30 Experiences Around Austin to Gift for the Holidays | There are so many people in your life who would love to be gifted an experience instead of a physical object — your kids’ grandparents who just want to spend more time with them, your spouse who already buys everything they want or need, your child who has too many toys to possibly play with them all, your minimalist sister or friend who prefers to keep the clutter at bay.
RELATED READING :: Guide to Holiday Events in Austin
Whether you buy an annual membership, a pass for a certain number of visits, or just make your own certificate as a promise to take them out for a day in 2022, these 30 places in the Austin area will put a smile on their faces!
For the Animal Lover
Buy a membership ($120 for four people) to go to this rescue zoo in Southwest Austin anytime you want for the next year, or purchase an encounter with a capybara ($40 per person) or Galapagos tortoise ($25 per person) for a private, up-close and personal experience.
Crowe’s Nest Farm in Manor, east of Austin, has over 250 animals, both farm animals and rescued wildlife. There aren’t any memberships available, but you can promise your kid (or their grandparents) a fun day for $4 to $8 a person.
An annual pass to this farm in Georgetown costs $60 per person. With that, you get unlimited access to the farm, including its big fall and Christmas events. You can pick your own fruit, pet and feed animals, and play on all kinds of slides, bounce pads, zip lines and more.
A great option on rainy or hot summer days, the Austin Aquarium is all indoors and is home to thousands of animal species. An annual pass is $42.95 per person (for 3 or more people) or you could gift an encounter with a lemur, kinkajou, sloth or more!
Indoor Play Spaces
Looking for an indoor play space that will satisfy new walkers all the way to late elementary? Indigo Play has unique areas for different ages, with monthly passes for $65 per kid.
This adorable indoor play town is so sweet! It has nine custom playhouses for the kids and a lounge area with coffee for the parents! This would be a great gift for a someone who needs to fit in work while taking care of their kids. Memberships start at $69 a month.
A full-service restaurant and open play space, Almost Grown is fun for kids and grown-ups. Memberships include classes and open play sessions and start at $55 a month.
Little Land has play equipment designed by pediatric therapists, so it helps kids develop fine and gross motor skills, as well as other milestones. There are classes, pediatric therapy sessions and open play reservations, and gift cards are available.
For the Nature Lover
This membership will pay off for Fortlandia alone! The Wildflower Center is a beautiful place to spend a spring or fall day, and there’s lots of space for kids to run and play. Family memberships are $85 a year.
Right by downtown, Zilker Botanical Garden is easily accessible and provides a bit of calm against the backdrop of the city. Family memberships cost $80 a year.
A Thinkery membership (starting at $75 for two people) is a no-brainer for kids and family gifts! A kid can go here from toddlerhood to middle school and learn something new every time. Bonus: It’s by fun parks and restaurants, so you can make a day of it.
This “living museum” lets you experience historic 1800s Texas. A family membership for a year is $100. It also offers classes like couples blacksmithing, clogging, and basket weaving. There are classes for tons of interests, so this would make a unique present for your teenager or significant other.
For the Active Person
Austin Bouldering Project lets even beginners learn the sport of bouldering with lots of climbing walls to choose from and a squishy floor underneath it all. There are even plenty of kid-friendly walls and play structures. Buy a 10-pass punch card for $150 plus tax for adults or $125 plus tax for youth.
Curling (yes, that Winter Olympics sport) has come to Austin. Gift your spouse or child (or yourself!) a 2-hour learn-to-curl class for $35. Spend the first 40 minutes learning the basics and the rest of the time curling with your friends.
If your loved one enjoys spending all summer at the lake, the multi-entry passes for Emma Long Park or Walter E. Long Park will pay off once the hot weather hits. Get 20 entries for the year for $75.
For anyone who loves the outdoors and Texas travel, the Texas State Parks Pass is the perfect gift idea! Get unlimited entry to 89 state parks and discounts on camping for $70.
For the Dinosaur Expert
Hands down the coolest attraction in the Austin area for any kid who is obsessed with dinosaurs. There are tons of giant dinosaur statues, a dino dig and a gift shop where they’ll try to convince you to buy more dinosaur toys. $30 per person for a year membership.
No memberships available at this museum, but it’s a great place on UT campus to see dinosaur bones. Plan a visit for your budding scientist. $7 for adults, $5 for kids.
For the Sports Lover
One of the most fun fandoms to be a part of right now is Los Verdes, the diehard fans of Austin FC. Purchase single-game tickets or get on the wait list for season tickets for the 2022 season!
If you’ve got a University of Texas fan or a kid that’s really into a certain sport, tickets to a UT game (whatever sport they’re into!) would make a great gift. There’s nothing more exciting than watching a college sport live!
We may not have an NBA team in Austin, but we do have the Austin Spurs, an NBA G League team. And minor league games can be so much more fun — less expensive, less crowded and you might get to know players before they move up to the big leagues! Choose full-season tickets, half-season tickets or a passport where you choose which games and seats you want!
Another minor league team, Round Rock Express tickets are great for any baseball lover, and more manageable than a major league game if you’re bringing little ones to their first baseball experiences! You can buy full or mini season passes or — better yet — Express Kids Club memberships for kids under 12!
For the Art Appreciator
If your loved one’s idea of a perfect day is strolling around a quiet garden looking at art, a membership to the Umlauf, right in the middle of the city, is ideal. $60 for an individual and $180 for a family.
Going to the theater is a thrill for kids and adults alike. If you know someone who loves musicals, buy tickets to their favorite show in town or even get them a subscription for next season — tickets to six shows!
The Blanton Museum of Art has a great permanent collection, as well as a slate of thought-provoking exhibitions each year. Gift a family membership for $80.
For the Mermaids
If you and your loved one feel exhilarated after a dip in the cold Barton Springs water, a season pass would help ensure you get out there often. Kids’ passes start at $65 and adults’ resident passes start at $190.
This gift has a huge wow factor! Kalahari Resort in Round Rock has a huge indoor water park and would make for a fantastic day out or even a whole weekend staycation (the water park is included in your stay)! All-Day Water Park Passes start at $100, or you can buy a combo pass for the water park and Tom Foolery’s Adventure Park for about $140.
Buy a gift certificate to Blue Starlite to choose from all the different fun movies they show around town each year. It’s the perfect outing for a date night or for a kid too young to sit still at a movie theater!
Take your kid or spouse for a day of video games, laser tag and pinball and one of the 3 Austin area locations of Pinballz.
Does your kid have endless energy? Unlimited visits to the trampoline park are just the right present! Memberships start at $6.99 per month.