30+ Experience Gift Ideas for East Bay Families - 510 Families

30+ Experience Gift Ideas for East Bay Families

We appreciate Children’s Fairyland for sponsoring today’s guide to thoughtful local experience gifts. Now through December 31, receive 13 months for the price of 12 (that’s an extra month free!). Benefits start immediately, including 50% off tickets to Fairy Winterland, a magical celebration of winter happening December 16 through 30.

San Francisco Bay Area experience gifts can work for any age or budget. We love memberships for a whole family, show tickets to stuff in a stocking, unique classes to reward a child’s interest, and eating tours a group can enjoy together. The gift of a shared experience is a perfect last-minute and clutter-free gift solution and so thoughtful!

Experience Gifts: Memberships | Experience Gifts: Tickets | Experience Gifts: Family Trip Inspirations

Experience Gift: Family Memberships to Enjoy All Year

We love these local kid-friendly museums for year-round enjoyment. Membership usually pays for itself after 2-3 visits.

Membership to Children’s Fairyland

Founded in 1950, Children’s Fairyland is a Bay Area icon, once serving as an inspiration to Walt Disney’s Disneyland. Fairyland is a wholesome space for families, where their young children can create, imagine, play, and learn in a safe, stimulating, stress-free zone. For more information about the park, please visit fairyland.org >>

Children’s Fairyland supports early learning, with robust summer camps and educational programs, forty outdoor Storybook sets, and 27 Talking Storybook Boxes where fairytales and fables come to life in English and Spanish with a Magic Key, a zoo with 16 gentle animals, whimsical gardens, and four child-size rides.

fairyland entrance with iconic shoe
There was an old woman who lived in a shoe welcoming children through the magical gates of Fairyland | Photo provided by Fairyland

Give the gift of Fairyland with membership and memorabilia. From now until Dec. 30, 2021, buy a membership and get an extra month — that’s 13 months for the price of 12 — no code required!

More Kid-Friendly Museums

We love these other family-friendly museums, zoos, and experiences in the Bay Area. Buy a membership that the family can enjoy all year. Huge appreciation to the grandparents that put these under the tree.

Fairy Winterland at Fairyland in the old timey ghost town
Child plays at Fairy Winterland + memberships on sale through December | Photo: Children’s Fairyland

Experiences Our {510} Team is Wishing For

We asked our team of contributing writers what they wish Santa would bring and here’s what they told us:

Harlem Globetrotters in Oakland 2019
Harlem Globetrotters tickets have become a family tradition

Experience Gift: Tickets to Teams and Shows

Support our East Bay favorite teams and troupes with forward-looking tickets to mark a special day!

Experience Gift: Activities & Classes

As we mentioned up above with museums, membership has its privileges. Choose a single special visit, sweet workshop, or regular pass.

510 Families 3
Quarry Park Adventures in Rocklin, CA (masks required)

Experience Gift: Travel around the Bay Area

Make a day into an experience by creating a special little day trip to make magical memories. Do you like the ocean, the mountains, the forests? We’ve got it all!

    • Climb & Swing. Try your skills at Quarry Park Adventures for rock climbing, rappelling, or ropes courses in Rocklin. See website for holiday deals >
    • See animals. A tour of Safari West to see African animals roaming free.
    • Edible Excursions walking, eating, and drinking tours of Oakland and Berkeley are tasty and lots of fun. Our {510} team has done three of them and totally recommends them. Also fun for visiting grandparents or big kids. View website >
    • Choose your own adventure. Take a Staycation that lets you sleep in your own bed tonight after playing all day.
    • Hit the snow. With or without skiing, a day in the snow is a joy for our fair-weather city kids.
    • Play tourist in the Bay Area with a trip to Alcatraz with your kids or an ebike tour.
    • See the stars. Pair a trip stargazing with children with hot cocoa in the car.

Vacation Inspiration: Driveable Family Getaways

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Blowing bubbles in Joshua Tree (visit Palm Springs in the same trip!) | Photo: Julia Gidwani

What’s better than the Best Day Ever? The best weekend trip, of course. Would your kiddos get excited to think about the next great vacation? I will tell you mine do NOT care but they love it once it is over. Here’s the inspiration for your calendar that can make a special experience gift.

Children's Fairyland sign
Children’s Fairyland sign with Zayn for scale | Photo: Anna Azimi

See our DEALS page for discounted experience gifts — virtual and safer outside.
See our HOLIDAY ACTIVITY GUIDE for ideas in December.


fairyland logo

Thanks again to Children’s Fairyland in Oakland for sponsoring today’s guide to local experience gifts. Now through December 31, receive 13 months for the price of 12.


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