15 Experience Gift Ideas for East Bay Families - 510 Families

15 Experience Gift Ideas for East Bay Families

We appreciate Children’s Fairyland for sponsoring today’s guide to thoughtful local experience gifts. Please note that Fairyland is closed from December 7 through January 4 but plans to be open delighting children and families again soon! Buy a Fairyland membership before Dec. 31, 2020, and get an extra month — that’s 13 months for the price of 12!

San Francisco Bay Area experience gifts can work for any age or budget. We usually love museum 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. But 2020 makes us get even more creative with outdoor and virtual experiences that delight and surprise us!

The gift of a shared experience is thoughtful while still functioning as a perfect last-minute and clutter-free gift solution. You’re so thoughtful!

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


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 fifteen gentle animals, whimsical gardens, and four child-size rides.

oakland fairyland
The entrance of Fairyland always looks welcoming | Photo: Jackie Salas

Give the gift of Fairyland with membership and memorabilia. From now until Dec. 31, 2020, buy a membership and get an extra month — that’s 13 months for the price of 12 — no code required!

More Kid-Friendly Museums

While many of these gems are closed right now, we are fully expecting them to come roaring back to life and we want to be there to support them. Buy a membership if you are able.

fairyland whale with little kid
Fairyland is magical for young children who love to explore | Photo: Ryann Wing via Instagram


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: 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!

Vacation inspiration: Driveable Family Getaways

What’s better than the Best Day Ever? A 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 inspiration for your calendar that can make a special experience gift.

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


Virtual Experience Gift: Online presents families will love

Some of our children cannot wait to get off the computer after a day of zooming, while still others are just begging to get back online for fun and games. My tween and teens love extra screen time. Here are a few of our legit favorites that can be a digital experience gift.

See our DEALS page for discounted experience gifts — virtual and safer outside.
See our HOLIDAY ACTIVITY GUIDE for ideas in December.
Check out the guide to Family Gift Ideas for a Pandemic Holiday Season


fairyland logo

Disclosure: This guide to clutter-free, local, experience gifts was sponsored by Children’s Fairyland in Oakland.


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