When our kids were little the Christmas lists were long and full of toys. Sadly, they had more toys than they could have ever needed and I wish I would have done things differently. Fast forward now to having an empty nest and our kids are young adults, and the Christmas lists are minimal if at all, and often we are met with shrugs when asking them what they would like for Christmas. It’s not that they don’t need stuff, they just don’t “want” the things they “need” or Christmas gifts. Therefore they usually ask for money.
Last year we decided to do things differently, and instead give an experience. We booked a three day trip to Whistler, BC for a ski/snowboard adventures. We booked a condo and told the kids they could bring a friend if they like, with the caveat that their friends had to pay for their own ski/snowboard lift tickets if they wanted to ski/board. Neither my husband or I had been to Whistler in many years, so we were kind of excited about this new adventures. The kids were also excited, as my son & his friend are avid snowboarders and this was a new place to “shred”.
The trip went over so well, that I only wish we had started doing this sooner! At first I was annoyed because my son & his friend had drug their X-box with them (in a covert secret mission), and when I heard it turn on I was disgruntled. But, by that evening the kids had found a puzzle in the condo and they were all sitting at the table putting together a puzzle. After that they ventured out into town, and then returned to the condo for more puzzle. Because this trip was such a success, I decided to create a blog post on ideas for experiences you can give rather than gift items. I understand that not all people can give their families trips to different places, so I have included budget friendly ideas as well.
14 Experiences you can give as gifts
- A movie passes/tickets to your local movie theater
- Entry/passes to the local Children’s Museum, Science Center or Zoo
- Tickets to a theater performance or play
- Tickets to your local ski/snowboard mountain
- A weekend getaway for the entire family
- Tickets to their favorite sports team/event
- A spa day at their favorites spa
- Entry in to your local aquarium
- A hotel stay in a place they’ve never been
- Skydiving (this was my daughter’s input… sounds scary to me!)
- Hot Air Balloon ride
- Bowling night for the entire family
- Dinner for the entire family at a teppanyaki style restaurant where they prepare the food in front of you.
While I can think of tons more, this list is a good start to get your creative juices flowing. I bet you can come up with lots more ideas that your family, young and old, would love!
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