With another season of holiday gift giving on the way, many of us are on the lookout for ways to minimize the clutter (and the spending!) while maximizing the festive fun. Enter the family gift: an ingenious answer to the hit-or-miss gift exchange, with one great gift that the whole family can enjoy. Whether presented as a special gift from Santa, as a collaborative idea for families with older kids or as an easy one-and-done present for another family, these unique ideas — from trying a new sport to cool experiences — will keep on delivering family cheer all year long!
Try out some new moves
From pickleball to surfing, beat the winter slump and break a sweat with these sporty gifts to get the whole family active and moving.
Hit the court with the easy, family-friendly game of pickleball. You will love the adorably punny dill-pickle racquets included in Big Dill Pickleball Company’s superstar starter set ($85).
Hit the surf — no airfare to Hawaii required! Head to the FlowRider surf simulator at Snohomish Aquatic Center for some splashy fun. A FlowRider punch pass for 10 sessions costs $148.
Don’t feel like heading out? The whole family can make some moves without leaving their favorite screens with the interactive console game Nintendo Switch Sports ($40).
Give the gift of adventure
Nothing brings families together like an all-new experience, so wrap up some awesome adventures with an outing to one of these adrenaline-fueled spots in our area.
Let it all go and experience the hair-raising thrill of indoor skydiving inside the gravity-free tube at iFly Seattle in Tukwila (starting at $65).
Tackle the ropes and swoop down zip lines on Everett’s High Trek Adventures ropes course — or try ax throwing or laser tag for lower-stakes fun (starting at $50).
Work together to find your way out at Conundroom’s family-friendly escape rooms, which have fun themes, such as “School of Magic” and “Alice in Wonderland” (starting at $35).
Get in on a class act
For a gift that will truly keep on giving, learn a new skill or two together — and maybe gain a new hobby — with a fun, creative class that both parents and kiddos can take together.
Whip up some tasty treats as you pick up some new kitchen tricks with a parent-child cooking class at FrogLegs Cooking School ($150).
Discover the amazing craft of glass blowing and create your own masterpiece at Seattle Glassblowing Studio ($70–$400).
Say “cheese” to a family-focused lesson that introduces kids (and parents) to the art of photography at Seattle’s The Sprouting Image (prices vary).
Get your game on
Give a fresh twist to family game night with some new board games, or spruce up the game room. Either way, these playful presents will guarantee a good time on those long winter nights.
Who can resist a soft foam burrito with a face? Throw them, dodge them and enjoy the laughs that follow with the silly dodgeball card game Throw Throw Burrito ($25).
Give your game closet a big upgrade with a giant-size, fancy version of a classic favorite, Scrabble Giant Deluxe Edition ($160).
Turn the playroom, basement or garage into a gathering space your family won’t want to leave with a convertible 10-in-1 game table set that has something for everyone ($160).
If you can’t beat your video game lovers, join ’em! Work together to beat the clock in the fun collaborative cooking-themed game Overcooked! 2 ($25).
Think inside the box
Why limit the joy of unwrapping gifts to Christmas morning? Keep the surprises coming all year long with these neat subscription boxes filled with goodies for the entire household to enjoy.
Sample new delicious international snacks and treats from all over the globe with a Universal Yums subscription (starting at $15).
Don’t get “board” with “been there, done that” board games again! Keep your family’s board games collection constantly evolving with a new game delivered to your doorstep every month (or every four months) with an UnboxBoardom subscription (starting at $30).
Bring all hands on deck to put together Puzzle Culture’s unique jigsaw puzzles, which are based on artwork by independent artists; plus, find bonus surprise goodies inside (starting at $30).