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We all have way too much stuff these days, and if you’re like me, you try to to minimize the amount you bring into your home. But, it’s hard when the holidays roll around and you feel obligated to buy gifts for loved ones. So, how do you cut back on stuff without feeling like Scrooge? That’s easy! Give experiences, not stuff this year. Here are some ideas to help you get started on your holiday list!
Give Experiences To Kids
The best gifts you can give the kids in your life are those that allow you to spend time with them and that create lifelong memories for you both. This list of ideas for kids are all easy experiences that will allow you to have fun together.
Day Trip to the Zoo
Kids love going to the zoo. And gifting them with a day at the zoo is sure to be a winner. This is a great idea too if you are looking for a gift for kids of varying ages. To make a full day of it, plan to eat lunch at the zoo or pack a picnic to enjoy.
Day Trip to a Water Park
If you have water-loving kids on your holiday shopping list, you can give experiences instead of stuff with a day trip to a water park. Look for an indoor water park, such as Great Wolf Lodge, that you can head to for a little summer fun in the midst of winter. If you can’t find one close, then plan your trip for early summer.
Tickets to an Amusement Park
Whether you choose Disney World, Six Flags, or another amusement park, giving tickets to an amusement park is sure to win you huge smiles. And in return, you will be rewarded with lots of time having fun with your favorite kiddos.
Weekend of Camping and Fishing
Looking for a gift brimming with bonding time and a lack of screens? Then, a weekend of camping and fishing is the perfect gift. This makes a wonderful gift for the kid that loves outdoorsy activities and the kid who has never spent any time in the great outdoors. This is also a gift the whole family can enjoy together.
Day Trip to Miniature Golf
If you have a competitive kid on your list, consider giving them a round of miniature golf. This is a fun activity for a wide variety of ages, and it’s perfect for a friendly little competition. Combine it with a fun lunch or ice cream after to make a day of it.
Give Experiences To Teens
Sometimes, teens are the hardest people to buy for because you can never seem to please them. To make things easier on you and increase the chances of them loving your gift, give one of these experiences.
Give the teens in your life movie tickets this year. You can either buy tickets to a current movie that they have been wanting to see or buy them a movie theater gift card. This is something they can use right away as soon as the family celebration is over, which they will think is awesome. Just be sure to include money for popcorn and a drink!
Want to easily become the favorite in the eyes of your teen? Give them tickets to see one of their favorite bands in concert. If they won’t be playing in their home city, consider buying tickets to a concert in a nearby location and making a trip out of it! Your teen will love it!
Weekend Trip to Favorite City
Another idea for giving experiences is to give the teens in your life a weekend trip to their favorite city. Plan some fun sightseeing activities. Let them pick where you eat. Stay in a cool hotel or airbnb. If they don’t have a favorite city, share your favorite city with them. It can be a great bonding time for both of you.
Have a teenager on your holiday list that loves to shop? Give them a day of shopping at their favorite stores. Regardless of whether you buy anything or not, they will love sharing their favorite hobby with you.
Makeover or Manicure & Pedicure
Another great gift experience for teenage girls is a makeover or a manicure and pedicure. And to truly make her feel special, combine this with a day of shopping and a nice lunch.
Give Experiences To Sports Fans
If your family is anything like mine, you probably have more than one sports fan to buy for this holiday season. Regardless of their favorite sport, the below ideas should help you find the perfect experience for them.
Tickets to Watch Favorite Team
One of the greatest gifts you can give the sports fan in your family is tickets to watch their favorite team. You can either give them tickets for a home game, or really thrill them with tickets to an away game. Either way, they will love it!
If your sports fan prefers participating over watching sports, look into sending them to a fantasy camp. These camps are geared towards adults who want to relive the glory days of their youth. You can find them in over 15 different sports. They usually last between three days and a week. For more information, visit ultimate fantasy sports camps or this article from Travel Channel.
Golf or Ski Trip
Another way to give experiences to a sports fan is to plan a golf or ski trip for them. Both of these are great ideas to enjoy a winter getaway to recover after the holidays. And your golf or ski loving family members will enjoy getting to spend some time on the slopes or links.
Trip to Sports Hall of Fame
A unique gift for a sports fan is a trip to see their favorite sport’s hall of fame. A trip to Cooperstown, NY or Canton, OH may not sound like a lot of fun to you, but I promise that any baseball or football fan would love to travel to one of these iconic cities.
Trip to Spring Training or Training Camp
Speaking of baseball, if you have a baseball fan on your shopping list, consider giving them a trip to see their favorite team in spring training. This is a wonderful experience for fathers and sons (or whole families) who share the love of baseball. If your loved ones prefer football, send them to see training camp in August.
Give Experiences To Parents
Another group that will fully appreciate receiving an experience over stuff this Christmas is parents. These gift ideas can be used for your own parents or the parents of your favorite little ones.
Consider giving a date night to some of the parents on your list. There are hundreds of things you could plan for this from dinner and a movie to dancing and dessert. Just be sure to volunteer to babysit to make it a win-win for you and them!
Spa Day/Couples Massage
For a gift they will love, give parents of young ones a spa day or couples massage. This will allow them to have some much-needed rest and relaxation while also spending some quality time together.
Tickets to a Broadway Show
Another great idea for a date night gift for parents is to give them tickets to see a Broadway-style show. You could either send them to New York to see a show on Broadway or get tickets for a traveling show that is playing in a theater close to their home.
Looking for a unique couples gift for some of your favorite parents? Give them cooking classes they can go to together. This is a gift that keeps on giving because it will give them time to spend together during the classes and then while cooking at home afterwards.
Trip to Favorite Museum
My last idea for giving experiences instead of stuff is to give a trip to a favorite museum. The great things about museums is that there is one for every interest, so you are sure to find one that the parents on your list will love. If it’s a local museum, combine it with lunch. If a favorite museum is not local, make it a weekend trip.
Everyone seems to have too much stuff these days. So, for a change of pace this holiday season, give experiences instead of stuff. This list should help you come up with the perfect gift experience for everyone on your list. For more gift ideas, see my gift guides for Disney fans, travel-loving kids, beach lovers, and travelers. Also, see how to give the gift of travel. Happy travels!