Give the Gift of Experiences

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Think outside the box and get your birthday child (and maybe Dad too -- hint, hint) something to build memories on.

Once the candles are blown out, and the birthday cake is gone it is time for the towering mountain of presents to be opened. Make your present stand out from the rest by thinking outside the box: Give the gift of an experience! Our experience gift guide has something for everyone, and is sure to make your next gift-giving effort a big hit!

ANIMAL LOVERS

ZOO BUCKS STARTING AT $25

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

3400 Vine St., Cincinnati

513-281-4700 cincinnatizoo.org

Your favorite little zookeeper can spend their bucks on anything at the Zoo including admission tickets, train rides, camps, Zoo Troop classes and animal experiences. They can even enjoy a year’s worth of Zoo visits if they use their bucks towards a membership. Whatever they choose to spend their bucks on, they will surely have a roaring good time.

 

ASPIRING ARTISTS

STUDIO CLASSES — $20 MEMBERS, $40 GENERAL PUBLIC

Cincinnati Art Museum

953 Eden Park, Cincinnati

513-721-2787 cincinnatiartmuseum.org

If you know a pint-sized Picasso or mini-Michelangelo, they would love Studio Classes at the Cincinnati Art Museum’s Rosenthal Education Center. Aspiring artists 6 and older (accompanied by an adult) convene for four Thursday night classes to perfect their drawing, painting or sculpting skills. This gift is a masterpiece in the making.

 

BROADWAY ENTHUSIASTS

THEATER GIFT CERTIFICATES

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati

4015 Red Bank Road, Cincinnati

513-569-8080 thechildrenstheatre.com

A gift certificate for classes at The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is sure to receive a standing ovation from your birthday star; they will certainly remember to thank you for always believing in them during their Oscar or Grammy acceptance speeches. Summer, fall and winter sessions are available for a variety of ages in dance, drama, vocal music and technical theatre.

 

OUTDOOR EXPLORERS

FAMILY MEMBERSHIPS — $84

Cincinnati Nature Center

4949 Tealtown Road, Milford

513-831-1711 cincynature.org

With more than 16 miles of hiking trails, the Cincinnati Nature Center is the perfect destination for outdoor explorers. The Schott Nature PlayScape encourages children to interact with nature by splashing, climbing, digging and using their imagination through creative play. Getting to know the great outdoors happens to be a great gift.

 

OVERNIGHT ADVENTURERS

WATERPARK GIFT CARDS

Great Wolf Lodge (pictured above)

2501 Great Wolf Drive, Mason

513-234-5872 greatwolf.com

Night owls will have a hoot at Great Wolf Lodge. Gift cards are accepted everywhere at the lodge, and can be used to book a room or even to purchase one of their new fort building kits. The award-winning waterpark, attractions like MagiQuest, and free daily activities like nightly story time will make them wish every night was an overnight at Great Wolf.

 

PLAYFUL KIDS

PUNCH PLAY PASSES — $24 – $99

Recreations Outlet

3-punch play pass $24

6-punch play pass $48

annual pass $99

885 OH-28, Milford

513-831-7383 recreationsoutlet.com

Turning one year older is a good reason to bounce with joy. There are tons of opportunities to bounce on trampolines, shoot hoops, reach for the sky on swing sets and explore play sets. If you want to buy the birthday child a play set for the backyard, this is the place to go — you can try it before you buy.

 

SCIENTISTS

MUSEUM GIFT CERTIFICATES

Cincinnati Museum Center

1301 Western Ave., Cincinnati

513-287-7000 cincymuseum.org

It would be safe to hypothesize that any budding scientist would love to spend time at Cincinnati Museum Center. The Duke Energy Children’s Museum is open once again, and the History and Natural History Museums open this November, so there are lots of discoveries to be made. Gift certificates can be used for general admission tickets, programming like overnights, summer camps or towards a whole year of fun with a membership. You don’t have to be Einstein to conclude that this experience gift is genius.

 

SPORTS FANS

KIDS CLUB MEMBERSHIPS — $25

FC Cincinnati

shopfccincinnati.com

Who does your fan root for? Lots of local teams have kids club memberships with great perks! The FC Cincinnati Kids Club includes a membership certificate and lanyard, cinch bag, T-shirt, one admission ticket, and opportunities for meet and greets and other events. This gift will definitely have your sports fan cheering.

 

THRILL SEEKERS

GOLD SEASON PASSES — $132

Kings Island

6300 Kings Island Drive, Kings Mills

513-754-5700 visitkingsisland.com

A Kings Island gold season pass is the perfect gift for the thrill seeking birthday child. Their summer can be spent flipping upside down on Vortex, zooming down hills on Mystic Timbers, and free falling from 26 stories on Drop Tower. They can also cool off at Soak City this summer, have a screaming good time at Halloween Haunt this fall, and enjoy twinkling lights, sled riding and hot cocoa at WinterFest. Have them clear the calendar, because there’s a lot to do during all of the seasons with a Kings Island gold season pass.

 

FOR A LITTLE VARIETY

GIFT CARD TO DO IT ALL

Newport on the Levee

1 Levee Way, Newport, KY

859-538-3359 newportonthelevee.com

There is SO much to experience at Newport on the Levee. A gift card can be used at any Levee establishment including:

Dart Rush

$12 an hour, $22 for 2 hours

Blaster rental $2 – $12

859-203-5370 • dartrush.com

The birthday child will have an absolute blast while playing fun, competitive games! They can bring their own NERF type blaster, or rent one on site.

Gameworks

859-581-7529 • gameworks.com

Playing great games, and winning cool prizes is a great way to celebrate a birthday.

Newport Aquarium

General Admission:

$24.99 adult, $17.99 ages 2 – 12

Annual Pass:

$48.99 adult, $34.99 ages 2 – 12

Call for behind the scenes animal

experience prices and times

1-800-406-3474

newportaquarium.com

With Shark Bridge, Stingray Hideaway, and the new Ring of Fire: World of the Octopus exhibit, there is an ocean’s worth of fun to be had at the aquarium. Make any visit extra special by adding on a Penguin Encounter or Backstage Animal Experience.

 

3 UNIQUE FINDS

Looking to gift Dad a unique present this Father’s Day? Check out these three experience gifts he will go gaga over!

  1. Book a FREE Distillery Tour with complimentary tasting at SECOND SIGHT SPIRITS (301B Elm St., Ludlow; 702-510-6075 or secondsightspirits.com), and make Dad’s visit even more mystifying with a gift certificate for spirits like moonshine, rum, and vodka.

 

  1. Fore! Give dad the gift of golf with a gift certificate to TOPGOLF (9568 Water Front Drive, West Chester; 513-342-6249 or topgolf.com). Whether he gets individual lessons, takes a group lesson, or plays a game in one of the bays, TopGolf will be remembered as one of Dad’s top gifts!

 

  1. An All-Stars Family Membership to the CINCINNATI REDS HALL OF FAME (100 Joe Nuxhall Way; 513-765-7920 or cincinnati.reds.mlb.com) is a home-run gift for the baseball-loving dad. A one-year membership includes two passes to tour GABP, four view level tickets to a 2018 game, and unlimited admission to the Reds Baseball HOF for two adults, and two children.

Amanda Ciani lives in Northern Kentucky with her husband and their three terrific sons. She enjoys writing haiku parenting poems for her Instagram account (@cinciciani), and Twitter account (@haikuciani).

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