40 Epic Experience Gift Ideas for Kids & Adults (Skip the Material Things!) by Jessica Acree

Gift Guides Holidays
4 years ago

40 Epic Experience Gift Ideas for Kids & Adults (Skip the Material Things!)

It's easy to slip into the materialism of gift giving, especially during the holiday season or the never-ending slew of kids birthday parties. Most of the time, intentions are well meaning and thoughtful, but when the "best price ever" sales begin to cloud our judgment, it's easy to take it too far.

Toys are fun, gadgets are fun, trinkets are pretty, but after the initial excitement wears off, what happens? The items once briefly obsessed over are lost in the mix of the busy playroom, cluttered cabinets or bursting closets. 

So, what kind of gift can you give that keeps on giving? My family has recently made a conscious effort to try and cut back on the overwhelm by giving experience-based gifts instead. It has been a great, worthwhile change! The possibilities are really endless once you start thinking about it, but I'll give you some ideas to help you get started!

  • Tickets: movies, plays, sporting events, concerts, amusement parks, zoos, bowling, indoor skydiving, comedy, etc.
  • Fuel Creativity: books, art supplies, magazine subscriptions, "Grow a Butterfly" kit, games, etc.
  • Memberships: children's museum, planetarium, gym, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Costco, spa, etc.
  • Classes: swim lessons, dance, painting, cooking, soccer, crafting, gymnastics, computer, gardening, etc.
  • Trips: family vacation, weekend getaway, airline credit, train pass, winery tour, water park, etc.
  • Other Ideas: date night and babysitter, escape room, photography package, family recipe box, etc.

The goal is to create lasting memories that outweigh gifts selected out of obligation or expectation. Make your choices more intentional and I promise, you'll be wowed by the benefits.

Comment below with your own ideas or experiences! 

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Donna John
Yes!! I started doing this a few years ago. I've give painting class gift cards, skydiving gift certificates, airline gift cards, amusement park tickets, etc. Most of us have too much stuff, but you can never have too many good memories.
Jessica Acree
I love that! Completely agree... <3
One of the best things I’ve done is doing away with birthday parties and giving experience gifts to my son and family!
Jessica Acree
Good for you!! It's a hard habit to break, but it's soooo worth it! We may skip the party next time in favor of this plan too.
Elisa Schmitz
Oh, I love this! Memories of experiences like these will be there long after a material thing is discarded or forgotten, Jessica Acree . One year, I planned a trip to California for my kids for Christmas. I made a poster with all the things we would do there. I gift wrapped a copy of the poster for each child and that's what they opened. Truly, they were delighted and we had the best time!
Jessica Acree
That's so awesome! I think it inspires more thoughtful gifts and more creativity in presenting them too... I bet it was one of the best ever!
Sheri B Doyle
I love this @jessicaacree I am a huge fan of experiences instead of more stuff kids won't use.
Jessica Acree
Plus... if you're traveling all over, it's way more fun to get a Shutterfly photobook gift card so you can make a coffee table picture book of your amazing trips! :-D wink wink

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