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Guide to Non-Toy Gift Giving in Northern Colorado

At the end of last Christmas season, my husband and I started to become very overwhelmed with the amount of stuff that was coming into our house. It wasn’t just the new Christmas presents (which was a lot of it) but both my parents and my husband’s parents returned all of our childhood belongings to us when they downsized. Stuff everywhere

When the new year hit, an amazing thing happened to me, and then to us: Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix. I know there are a lot of mixed feelings out there about Marie but she was exactly what we needed to help us deal with our stuff. 

We’ve been working on and off for 10 months by getting rid of the things that no longer spark joy. We still have a lot of work to do (the paper category is just too much for me to handle) but we’ve also made a TON of progress; progress that we don’t want to undo with a new holiday season.

Guide to Non-Toy Gift Giving in Colorado

This year, we have decided to scale way back on the toys that our children will receive and are asking relatives to do the same. They have SO many toys and they don’t care about most of them. I caught them fighting over a paper towel tube the other day. Why…why do we buy them toys?

As they get older, we have noticed how much they remember and talk about the experiences that they have. My son can talk your ear off about every single animal he saw at the Denver Zoo but can’t remember more than a handful of things he got for Christmas last year. 

So, if you’re like us and have chronic toy fatigue, here are a few ideas for gifts that will create wonderful family memories in our great state of Colorado and not clutter up your house (or at least not as much)! 

Museum memberships/day passes are so much fun since displays and exhibits are always changing. Plus, it’s guaranteed entertainment on bad-weather days. 

Since Northern Colorado doesn’t have its own zoo, a membership may not make the most sense unless you’re heading south quite a bit. However, day passes to some of Colorado’s favorite animal locations could make for a memorable day trip.

Again, not a lot of options in Northern Colorado, but there is tons of fun to be had within a 1-2 hour driving distance. 

With this option, your kid will still end up bringing home a physical item but they also get an experience that goes along with it, so maybe it’s less likely the item will end up in the back of the closet??

Our family has never personally done subscription boxes but we have friends who get a monthly Kiwi Co box and bring it over for a playdate with our kids. They all love it…that is until my 5-year-old starts getting highly competitive in the games against the 2-year-olds and we have to end box time. BUT I bet your family will have fun with subscription boxes! 

My kids get a Shutterfly book from their Nana every Christmas with pictures of her with the kids from that year. My kids love them and I love them because I take comfort knowing that even though their own mother never got it together to make them photo books, my kids will at least have some childhood memories thanks to the Nana books. Sites like Shutterfly have also started doing personalized storybooks. 

The options for one-day activities are endless in Northern Colorado (and less cost-prohibitive than season passes!) 

  • Movie tickets
  • Bowling
  • Mini-golf 
  • Ice skating
  • Roller skating
  • Trampoline/bounce parks
  • Indoor/Outdoor Pools 
  • Nail salon 
  • Sporting events
  • Concerts
  • Theater productions
  • Check out our Guide to Indoor Fun for other ideas for one-day activities

What have been some of your favorite non-toy gifts that you have given or been given to your child? 

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