This story was produced by #ThisIsTucson for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra's Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II show: create a family memory — pick up tickets today. Thanks for supporting the local organizations that support us!

If your kid's room is so full of stuff it's starting to look like a toy store threw up in there, consider giving gifts that aren't things this year. Or at least not toys.

Don't get us wrong, toys are great. But let's face it. Most of them end up in the toy box after a week or two, never to be picked up again. 

Gifts like music lessons or mommy-son dates create treasured memories and skills they'll hang onto forever. Museum memberships or subscription boxes give them something to look forward to all year.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. One-on-one outings

What's better than one-on-one time with mom or dad? Not much in our book. Plan a day doing something fun together. Here are three ideas:

Make a fairy garden


Catherine Day of Green Things Nursery put this miniature garden together during a class.

Green Things, located at 3235 E. Allen Road, offers a variety of workshops you could take your child to, including one that shows you how to make a fairy garden. You'll spend quality time together and get to take an adorable fairy garden home to take care of. Click here for event dates. Most workshops are free except for the cost of supplies. 

Play miniature golf or go on bumper boats


Diego Garcia 8, is locked in a rowdy water fight on the bumper boats at the first Putt-ing Kids First Mini-Golf Tournament and Family Fun Night at Golf N Stuff.

Golf N' Stuff, located at 6503 E. Tanque Verde Road, has two beautiful courses to play some putt putt. There's also an arcade, bumper boats, laser tags, go-karts and batting cages. 

Golf is $9.75 per person. Click here for more details. 



Kathy Bhatt and her son, Kyle Bhatt, 19, concentrate on lining up both parts of their painting at Creative Juice on May 26, 2016. The mother and son thought painting together would be a good way to spend time together and bond.

Creative Juice, 6530 E. Tanque Verde Road, will walk you through painting your own masterpiece. The studio has a few kid and family classes planned during the holiday season for $25 per person. 

The cost includes supplies and instruction. 

Click here for information and a class schedule. 

2. Subscription box


Each box comes with information about a historical woman, activity book and supplies needed to do activities based on the woman's achievements. 

There's a Tucson-based monthly subscription box called Girls Can! Crate that inspires girls to do and be anything by introducing them to amazing historic women. It comes with an activity book with a real woman's story, plus games, experiments and more, creative play props and STEAM activities (with supplies) that relate to the featured woman's life. 

Monthly subscriptions start at $25.95. The ordering window is from the 15th of one month to the 15th of the next. 

Kiwi Crate is perfect for kids ages 2 to 16 who like to make stuff. Every month they'll receive all the supplies and instructions to finish two to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) activities based on a theme. Plus, they send a magazine for early readers. Subscriptions are $19.95 per month. Click here for more info.

3. Adopt a cat or dog


Due to overcrowding, Pima Animal Care Center is offering a weekend adoption special.

If your child is old enough for some responsibility and your family is ready, adopt a furry friend. There are so many pets that need families that you'd not only be giving your child the best gift ever, you'd be doing a good deed. 

Here are 3 places to do that:

4. Memberships

Does your child love the zoo or the children's museum? Maybe she's into science or art. Tucson has a handful of great places where you can buy a membership that would make a great gift. Here are 3 ideas to get you started.


Gaige Rose, 4, hangs on to a weighted wheel, part of a new exhibit at the museum.

The $100 Family Fun membership is good for two named adults and four named children for unlimited entry into one location for a year. Dual memberships good for both locations are available for an additional fee. 

Click here for more info.

The Reid Park Zoo is located at 3400 E. Zoo Court and has hundreds of animals in naturalistic exhibits, making it a great gift for any animal lover. 

An $80 family membership gives unlimited entry to the zoo for two named adults and up to four children under the age of 18 for a year. 

Click here for info.

Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium, 1601 E. University Blvd., is perfect for your science-loving kid. It has hands-on exhibits, a huge collection of minerals, rotating exhibits and laser shows. 

A family membership can be purchased for $105 and includes unlimited entry into the Science Center exhibit halls and Mineral Museum during regular hours, $3 admission to Planetarium/Laser shows for two adults and up to four children ages 17 and under. 

Click here for more details.


Phoenix Graykeenan, 8, on a field trip with his third-grade class from Fulton Elementary School in Chandler.

5. Sign up for classes

Has your son always wanted to learn how to paint? Or maybe your daughter wants to play guitar. Sign them up for classes. They'll be excited to try the thing they've always wanted to and their confidence will soar as they perfect their craft. 


