Experience gifts are better than things! Tons of experience gift ideas for families by Memory in the Making
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Experience Gift Ideas for Families

Let’s talk about why experience gift ideas for families are the way to go. Shall we?

Flip the Script

I’m super excited for you to gift your loved ones! These experience gift ideas for families just took your gift giving to the next level! Let’s get your next memory in the making!

Is it just me or do 9 times out of 10 people put things on their gift wish lists, yet 9 times out of 10 enjoying experiences and making memories is way better than some thing?

Doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas, birthdays, Easter baskets, anniversaries, or other celebrations, everyone’s guilty of putting a thing down on their wish list. Don’t get me wrong, some things could be bad a** and you would be super excited to open that up. That’s cool! But…

However, are your kids anything like mine and spoiled to death? Don’t know what to gift the person who has everything? That’s why I spend most of my energy thinking about cool experience gift ideas for my family. Not just my kids, but my husband and extended family members, too!

Moving forward, encourage your family members to think of experience gifts to add to their wish list, too!

Reasons We Don’t Gift Experiences

I’ll be honest. It’s sooooo much easier to open up Amazon and search “gifts for 6-year-old girls” and add something to your cart. Being super thoughtful usually requires a lot more time, effort and energy. But the reward can be so much sweeter! Here are some common excuses we come up with:

  • It’s easier to order a thing and have it delivered to your door
  • People put things on their wish list more often than not
  • You have to be creative to gift an experience
  • What the heck am I going to wrap?
  • No time to come up with something great out of thin air
  • You waited ’til the last minute

This makes perfect sense. I’ve been here many ‘a times before! So, I’ve compiled a list of experience gift ideas for families to scroll through to speed up the process tremendously! Plus, I beg to differ that many experience gifts are actually easier to gift at the last minute; no last minute trips to the store or too slow of shipping delivery dates.

Experience Gift Ideas for Families

This past Christmas, I gifted several experience gifts to my kids, my husband and other family members. Though, this doesn’t just apply to Christmas gifts. We could be using these experience gift ideas for:

  • Birthdays
  • Anniversaries
  • Milestone celebrations
  • Easter baskets
  • Mother’s Day
  • Father’s Day
  • Major life event
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Christmas
  • Just because someone needs a pick-me-up

Before I dive into the experience gift ideas, let me share a quick note on how we arrived at these recent Christmas gift experiences for our daughters.

Dating Our Daughters

Every month my husband typically takes each of our 3 daughters on a solo daddy-daughter date. They do all sorts of cool stuff and absolutely love it! My rotation is longer. I typically try and take 1 of them on a solo mommy-daughter date once every 3 months; one date per month.

Truthfully, my dates aren’t usually as cool as the ones my husband does. He takes them like indoor rock climbing and bowling. Mine usually consist of us getting Starbucks and shopping at Target for their new school supplies. They absolutely love that too, so – whatever works, right?!

Anyway, we realized that since our twins were born (6 years prior), we couldn’t recall ONE TIME that our oldest daughter had been out solo “on a date” with BOTH mom and dad. That’s horrible… so instead of another sweater or more slime (insert heavy eye roll here), we just wrapped a piece of paper that said they were each going to go on a special date with both mommy & daddy.

First, we picked some cool spots to go with each, and somewhere to grab a bite for lunch. It honestly took us about 10 minutes, for all 3 kids.

  • Puttshack (indoor, tech infused mini-golf)
  • Hello Kitty dessert truck
  • Top Golf (electronic driving range)
  • Hibachi restaurant (learn to use chopsticks)
  • Immersive Gamebox (group virtual reality games)

Next, I opened up Canva. If you don’t have Canva, you can open a free account and it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, I swear. I use it for everything! Anyway, I used a pre-made template they had. Made a few edits and swapped out their placeholder text for our gift’s details. No joke, it took me less than 5 minutes total.

Last, I clicked print and carried it downstairs to put into a gift bag. Bing, bang, boom!

My husband had emptied and loaded the dishwasher and by the time he was done I walked in with the presents already wrapped. I distinctly remember him being so surprised and impressed.

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Christmas Experience Gifts Made with Canva

Fun Times on Our Mommy-Daddy Dates With Our 3 Daughters, Individually:

Our hearts were so full!!!


DIY tea party birthday invitation in less than 5 min
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Have you seen my other article on how I created my daughter’s birthday invitation using Canva in less than 5 minutes? I used Canva to create something to wrap for all sorts of experience gifts, too! Concert tickets, vacation announcements, and so much more!
Mother Daughter Date Tradition for Birthday Party Planning | Memory in the Making
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Speaking of mother-daughter dates! My favorite date tradition is when I take my daughters on a birthday party planning date.

