Pressed for Presents? – Dayton Parent Magazine

Lauren Lawson - Indy

How many kids actually remember the “must have” toy they got last year? Think outside the proverbial (gift) box this holiday season and place a more memorable present underneath the tree. Try giving the gift of a novel experience, lessons to learn something new or a memorable activity to share. Here are nine ideas that will have the children on your shopping list appreciating your special gift all year long.

Run Around Fun Town Play Passes

Bring outdoor fun inside this season by purchasing a Play Pass to Run Around Fun Town, a new indoor family entertainment center in Dayton. Kids can run, jump and play throughout this child-sized town with attractions that include inflatables, tubes, tunnels and more. A full service café with pizza for the kids and Wi-Fi for mom and dad makes this gift a list topper. Play passes are available in multi-packs for up to 30% off at

Book a Five River MetroParks Camping Trip

Dreaming of a camping trip this spring? After the winter thaw, look forward to a fun family vacation right in Dayton’s great outdoors. Book a campsite at one of the many Five River MetroParks locations and soak up nature together. Tent it, rent it or rough it at camp areas that include Carriage Hill, Englewood, Taylorsville and Eagle Creek. Start planning today at

Music Lessons at Bella Musica Dayton

A gift that keeps on giving, music lessons make quite the present for kids who love a tune. A variety of instrument lessons are offered as well as voice lessons. Pair this gift with tickets to the Dayton Philharmonic and make music come to life in a very special way. Hit a high note and find out more, visit

Kettering Ice Arena Passes

Make the most of winter time this year with season passes to the Kettering Ice Arena, open late August through April. For those interested in hockey, figure skating or leisure skating, this pass is the triple lutz of gifts. Families can spend time making rounds at open skate, or take advantage of lessons to help sharpen those skating skills. Warm up afterwards with a snack and a hot chocolate at the Kettering Ice Arena Concession Stand! Skate on over to to learn more.

Art Lessons at Decoy Art Studio

Family art lessons make a terrific present for kids who love taking creativity into their own hands – literally! Decoy Art Studio offers workshops for children, as well as family day classes on Sundays. Students utilize a variety of materials and work with teachers to create beautiful art. For dates and times, check out

Climbing Membership at Urban Krag Climbing 

For the climber in the family, a membership to the indoor rock climbing facility Urban Krag is an epic stocking stuffer! With 8,000 square feet of sculpted vertical terrain, as well as an inclined bouldering wall, visitors are bound to have a rocky good time. Individual and family memberships are available for purchase. Classes also make for a fantastic gift for novice climbers too. Don’t be-lay, sign up at

Family Yoga at Indigo Yoga

Give the gift of Namaste and enjoy a little family yoga time with lessons at Indigo Yoga. Designed for parents and children, classes utilize age-appropriate poses, breathing exercises and relaxation techniques. Open to all children ages 3-10, yoga is a healthy way to spend quality time together as a family. Register for classes at

The Dayton Art Institute

For the child who loves art, a membership to the Dayton Art Institute is a terrific present to use throughout the year. Families of all ages will enjoy the museum’s interactive art gallery with hands-on stations and activities. Parents and kids alike will also love touring the museum’s art collections and exhibits too. Don’t forget to grab a delicious lunch at Leo Bistro! Members enjoy free admission and invitations to members-only events as well. Find out more at

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

Explore the world of science and gift an out-of-this world membership to the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. With so many exciting attractions, families can experience science firsthand with exhibits that include the Discovery Zoo and Space Theatre. Members enjoy free unlimited admission to all four Dayton Society of Natural History sites, as well as free Planetarium shows at the Boonshoft Museum’s Dome. Learn more at

Skip the crowded shopping centers and sweat-inducing cyber sales to wrap up a different kind of gift this year. Live in the present this holiday season (no pun intended) and give a memory that will last all year. Happy Holidays!


Lauren Lawson is a freelance writer passionate about all things parent-related. A transplant from Buffalo, New York, she now happily resides in the Cincinnati area with her husband and two young boys.

Watch for more of Lauren’s work in upcoming issues of Indy’s Child Parenting, Cincinnati Parent and Dayton Parent Magazines.

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