of the new displays to look for this year include a Patriotic Display, Waukesha Parade Memorial, Pirate Scene, New Reindeer Barn, and more.
    • Village Park, located at the end of the trail, is where guests can take an evening stroll and enjoy activities and photo opportunities. Don’t miss your chance to take a family photo in front of the 42 foot Christmas tree. New this year there are additional displays including Stomplights, a walk-through light tunnel and multiple building fronts created by Kettle Moraine High School Art Students.
    • Christmas Village is one of two buildings at the end of the trail that guests can come inside and visit. Christmas Village is the perfect place to enjoy a hot cup of cocoa or an evening treat while surrounded by a cuddly cast of creatures and our working model train display. New this year, guests will be entertained by our adorable Raccoon Band that dances and sings to Christmas music, a Department 56 village collection and the Country Christmas Post Office where kids can write a letter to Santa.
    • The Streets of Bethlehem is a building located at the end of the drive-through trail. Guests can get out of their car and walk through the collection of nearly life –sized Fontanini nativity figurines. Country Christmas has the only display of this magnitude in the area, a replica of the Pope’s personal collection.

There are two ways to experience Country Christmas!

Illuminated Walk Through Nights will be held: November 18, 19 and 20, 2022.

Hours are 5pm – 9pm with the last admission tickets sold at 8pm.

Admission is $7 per person with $2 of each admission going directly back to the Christmas Clearing Council of Waukesha County (CCC). Tickets are available to purchase online through the event website or that night in the ticket booth. Hot Chocolate and other concessions will be available.

Country Christmas 2022 Drive-Through Nights will be held: November 25, 2022 – November 30, 2022 and December 2, 2022 – January 1, 2023.

Hours for the drive-through event are 5pm to 9pm Sunday through Thursday and 5pm to 10pm on Friday, Saturday and Holidays.

Admission is $25 per carload Sunday – Thursday and $30 Friday, Saturday and Holidays.  Pricing for passenger vans and limos is $45 and minibus admission is $55. Senior home minibus admission is available for a discounted rate of $35.

Purchase a Pass to Country Christmas

3. First Stage All Access Membership

Enjoy a performance at First Stage Theater this holiday season with the All-Access Membership.

For $75 per family (which is tax-deductible), a First Stage All-Access Membership includes two complimentary tickets to a 2022/23 season performance, discounts on additional tickets, and special event access.

The All-Access membership also unlocks discounts on Theater Academy classes and priority ordering privileges for upcoming seasons.

Purchase a First Stage All Access Membership

4. Immersive Nutcracker

Experience the timeless holiday tale on a majestic scale at the Wisconsin Center. Opening December 1, this joyful, 30-minute immersive experience features 500,000 cubic feet of projections set to the iconic, sweeping music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Be enchanted by magical special effects and photo ops, and even get up close with some of the characters, including a life-size nutcracker.

Pro tip: If you have a family of four, you can save $3 per person by ordering a family 4-pack of tickets.

5. Little Sprouts Holiday Experiences With Santa

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

Private Playtime with Santa: 

Private Playtime with Santa is back at both their Shorewood and Mequon cafes. You and your friends can enjoy a private gathering with Santa himself. Make sure to snap lots of pics and enjoy their hot cocoa bar. Each cafe also has a Brunch with Santa event this year too. Your kids will love it all!!

Santa Deliveries: 

If you prefer to celebrate at home, Santa Deliveries are returning – with Santa delivering gifts right to your house! Each of these magical experiences is filled with their signature Little Sprouts flair. Your kids will surely be beaming after any of these visits.

Yearly Memberships: 

Beyond the holiday season, Little Sprouts is also launching a limited amount of Yearly Memberships. Per usual, these memberships include so much more than just playtime. It’s about to get jolly!

Purchase a Little Sprouts Experience

6. Ruckus & Glee Holiday Events

This holiday season visit Ruckus & Glee for one of their many holiday in-store events!

Special events include:

Neighborhood Toy Store Day, Saturday November 12- Share the Neighborhood Toy Store Day love! Activities will include fun craft kits, a scavenger hunt with awesome prizes, game demos, give-aways and more!

Meet Santa at Ruckus & Glee, Friday November 25- Santa makes his annual stop from 1-5pm. Check out the Gift Card Give Away while you visit. The fiirst 75 Customers on 11/25 receive one unmarked gift card that could be worth $5, $10, or one gift card worth $100!

Holiday Hours- Monday, December 12th through Friday, December 23rd – Open one hour later every day of the week to serve all your Holiday shopping needs!

Want the store to yourself?! Try the private shopping option! Call (414) 395-3201 and set up a time before or after hours to shop in style!

To see a complete list of all the Ruckus & Glee holiday events visit their Facebook page.

See All Events

7. Schlitz Audubon Nature Center Membership

Gift a Schlitz Audubon Membership this holiday season!

Starting November 22 through December 14, enjoy a 15% discount off membership purchases when you use the code GIFT15

Just 15 minutes north of downtown Milwaukee, the Center offers 185 acres of woodlands, prairies, ponds, and wetlands along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Six miles of trails through diverse habitats includes one mile of wheelchair and stroller-friendly accessible trails.

Our 60-foot Observation Tower provides beautiful views of Lake Michigan.

