When I was expecting my first baby, a family friend gave my mom some “first time Nana” advice to prepare her for being a grandmother. Give gifts that keep giving.
Her friend was encouraging my mom away from filling our house with toys that will be played with once and forgotten (because what child doesn’t end up with ALL the toys?!) Thankfully she took this advice.
On our daughter’s first birthday, we made our way to the Denver Zoo. There, my parents bought us the Family Plus Membership, which allowed our entire family to go to the zoo that day to celebrate the monuments occasion. We knew that with a one-year-old, exploring the entire zoo in one day is technically doable, it’s just not fun. Cue the gifts that keep giving. We could come back another day, and another, and another – and we did! Now we regularly visit the Zoo and don’t feel compelled to turn every visit into a marathon.
One of the best things about the memberships and passes is when we’re able to take friends with us – many memberships come with a few guest passes so you can share the fun! There’s nothing quite like having time to talk with other mamas in kid friendly settings, where you don’t have to worry about cleaning your house beforehand! Since I’m pretty much the definition of type-A, being able to be social without the stress is downright fantastic.
I know what you’re thinking, a yearly pass costs more than a typical gift. Well, ask for the memberships to be a group gift from multiple family members! Or perhaps skip buying presents for your kids and invest in a local membership for your kids, yourself. I am willing to put myself out there and say you won’t regret it. Do you live in a small town with “nothing to do?” Ask grandparents to give the gift of a class like dance, football, art, swim lessons, anything experiential that your kids would enjoy.
My top reason for loving gifts that keep giving: They allow us to spend quality time and make memories with our kids.
Below is a list of ideas for some of the Denver area locations that offer a memberships/yearly pass options:
- Aurora and Quincy Reservoirs
- Butterfly Pavilion
- Children’s Museum
- Colorado Railroad Museum
- Denver Art Museum
- Denver Aquarium
- Denver Botanic Gardens York and Chatfield locations
- Denver Museum of Nature and Science
- Denver Zoo
- Dinosaur Ridge
- Elitch Gardens
- Outdoor pool passes for the summer, several locations
- Splash Water Park, Golden
- State Park Passes
- Water World
- Wild Life Experience, Parker
- Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum
- Wow! Children’s Museum in Lafayette
- The Little Gym
- Local recreation center yearly passes
- Swim Lessons