Low Hanging Fruit

In general, even before you dive into a big list of experience gift ideas for families, think about some low hanging fruit. What do I mean by that?

  • Are you and your husband planning a family vacation? If so, why can’t that be the “big gift” that’s wrapped? Even if you don’t have all the details figured out yet. “Merry Christmas! We’re going to Florida for Spring Break!!”
  • Could you use a night out of the house? If so, that new comedy club in town you heard about has tickets. “Merry Christmas! Nana is babysitting and we are going to dinner and to see Bobby the comedian on February 11th!”
  • Going on vacation with your parents? If so, there’s probably an excursion you stumbled across.  “Merry Christmas! The two of you are booked on a sunset excursion!”
  • Been thinking you need more romance in your life? Don’t just talk about it; be about it! Plan something romantic that both you and your husband will enjoy!
  • Kids need back to school clothes? If so, head to Target together and get them excited to make a date out of it! “Happy Birthday! Let’s get Starbucks and have a shopping spree date with Mommy!”

Don’t think about things to gift people. Instead, first think about cool experiences you were already planning or considering anyway! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with avoiding additional gift spend.

~Memory in the Making


Next, let me get to listing out some ideas to make gifting experiences for your family EZ-PZ!

Experience Gift Ideas for Kids

Again, I mostly always start with thinking about what is coming up in our lives before I gift anything. Here are a few examples:

  • Going on a shopping spree with mom to pick out the stuff for your new bedroom
  • Announce a family staycation
  • An excursion on a family vacation they already know about
  • A shopping spree to get new summer clothes that fit you for an upcoming vacation
  • Gift card to the local donut shop and local bookstore for a date with Mom
  • Tickets to their first concert
  • Tickets to 6 Flags Great America amusement park
  • A night at a local hotel with their bestie to swim indoors during the winter
  • Date with dad gift card to the local arcade
  • Family fun day to a trampoline park, Chili’s for lunch and the movie theater
  • Let them unwrap a tent… we’re going camping!

Here are a bunch of other cool experience gift ideas for kids from other moms, for more inspiration:

Second, let’s talk about some experience gift ideas for your man!

Experience Gift Ideas for Husband

If your husband is anything like mine, he’s going to get angry if you spent a bunch of money on nice sweaters under the Christmas tree for him. And on top of it, he put nothing on his wish list. I’d be willing to bet he also is likely to be a lot happier to get a thoughtful gift that you two can make a memory together or with something he can do with the guys. So, here are few examples:

  • Dads’ day out kayaking with his brother(s)/friend(s)
  • Tickets to a concert
  • A quick, romantic weekend getaway
  • A night in the city to a great steakhouse
  • Actually going to do something on his bucket list
  • Go skydiving
  • Tickets to a ball game with the kids
  • Parents night out to the drive-in

Next, if you haven’t seen my post about alternative date ideas for couples, definitely head over there now or pin this for later. There are definitely ideas in here. Here are many more ideas he’ll love:

Third, lets talk about experience gift ideas for the whole family and your extended family!

More Experience Gift Ideas for Families

Finally, the rest of your family is no exception. Parents, siblings, in-laws all would dig a memorable gift. Here are a couple ideas to get your wheels spinning:

  • A night out to dinner with you and your husband WITHOUT the kids
  • An adults-only weekend blocked at your lake house
  • Tickets to a concert
    • Start with my Concert Bucket List Journal (free download!), identify your concert crew and compare notes! Such fun to fill out and great convo starters, too!
  • Coupon for your kids coming over to rake the leaves for them
  • A whole family fun day: kick ball at the local park, lunch and go to a carnival
  • Lunch and a movie, mother-daughter date (with your mom)
  • Tee time for all the guys at a cool golf course

Need some more inspiration? I’ve got you covered with more of these gift ideas for families:

Celebrate the Small Things

As adults, we tend to downplay things like our birthdays or Valentine’s Day. Why?? Life is short. I believe we should celebrate as often as possible, even the small things. If this is your first time checking out my blog, see what I’m all about. Also, check out my post, More Champagne Popping, for more inspo on moments to slow tf* down for and ideas to celebrate!

Hey! What’s on your own bucket list?? Give it some thought and put those ideas on your own wish list!

Later, I’d absolutely love to see my followers enjoying an experience gift idea they were inspired to do! Tag me on Instagram @meminthemaking!

Without a doubt, save these Experience Gift Ideas for Families to your Pinterest board for later!

…Or text a link to your partner in crime!

Finally, follow me @memoryinthemaking on Pinterest or
@meminthemaking on Instagram and Facebook!

Enjoy Making Memories!

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