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That Hatchimal on their Christmas list gone out of stock?  Tired of kids with their eyeballs glued to a video game?  Or (in our case), does your toddler actually play with the box more than the toy inside?  Consider giving the gift of shared experiences this year!  –Not only shared experiences, but a gift the whole family can use year ’round.  I’m talking about the gift of memberships:  wether it be season passes to a local amusement park or an annual family admission package to their local zoo; memberships are a unique way to ensure you give the gift that keeps on giving.  Here are a couple GREAT options local to Austin:

  1.  Thinkery:  thinkery-2Austin’s official children’s museum is a wealth of opportunity for fun & learning for families with kids of all ages & stages.  They put on a slew of summer camps, reserve a “Baby Bloomers” morning just for the littlest crawlers, host a number of special events throughout the year, etc.  As my “Community Placement” with Junior League of Austin, I volunteered there a couple years ago to help with summer camps and kinda feel in love with the place.  Their exhibits are rooted in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) education — it’s almost as if you can see the little cogs spinning in their minds as they interact & play.  The Family Membership is $99/year and grants general admission for a family of four at each visit BUT there are a number of pricing options to suit each family’s needs, including monthly giving.thinkery-1
  2. Toybrary:  A library is to books as Toybrary is to toys. –Super-cool concept, right!?  Toybrary is a toy-lending library and kids’ birthday party venue that also offers drop-in childcare.  Parents and children can stay & play and then check-out their favorite pieces to take home for awhile.  toybrary-1Here’s the dollar-by-dollar breakdown:  the average family in the U.S. spends $740 a year on toys if they have one child, and $1,200 a year on toys if they have two children. (PRWeb.com)  With Toybrary memberships at $40 per month & a year’s membership adding up to $420, the savings most families see is over $300 per year!  If you go once a week, and check out 3 toys each time, the kids get to use 12 toys per month.  But don’t forget, families can visit and exchange toys as often as they like.Toybrary 2.jpg