Regionally renowned Raptor Program features Bald Eagles, owls, and hawks.

Environmental education for all ages.

Membership benefits include complimentary admission all year, discounts on programs and events, and priority registration for Nature Preschool or Summer Camps.

Purchase a SANC Membership

8. School of Rock Shorewood Music Lessons

School of Rock music programs for kids are designed to get students on stage performing, with the goal of building strong musical proficiency.

One-on-one lessons combined with group band practices are available for ages 8 and up.

Classes on Guitar, Drum, Singing, Bass Guitar and Keyboard are offered.

Purchase School of Rock Music Lessons

9. Shop and Join Historic Milwaukee

Visit the Historic Milwaukee Gift Shop!

Shop in-person or online for everyone on your list at Historic Milwaukee!

Check out Kids’ items including- books for every age, onesies, and toddler t-shirts, puzzles, and Blockitecture sets.

Shop grown up gifts including- glassware, an extensive Frank Lloyd Wright collection, art prints, locally designed lamps, and so much more!

When you stop by the shop, mention Milwaukee with Kids to receive a free ‘Milwaukee Neighborhoods’ or ‘Feeds the World’ keychain.

Not sure what to gift? Give the gift of membership. Benefits include free walking tours and 10% off shopping.

Use promo code 2022kids and receive 25% off your membership purchase at any level.

Code is redeemable through the end of 2022.

Shop & Join Historic Milwaukee

10. Templaytes Puzzles

Order Templaytes and receive 20% Off and Free Shipping with exclusive CODE: MKEKIDS

Designed by a veteran educator, Templaytes® are perfect for play, Montessori, homeschooling or public instruction.
Templaytes® are found in schools and homes worldwide. Children arrange the shapes and trace around them which supports drawing with accuracy and precision, boosting confidence.
Templaytes® are screen-free, child-led wooden puzzles that allow kids to grapple with basic geometric shapes during open-ended play. Children explore, imagine and create.
These quality wooden puzzles strengthen fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination, promote spatial reasoning and problem solving, teach concepts like colors, shapes, patterns and symmetry. Ages 3 to infinity.

Order Templaytes

11. The Corners of Brookfield Gift Cards

The Corners of Brookfield Gift Card- available in $25, $50, $75 or $100 increments.

Valid at any retailer, restaurant, and business at The Corners.

It’s the perfect gift for anyone on your list! Pair it with a sweet treat, a piece of jewelry or tickets to a movie or comedy show for the perfect pairing!

Use CODE: MKEKIDS15  to receive 15% off any $75 or $100 gift card purchase!

Valid on orders purchased now through Thursday, December 22nd.

All orders are mailed/shipped.

Purchase a Corners of Brookfield Gift Card

12. WI State Fair Santa's Sack Ticket Pack

Wisconsin State Fair has something for everyone – including great deals and exclusive ticket packages just for the holidays!

Now is your chance to enjoy the best savings available on State Fair tickets.

Our Santa’s Sack package offers the biggest savings, is perfect for families, and includes 6 admission tickets, a 6-pack of Cream Puffs, a 50-ticket pack for SpinCity, and a Bargain Book!

This is a gift everyone will love, and don’t worry, we won’t tell if you get them for yourself!

*Holiday sale for Santa’s Sack Ticket Package and other great deals start Thursday, November 10th.

Purchase a WI State Fair Santa Sack Ticket Pack

13. Wilderness Resort Cyber November Gift Card Sale

Wilderness Resort’s only gift card sale of the year is here!

Buy $100 in Wilderness gift cards and  get a $10 bonus.

Give the gift of togetherness this season.

Offer ends November 30. 

Purchase a Wilderness Resort Gift Card

14. Wisconsin Bakery and Cafe Book

Enjoy a little (coffee or bakery) break between holiday shopping and support local businesses!

Treat yourself to the Wisconsin Bakery and Cafe book to support local businesses throughout southeastern Wisconsin who work hard to create strong and vibrant communities. Purchase one for your family and one as a gift!

Enjoy $5 off a $20 purchase at 30 locally-owned bakeries, cafes, and coffee shops throughout Wisconsin. Usable three times at each location. That’s $450 in savings!

Participating businesses include:

Dia Café

Woops! Macarons & Gifts

Peter Sciortino Bakery

Nourish Organic Juice Bar

and many more!

Purchase a Wisconsin Bakery and Cafe Book

15. Wisconsin Conservatory of Music Gift Certificates

Gift certificates for both private instrumental study and early childhood music classes, which includes Smart Start, Piano Safari, Ukulele Discoveries and Suzuki Strings, are now available at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.

Whether you and your family want to join our WCM community of lifelong learners or you want to pass the joy of music on to your friends and loved ones, you can give the gift of music this holiday season!

    • Gift certificates are available for:
      • 6-week Private Lesson Package for just $245, starting at any skill level ages 3 and above.
      • Smart Start Early Childhood Music classes starting at just $299 for a 17-week semester, beginning in February 2023.
      • A custom amount of your choice, ranging from $1 – $1,000.

*Gift certificates expire five years from purchase date, and are redeemable at all WCM locations.

Purchase a Wisconsin Conservatory of Music Gift Certificate

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