Think Outside of the Box: Gifts of Experiences

LiveMom Gifts of Experiences

For many of us, the holiday season means ushering more stuff into our house. More LEGO bricks to trip over, more stuffed animals to go on the bed, more…things. Although it may be hard to stem the flow of these things into your house from others, have you tried giving gifts of experiences to your friends and family?

Whether it’s time spent with someone you care about, or something that person can do on their own, it’s one way to stem the tide of stuff and get people having fun. Yes, kids may not “get” the idea of getting an experience as a gift, so you might consider wrapping some token (like Mickey ears if you are heading to Disney or roller skates if you are giving lessons) for the children to have something to unwrap.

Here are our “experience” gift ideas:

For kids:

  • Passes to their favorite places. Hot Lava is more than 1500 square feet of obstacle course and parkour gymnasium located in north central Austin, and they offer monthly passes. The facility is designed with adults in mind, but there are special hours for kids. Other places kids might enjoy getting gift cards to are: Blazer Tag, Pinballz and K1 Speed.

  • A class or camp. Austin Tinkering School is a place where kids use real tools and real materials to build, create, and learn. Classes include Hack Your Clothing, Meet Your Makers, Maker Book Club and DIY Food and Open Shop. Girls Guild connects girls with artists and makers for apprenticeships and also one-day workshops. If music is more your kid’s thing, have you thought about ukulele lessons? Central Market has great cooking classes for kids as well. Giving your child the gift of his or her favorite summer camp could also go over well.

  • An out of body experience. iFly gift cards for two one-minute flights have been spotted at Costco. iFLY is an indoor skydiving experience that creates true free fall conditions, just like skydiving, without having to jump out of an airplane.

  • Tickets to a show or performance. The Pollyanna Theater Company, the Long Center, One World Theater and Scottish Rite all have kid-friendly shows.

  • A trip. Some families give their kids a trip to Disney during the holidays, but you could also consider a smaller-scale road trip, like to stay at the Wolf Lodge in Grapevine or even something like a river tour at Big Bend.

  • A dose of empathy. Sometimes the reason for the season can get lost among all of the ribbons and bows. To fight the “I need”s, you can try a Crafts with Kindness kit, which can provide your family with meaningful time together while also helping those less fortunate. Or you could consider a subscription to the Big Hearted Families Book Club, so that every month you will receive a book, a kindness activity and a recipe.

  • A tea party. What kid wouldn’t enjoy a tea party? The Steeping Room offers a children’s tea and a nice, but not overly stuffy atmosphere.

  • Letters from an author. Yes, you can get magazines, but what about letters from real authors, which arrive in your mailbox each month? We’ve been getting Letters for Kids for a while now, and we have enjoyed reading these each month and going to find these authors’ books to read.

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For the family:

For mama or her friends:

What do you think of this list? Is there anything we’ve forgotten?

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.livemom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Nicole-Basham-Sara-Marzani-Photography-livemom.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 7-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau’s words, her mission is to “suck out all the marrow of life”, or in her son’s words, to cultivate in him a love of “advenchers”.[/author_info] [/author]
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About Nicole Basham 793 Articles
A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 10-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau's words, her mission is to "suck out all the marrow of life", or in her son's words, to cultivate in him a love of "advenchers".

1 Comment on Think Outside of the Box: Gifts of Experiences

  1. This is a great list, Nicole! I’m also happy to see that we are already doing a few of these for my daughter/our family. For my mama list, I have asked for a yoga class pass and a gift certificate for a facial/massage.

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