Friday, December 13, 2013

Give An Experience - from $ to $$$$

You can do this two ways - if you have the money, you can go wild and check out this site: CLOUD 9. Check it out anyway just for fun!

Search by your city or region for the most popular experiences, or by category, such as action and adventure - be a fighter pilot for a day, learn to fly a helicopter, be a race car driver or get golf lessons wiht a PGA pro.  Choose from 1800 experiences nation wide.  You can also GIVE A GIFT CERTIFICATE and let your recipient decide... after they stop screaming while jumping up and down.

Pick your region and find wine tours, restaurant hops, dinner cruises, indoor skydiving, in-home cooking classes, kayak tours, mother/daughter or couples photo sessions, bull riding, paint ball, astrology readings,  zipline, bungee jumping, brewery hop, trapeze lessons, sunset balloon rides. The list is fairly endless.

If you have little dough but are creative, you can do as much and as wonderful in a very different way.

Here are a few ideas to get you thinking. Just let your creativity go. And don't worry about presentation. Print out pictures or type up a description or get markers or a calligraphy pen and write it out like a certificate on colored paper. Put them in a box and wrap it. Roll it up an dried a giant shiny ribbon around it. Get some of the things that might go with the gift and put them in a basket... you get the idea.

Check your local zoo and Aquarium for behind the scenes experiences with the animals, or things like being  vet for the day. They often cost little for max impact. I got to feed a lion and did an ugly cry through the hugest smile I've ever smiled because it was so moving and AWESOME. I was dizzy, had a great story, and truly forever changed. All for about $55. How valuable is THAT??

Get tickets to something like a baseball game, Blue Man Group, Stomp, Circque du Soleil, the Planetarium...These won't break the bank and are not like plays - they are all round pleasers, and you can never get a bad seat, even if you buy the bargain seats.

How about a home cooked meal for your foodie, something their mom made them, or their favorite dishes that you usually only have once a year (like a full Thanksgiving dinner served in July). Get out the good stuff and set the table with it, candles and toasting glasses, even if they are filled with sparkling water. Present it or have them come into the kitchen to keep you company - the below just may happen!

A museum trip that you plan and pay for (include transportation)  for your art lover. Maybe add in a lunch, brunch, or cocktails in town around it. You can include brochures from different museums in the area to help them choose.

For a spouse, give them a promise to do the dishes or laundry for six months – or give them a few weekends where they can do whatever they want, alone or with you. And make sure to do it!!!

For a parent, give a free night of babysitting. To them, this means an evening doing whatever they’d most enjoy doing without having to worry at all about their children.

There are so many other things:
* Commit to the big, long games like Monopoly or Risk,
* Get a 10, 000 piece puzzle to give to mom or Grandma and do it with her,
* Doing some kind of craft or baking with them, and providing that's needed

* Give a boxed set of a movie/series someone special has been wanting. Watch it together.
* Promise to learn that card game Grandpa likes and pledge to come over 4 Sundays of his choice to spend a few hours playing it - and bring snacks and libations!! And take pictures to remember it all!!

Hopefully this will get your wheels turning, and I bet you will end up feeling it was one of the best gifts you've ever given.

Photo credit for baking and game night:

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