Non-Toy Gifts that are Fun 4 Kids in Buffalo – 2018 Edition

Non toy gifts 2018
Princess Party Characters

During December, this post is sponsored by:

Goldfish Swim School Williamsville



Are you sick of picking up toys your kids barely play with?  Tired of reorganizing your toy area because it’s being over run with LOL Dolls, cars, dinosaurs or whatever your kid’s are obsessing over this season?

If your kids are like mine, they always want the “hot item” that’s on the cover of the Target gift guide or plastered across every commercial.  BUT, a few weeks after the holiday, that same MUST-HAVE gift ends up in a pile of clutter some where in my house.

The solution…ask for non-toy gifts this holiday season! Non-toy gifts are great because they usually last beyond the buzz of the holidays. Here’s a list of non-toy gifts that are Fun 4 Kids in Buffalo!  Feel free to share it with anyone who’s buying your child a gift this year.

Non-toy gifts 2018: 15+ ideas to make shopping easy.

Swim Lessons

Swim lessons are the perfect activity for the winter months.  We’ve got many great resources for swim lessons in Buffalo.  This year, Buffalo is welcoming a great new business to the community called Goldfish Swim School – Williamsville.  They will be opening in December and have gift certificates available.  Michael Phelps Swim School, the JCC, the YMCA and many Community Education programs offer swim classes as well so there are plenty of options to choose from.


If you are buying for a child that is in to a sport or activity, consider contributing to their lessons or getting them additional lessons to support their hobby.  For some sports, equipment is expensive (like hockey!) so a gift card to a hockey store or purchasing a piece of equipment is also great.


There are several places in and around Buffalo that offer different classes and lesson-like programming such as:
Rolly Pollies – RPWNY has 3 convenient locations and features programming for children up to age 12.
The Little Gym of Williamsville
The Cooking School at Tops
Hyatt’s – Art Lessons
Betty’s Music Together
Fashion LabNY
Yoga Classes – Yoga Parkside and Lizzie’s Little Yogis are two places that are popular.


We polled our readers on Facebook and asked them for ideas.  The list of membership ideas was impressive.  Here’s a link to the original Facebook post if you want to see for yourself, but in general, here were some of the most common places parents would like to receive memberships to:
The Buffalo Zoo
The Buffalo Museum of Science
Albright Knox Museum
The Strong Museum
Explore & More Children’s Museum

Gift Cards

Gift cards are great because they can used at any time throughout the year.  Consider gift cards to:
Barnes & Noble
Ice Cream
Movie Theater – Going to the movies can get really expensive, so a gift certificate to the movies makes a great non-toy gift parents can enjoy too!
Target – Think clothes, toys, school supplies!
Any of the attractions listed below.

Tickets to an Event, Theme Park or Attraction

Billy Beez
Bounce Magic
Get Air Buffalo
Just Fun Family Entertainment Center
Sky Zone Buffalo
Fantasy Island
Darien Lake
Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto
The Strong Museum of Play
Explore & More


The Theatre of Youth and Shea’s Performing Arts Center both have kid-friendly performances throughout the year.  The Key Bank Center often hosts Disney on Ice throughout the year too.  Check their sites for upcoming performances, but theater tickets are a great way to provide a child with a unique experience throughout the year.

Sporting Events

Think Sabres games, Bandits games, Bisons games etc.  We even have some great college teams to check out and don’t forget how close we are to Toronto!  If you have a little MLB fan in your life, the Toronto Blue Jays play all the big names just a short car ride away.

Indoor Water Parks

There are quite a few indoor water parks within a reasonable driving distance from Buffalo.  Visit our Business Directory for a list.

Subscription Boxes

Subscription boxes like Birchbox and Graze are still popular for adults and companies have started launching subscription boxes for kids too.  Subscription boxes allow kids to receive items in the mail each month.  Here is a list of subscription boxes for kids.

Craft Kits or a Camera

Craft kits or supplies were also a popular suggestion.  Lastly, one reader mentioned a digital camera which I thought might be a great idea for older kids.

Tourist for a Day

A great gift idea that kids could enjoy over the summer is visiting Niagara Falls and exploring some of the attractions there.  The Maid of the Mist, Cave of the Winds and even the Whirlpool Jet Boat could all be experiences that make for great gifts.  End the day with a stop at the Rainforest Cafe and you’ve given them a Tourist for a Day experience they’ll never forget.

A Piggy Bank or Bank Account

Starting a piggy bank or bank account is a great way to teach children about money and saving.  Plus you can gift them the first deposit to get them started.

Coupon Books

Kids love having choices, at least mine do anyway!  Consider creating a coupon book with things they can “cash in” like 15 minute later bed time, one on one day with Mom/Dad, extra screen time, have a friend over, etc.

Travel Items

If your family travels, even if it’s just overnight, consider getting the kids their own travel items like suitcases, a good tent, travel games, a sleeping bag, etc. These are items that could end up being part of their best childhood memories!

The best part about most of these suggestions is that buying passes or gift cards to the places suggested will help support local Buffalo businesses!

Book an Overnight Stay

If your kids are like mine, they like to stay in hotels.  They especially love hotels with an indoor pool or other unique amenities. Booking an overnight stay at a hotel is a great gift.  You can spend quality time and let the kids enjoy the pool.  Check Groupon for inexpensive options and the Palms Indoor Waterpark in Batavia can give you the best of both worlds…a hotel stay AND and an indoor water park to enjoy.

Did I miss anything? Let me know and I’ll we’ll include it next year.