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Things vs. Experiences and Memories

December 14, 2019

We decided this year to cut back on the amount of “things” we purchase for Christmas. There is nothing we really need. The kids have plenty of toys and clothes. So we are opting for creating memories through fun experiences instead.

Toys get played with, broke, lost, and boring quick. However, the things we do as a family the kids talk about for years! The memories as a family, the excitement of doing something together, and conversations about it for the years to come are our goals.

A few conditions for our experience:

I started looking up experience gifts for kids and realized I needed to have a plan.

  • Needs to be under $200
  • Can’t travel too far: preferably under an hour and a half
  • All need to be able to participate and enjoy (minus the baby)
  • Inside activity (Western NY is freezing this time of the year)


My kids love Skyzone but buying tickets for our whole family gets expensive. I decided to check my local Groupon to see if there were any deals. I was super excited to find a great deal for Skyzone. It seems like Skyzone frequently runs deals on Groupon!

The deal is:

  • 2 tickets for 90 minutes of jumping for $25! We bought 3 of this deal.
  • Normally, Skyzone is $15.99 for 60 minutes of jumping per person. So this was a great deal!

Skyzone is a trampoline park for all ages! If you can walk then they allow you to jump! There is a toddler area, a foam pit, a challenge course, a dunk hoop, and lots of trampolines for hours of fun! It is a great place to get lots of energy out. If it was closer it would be tempting for us to go more often during the long winter months.

KT’s son Austin at Skyzone. I can’t wait to share with you some of our own pictures after we get to go Christmas week!
There are Skyzones all over the country!

Rainforest Cafe

Only 20 minutes away from this Skyzone is a Rainforest Cafe. I checked Groupon again and found another great deal! This deal also seems to occur frequently.

The deal is:

  • for a table of 4 or more spend $49 on a gift card that is good for $80 at the restaurant.
  • It can’t be used on a Saturday or purchased the same day you plan to go.

We went to the Rainforest Cafe a long time ago and Matthew threw up while we were there. Needless to say, we didn’t get to enjoy it very much. I am so excited to get to go again with our whole family now.

If you haven’t ever been to a Rainforest Cafe it is so much fun. I first went to the Rainforest Cafe in Florida at Disney and it was amazing. The decor gives the atmosphere of a rainforest. Periodically animals move, you can hear sounds of rain and thunder, see flashes of lightning, and you can hear an elephant trumpet. It is so much fun!

These restaurants are in various locations, not just Western NY.
  • If you have a child that is sensitive to noise and lighting this is not a good restaurant for you.

Getting the kids involved

We explained to our children our idea of doing something together as a family for Christmas this year. We made it clear to them that it meant they would have only a few gifts to open. Also, we reminded them that there wasn’t really anything they needed and that they had plenty of toys. Then we asked them what they thought. I was surprised that all of them were on board and excited about the idea.

Of course, they wanted to know what we were going to do together. We decided not to wait for them to find out but told them. Their anticipation and enthusiasm for our outing is so fun to see.

So next week, right before Christmas we are setting off to Skyzone and the Rainforest Cafe for a day of family fun and memories for years to come.

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Are you doing an experience gift this year? If so, what are you doing?

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