5 Gift-Experience Presents They’ll Never Forget

Give A Gift-Experience

You may still be dizzy from sugar overload after Halloween, but sober up, dear! It’s time to talk presents, especially one that will last a lifetime: the gift-experience. 

Because there’s no escaping the fact that the gift-giving holidays are right around the corner. At our house, we’ve been receiving holiday-themed catalogs for weeks, and trust me, it hasn’t gone unnoticed by the littlest members of the family.

You know the drill: while they’re busy making lists of their most wanted material needs, us “grown-ups” are creating budgets and looking for clearance finds that even remotely fit the bill for friends and family.

And while a coffee mug that says “Hello, Gorgeous” might be perfect for your bestie, the kiddos probably won’t appreciate marked down dish towels or discounted gummy vitamins.

All of this planning, strategizing (and most importantly, spending!) is a nerve-wracking nightmare.

But it doesn’t have to be! This year, you can trim the credit card debt AND the household clutter by gifting your friends and family with experiences that they will cherish for years to come. Read on for 5 Gift Experiences everyone will love!


gift-experience of memberships

My family is lucky to live in a decent sized, metropolitan area that boasts a top-rated zoo, a children’s museum, and multiple nature centers, water parks, and conservancies. But memberships to these venues can be pricey, so we usually have to pick one or two each year and we miss out on the rest.

This year, considering gifting your kids with a membership to their favorite locale. Even a season pass to an indoor trampoline park (while not super educational) gets your kids off the couch and moving. Check out the Best 50 Trampoline Parks in the World to find a great one near you.

The beauty of this kind of gift-experience is that you don’t even have to plan your outings!  With a membership, you can say “Yes!” to a spontaneous request without worrying about how much you’ll spend on the trip.

As one friend told me, “I love being able to take the kids regardless of our financial situation.” Amen to that!

You can also usually add grandparents to these types of memberships, so you might even have a built-in chaperone. Even better, you won’t be tripping over this present like that half-built robot left randomly in the hallway.

Talk about a win-win-win!


gift-experience of tickets

Like memberships, tickets to a concert, musical, or other theatrical production will create a gift-experience that won’t clutter your living room floor (but will fill your heart with precious memories!).

While it might not seem like the world’s most exciting gift, you’d be surprised to learn than once your little one gets a taste of the cultural arts, they’ll ask to go back. Start shopping now for fun holiday productions like “A Christmas Carol” or “The Nutcracker”, which are both excellent options for a first-time theater-goer.

Of course, something like the symphony isn’t for everyone, so don’t limit yourself – get creative! I’ll never forget the night we took our brood to a Weird Al Yankovic concert. I had no idea if they’d appreciate his quirky, lyrical mastery the way I do (but I sure did hope so.) Turns out, they loved it!

According to my eldest, she loved it more than the Katy Perry concert we’d gone to the year before. Katy! Perry! I’m still in shock, and I still love looking at the photos we captured that night (which are digital, because of #minimalism y’all!)

Date with a VIP

Ok, this one is a favorite, but takes a little explaining. A Gift-Experience Date with a VIP doesn’t necessarily mean you can arrange for your family to have dinner with Chris Pratt (although that won’t stop me from trying!).

But you can get your loved ones together with someone they don’t get to see often and make it a special occasion.

I don’t know about you, but my kids are constantly vying for undivided attention from Grandma and Grandpa whenever they come to town. Why not capitalize on their excitement and have them spend some quality time, one-on-one? That’s a great gift for the grandparents AND the kids.

If you want to get crafty with it, create a fun and colorful certificate that can be redeemed for a fun lunch date or a sleepover.

Another fun VIP date could be with someone who specializes in a field your kids enjoy. For example, my tween has already decided that her dream job is to start her own interior design business, so I’m gifting her with a fancy lunch date that includes one of our city’s top interior designers on the guest list.

She’s going to be so excited, so keep it on the down low until after the holidays, ok? No spoilers, please!

Bucket List Adventures

bucket list adventure gift experience

Almost everyone I know has a bucket list. You know, those things we want to do during our lifetime, but just haven’t gotten around to.

Why not check something off a loved one’s list with a gift-experience that’s once-in-a-lifetime? My father-in-law celebrated his birthday recently and gave himself the perfect gift – a ride in a 1929 Ford tri-motor passenger plane.

He had a blast and is so glad he made the time. I just wish I’d thought of the gift myself! It definitely made my present (a music CD) pale in comparison. Bo-ring!

For the daredevils in your life, skydiving or bungee jumping are guaranteed to make a lasting impression. If that’s a little too daring, perhaps start with a hot air balloon ride. Did you know that some hot air balloons can soar to several thousand feet, where it’s possible to see the Earth’s curvature? How cool is that?!

Check out these tips for more information about hot air balloons and to make sure you’re prepared for your ballooning experience.

Road Tripping

A well planned and executed road trip will never be forgotten, and it’s not as difficult to plan as you think! Even a trip just a few hours from home can be filled with fun and excitement.

A great website I recently discovered called Atlas Obscura provides cool and unusual things to do in cities nationwide (as well as internationally).

For instance, did you know that there are tiny doors hidden in plain sight all around Atlanta? Neither did I, but I’ll definitely make it a part of my trip the next time I’m driving through Georgia. Thanks, Atlas Obscura!

Another fun gift-experience might include some geocaching. If you’re not familiar, geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game that uses GPS coordinates to find a hidden geocache (container).

Typical geocaches contain a pencil and paper for logging the finder’s name, and sometimes a small treasure you can take with you.

For more information on how to plan your geocaching adventure, check out this GeoCaching 101 Guide thanks to Geocaching.com.

Finally, if you do decide to embark on a road trip with your family, make sure you’re prepared, whether you’re traveling 50 miles or 500! The last thing you want to do is ruin a trip with poor planning. Check out these 10 ½ tips to guarantee a road trip to remember.

The Magic Is How You Remember It

5 presents they will never forget

No matter what you give or receive this season, remember…

[bctt tweet=”The most important part of the holidays is being present, not giving presents. ” username=”LiesAboutParent”]

Of course, it’s always thrilling to find the perfect gift for that special someone. But this year, think about a gift-experience that will leave your loved one jumping with joy and your house (mostly) clutter-free.



Melinda Lejman

Melinda Lejman is a native Memphian, supermom and freelance writer. She specializes in human interest, non-profit development, and blog content. Melinda is a regular contributor to Focus Mid-South Magazine and a daily practitioner of the art of imperfect parenting. Read one of Melinda's recent pieces on LGBTQ issues here.

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