Five of Nashville’s Best Experience Gifts for Kids

Your house is full of games and legos and toys that are rarely played with.  Another kid’s birthday is coming up and OMG you don’t want any more stuff in your house.

Don’t underestimate the fun of an experience as a gift.  I fully get the ‘giver’ not loving this idea.  My Aunt, for example, is more of a traditional gift giver.  She wants to see someone open a toy or something they can play with right away.  However, she has since gotten on board with the idea, seeing how the kids just have too much already.

We make a point to send the gift-giver a photo and a “having fun…thanks for this gift” kind of message when the experience is redeemed, which is always a hit.  It has honestly been my boy’s favorite kind of gift over the last few years since we have started doing this.

Here are some of our favorite experiences to give and get in Nashville!

Sky High Jump – This trampoline park can get packed on a weekend day or night, but go during the week, during the day, and it’s pretty dead, which was awesome for us.  We used some vouchers during spring break and the kids didn’t have to wait for anything.  And there were no big kids to potentially knock them around, which can happen on the weekends, especially in the evenings.  They jumped to their heart’s content, which frankly was only for about two hours, which was perfect.  I took a book to finish, but next time I’m getting out there with them!   Note:  When the boys were younger, they loved going to Monkey Joe’s, but Big D is too big to go there now.  However, it’s great for the younger set!

A day out to The  Soda Parlor  – new to East Nashville (after a stint in Marathon Village), this place is more than just your regular old ice cream joint.  It has old fashioned soda floats (the Three Broomsticks with butterscotch soda and Freakin’ Foster with orange soda are our faves) and Waffle “Mondaes” (ice cream sundaes on top of a waffle – go for the Boy Scout!) that will leave you thinking about it for days afterward.  Chill and play a board game while you indulge or after you finish your treat, follow up with a flutter on free vintage games like Donkey Kong, Mrs. Pacman, Gauntlet, and Centipede.  Upstairs, if you are quick enough, you can claim a spot on one of the comfy leather couches to play on one of the two game consoles in front of the big TVs.  You can even leave with some cool merch as it’s a storefront for the owner, Olan Roger’s apparel line.

Climb Nashville – Nashville’s premier rock climbing gym! The first time my kids went to Climb Nashville, they stayed nearly all day.  You can get an all-day pass for $25.  Perfect for a gift!  They prefer going to the West location on Charlotte Avenue because it’s bigger.  However, there is also another location in East Nashville that would be perfect for the younger set or first timer who would prefer something smaller.  Follow it up with a trip to Jeni’s ice cream or Five Daughters Bakery (omg homemade gourmet donuts to die for).  Both are right next to Climb Nashville East making it a dream day out!

Game Galaxy Arcade – A hidden gem inside Rivergate Mall.   I’ve linked to their Facebook page as it’s updated most often.  Pay $10 for ALL DAY play of all sorts of vintage video games (Burger Time and Qbert ya’ll!!) and pinball machines.  My kids had never even played pinball until going to this place.  My Dad takes them and they play for hours….take a break to walk down to get an ice cream or some lunch at the food court…then head back down for more play.  Such a fun day out with Grandad!

McKAY’s (Used Books, CDs, DVDs and More!) – okay, not exactly an “experience” but an awesome gift for a kid who likes books, audiobooks, music, movies, games, and even legos (they have some minifigs and a “grab bag” lego table).  It really is an experience for my kids as we can be here for a while!  They love this place because they get so much bang for their buck.  So much better than a full price bookstore!  It’s a huge store, so take a coffee and wander around (if you have some of your own books/cds/dvds/games to trade, don’t forget to take it along to get some cash or store credit!)  And remember to check out the “free bins” outside the front of the store on your way out.  You never know what treasures might be in there.  Tip:  Take a list of titles/authors you are looking for when you go.  There is no way to look up what they have, you just have to look.

What about you?  Do you have any experiences that you love to give as gifts?  Or are you more of a traditional gift giver?

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