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The holidays are here and if your gift list is longer than Santa’s, we’re here to help. The 2017 LLC Gift Guide will help you find the best gifts for everyone on your list leaving you time to spare and enjoy the season, or to stress about the in-laws coming (just kidding)! Today we’re looking at family gift ideas that everyone will love.
Family Gift Ideas
As an aspiring minimalist with four children, I love family gifts. Not only do they mean less stuff, but they also encourage family togetherness, which is really the best gift of all. Here are some of our ideas for gifts that the whole family will love; please share your ideas with us in the comments!
My kids love conducting experiments and these little magic trees are a fun way for whole family to do an experiment together! It’s fun to watch the tree grow — without watering it — and kids love to check it and report on the progress. I purchased a Christmas Tree one from Books-a-Million (Gurnee Mills) that we will be starting while they impatiently wait for our real tree to go up.
Want more smart science gifts? Check out Steve Spangler’s Top 12 Holiday Gift Guide!
I Spy Puzzles
Puzzles are a great multi-generational gift and activity. Several brands make “do-together” puzzles that include larger pieces for little hands and small pieces for big hands that all interconnect to make one large puzzle. Our favorite brands are Ravensburger Puzzles and Melissa and Doug Jigsaw Puzzles because they both stand the test of time (and many sticky fingers).
Puzzle books are also great family fun. We personally love the two series by Walter Wick — I Spy and Can you See What I See?, which also come in holiday editions, making it fun and new every year when we bring it out. Other great puzzle book options for all ages are Spot 7 and Look Alikes.
The Book was Better
We’ll have a whole gift guide on the best book for everyone on your list, but when it comes to families, not one single book will do. A great hardcover book set — particularly of classics — is a great family gift that will not only serve them now but will also double as a family heirloom. Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble both carry reprints of classics in individuals and sets that have beautiful covers and would dress up any shelf. Book collections of yours or a family favorite book will be a gift everyone will cherish for years to come, and always think of you when reading.
Bake it Better
There is no such thing as too many cookbooks or measuring cups, like those adorable Matryoshka Dry Measuring Cups which are space saving, too! Treat the families in your life to some fresh recipes in the new year with a new cookbook and something cute to go with it. For example a Pizza Cookbook with a new pizza pan or stone and a fun pizza cutter wrapped up in a pizza box.
Make-it-local and shop an independent bookstore.
We are a Nintendo family and my kids are petitioning hard for the Nintendo Switch. My oldest and I went to a launch event and fell in love with it. If you have a “hard to shop for techie family” this is a great way to bring everyone to the screen so to speak with interactive games that everyone will enjoy. Gaming is still limited on this system but more and more games are coming. Find it in stock at GameStop at Gurnee Mills.
More of a tabletop gaming family? Check out our favorite games from last year.
The museum membership our family was gifted was one of the best gifts we ever got. It not only gave us time together at one of our favorite places, but it helped us be intentional about going more than once to get the most out of the membership. Being uniquely situated between Chicago and Milwaukee means we have twice the options for memberships from art and dinosaurs to zoos, aquariums and science — whatever the family likes, you can find something within a reasonable drive.
Tip: Watch Groupon for specials on membership, we got a great deal to a Chicago Museum membership (over 50% off) one year!
Another great idea are pool memberships. Many park districts and aquatic centers offer special holiday and year-end deals to secure members for the following summer. Give a family you love the gift of summer fun with out the hassle or worry! Want something they can open now? Toss some fun beach towels and a bottle of sunscreen in a tote bag with an insulated snack bag.
Play it again Sam
Plays, concerts, and other performances are great gifts to give to families who probably wouldn’t buy them for themselves. Whether it’s a special holiday performance of a favorite play, a trip to The Nutcracker or tickets to a movie, these gifts are always appreciated and even more fun if you can join the family on the outing!
Not a theater person? Why not give a movie night at home? Fill a popcorn bowl with some gourmet popcorn, movie theater candy and a movie gift card. If you want to make it bigger, add a puzzle or game that’s the same theme as the movie, or perhaps the book.
Is there a musical family on your list? How about a karaoke machine and a color changing speaker? Alli’s currently crushing on PopSolo Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone that she saw locally at Brainstorm. Just don’t make this the gift if you don’t want to be singing along on Christmas Eve!
What some more family gift ideas? Head over to the Gurnee Mills Instagram account today as Little Lake County take’s over and shares even more ideas!
Disclosure: some links provided in this story are affiliate links. Little Lake County will earn a portion of sales made through these links – thank you for clicking!
Gurnee Mills is a paid advertising partner of Little Lake County.