There might be several reasons why you might want to give your family experience gifts instead of physical objects — maybe you don’t have the space, maybe you would like to spend your free time doing something new together, maybe you’re tired of stepping on tiny plastic doll shoes and blocks. Whatever your reason, we can help you make a great wishlist of local experiences to give your children or do suggest to relatives and friends who want ideas for holiday gifting!

Our first category is museums.

A museum can be a great place to spend quality time learning and playing with your family and can be a great place to escape from the weather, too. Having a membership at a favorite museum can make it easy to drop in anytime and not worry if a meltdown means leaving ten minutes after you arrive or if one week you visit ten times and the next week none. Although Fayetteville has some great free museums, there are several here and within an easy drive that are well worth buying memberships for or suggesting as a gift.

Fascinate U Children’s Museum (116 Green Street, Fayetteville): Our local children’s museum includes a toddler room, emergency vehicles to drive, a TV station, a dressup stage, grocery store, doctor’s office and more.

Marbles Kids Museum (201 E Hargett St, Raleigh): Marbles features a giant sandbox, a workshop area with real tools, a jumbo LEGO room, farm, grocery store and emergency vehicle play areas, an art studio, water play, a pirate ship, a garden, IMAX theatre and more.

Kidzu Children’s Museum (201 S. Estes Drive, Chapel Hill): At Kidzu, create projects in the Makery, perform in the Forest Theatre or explore farm, treehouse and building exhibits.

Greensboro’s Children’s Museum (220 N. Church St, Greensboro): Explore the outdoor climbing structure, water play, train, campground, restaurant, post office exhibits, drive emergency vehicles and more.

Greensboro Science Center (4301 Lawndale Dr, Greensboro): Visit the zoo and aquarium and explore weather, farm, garden and ocean exhibits.

Children’s Museum of Alamance County (217 S Main St, Graham, NC): Explore exhibits on construction, health, science and art, including a 360-degree glass room to paint, a café and several climbing structures.

NC Transportation Museum (1 Samuel Spencer Dr, Spencer, NC): View antique trains, cars and airplanes and take a train or turntable ride.

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