The Drawing Studio is seeking art submissions for its annual fundraiser show, Small Wonders.

The Drawing Studio, 2760 N. Tucson Blvd., offers youth classes for kids ages 9 and up. Prices depend on what class you take. Click here to learn more. 

Tucson Parks and Recreation offers a variety of classes in arts, sports and fitness, cooking, music and more all around town. And they're reasonably priced, making it a great way to test the waters in new subjects. 

Click here for details.

Schoolhouse of Rock offers kids' music lessons on a variety of instruments. Weekly lessons are priced as follows: 30 minute weekly lessons are $97.50 per month; 45 minute weekly lessons are $130 per month and one hour weekly lessons are $195 per month. There's also a bi-weekly option and scholarships available.

Click here for details

Flor de Liz Dance offers ballet classes to kids starting at age 4. Tuition is $162 for an 18 week session. Classes are once a week. 

Click here for details.

6. Sign up for team sports

If your son or daughter has been itching to make new friends and learn a sport, sign them up for soccer, baseball, cheerleading or any other team sports they'd be interested in.

USA Youth Sports is a sports league for kids ages 3-13 and offers soccer, basketball, baseball and flag football. Register for the winter season by Jan. 4. Click here for info.

Monsoon All Star Cheer at Old Pueblo Gymnastics Academy is a competitive team sport for children ages 4-18. There are full-year competitive teams as well as half-year prep teams. Click here to learn more about it.

National Youth Sports offers baseball, basketball, cheerleading, flag football, soccer and volleyball for kids ages 3-15. Sign ups are happening this month for the winter season. Click here for info.

7. Update their look

You know how you feel when you get a new do? Kids feel that way, too. If they've been wanting to try a new style or color or maybe even get their ears pierced, get it done as a gift. They'll love being pampered.

Milas Haircuts and Salon, located at 5655 E. River Road, does kids haircuts, colors, hair feathers and colored hair extensions. Call 299-1830 for an appointment. Prices are determined upon consultation.

Gadabout does kids' hair too with prices starting at $25. There are several locations to choose from. Click here to find the one closest to you. 

DIY - Pick up some color for less than $10 at the nearest Sally Beauty supply and color it yourself. Employees at Sally's are great at helping you out and giving suggestions. Click here for a map of locations.

Claire's, located at Tucson, Park Place and Foothills Malls offers free ear piercing with the purchase of an $18.99 starter kit. Click here for info.

8. Event tickets


Driver Rod Wood, a Tucson native, powers the McGruff monster truck over a jump during the speed and skill time trial at Monster Jam.

Concert, theater, UA sports, monster trucks or Disney on Ice tickets would make a great gift and give the kids memories to last a lifetime. 

Check the Tucson Convention Center website for upcoming events here

Tucson Symphony Orchestra has a family series of shows. Click here for dates.

Monster Jam is happening March 2 - 4 and features famous trucks such as Grave Digger, Alien Invasion and more. Click here for ticket info.

Click here for University of Arizona sports tickets. 

9. Magazine subscription

Kazoo is a new quarterly magazine for girls ages 5-10 that was created to celebrate girls for being strong, smart, fierce and true to themselves. Stories are either created by or inspired by women doing great things from Olympic athletes to astronauts. A subscription costs $50. Click here for more info.

National Geographic Kids Magazine is perfect for kids ages 6 and up. It's chock full of info about scientific discoveries, animals, technology, pop culture and our planet. A subscription costs $15 for one year. Click here for more info.

10. Make coupons

You can be creative with this one. Design and create coupons that you know the kids will enjoy. Some examples are "Get out of Chores Free," "Dessert Before Dinner", "Extra Screen Time" or "Have a Sleepover."

Here's a link to some ideas on Pinterest. 

Take your family to see Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II

Celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with the world’s most “Wascally Wabbit” when Bugs Bunny hops over to the Tucson Symphony. Classic Looney Tunes favorites like "The Rabbit of Seville" and "What’s Opera, Doc?" are projected on the big screen, paired with their original scores by the master composers performed by the TSO — just as everyone knows them! Plus scores of new additions since Bugs’ last sold-out TSO performance. Get tickets now.

LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s17)

When: Saturday, Nov. 25, 4 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 26, 2 p.m.

Tickets: Kids under 18 start at $15; adult tickets start at $30

Celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with the world’s most “Wascally Wabbit” when Bugs Bunny hops over to the Tucson Symphony. Classic L…

Angela Pittenger | This Is Tucson