Having 4 kids, the amount of "stuff" they get for birthdays and holidays gets a bit overwhelming. We're trying to declutter and live a simpler life, so we've started doing experience gifts instead of toys.
For their main Christmas gift, we bought each of the kids a ticket to Medieval Times. We made a family trip down to Toronto and enjoyed lunch and a show, and some quality time together. The kids really enjoyed themselves and still talk about it every once in a while (which is more than they play with some of the toys they received).
Speaking of Christmas gifts, not only did they get tickets to Medieval Times, but the girls got tickets to see the show Shopkins Live! which was coming to our city. My husband didn't want to come along so we had a girls night out. We didn't have time to go out for dinner as planned, so on the way to the show they each got a donut (after dinner at home - don't worry, I did feed them real food first) and after the show I took them for burgers.
For the boys, we bought them tickets to Reptilia (an indoor reptile zoo). I found the tickets on a discount site, we had breakfast for at IKEA for under $15 beforehand, and lunch at Costco afterwards for under $15. Overall, the whole day cost us under $100 for 4 of us. Some people may think that experience gifts are expensive, but they don't have to be.
On my oldest daughters 9th birthday, P!NK was doing a show in Toronto so I bought her tickets and took her out to dinner and to the concert. Now everytime a P!NK song comes on the radio, she talks about how great of a show it was.
Instead of toys, my parents had her for a sleepover at their place and they went shopping for some new clothes. The next weekend my sister took her for a sleepover at her place in Toronto and they went to the Aquarium. With the way she still talks about that weekend, she definitely enjoyed those experiences more than any toy she has ever received.
My middle kids have their birthdays in a few months so for my son we're going to take him to Legoland and for my daughter I bought her tickets to the Taylor Swift concert. They will each get a sleepover with my parents as well.
There are so many different experience gifts for your kids. And hopefully they will enjoy the experience more than toys.
Here are some of the ideas:
- theatre show
- trampoline park
- kids spa
- sleepover at a relatives
- amusement park
- rock climbing
- escape room
- science centre
- have a beach day
- picnic at the park
Is there anything special that you've done and that I missed? Let me know!