Someone recently shared with me that there are less than fifty days until Christmas. FIFTY. Which means that there is less than fifty shopping days until Christmas too. So, if you’re anything like me you’re low-key panicking right now. But it’s okay, we’re all going to get through this together.
Christmas is a wonderful time. There is festive cheer, spending time with family, seasonal cocktails to get you through spending time with family, and time to reflect on the blessings we’ve been given. Of course, to children (and, let’s be honest, me) the holidays also mean presents! And if you’re a parent and, again, like me, it also means that you’re already preparing for the influx of toys to be brought into your home. So, instead of beginning my own Christmas shopping, I spent most of the weekend on Ikea’s website, trying to find the best toy organization for our home (Visit Findlay Blogger may disagree, by Ikea organization is worth the marital woes it rains upon us!).
While browsing page upon page of the best of Swedish organization, I stumbled upon an article that suggested focusing on experiences this holiday season instead of things. And I’m wholly on board. While there are so many experiential opportunities in our neighboring cities, all just a day trip away, if you’re dealing with children, then you need to look a little closer to home – nothing like “Are we there yet?” 100 times in a 90 minute drive to take all the fun out of a day trip. So I began to brainstorm ideas right here and Findlay, and it grew quickly!
Children’s Museum of Findlay Membership
We LOVE the Children’s Museum of Findlay. We have two sons, a four year old and one year old, and both love the Children’s Museum. The foam pit is always a big hit, as is the Fire Department. And my four year old, Eli, loves to do laundry in the house, which I hope continues when he is a teenager! While the museum definitely has more for children preschool age and up, those younger won’t be missing out. The museum has plenty of trucks and tractors for little ones to play with, as well as an infant area. And if I can plug Visit Findlay real quick, I hear that exhibit is going to be awesome and opening soon – no bias of course! Memberships to the Children’s Museum of Findlay are $95 for a family; or you can purchase day passes for $5/child and $7/adult! I’d recommend a membership to anyone looking for a non-toy gift for a family this Christmas.
Looking for other museum options in Findlay? The Hancock Historical Museum has great exhibits for little history buffs, and they offer discounts to their wonderful programming for members, including their Night at the Museum overnights and Victorian Teas, which are great events for kids. While the Mazza Museum is free, it is a great place to spend an afternoon, and they host the highlight of Eli’s month with Funday Sundays. If you’re working on a budget, but have time to give, I’d recommend printing out these handy certificates I created to be redeemed for a special day at the museum!
Awakening Minds Art offers art program nearly every day for those of all abilities, which makes art classes at AMA a perfect choice for a non-toy gift! While any of the classes are a great option, I recommend the art class on Saturday mornings!
While AMA has the most options for children of all abilities, there are several locations in Findlay that offers art classes, and sometimes offers some directed towards children.
Tickets to a Show
One of the things I love most about our community is their love of the arts, and no organization shows that more than The Arts Partnership. So any time I get the chance I take my sons to the many shows directed at children. And this season we are especially lucky because The Arts Partnership and Marathon Center for the Performing Arts have joined forces to bring the Family Series, three family-friendly show at family-friendly prices spread throughout the year. This weekend was the first show, Pirate School, and he had a blast, the next two shows in the series is Clementine in March and Kamikaze Fireflies in April! Something extra fun would be to donate to The Arts Partnership in honor of your child, that way they can see their name in the program every time they attend an Arts Partnership show!
Step this gift up a notch by pairing it with dinner Downtown. You can get all dressed up for the show and pretend to be fancy while eating at one of the delicious restaurants. Another option would be tea at the Swan House, which is so much fun to do as an adult, let alone as a kid. One special thing I’ve done with my son is take him for “coffee” (hot chocolate) Downtown, which would be great before a show, or ice cream at Dietsch’s, which is great any time!
Shopping Spree Downtown
One of my favorite memories is when my aunt gifted me a shopping spree for my tenth birthday and I’m hoping to continue that tradition with my nieces. The hardest decision would be where to take your child, there are too many great choices to choose from! Cover them all in one swoop by purchasing Downtown gift certificates. These gift certificates are good at many of your favorite downtown stores, as well as many restaurants, which makes it a great gift and you’re able to support your favorite local businesses. You can purchase Downtown Gift Certificates by calling The Alliance, 419-422-3313, or stopping in, 123 E. Main Cross St.
When you think Christmas you may not be thinking of being active, unless being active entails a marathon pie eating competition. But kids may not be quite as prepared for a
lazy relaxing winter as you are. So gift the opportunity to work out some of that pent up energy. Bonus: This is a double gift for the child and parent!
Flashover Indoor Sports and Fun Center would be a great place to start when looking for an active experience. Flashover offers different lessons for a variety of sports, including soccer, and they also have open bounce time! Gift certificates to Rolling Thunder Skating Rink or AMF Sportsman Lanes would be a fun gift to receive. The Findlay Family YMCA and University of Findlay Swim Team both offer swim lessons which would make a great gift for my children (take note, Mom!) and a YMCA membership in itself would be a great gift for the whole family (are you still reading, Mom?). Ice Skating is a quintessential winter event, but at The Cube it is a year-round activity at a very reasonable fee. Admission is just $5 for open skate and skate rental is $3, you can pair this gift with some ice skates as well!
These experiences will not only make Christmas shopping a breeze but they will also extend the joy of Christmas gifts past December 25. Plus, they don’t take up any space in the toy room!