How to Gift Experiences Over Toys

How to Gift Experiences Over Toys

Do you give activities as holiday gifts?

A few years ago I started hearing about the phenomenon of “giving experiences” and I’m pretty sure it just went in one ear and out the other. Aside from thinking, “That seems strange and I’m not sure how it would even work,” I didn’t think much of it.

Then I had a Christmas with my first child. He was gifted many things, but so many of them were toys that wouldn’t last and overall, just more toys than he could ever need. I get it, it’s fun to shop for kids — not much money has to be spent. Some people don’t want to buy items that are practical, and in the end, the kids are left with more toys than they know what to do with.

The same can go for adults! Have you ever tried shopping for a friend or relative who is not only picky, but unforthcoming about what they want?

Enter the practice of giving experiences. This is where you provide the funding for some type of event, travels, etc. in lieu of a traditional gift. You can do it on a budget, too!

Last year, we got our nephew a year-long membership to his local zoo. (We got the family pass so his parents could also go, and he could bring two guests each visit!) It was $45 (yes $45!) and my sister texted me monthly, if not weekly telling me they had gone to the zoo. It also allowed them to visit other zoos while traveling, often for free, if not at a discounted price.

This year, he’s getting a monthly subscription box for STEAM projects, so each month he’ll get a fun project to complete in the mail.

Our family has been gifted experiences, too. Our kids got a Disney+ membership as an early holiday gift. We’ve gotten gift cards that are exclusively good for dates, pre-paid tickets for a local arcade, a night of bowing, etc.

Giving experiences doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate, it simply allows you to give in a way you’ll know the receiver has a good time. It’s a perfect alternative for anyone who is hard to shop for. And if you can, tag along with them! A day of memories far outweighs any material gift.

Have you considered gifting an experience? What are some of your ideas?