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Christmas presents- Best experiences for kids?

I am over toys. My kids get and have enough but I am sick of my kids getting bucket loads of 'just because' toys. I am not ungrateful but family now just tell me to buy something and they will pay me for it as they can't be bothered with the hassle. This generally results in junk or my SIL always buys something cool but very unsafe (tends to be turned into a weapon and she knows my kids well so I don't understand her thinking).

This year I would like to look at more experiences for the kids. Those memories are worth more than toys.
I live 1 hour from Brisbane and my kids are 3 and 4. We have theme park passes on the list.
Would love some other suggestions.


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Answers (12)

Swimming/ dancing/ sport lessons
Movie tickets
Play centre passes

OP Do play centres do any all passes?
helpful (0) 
 Im in WA and a lot of play centres here do a 10 visit pass at a special price
helpful (0) 
OP Thanks. I will go and see if I can get something like that

helpful (0) 

South Bank. We do the museum in the morning, swim in afternoon, Max Brenner chocolate shop for afternoon tea. Science museum on another day as both museums in one day is too much. You can go in on train, which gives them another adventure. I take iced water and some of their favourite snacks and sandwiches, which reduces the cost for food and drink. I take water and some food to theme parks too, because their food is mostly fattening, crappy, and overpriced.

OP We have done that in the past. I think we might need to do it again.
helpful (0) 

-annual pass to the local pool
-vouchers for ice cream shop/ Sizzler/ movies/ Putt Putt golf
-tickets to Australia zoo/ Aussie World/ Underwater World/ Ginger Factory. ..if Sunshine Coast is close to you guys!
-tickets to a show/ play or concert...I think Aladdin is coming to Brisbane early next year.

OP Thanks. We have a pool.
Putt putt is a great suggestion. Its probably time we take them to putt putt. I always hold off as the 3 year old will probably hit us with the club and my husband and I are OCD about playing properly. Time to loosen up

helpful (1) 

Magazine subscription, museums, zoo, aquarium, food experiences (kids love hibachi) eating or cooking, walking tours, botanical garden, train trip, sport match, pool membership or community/kids club, geocaching needs, camping....

 Magazine subscription keeps on giving throughout the year. A great idea!
helpful (1) 
 Jumping on this response- you can get subscription boxes for virtually ANYTHING these days... so do a tiny but if research ;-) Doesnt have to be a magazine subscription!
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David Fleay Wildlife Park near Burleigh Heads (different to Currumbin Sanctuary). Has wildlife in natural surroundings, they breed Platypus. There is a train that takes you all round the extensive site, and you can hop on and off it. There is a really safe swimming beach at Rainbow Bay, near Snapper Rocks, which is good for the afternoon, if you still have the energy.

Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World. Fabulous for a whole day adventure. Their food is very nice and reasonably priced. Don't wear clothes with buttons or any bits and pieces dangling, or jewellery, as the large parrots will help themselves to anything they can get their beaks around. Take your phone / camera, as the birds will stand on your shoulders. Provides treasured memories for a lifetime.
And the Noosa chocolate shop and fudge shop as well if you can fit them in.

I tried this when my girls were younger and was completely ignored, it was toys galore when they were younger and now its clothes. Ridiculous amounts of clothes, last year they ended up with something like 7 pairs of bathers each ( we live in Victoria)

We got our 2 boys a Little Passports 12 month subscription last Christmas (you can do less if you like). They love getting their package each month with activities, info, souvenirs and games... The Early Explorers 3-5 yo explore a new world theme each month, like Music, Oceans and Dinosaurs and the older ones 6-10yrs discover a new country each month.
It does come from the US so if you’re wanting the first package before Christmas, get on it! We have thoroughly enjoyed our Christmas gift that has lasted a whole year!

we have stop doing present two years ago it's just good food, family and help out at the Methodist church Christmas dinner they get what they want on birthdays and little treats during the year. an they honestly don't care

Beaches and parks around Brighton, Sandgate and Shorncliffe. Barbeques all along the foreshore, that are regularly cleaned. Great fish and chip shops along Sandgate.
Fishing off the banks of the river at Shorncliffe.
Redcliffe has some fabulous safe bathing areas with rocks for searching for crabs, and has barbeques. I cant remember if they are free or coin cost. Sausages, sauce and bread is a cheap and filling lunch. Ice creams for after. There is a soft serve van that comes around.