by Jill P


Looking for that unique stocking stuffer for Christmas this year? A great way to combat too many toys is to shift all the gifts to non-toy items. Your kids will LOVE these non-toy gift ideas and you will love clearing the clutter of toy overload.


15+ Non-Toy Gifts For Kids

photo courtesy of the Sherman Lake YMCA, Winter Camp

1. Camps

Some of my son’s best experiences over the summer were at summer camps. Have a relative offer to pay for the summer camp that your child has been eyeing, but you could never quite swing it. And there are even a number of winter camps that you’ll find over Christmas break.

2. Memberships

Kalamazoo Nature Center, Binder Park Zoo, Air Zoo, Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, and the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary are all places that have family-friendly memberships. These are particularly great for family gifts! Many young families want to enjoy day outings, but affording them can be a challenge, so give them the gift of a yearly membership. Plus, many memberships have reciprocal agreements which are a HUGE bonus that you can take advantage of all year long.

photo courtesy of the KIA

3. Classes

Music, dance, sports, horseback riding, and art classes are a great way to encourage children in their interests and let them know that you pay attention to them and what they enjoy. See our website for a listing of many area classes


photo courtesy of Tara Fletcher Photography

4. Activities

Airway Fun Center, Jungle Joe’s, Sky Zone Kalamazoo, Klassic ArcadeWings West Ice Skating or even bowling are all some activities that your kids will love. With winter coming soon, these are some great ways to beat the winter blues.


5. Books

What could be better than a gift certificate to Bookbug? Your child can select a book of their interest and curl up for a great read. Or chose a book that you can read together.


6. Browse the Indoor Farmers’ Market or a Local Craft Show

There are some great finds with local crafters at craft shows or indoor farmers’ markets. We have gotten some unique hand-made items such a holiday ornaments or hand knit gloves and hats.

7. Unique Experience Options

For the child who has done it all, why not get them the gift of a unique experience. Both the Coopersville & Marne Railway and the Little River Railroad offer great themed experiences throughout the year.



photo courtesy of Tara Fletcher Photography

8. Sporting Events

Tickets to a great sporting event such as Kalamazoo Wings Hockey or the Kalamazoo Growlers are fun for the whole family.



9. Arts and Craft supplies

A gift of art and craft supplies often brings on the imagination in kids. Or get a gift card to Art Bayou or Happy Our Art. Both places have fun art pieces that your kids will love. The KIA offers some great art classes for your budding artist.


The Cove Lakeside Bistro

10. Restaurant Gift Card

Our area offers so many unique dining options. Why not buy a gift card and try out a new lunch or dinner spot? Many kids love a special one-on-one date with mom or dad.


11. Ice Cream/Yogurt Shop Gift Card

We love making a special trip to our local yogurt shop on special occasions. Try someplace new from our list of Reader’s Favorite Ice Cream Places.

photo courtesy of Miller Auditorium

12. Shows

We have some great local and family-friendly listing of shows coming up! Check out Miller Auditorium, the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre, and local performances you won’t want to miss.

Having a fun show look forward to makes the rest of life more enjoyable.


13. Board Games

We love board games! What better activity to bring the family together than a family game night. Looking for a new board game idea? You’ll love this listing of Ten Board Games You’ve Never Played But You Need To.

14. Movie tickets

Kalamazoo 10 Movie Theatre, AMC Kalamazoo 10, and Celebration! Cinema all have gift certificates available for purchase.


15. Subscriptions

Movie channel subscriptions such as Netflix or kids’ magazine subscriptions like Highlights magazine are always welcome fun that kids can enjoy all year.


16. Start a College Savings Account

While not always the most glamorous of holiday gifts, a gift of an investment into a college savings account is an investment in your child’s future. Check into a MET (Michigan Education Trust) savings account. It does really add up if you start investing early.




Hope your family has a wonderful holiday season!







By | 2017-12-05T08:08:21+00:00 December 5th, 2017|Categories: Around Kalamazoo, Kids, Newly Published, Parent resources|Comments Off on Making Memories: 15+ Non-Toy Gift Ideas For Kalamazoo Kids

About the Author:

Jill is a mom of a busy 8 year old son. was started in 2013 to showcase all of the great things to do in and around Kalamazoo. When not working the website, Jill likes to hike, cook, and read in her free time.