The Gift of Gulf Coast Experiences

Gulf coast experiences guide

Exploring our beautiful Gulf Coast while creating meaningful, lasting memories with your loved ones is the BEST gift! We, too, have been inspired to gift experiences after reading “Christmas of Experiences: We Aren’t Giving Our Son Things” post.

Think outside the (toy) box this holiday season! Give a gift they will remember!  Below are some mom-approved recommendations for gifting the perfect Gulf Coast experience!


Photo credit: Coastal Picnic & Co.

Coastal Picnic & Co. can set-up a fun picnic for the kids or adults or both! Gift the perfect picnic!

Get outside and get active at Zip’N Fun Adventure Park in Gulfport! They even have a junior adventure course perfect for kids under 60 inches. This is a fun gift for all ages or for the entire family!


Photo credit: Eco-Tours of South Mississippi

Contact Eco-Tours of South Mississippi to book a 2, 4 or 8 hour swamp and marsh boat tour on the Pascagoula River. Kayak trips to barrier islands also offered.

McCoy’s River and Marsh Tours leave from the Pascagoula River Audubon Center in Moss Point. The tour, on average, last two hours and travels through the old growth swamps and tidal marshes of the river. Gift tip: An alligator ornament that will remind them of the experience for years to come.

Head over to Bay St. Louis and rent paddle boards or kayaks from Bodega Adventure Rentals. They also have golf carts and bicycles! The tween boys and girls love this experience!

Photo credit: The Kroc Center

This winter weather doesn’t have to keep your little ones from swimming. Check out the indoor Aquatics Center at the Kroc Center in Biloxi. Gift tip: New swimsuit and pool toys (and most are probably on clearance). 

Have you ever wanted to go shrimping? Learn everything you ever wanted to know about catching, cooking, and eating this delicious southern delicacy on the Biloxi Shrimping Trip excursion!

There is no better way to enjoy the beautiful waters and scenery of historic Biloxi Bay than on a true old-fashioned paddle wheel boat. Whether young or old, the Betsy Ann Riverboat tour is sure to be a great experience.

For those interested in knowing what sailing is about, take a 1-day introductory course!  North Star Sailing Charters is sure to provide a great experience taught by an American Sailing Association instructor.

Gulf Islands Waterpark offers season passes as low as $49.99. Who’s ready to relax in the lazy river while the kids enjoy the slides?


Child painting
Photo credit: Friends of the Mary C.

From art exploration to cooking classes, the Friends of Art, Culture and Education (FACE) offer a plethora of activities and personalized classes.

Whether your child is a just starting out or already a seasoned player wanting to further their musical ability, Mississippi Music in Biloxi has you covered. Offering lessons for a variety of instruments with the best instructors around so your little one will be playing like the pros in no time! Gift tip: Musical instrument… yes, drums too!

Wood & Wine Design Co. in Ocean Springs is the premier DIY studio offering hands-on workshops to create charming, personal home decor from raw materials. They offer workshops for any ages. Gift tip: Take the kids early and make ornaments for the grands.

Members of Lynn Meadows Discovery Center receive very special benefits throughout the year, like free museum admission, invitations to exclusive events and great discounts. Plus, you receive the added bonus of knowing that you’re supporting the arts and education in our community. Memberships start at $55 (admits one adult and one child for 1 year). 


Private screenings at movie theaterGive the gift of movies from The Grand Theatre in D’Iberville! Purchase a gift card and get a coupon for FREE nachos for every $25. Private screenings for families and friends are also available.

Enjoy a movie at the Biloxi Premiere LUX Ciné & Pizza Pub. This movie theater would impress any kid or adult! With recliners, pizza bar and free refills, this is sure to be a great movie experience.


Fishing camp
Photo credit: USM Gulf Coast Research Lab

Marine educators provide students with a rich educational experience wrapped up in lots of fun, games and hands-on activities at the Sea Camps hosted by the Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs. Activities include live animal encounters with coastal wildlife and opportunities to fish and crab.  Gift tip: A fishing pole to foster a new hobby.

Camp Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis provides recreational and learning activities such as sailing, water-skiing and fishing.


Racing family
Photo credit: Finishline Performance Karting

Finishline Performance Karting is a state-of-the-art outdoor Go-Kart racing complex offering the ultimate experience for both kids and adults. Karts can race from 35 – 50+ mph. This is a great gift for the big kid (ahem, husband), too.


