Gifts. So easy to purchase for some people and difficult for others. Kids can be some of the most difficult to buy for. Why? Because a kid can only really have so many toys and games. When faced with this dilemma, I start to think outside the box.
Sometimes the gift given doesn’t need to come in a box, but in an envelope, and I’m not talking about money. I’m talking about the gift of an experience. There are a variety of options out there for kids that enjoy geeky pursuits. Tickets to a fun show or a season pass to an interactive museum can be a great alternative to another toy. Below are a few of my favorite “out of the box” gift ideas. Happy gift giving, everyone!
Kids go wild for shows that bring their favorite on-screen characters to them in the flesh. I once took my daughter to a Diego and Dora show and I thought her and her friends were going to lose their little preschool minds with excitement. Live performances can provide an experience that creates memories that can stick with a kid. Some shows that are currently touring and are a perfect fit for science and comic geeklings are as follows.
- Doktor Kaboom! Science Comedy Show: Doktor Kaboom! Tour Schedule
- Marvel Universe Live Tour Schedule
- Wild Kratts Live: Stage show based on the PBS children’s show
Movie Theater Gift Cards
With 2016 being a year full of movies that comic geeks are chomping at the bit to see, giving the gift of movie theater gift cards is perfect. Also, around the holidays, many movie theaters provide deals that make giving gift cards an even better choice. With movies like Captain America: Civil War, Batman vs. Superman, Suicide Squad, Deadpool, X-men: Apocalypse, and others, your gift will get used for sure.
A yearly pass to an interactive or science children’s museum can provide a child with so much more than a place to expend energy. These museums inspire children’s imagination and curiosity. For geeklings interested in STEM pursuits, a pass to visit a place that speaks to their interests is the gift that just keeps giving throughout the year. Below are just a few of the fantastic children’s museums across the US. There are truly so many out there that to list each one would be too long of a list for this post. If one of these is not in your area, I’m sure that an internet search will quickly find a kid-tastic museum near you.
- The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
- Exploratorium in San Francisco
- COSI (Center of Science & Industry) in Columbus, OH
- Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center
Comic and Gaming Conventions
A ticket to a comic or gaming convention could be an ideal gift for a teenager or a die-hard younger fan. Below are a few of the most popular across the US. Again, too many great Cons to list every one. Though some host cons in multiple cities, so visit their site for a location near you.
- New York Comic Con: in high demand
- San Diego Comic Con International: in high demand
- Wizard World Con: multiple locations
- Emerald City Comicon in Seattle
- Dragon Con in Atlanta
- Heroes & Villains Fan Fest: multiple locations
Camps and Workshops
STEM-focused camps and workshops are on the rise and are popping up all over the place. Seattle alone has 20 or more camps and workshops for children and teenagers interested in STEM. Across the US, organizations are providing today’s youth with more opportunities to explore their STEM interests than ever before. These camps and workshops are inspiring and teaching participants more than the typical school classroom is able to. My own daughter has asked for the past 2 years for her grandparents and other relatives to register her for Camp Invention in lieu of a toy or other gift. She absolutely loves that there are others that are geeky like her.
Camp Invention and The Mad Science Experience offer experiences across the country. I have listed those as a place to start if you are looking for something. Though after a short internet search, I found so many camps and workshops that I wish were near us because they sound amazing. A toy may lose its usefulness after a year, but a camp experience could influence a child for a lifetime.
Universal Studios – Orlando
Last of all, if you really want to go all out, a visit to Universal Studios Florida is a perfect geek gift. With both the Harry Potter attractions and the superheroes on the Island of Adventure, there is plenty for a fan to love.