blog christmas gift expereinceIn the hustle and bustle of the season, could there be a way to skip the stores and still get a Christmas gift they will love? No, I’m not talking about online shopping! I’m talking about giving those you love an experience.

In our family, some of the most cherished gifts are things you can’t wrap under the tree. Since most of us don’t need more material goods, we enjoy giving experiences which make memories that last! 

One of my favorite gifts from my parents was a family membership to the Naperville Children's Museum for our family. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving! We thought of them every time we went there all year. 

When you give an experience as a gift, the key is finding something they will enjoy that fits in your budget. It could be something super simple like a date with you to a local coffee shop, or it could be a little more elaborate. 

Let’s look at some ideas for experiences that our loved ones may enjoy!



Many children have so many toys they don’t play with half of them. They may enjoy a new one, but it will quickly get lost among the others. That’s why experiences are so great. They will have the memory far longer than they will enjoy a toy. Think about getting them a…

  • pass or membership to the Zoo (Brookfield and Cosley Zoo are both great)
  • membership to a children's museum
  • ticket to a new movie (with money for popcorn of course)
  • ticket to take the Metra train (into the city or to Toot Toot’s restaurant in Glen Ellyn)
  • kids manicure/pedicure
  • ticket to a children’s show at a local theater
  • ticket to a sporting event
  • couple of games of bowling
  • horseback riding lesson
  • series of swim lessons


Teenagers can be really tricky to buy gifts for. They have outgrown most toys, but money feels so impersonal. A great solution is to give them an experience they would love! Consider giving the teens in your life a/an...

  • ticket to a new movie (with money for popcorn of course)
  • manicure/pedicure
  • ticket to a show at a local theater
  • ticket to a sporting event
  • a Spotify credit
  • craft class (pottery, macramé, etc.)
  • horseback riding lesson
  • music class
  • escape room experience


  • ticket to a sporting event
  • manicure/pedicure
  • ticket to a show at a local theater
  • Spotify credit
  • store membership (Costo, etc.)
  • escape room experience
  • axe throwing experience
  • massage
  • coupon for watching their kids
  • coupon for making them dinner
  • weekend away
  • cooking class
  • sip and paint night
  • craft class (pottery, macramé, etc)
  • trip away through extra airline miles
  • membership to an outdoor space like the Morton Arboretum

When you sit down and think of each individual, you’ll be surprised with how many creative ideas you can come up with. These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. I’d love to hear if you use any of these ideas or come up with any of your own!

Dr. Jamie