This is the first weekend since probably September (maybe earlier) that we have not been on the go. JustaBXgirl and I both have a cold so I made the adult decision that we should stay put and get better instead of running around contaminating the City. As I sit home being a sick mom and organizing our toy shelves, wrapping Christmas gifts, finding space for all of the new books I realize that my child really does not need any more things. This is something I have known for a very long time but when trying to store the things I notice it more. Especially as I finish rolls of wrapping paper on things she will be getting this holiday season I am reminded that she is not the only child with the abundance of material things.
So this gift guide is dedicated to those littles and bigs that already have it all. Rather than getting them something else that they don’t need, plan to purchase something that will live beyond its use. Get the person that has it all an experience! Here is a list of experiences we have had that we think others will enjoy:
Zoo Membership: We have had a membership to The Bronx Zoo since JustaBXgirl was six months old. We go to the zoo a few times a month. JustaBXgirl loves all of the extra experiences we get to enjoy at the zoo like the Nature Trek, Bug Carousel, Butterfly Garden and so much more. Being members means we even have a private dining room to avoid the crowds!
Children’s Museum: It was a really tough decision for me not to renew our Children’s Museum membership this year. We LOVE The Children’s Museum of Manhattan and have been going there regularly since JustaBXgirl was about one. The only reason I didn’t renew this year is that I realized with JustaBXgirl being in school full time and us having events and extracurricular activities to attend on weekends we won’t get the most out of the membership. We still will be heading there whenever we get the chance, we will just have to pay admission.
Blue Man Group: The Blue Man Group performs in a number of cities around the country. We recently went as a gift for my niece’s thirteenth birthday. It was a fun show that the whole family enjoyed. We even got JustaBXgrandpa to come with us. The show is non-verbal but says so much. JustaBXgirl said her favorite part was the drumming. My niece loved the interactive parts. We all voted that the Twinkies part should have been JustaBXgrandpa’s favorite since he loves Twinkies and I spent the show hoping not to be called on stage!
LEGOLand: Discovery Center: This is such a fun place to spend a few hours letting the littles get their LEGO on. From the Ninjago dojo to LEGO Friends Karaoke and so much in between this place really has something for everyone. We recently attended for Star Wars Days since JustaBXgirl’s godmommy is a big fan. The scavenger hunt was so much fun. Currently, they are hosting Bricktacular a holiday celebration every weekend of December.
National Geographic Encounter: We visited the Ocean Odyssey exhibit and I think it was one of JustaBxgirl’s favorite things of the year. And trust me we’ve gone a lot of places this year. She wore a mermaid tale and we both felt as if we took a trip many leagues under the sea. Giant squids, great white sharks and, sea lions are just some of the creatures we ran into while there. If you know someone little or big that loves ocean life this is a gift that will earn you a lifetime of love.
Gulliver’s Gate: This wasn’t one of JustaBxgirl’s favorite places to visit but it was one of mine. We went on a playdate here recently and while the littles loved receiving a key that would unlock the magic of the world we were entering they were over the whole not being able to touch thing pretty quickly. Us moms, on the other hand, could have stayed all day and are already planning a return visit. Hint, hint: I wouldn’t mind finding tickets here in my stocking! I think it is best for the over 12 crowd. There are sites to keep littles attention like watching Santa and his reindeer fly, planes taking off, spinning carousels and so much more but if you want the chance to enjoy the minute details of this miniature city you will get a better chance if you leave them home.
Museum: Our favorite museum after the Children’s Museum is the American Museum of Natural History. Where else can you find dinosaurs, whales, bears, and mummies in one place? JustaBXgirl calls it the No-Touch Museum and then gets a kick out of how much she can actually touch. Introducing love of museums at a young age is a gift that will keep giving for years to come.
Children’s Theater – It is never too early to introduce the love of theater to littles. We recently attended Interstellar Cinderella at the NYC Children’s Theater and it was amazing. It was a 50-minute performance which is a good amount of time for littles not accustomed to sitting still. Even for our most energetic littles, the show would grab their attention with music and lyrics by none other than Laurie Berkner! We weren’t familiar with the book but are now huge fans. Sadly, its run is over but that just means there will be a new show for us to see if anyone is interested in gifting JustaBXgirl tickets
Disney Gift Cards: We go to Disney at least once a year. That adds up. I don’t like asking family and friends to contribute to this trip but since we normally go for JustaBXgirl’s birthday which happens to be a month after Christmas any money or gift cards she receives goes towards her having extra spending money for the trip. Disney Gift Cards would make us smile as I’m sure they would make others. Even if someone doesn’t have a trip planned they can use the cards at a Disney Store. I mean, who doesn’t love Disney?
And in honor of the holiday, I am here to help out with the gifts. Thanks to friends at some really cool places I will be giving away a family four pack to LEGOLAND Discovery Center for one winner and a family four pack to Gulliver’s Gate for another winner. Sorry guys for this one you have to be local to NYC (or planning on being here soon to use your tickets).