10 Non-toy Gifts for Kids

holiday gifts

Ten Non-Toy Gifts for Kids

We all love to sing along to Nat King Cole’s classic “Christmas Song”...They know that Santa's on his way--he's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh.

Kids love toys at Christmas, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But I think sometimes it’s not good for children to have too many toys, for a plethora of reasons. One, I’m fairly certain that the amount of toys a child owns has a negative correlation with creativity. More toys=less creative play. Of course, there are wonderful toys out there that boost the brain and challenge a child’s creativity. But even still, there can be too much of a good thing when our houses are STUFFED TO THE BRIM WITH TOYS. Closets upon closets upon chests and drawers and shelves, piled high with toys. AHHHH. As a parent, I’m allowing some toys this year, because some of them are fun. But if you want to give a more out-of-the box holiday present that doesn’t contribute to clutter, give the gift of experience. Here are 10 ideas for Non-Toy Gifts in the South Valley.


  • Rockin’ Jump

This gigantic trampoline park in Gilroy offers gift cards, and right now they are having a discount! When you give a gift card to Rockin’ Jump, you’re giving the kids a chance to jump like crazy and challenge themselves physically.


  • Green Glaze Pottery Studio

I’ve mentioned Green Glaze before, but I can’t make a list like this without including them. They are a pottery studio in downtown Gilroy that offers ceramics to paint, and then they will fire them for you. My girls have a blast coming here.


  • Gilroy Gardens

This is South County Living 101, but the gift of membership to Gilroy Gardens is truly a gift that a family with young children will use all year long. And because GG is a nonprofit, your gift is tax-deductible.


  • Morgan Hill Art School

The Morgan Hill Art School offers a ton of different art classes. Check their website for more information.


  • Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose

This one is not technically in South County, but it’s still pretty close. The Children’s Discovery Museum is AWESOME, and a membership pays for itself if you go just a couple of times.


  • Tickets to a children’s play

The South Valley Civic Theater in Morgan Hill puts on super high quality productions. And next April, they are presenting Annie, Jr. HOW FUN IS THAT? Get tickets ahead of time and surprise the kids at Christmas with your plans.


  • Monterey Bay Aquarium

Also not technically in South County, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is not a long drive. And, JELLYFISH. Single day tickets or a yearlong membership would make an amazing gift.


  • Chuck E. Cheese

So Chuck E. Cheese is no aquarium, I get that. Still, it’s pretty much kid heaven. And on a rainy day, it’s not a bad way to let them run wild. The one in Gilroy is surprisingly clean and bright inside. We’ve always had good experiences there


  • Booksmart Gift Cards

Someone might say that a gift card to a bookstore isn’t an experience, but I’ll argue that all day--especially when the bookstore is Booksmart in Morgan Hill. Booksmart holds events and classes for the whole family as well as a carefully curated collection of books.


  • The Little Gym

A membership to the Little Gym means exposure to all sorts of classes and open gym experiences. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the one in Morgan Hill.


Have fun holiday shopping everyone!