Ten Gift Ideas for the Whole Family

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Often around the holidays, we are faced with buying gifts for families with multiple children. Trying to figure out what to get for each person, and fitting those individual gifts into your budget can be draining, both mentally and financially. One of the things we always suggest to friends and family when they ask what to buy, is that they put together a family present that everyone can enjoy. Here are some great “whole family” gifts that everyone is sure to love.

10 gift ideas for the whole family

10 Gift Ideas for the Whole Family

1. Movie passesAlmost all major movie theater companies offer gift certificates or cards that you can load with an amount of your choice.  You can also order them online in $25 and $50 denominations if there isn’t a theater near you (Regal and AMC gift cards are available on Amazon). Surprising a family with a gift card that will allow them to take their children to a movie and purchase some popcorn or candy is a gift solution that never disappoints. This works especially well for families with teens or children of varying ages, because everyone loves going to the movies! If that’s still too much for your budget, a movie gift basket is a great alternative. One or two DVDs, boxed candy and popcorn, and a bottle of soda makes for a fun night in, and they can watch the movies over and over in the future. (Psst…if you are a Costco member you can buy cheap tickets online and in store!)

Also, if you live near a Studio Movie Grill, Groupon frequently has a GREAT deal for movie tickets!


2. Museum, Aquarium or Zoo memberships

My children love to visit local museums, and we’ve received family passes as gifts in previous years that allowed us to go multiple times over the course of a year. Many museums have exhibits that change several times a year, so there is always something new to see each visit. Be sure to check and see if their local museum, aquarium, or zoo is part of a reciprocal program, such as ASTC, NARM, or AZA.  Reciprocal programs allow families to use their memberships for free admission to other participating museums, zoos and aquariums.  Another thing to consider with museums and aquariums is that they are inside, whereas zoos are not, so if they live in an area with extreme weather conditions, they may get more use from a membership that allows them to be indoors during their visits.

3. Video games

We have several gaming systems in our home, but they are specifically for use as a family.  If the family you are shopping for has an Xbox or Playstation system, buying them a game that they can play together is a wonderful gift. Just Dance and Mario Party are two of our favorites, as we can play together as a family, instead of just one or two kids zoning out in front of the television.  If the family you are purchasing for doesn’t have a gaming system, and it’s in your budget to purchase one for them, there are quite a few bundles available right now on Amazon that include the system, multiple controls, and often more than one game.


4. Board gamesBoard games can also be a lot fun, especially the ones that can be played by a wide range of ages.  Yahtzee is very popular in our house, even though the younger ones don’t really understand the concept, we team up and they have fun rolling the dice and writing down the scores.  Pictionary, Jenga, and Guesstures (like charades) are fun classic choices too. Of course, if you really want to knock it out of the park, you could go for some newer games that are SUPER popular right now, like Pie Face, Gas Out (eww, I know!) and Speak Out (aka the cheek retractor game). All of these games are simple enough for young children, yet still entertaining enough to keep the older ones involved.


5. Hotel weekend

Who doesn’t love staying the night in a nice hotel?  Find a hotel that is close to the family you are shopping for, and book them a room for the weekend.  Be sure to look for hotels that have free wifi, continental breakfast, and a pool that is open.  Some hotels even offer free happy hour appetizers in their restaurant, or a game room in the lobby.  You may not be able to buy them a vacation, but you can gift them a faux getaway, and that can still be loads of fun!  We have a hotel about 10 minutes away from us that we love to take the kids to for a treat.  They have an indoor pool, a lending library, a game room, a snack bar, free breakfast, and awesome happy hour deals.  It’s a ton of fun for them, and a nice break from the stresses of home for us.

These family gifts are sure to be enjoyed by everyone, and you don’t have to go broke buying them.  Still not sure?  Here’s another quick couple of suggestions below:

6. Outdoor games such as bocce, badminton, trampoline.  Check out these great outdoor toys for little ones!

7. Pizza/Date night Offer to take the kids out for pizza while the parents go on a date night.  Make sure to peruse Scoutmob and local Groupon deals for date night inspiration, and to try out new pizza places!

8. DVD set of classic movies (Disney is a great choice)

9. Family Fun Center pass (miniature golf, bowling, arcade, go karts)

(If all else fails, and you don’t think any of these would work for your situation, you can NEVER go wrong with #10)

10.  Amazon gift card

You can buy one last minute, you can send it via email, and they can choose whatever they want for themselves.  Clothes, games, toys, electronics, gift cards, you name it, Amazon has it.  Some people feel like gift cards can be impersonal, but I’d much rather get a gift card than some ugly sweater I’m never going to wear!

Have you ever received or given one large family gift?

What do you think about gift cards as presents?  Practical or tacky?

*This post includes affiliate links, and I earn a small commission from any items purchasedMaybe even enough to take my kids out for some family fun!*

Keep on saving!  :o)

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**


  1. Great Ideas!! I love board games.

    • I am a big board game fan. I picked up an old Risk game (fully intact!) from the thrift store and my kids can’t stop playing. Sometimes they fight, of course, but it’s great time for us to all be together!

  2. These are some great gift ideas. We too love board games in our home, I’ll take a few movie passes too. LOL

    • I think so many families underestimate how much fun board games can be. Cards are fun too, I’m watching my 7 year old teach my 4 year old Slap Jack as we speak!

  3. Games and entertainment gift cards are always a great gift idea for families!

  4. Denise G says:

    I love these gift ideas! Thanks for sharing – games are always a great way to connect the whole family!

  5. Love these ideas, such fun gifts! We love board games too, they are such an easy and wonderful way to spend quality family time!


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