For years, you’ve purchased gifts that have enriched your children’s lives, from educational games to toys that develop large and small motor skills, to equipment for activities to must-have clothing. This holiday, as your child grows older, you’re stumped. Besides gift cards, what is there to buy?
New Canaan Pediatrics is here to recommend holiday presents that will enhance your children’s lives in their teen and young adult years, perhaps in a completely new direction. With these gifts, you show your child you admire their maturity, their growing independence and their interests, no matter how divergent from yours.
When your adolescent or teen has shown an interest in science, art or nature, consider a membership to the Connecticut Science Center, Mystic Aquarium or the Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens. Or, think beyond museums and consider a membership to Ambler Farm, a sports training facility, or a trampoline or jump zone, where your child can move robustly even during the cold months. BONUS – because you can purchase a family package, you’re also getting yourself the gift of time with your children.
You can also purchase classes or workshops at these local museums, or you can expand horizons by giving your child classes at a local art center like Silvermine, where they can refine their skills in drawing, painting, jewelry, sculpting and more. If your child is more physically minded, they will enjoy martial arts, dance or swim lessons. When your child loves to perform, consider acting or singing lessons. Nearly every teen will love cooking classes, which also benefits you when they use their new skills to make dinner!
The only thing more fun than seeing a play is seeing the backstage! But that type of adventure doesn’t have to stop at a theater. Fascia’s Chocolates will let you go behind the scenes, as will Avery’s Beverages and Cornwall Bridge Pottery Store & Workshop. If your family is traveling in the near future, you can see how baseball bats are made in Louisville or discover the magic of Hershey’s. If you have a favorite local bakery or business, they may be delighted to show you their inner workings if you ask.
Teens will love an escape room experience, especially if you include a ticket for a friend or two in the purchase. Give them an opportunity to do something completely new, perhaps a hot air balloon ride, rock climbing or zip lining. When shared with friends and family, these unplugged moments will create laughter and sharing – and teenaged delight, even if they aren’t willing to admit it.
The holiday season is the perfect time for outings! There are opportunities at Powerhouse Theatre Performing Arts Center, CM Performing Arts Center and many more. Visit Goldstar for tickets – either discounted and often free – to sporting events, concerts, and much more.
We don’t mean “pro and con,” but Con as in ComicCon. What really excites your child? Consider a full weekend away at the Con of their choice, like BroadwayCon, WonderCon or one of the dozens of AnimeCons across the country. There’s even an amazing fan event right here in Connecticut, ConnectiCon, that celebrates all things pop culture, with cosplay, gaming, celebrities and workshops.
Giving our growing children something besides gift cards for the holidays demonstrates that adults are engaged with their interests and are still thoughtful about what excites them. Here at New Canaan Pediatrics, we hope that this list helps parents and grandparents, or gives you a jumping off point to brainstorm your own marvelous, personalized ideas, this holiday season.