55 Non-Toy Gift Ideas

Whether you’re struggling to come up with a unique gift for that hard-to-shop-for person on your list, you’re just done with buying something for the sake of buying something, or you’re over purchasing more useless stuff for your people, we’re back with an updated list of Outside of the Box Gift Ideas. Though the days to Christmas are certainly dwindling, these gift ideas aren’t exclusive to the holidays, they’re great birthday gift ideas as well!

A Unique Approach:

You could also take a page out of one grandmother’s notebook. In 2017 she gave “the gift of family time,” as shared in a recent CafeMom blog. The Adventure Box she created for her two grandsons contained 12 envelopes – one for each month of the year – and inside each envelope, a note and tickets for an activity. The activity might involve grandma and the kids, the kids and their parents, or the kids and aunts and uncles. The boys got to open an envelope at the beginning of each month, outlining that month's planned activity, with grandma taking pictures along the way, culminating in a scrapbook she created for them this year. It’s an exceptional way to go about creating memories!

(There are things on this list that are specific to the Billings area, so please adapt according to your location!)

Season Passes:

  1. Zoos/Aquariums/Outdoor Adventures (ZooMontana, Montana Audubon Center)
  2. Waterparks (Billings Parks & Rec, The Oasis Water Park, The Reef Indoor Waterpark)
  3. Museums (Wise Wonders Children’s Museum, Yellowstone Art Museum, Museum of the Rockies)
  4. Skiing (Red Lodge Mountain, Big Sky Resort)
  5. National Parks (Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park / 4th Graders: Take a Hike with Every Kid in a Park)
  6. The Art of Play (Season/Multi or One-time Passes)

Activities/One-time Passes:

  1. Ice Skating (Centennial Ice Arena)
  2. Roller Skating (Skate World)
  3. Movies
  4. Concert
  5. Theatre performance (Alberta Bair Theater, Billings Studio Theatre, NOVA Center for the Performing Arts)
  6. Bowling
  7. Baseball Game/Other Sports Event (Billings Mustangs)
  8. Laser Tag
  9. Miniature Golf (Geyser Park)
  10. Pottery-Painting-Creating (Candi’s Art ‘n’ Party Studio, The Front Porch-Laurel, A Crooked Line…)
  11. Daytime Playtime (Magic City Gymnastics in Rimrock Mall)
  12. Chuck E. Cheese (you could even purchase the tokens in advance)
  13. Paintball
  14. Trampoline Park (Get Air Billings)


  1. Indoor Baseball/Softball/Golf Skill Development (Strike Zone Batting Cages, Triple Play Academy - Individual & Family Memberships, The Swing Lab – cage rentals, punch cards, baseball and/or golf lessons)
  2. Gymnastics (Billings Gymnastics School, Magic City Gymnastics)
  3. Swimming
  4. Music/Musical Instrument
  5. Art Class
  6. Horseback Riding Lessons
  7. Archery
  8. Dance Classes
  9. Knitting/Craft Lessons
  10. Theatre Classes
  11. Karate/Martial Arts Classes
  12. Summer Camps (look for SFM’s Camp Guide in April!)

Special Treats:

  1. Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt (Spinners, BBY, The Yogurt Shop-Laurel)
  2. Favorite Restaurant
  3. Coffee Shop Gift Card
  4. Candy Town USA
  5. Mani/Pedi


  1. Montana Whitewater Rafting
  2. Gas / Food Gift Cards
  3. Gym Membership (Granite Health & Fitness, Billings YMCA…)
  4. Escape Rooms (The Grand Escape Room, Billings Escape Room)
  5. Yoga Class
  6. Spa Day
  7. Weekend/Overnight Getaway

Non-Toy Shelf-Fillers, Imagination Builders, & More:

  1. Books (or Barnes & Noble gift cards are always a hit)
  2. Camera (FujiFilm Instax, Mini Polaroids are fun/popular options)
  3. Board Games/Card Games/Video Games
  4. Photo Blankets
  5. Art Supplies
  6. Magazine Subscriptions
  7. Science Kits
  8. Bicycle/Scooter/Skates
  9. LEGOS/K’NEX/Lincoln Logs (Yes, these could technically be considered a toy, but oh the imagination needed to play!)
  10. Memory Book/Photo Album
  11. Bedroom/Bedding Makeover