The Ultimate #NJMOM Experience Gift Guide


Time to think outside the box this holiday: Instead of buying another Lego, video game or LOL doll, make memories that last a lifetime (and don’t end up in the giveaway pile) by gifting an experience. Whether it’s tickets to a coveted show, a ride aboard a pirate ship or memberships to a year of family fun, your kids will be thrilled to go on these unforgettable adventures and appreciate the memories for years to come. 

featured image via @diharnirao

It’s always showtime at Mayo Performing Arts Center
At Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, you can watch your gift become a memory. From magicians to musicals to storybooks come-to-life, MPAC’s family events calendar has something for everyone. The theater offers family-friendly events year-round as well as sensory-friendly performances for select shows designed to create a supportive, welcoming experience for all children. Looking for something for the grown-ups? Enjoy a date night or mom’s night out at one of our upcoming concerts, comedy shows, or musicals. Check out the full schedule, or purchase tickets on their website at

Relax the day away at the Island Spa & Sauna 
Treat your loved one with a relaxing getaway– for the entire month of December, all Island Spa & Sauna gift cards are 10% off in-store and online. Additionally, gift cards of $300 and over will come with a FREE admission pass valid any day of the week (Weekday reg. $35, weekend reg. $40)! Gift cards can be used towards any purchase at the spa, from admission to food to services. And for the perfect family outing, Island Spa & Sauna will be hosting Family Days on Dec. 24-25th and Dec. 31-Jan.1 to ring in 2020!

Get some animal QT with a Turtle Back Zoo Membership
If your kiddos are obsessed with any or every kind of animal, a year-long family membership (unlimited visits for a family of 2 adults and up to 4 kids) is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Between giraffe encounters, lion sightings and underwater touch tanks, and the train and carousel—there’s no shortage of fun-filled family time. But the real deal is all the extras you get with a membership: With it, you can meet zookeepers and watch feedings, take in after-hours, get 15% discounts at the cafe and gift shop, and have reciprocal privileges at over 110 zoos and aquariums across the country (which means discounted admission and perks at those too).

Kick start the World Cup season with a Red Bulls Holiday Pack
Got soccer fans? All ages will want to get in on the world-class action at the Red Bulls Stadium in Harrison, NJ. While tickets to any game are always a good option, the ultimate fan will be bowled over with the Holiday Pack, which is good for 3 games: A ticket to the MLS home opener, one to the NY Derby and another to the USL home opener. Plus, with every pack purchase, you’ll score a Red Bulls hat and scarf for your favorite fan to wear at the stadium or around town.

via @jerseyshorepirates

Have a swashbuckling trip aboard the Pirate Ship Adventure
Ahoy mateys—your kids can live out all their Captain Jack Sparrow fantasies aboard this authentic pirate ship for an hour-long adventure that sets sail out of Brick Marina. Before boarding, kids will have a ball dressing in pirate paraphernalia, having their faces painted and getting pirate-themed tattoos. Once on the ship, they’ll be a part of an interactive treasure hunt that ends with a treasure chest being hoisted up from the bottom of the high seas. They’ll leave with plenty of loot and a lifetime of memories. Plan for the summer and get on board with a gift certificate special, offering 15% off for the holiday season.

Make a farm day last all four seasons with an Alstede Annual Pass
Who doesn’t love spending a day out on the farm? From the springtime family festival to summer pick-your-own to sunflower mazes and fall hayrides—there’s tons to do no matter what the season at Alstede Farms in Chester. Littles and bigs will savor a membership pass to Alstede that offers admission and activities throughout the year, including nighttime harvest rides, evergreen mazes in winter, and plenty of fruit and veggie picking. Oh, and not to leave out the adults, did we mention there’s wine tastings too?

Get your game faces on at a Theme Day with the New Jersey Devils
Making a game day a family affair is even better when you can plan it around one of the many theme days at the Rock. Gift your entire clan a Family Pack of tickets for themes like Kids Day and Video Game Night, which includes discounts and concession vouchers. This experience will be a memory maker the kiddos will be talking about for years to come: They’ll have a blast watching the live hockey action, be mesmerized by the Jumbotron postings and giggle at the NJ Devil mascot running up and down the aisles.

Turn a Friday night into an epic event at the Extreme LSC Experience
Skip buying another tech accessory and give your kiddo and a pal tickets to this ah-mazing and awesome nighttime experience: On the fourth Friday night of every month, the museum turns into a mind-blowing playground, with laser tag, slime-making, a massive ball pit and rockin’ laser shows. Besides this extra dose of fun, the entire museum is open too, with its famous touch tunnel, infinity climber and other special exhibits. Kids will have a blast making memories—and snapping selfies—that will last longer than any electronic.


About Author

Lisa Cohen Lee is a freelance writer, editor, and mom to a tween-age boy based in Summit, NJ. Her work has appeared in print and online, including Glamour, Self, Woman’s Day, O The Oprah Magazine, NY Post, NJ Monthly,,, and Brit + Co, among others. A Garden State native, Lisa is always on the lookout for new local adventures and events to entertain her son and husband. Most days, you can find her chauffeuring her son around town and trolling the coolest coffee houses for #NJMOM fuel.