6 Gift Experiences the Whole Family Can Enjoy Together

6 Gift Experiences the Whole Family Can Enjoy Together

This year, don’t buy “things” for your family – invest in experiences to share instead.

By Elizabeth Brownfield

We’ve all witnessed the dizzying aftermath of the holidays: living rooms strewn with mountains of wrapping paper, and toys that the kids forget a minute after opening them. This year, instead of buying more stuff, consider a gift more in keeping with the spirit of the holidays: an experience the whole family can enjoy together. Whether you’re looking for the right gift for your own gang, extended family, or close friends, these whole-family activities will build togetherness and create lasting memories for years to come.

Indoor Fun
Invest in something fun for the home, like a karaoke machine, foosball table, or book series or DVD collection everyone can read or watch together. Or, add to your collection of board games – you can even get personalized versions of certain classics.

Outdoor Fun
We could all use a little inspiration to get outside and be active during the colder months. Craft your own “snowman making kit” with an inexpensive top hat (available at costume and party stores), scarf, corncob pipe, some black buttons for eyes – and don’t forget a plastic carrot for a nose). Or, consider buying gear or outerwear for a winter adventure the family can take together, like snowshoeing, ice skating, or sledding.

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Day Passes
Tickets to an amusement park, ice skating rink, or ski slope, or a gift certificate to a bowling alley, gaming arcade, or 3-D movie theater are foolproof whole-family gifts. Or, look for an upcoming play, concert, performance, or sporting event everyone will love.

Culinary Treats
If you’ve got aspiring chefs in your family (or just kiddos who love to eat, and are eager to help!), think about a cooking-related present. A pizza- or cupcake-making kit, an ice cream or popcorn maker, or a monthly food club subscription will make delicious memories and get everyone together in the kitchen.


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Become a member

An annual membership can mean family fun 365 days a year. Consider a pass to a zoo, aquarium, botanical garden, or science center. Or buy a membership at a children’s museum, art museum, or history museum.

Weekend Trip
Remember the excitement and anticipation you had as a kid when you were going somewhere new? Pick a destination and include everyone in the planning. Go on a family road trip to explore museums, restaurants, and landmarks in a new city (or take a train so Mom and Dad can relax – and maybe even chat! – instead of focusing on driving). Book an overnight at a treehouse resort, a yurt with a view, or a national park lodge, and enjoy a couple days of hiking. Or pick a “bucket list” activity like a zip line tour, hot air balloon ride, or helicopter tour, and build a memorable trip around the adventure.

How does your family enjoy spending fun time together?

Elizabeth Brownfield is a food and lifestyle writer who has been on the staffs of Metropolitan Home, Martha Stewart, Domino, and Every Day with Rachael Ray magazines.

Image ©iStock.com/ PeopleImages

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