Fun at Big Play Entertainment Center
Photo credit: Big Play Entertainment Center

Arcade, bowling, laser maze, two 18-hole mini golf courses, bumper cars and go-karts!  Your little one is sure have a blast at Big Play Family Fun Center in Biloxi!

Jump, jump, jump to your heart’s content at Altitude Trampoline Park in Gulfport.  They also offer toddler time on Tuesday and Friday from 11 AM – 1 PM

Cypress Lanes in D’Iberville provides state-of-the-art bowling lanes for your family to enjoy. They are a one-stop entertainment hub with an arcade area as well.


Child at Mississippi Aquarium
Mississippi Aquarium/Facebook

The Mississippi Aquarium is truly an aquatic wonder! Get the most out of your visit to Mississippi Aquarium and become a member today! They also provide a winter camp!

Give the gift of a sloth encounter from Wild Acres in McHenry. Encounters start at $50.

Has your little one ever wanted to feed a dolphin or kiss a sea lion? Then book one of these fun encounters at the Ocean Adventures Marine Park at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport! This is a hidden gem! The dolphin show is a favorite.


Biloxi shuckers baseballTake the kids to a ballgame and support #shucknation! Gift tip: Shuckers shirt or cap.

Who wouldn’t want to deck the halls and crush golf balls in the Topgolf Swing Suite at the Beau Rivage? They can play interactive games like: quarterback challenge, zombie dodgeball, hockey shots, baseball pitching and soccer. Must be 21 after 9 p.m.

Fore! Golf lessons for any age are available for the Gulf Coast Junior Golf League.


Family photo
Photo credit: Kristen Moody Photography

New moms will love a gift card to a local photographer for maternity or newborn pictures. We highly recommend Kristen Moody Photography. She captures the most perfect photos of your family in the convenience of your home.

Looking for the perfect gift for the mom-to-be? Look no further than Stork Secret in D’Iberville. Moms will love looking at those sweet cheeks in 3D/4D ultrasound.


Seaside Fitness
Photo credit: Seaside Fitness Studio

Seaside Fitness Studio specializes in small group and personal training. They offer fun classes like BOSU+Bands. Gift tip: Pair the gift card with one of their fun coastal tanks!

Give the gift of health! Brittany Simmons Whole Health, LLC has a holistic approach to improve health and happiness with nutrition and yoga. She also offers Telehealth nutrition counseling for weight management, chronic disease and gastrointestinal disorders. Her yoga classes are taught live in the community, studios and beaches and online. 50% off any nutrition or yoga package through December 31. Use promo code is WHOLEHEALTH50.

Tis the season to hit the barre — The Yoga Barre in Gulfport!

Botox, Dysport, Kybella and chemical peels! What a treat it would be to receive a gift card from Doctor’s Care & Vitamin Center in Gulfport. They offer all kinds of skincare options and solutions. Check out their special pricing!

Blown by Oliv Ares Haus of Glam offers hair blowouts for $30 on Windblown Wednesday!


Gift certificate
Photo credit: Snip & Sip

Moms love fresh flowers and creating unique floral arrangements at Snip & Sip Floral Design Classes.

Have an aspiring chef? Cooking class gift cards are available from Chef Danie in Biloxi.


Senior picture
Photo credit: Tilley Photography

Don’t know what to get that special graduating senior in your life? What about senior portraits from one of the best photographers on the Gulf Coast, Tilley Photography!

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Christy is Co-Founder and Owner of Gulf Coast Moms Blog. She was born in Costa Rica and moved to the United States when she was 6 years old. She vividly remembers flying into New Orleans and knew, in the moments to come, her life would change forever. She grew up in Moss Point and moved to Hattiesburg to attend college at Southern Miss, where she received her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She met her love, Matthew, and they have enjoyed married life for 13 years. They live in Long Beach with their precious children, John Salem and Ann-Michael. Prior to co-founding Gulf Coast Moms Blog, she had a successful 10+ year career in higher education administration, where she developed and spear-headed campus-wide student initiatives and events. Christy is now spending her days as a stay-at-home mom and serves her community through several non-profit organizations. She enjoys making Costa Rican tamales, a fresh margarita from El Aguila, annual sister spa day, collecting random owl things (Hootie Hoo to my Chi Omega sisters), words of wisdom from Irish priests and pool days. She is passionate about connecting women and creating a supportive, nurturing community to empower moms.