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From Netflix to Denver Zoo memberships, here are 9 gifts that aren't toys

Here are some ideas If you're looking for an alternative to toys this holiday season. From Netflix to Hulu and Amazon subscriptions or memberships to the Denver Zoo and the Children's Museum of Denver, or monthly mail there are lots of options for gifts that aren't toys.

DENVER — If you're anything like me, you probably already have a basement full of toys for your young children. My boys are only 3 and 15 months and we've somehow already acquired more toys than they could possibly use.

Many of them were gifts or hand-me-downs from friends or family members. With Christmas approaching, the last thing I want to do is fill our house with a ton of new toys. I've compiled some gift ideas for children that aren't toys.

1. Reading subscriptions

Sure if you buy physical books you'll need a place to store those, but you can get subscriptions too. My children were just given a one-year subscription to Reading IQ. There are thousands of books to choose from, all organized by age groups and reading levels. It's accessible from Tablets, desktop computer, and phones. It's geared toward children 12 and under and you can have to three children on one account. At $4.99 a month, it's relatively inexpensive.

2. Highlights Magazine

I didn't realize until recently that Highlights magazine still existed, but it does and it's great for younger children. My son was given a subscription for Christmas last year. He's three and loves getting stuff in the mail. Every month when that magazine arrives, he is thrilled. He loves reading the simple stories ( with help) and searching for the items on the Hidden Pictures pages. They also have three different magazines for different ages groups. The traditional Highlights magazine is recommended for 6 to 12-year-olds, but there are other versions for younger children.

3. Denver Zoo or Children's Museum Memberships ( or the zoo in your area)

A family membership gets two named adults and their children or grandchildren into the zoo for a full year. It costs $130. If you shell out $30 more, then you can bring one additional guest along during each visit. There are some other perks which include discounts on food and merchandise. Two free tickets for the train and carousel are also included.

Regular daily admission is $15 for those 12 to 64 and $10 for kids between 3 and 11. Just one visit for a family of four would cost $50, so you don't have to go all that often for the membership to be worth it.

Special events, such as Zoo Lights are not included, however, members do get a discount on tickets.

Membership for the Children's Museum of Denver is similarly priced at $140 for two adults and their children in the same household. It can save you lots over the year. Daily admission is $14 for ages two to 59 and $12 for children age 1. One trip for a family of four ( ages 2 and older) would cost $56.

4. Clothes

Sure it may not sound like the most exciting thing, but maybe there's a specific item your child has been wanting for months. Why not get it now? Or maybe there's an item they want that just never goes on sale, chances are you can find a discount now, even if it's a small one.

5. Tickets to a show or game

Paw Patrol Live is coming to Denver the weekend after Christmas, and I'll probably be buying my kids tickets. Of course, that only appeals to children of a certain age, but there are all kinds of shows and events to choose from. Find your kids' favorite band or show and get them tickets. Or maybe get them tickets to a sporting event. It also spreads out the excitement beyond Christmas morning.

You might not think these things going on sale, but they do, so you can save on tickets now for events coming up in the future.

6. Entertainment subscriptions

There are so many options when it comes to entertainment these days. You'll want to make sure they don't already have one, but why not gift a subscription to Netflix. Sure you don't want kids to be sitting in front of the television all the time, but a movie every once in a while won't hurt, and hey you'll benefit too! If they're more interested in music try a subscription to Spotify or Amazon Music.

A lot of these sites are offering deals now too. For example, you can score several months for free or pay just 99 cents for the first few months of your subscription.

7. Spangler Science Club subscription

Want to get your child interested in science? Sign them up for Spangler Science Club. For $14.99 a month you'll get one STEM experience each month.

The Spangler Science Club features highly interactive experiments and hands-on activities created by Steve Spangler, who regularly appears on 9NEWS. His easy to follow lessons serve as an introduction to more in-depth experiments and challenges that push the learner’s creativity to the next level.

Each box is filled with Steve Spangler’s unique blend of experiences that inspire wonder, boost creativity, enhance problem-solving skills and make learning fun.

8. Something personalized

There are all kinds of things you can personalize. You can get bathrobes towels or even backpacks personalized with your child's name.

If your child likes to read or perhaps you'd like them to get more interested, you can try a personalized book. Wonderbly has a bunch of fun holiday-themed books you can personalize or even books where they can search for themselves, similar to Where's Waldo.

9. Classes or lessons

Maybe your child is interested in crafts, why not invest in a class for them? Try kids cooking class if they like helping out in the kitchen Are sports more their thing, sign them up for a league and see how they do. There are plenty of options, just pay attention to what your child's interests are.

Have another gift idea that's not a toy or another family related story idea? Let me know at janet.oravetz@9news.com

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