We all know the fun of gifting a toy to a child on Christmas! However, once the glitz and glamour of the day has worn off, a lot of those toys end up in the back of closet never to be touched again.
That is why this year I thought it would be fun to give my children an “experience” as one of their gifts. This means, instead of buying them another toy, I purchased them a gift certificate from Groupon to go roller skating. I am so excited about this idea, because it is something that we can all go and do together as a family, over their Winter Break from school. I have never taken the kids roller skating before (and it has been years since I have been), so it should be a hilarious time filled with spills, thrills, laughter and fun. I feel that by gifting them this “experience gift” I am also giving them the gift of my time, so that we can make memories together. What can be a more long-lasting gift then that.
I chose to buy a gift voucher through Groupon because it’s fast, easy and let’s me save money. To purchase a Groupon gift voucher, simply go to their site and find the city nearest to you. Once you do that, Groupon automatically generates a list of experiences that they have near you, so you don’t have to go searching through Internet searches to find some fun non-toy gift ideas. These experience are all discounted, so you know you are getting the best deal around on your gift. Then simply buy and print and you are ready to gift!
Here are a few experience ideas based on the Groupon deals near me. Check out what’s available in your city for even more inspiration:
- Roller Skating (like I purchased for my kiddos)
Children’s art studio classes
martial art classes
- Rock climbing
fly board lessons
Trampoline/ bounce house arena
Beach Vacation home rentals
Color Fun Fest 5K
salon/ spa day
You may feel that the only downfall to gifting an experience is that you don’t have anything for the receiver to actually unwrap on Christmas Morning. Here are a few packaging ideas to make unwrapping an experience a fun experience.
• Stacking Boxes– if the gift is for the whole family, get the whole family involved in opening it. Start with a small gift box with the voucher inside. Wrap the box, then put inside a slightly larger box. Wrap that box, and continue until you end up with a huge wrapped box. On Christmas morning everyone takes turns opening a box
• Treasure Hunt– inside a stocking write a clue for someplace the receiver has to go in the house to find the next clue. Hide several clues, with the last clue being a box decorated to look like a treasure box. Inside the box place a few chocolate gold coins, along with a paper wrapped like a scroll that says “time together is a real treasure” and the information about the gift voucher.
• Message in a bottle- I found these fun plastic bottles with corks on the end at a local craft store. I thought they would be just perfect to put my roller skating gift vouchers in for my own kids. The nice thing about these is the bottom screws off, making it easy to fill. I Rolled up the gift voucher and slipped it into the bottle. Then added some fun stuffing. To make it extra fun I also stuffed each bottle with some fake snow, and glitter. I am hoping it makes a big “poof” of confetti when it’s opened. On Christmas Eve I plan to hide 4 bottles (one for each kid) in the Christmas tree for the kids to find and open!
The message in the bottle kit that I bought was $3 for 6 bottles, so it is easy and affordable to make everyone their own bottle to open all at the same time! Let the confetti fly! I plan to add a Bemo video camera to one of the bottles, as an extra gift, and to video tape the kids while skating on our date!
• Gift Basket-put together an inexpensive gift basket using items that pertain to the voucher. For example, if you where gifting an art class you could put crayons, paintbrushes, paints and a sketch pad in a gift basket and set the voucher in the middle of it.
Have fun with it:
The biggest part of this gift is your time, with your kids. So be sure to get right in the middle of it! Whether it’s roller skating or art lesson, join in right along with the kids! That is what will make this gift a lasting memory that they will always remember.