10 Birthday Gifts for 5 Year Olds That Will Make Them Smile

Kids Birthday Party

When you think back on your childhood, what sticks out most? Chances are, it has something to do with an exciting family experience. Maybe you went to Mexico with your family, or went bowling every Friday night! Big or small - “experience gifts” like these inspire your little ones to try new things, and form core memories that will last them a lifetime.

Who knows- on a trip out of the country, they could discover a love of a foreign language. Or on a visit to the zoo, a desire to learn about animals! Before you know it- you have a French-speaking zoo-enthusiast on your hands!

As inspiring as this is, it may be hard for children to initially process receiving an experience present. To make an experience present feel like a concrete gift that your child can unwrap and understand - try packaging up hints about the experience in fun ways! For concert tickets, you could print out a picture of their favorite artist and write the concert details on the back. For a trip to Disney, you could gift them a pair of ears to wear on the trip. Details like these help your child understand that even though they do not currently have the present, they have an exciting experience to look forward to later on!

Our Learning Team’s Top Picks for Experience Gifts

Family Game Night

family game night

A game night is the perfect way to create new family memories! Bundle a bunch of games into a big basket alongside your child’s favorite snacks, drinks, and perhaps a cozy accessory or two. If you have multiple kids at different ages, include games that are age- appropriate for each kiddo. Here are some of our family favorites for all ages  - Guess in 10 Junior, Guess in 10, Who Knows You Best, Scout it Out. This combination is perfect for a night of laughs, triumphs, and friendly family competition!

Zoo Tickets or Membership

Kids at the zoo with Giraffe

The perfect experience gift for animal lovers! Your little ones can see the animals, talk to the zookeepers, and learn about how to take care of animals. If they end up loving the experience - you could get a membership and make it a weekly or monthly family tradition!

Music Class

Music is one of the best ways to foster your child’s creative interests. If they love jazz, sign them up for a jazz piano class! Or if they’ve never played music before, sign them for a beginner class where they can learn all the options out there. They will love the experience of getting to learn a new skill, meet new people, and who knows- maybe it will spark interest in a lifelong passion!

Batting Cages or Indoor Sport

If you have a kiddo who loves sports - a ticket to batting cages or an indoor sport experience is a homerun! Whether it’s ice skating, badminton, soccer- you name it, they are sure to have a good time. It’s also an excellent way for your child to burn some of their pent-up winter energy - which is a huge win for tired parents!

Movie Tickets - Play or Live Action like ‘Disney on Ice,’ ‘Paw Patrol,’ etc.

If theatrics, rather than sports, are more your kid’s jam - a ticket for a night out on the town is the perfect choice! You could get them tickets to a movie they’ve been dying to see- Barbie and Oppenheimer are two classics out right now. Or if you would like to opt for a more unique experience - tickets to a play or live action show such as Disney on Ice! Bundle the tickets up with their favorite snacks, or perhaps an accessory for them to wear on the occasion, and you are all set for a night of family fun!

A Night Away

To take the night-out theme in a different direction, plan a staycation at a local hotel! Pitch it to them like you will be tourists for a night- take them out for dinner at a fun restaurant, get some dessert, and enjoy all the amenities of the hotel lifestyle! Kids will love this -a hotel is a fantastic way to make an ordinary night feel super special!

Sports Tickets

A classic gift for any sport-loving kid! For a true fan, tickets to see your favorite team play are pretty much as thrilling as it gets. If your kid is a fan of your city’s baseball team, surprise them with baseball tickets and a baseball hat for the occasion! And if you have a super fan and are looking to scale it up a notch, you could always gift them a season pass!

Gift Certificate to Local Ceramics Painting Shop

A gift certificate to paint ceramics at a local shop is the perfect gift for a crafty kid! They pick out the ceramic, paint whatever their heart desires, and keep their creation as a souvenir. And you get to spend quality time with them and see all the amazing things they create- it’s a win-win! You could always package this up together with some of our favorite arts and crafts including Foil Fun and Fun With Foam so they can get to crafting right away.

A Kid’s Camera

If your experience gift is all planned and ready, and you are looking for one tangible item to tie the present together- a kid’s camera is the perfect choice. They can capture their memories from all of the adventures you take them on. And one day, just as you are doing now, they can reminisce on all of their fun experiences with family! 

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