Welcome! I am a mom to two wonderful kids, a lovely retired greyhound, and a wife to a great husband. Needless to say, there are a lot of daily messes to clean up around our house. Daily Messes is my blog to share ideas on things to do with your kids, snack and meal ideas, crafts, and holiday fun. I hope you find something to enjoy!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Gift List: Life Experience Gifts

The gift buying season is upon us. Every year I sit down and make a list of the people I need to buy for and struggle to match that list to gift ideas. Face it, some people are harder to shop for than others. Not to mention my kids already have a lot of toys. Since I'm probably not the only one with this problem, I thought I would share some of my ideas. Today's list is about giving life experience and life changing gifts. Check back often throughout the month for more gift buying ideas! Good luck shopping! May the deals be plentiful, your cart overflowing, and your wallet not emptied.

If you are looking for unique gifts for the holidays, try thinking of life changing or life experience gifts. Do they have something they've always wanted to do? Did they make a bucket list and have things on there that are not crossed off? Here are some ideas:

  • Glass blowing lessons.
  • Cake decorating classes.
  • Cooking classes.
  • Scuba lessons and gear.
  • Welding or metal working classes.
  • Foreign language classes.
  • Skiing or Snowboarding lessons.
  • Photography lessons.
  • Horseback riding.
  • Blacksmith lessons.
  • Surfing lessons.
  • Conceal/Carry training.
  • Wood working classes.

  • A night away. Don't pick a regular hotel. Try a hotel that has themed rooms or a hotel that has pool suites! There are even hotels made out of ice! This is definitely on our bucket list. (I know there are at least two: JukkasjÀrvi, Sweden and Quebec, Canada.) There are a few other cool options: staying in an snow or glass igloo (Finland) or a smaller ice hotel in Norway.
  • An overnight at Cinderella's Castle. (This requires advanced planning.)
  • Boat ride. There are paddle boat rides, dinner cruises, tour cruises, etc. There are even some paddle boats that you can take overnight cruises!
  • Murder mystery dinner/weekend.
  • A vacation. I'll admit, this one is pretty extreme. However, can you just imagine the look on their faces when they find out they're going to England/Scotland/Australia/Las Vegas/etc.

  • Tickets to a play. Try Wicked; it was on my Father-in-law's bucket list. He saw it a couple of years ago and loved it! (Honest!)
  • Concert tickets to their favorite group.
  • Super Bowl tickets (or other sporting events).
  • Olympic event tickets.
  • Take them to their favorite game-show (Price is Right, Ellen, etc.).

  • Patio ride. (Denver Patio Ride) This is great for the night life lover. You sit on a multi-person bicycle and you face each other so you can have good conversation. Most of these rides involve bar hopping or some form of drinking.
  • Hot air balloon ride. I cannot wait until the boys are old enough to go on one of these. I think they would love it!
  • Airboat ride. We went to Airboat Rides At Midway and had a blast.
Thanks Jeff for pictures of your experience!
  • Fighter Pilot experience.  Aircombat.com  and  GreatAmericanDays.com  offer  several  options.
  • Train ride. TourVacationsToGo.com and Amtrack offer a variety of train rides. You may also be able to find an old fashioned train ride by searching for "train ride" and your zip code.
  • Reindeer sleigh ride.
  • Beach side candlelight dinner.
  • Eat dinner in a real gingerbread house! Great Wolf Lodge celebrates with Snowland during the Christmas holiday. One of the events is the chance to eat inside a real gingerbread house. You can reserve your spot for $20 (goes to Big Brothers Big Sisters program) for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The house holds up to 6 people. We were able to eat dinner there last year and the kids loved it! There were real cookies, candies, and donuts on the walls.
Looking inside at the train
Outside of the gingerbread house

  • Target shooting, skeet shooting.
  • Laser Tag.
  • Sports game.

  • Duck tour. Here's the link to the Boston Duck Tours, but other cities have them too. Google your city and "duck tour".
  • Guided fishing tours, such as inter-coastal fishing. We did this years ago on our honeymoon and had a great time.
  • Zipline tour.
  • Race track behind the scenes tour.
  • Guided city tour (gangster, haunted, beer or winery, etc.)

  • A pet. A dog or cat can make a big difference in someone's life, especially if they live alone or are a kid. My hubby's first dog was a gift from his Aunt for his birthday. He has had a dog ever since. DM Tip: If you cannot commit to a real pet, try Sea Monkeys. Nothing like watching Brine shrimp to brighten your day!

Bernardo's sea monkeys.
There is one in the red circle.

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