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Experience Based Gift Guide

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Our top 20 experience based gifts ideas perfect for Christmas!


Something that Scott and I have been moving towards more and more are experience based gifts for Christmas.

Our kids have grandparents and aunts/uncles that love to spoil them. And it’s great. But our kids just don’t need toys.

It is so exciting to see a bunch of presents under the Christmas tree. But, as a parent, it is hard to see all that money go to waste on toys that the kids will only play with for a couple days before they move on and forget about it.

Christmas tree with lights

I would much rather have our relatives and ourselves give presents that double as quality time that our kids & loved ones will remember forever.

It is definitely not my place to tell others what to gift us, but when family members ask what our kids want, I like to offer some simple experience based gift suggestions.

I’m not saying we never buy our kids toys. I’m just saying our kids get more joy out of spending time together hiking and roasting s’mores than they do playing videos games by themselves.

Experience Based Gift Ideas

  1. Hike– We love taking family hikes. One idea to make this more of a gift is to put some hiking snacks or new water bottles in a box with the promise of a hike.
  2. Movie night! This can either be a night in with all the fixins, or you can gift some movie tickets/gift cards for a fun night out.
  3. Museum pass/membership
  4. Zoo or aquarium tickets
  5. Ice Skating
  6. Family board games for an epic game night!
  7. Hand made coupon to teach a skill you have– offer to teach someone guitar lessons, cooking lessons, etc.
  8. Bird house kit or model air plane kit– The basic idea is a fun gift that you can build together. My kids loved building bird houses with their dad recently.
  9. Spa day– my little girl would LOVE a gift certificate for us to have a spa day together or even all the nail polish, etc we’d need to do it at home together.
  10. Lessons– this could be for anything they’re into (guitar, soccer, Jiu Jitsu, swimming, singing, etc)
  11. Annual park pass– We have a National Parks pass to hike in a canyon near us. We just bought it a couple months ago and have already made so many great memories up there.
  12. Water park passes– This is by far my favorite gift to get our family because we LIVE at the water park in the Summer. Plus, typically water park passes are on pre-sale during the off season.
  13. Theme park pass
  14. Bowling gift card
  15. Trampoline gym pass– Going to a trampoline gym is always a blast for both kids and adults.
  16. Family pictures– these are great gifts for adults. Offer to buy family pictures for someone to create memories that will last a lifetime.
  17. Monthly subscription box
  18. Mini golf coupon
  19. Gym membership
  20. Vacation– Now, this is obviously the most pricey gift option. But, announcing a fun trip on Christmas sounds like a great gift. Whether that’s a road trip or a fancy vacation is up to you!
Non toy presents for Christmas

Cyn Gagen

Wednesday 18th of December 2019

I just love these ideas! Experience gifts are my favorite to give and receive!

Lexi @ That Fit Fam

Friday 20th of December 2019

Thank you! We love experience gifts too!

Marie | DIY Adulation

Friday 22nd of November 2019

I love these ideas! Gifting experiences and spending time together as a family is way more important to adding more stuff to an already over-stuffed house. Thanks for all of the awesome ideas!

Erlene

Thursday 21st of November 2019

Now that our kids are older, they prefer doing family activities to gifts. This is a great list of things to do together instead of gifts.

Marie

Wednesday 13th of November 2019

This is a great gift guide! My daughter just said the other day that she wants experience-based gifts for her family this year so your list is VERY handy for ideas! Pinned :)

Lexi @ That Fit Fam

Wednesday 20th of November 2019

thank you, I'm glad it's helpful!

Jenny

Monday 11th of November 2019

I really like the idea of a monthly subscription box because it's a gift that keeps giving all year. Plus it's something to look forward to every month.