Are you struggling to think of gift ideas for kids or teens? How about giving them an experience gift? An experience gift can be anything from tickets to see a favourite artist live in concert to bowling or paintballing with friends. We have polled our kids and teens and they have given us these excellent experience gift ideas for kids and teens all fully approved by their friends!
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Experiences are the gifts that keep on giving, as the memories and stories of those excursions and days out last much longer than the event itself.
Few of us need more ‘stuff’, and that most often applies to kids and teens. By creating memories and focusing on ‘doing’ rather than ‘getting’, you are helping to broaden your child’s horizons and encourage their interests.
Do they enjoy arts and crafts? Then why not try a hands-on pottery or jewellery-making class? If they are sport-mad, they’re sure to love a behind the scenes experience at a major stadium. The opportunities for memorable experiences are limitless, and don’t have to cost a fortune. Check out our kid-approved list of experience gift ideas below and see which one your child would love!
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Excellent Experience Gift Ideas
Escape Room Experience
What could be more fun than working with your besties to get out of a tricky situation? Escape rooms, with a variety of themes and exciting elements, are growing in popularity all the time and we have rounded up some of the best escape room experiences on offer in Ireland.
How about a voucher for your local cinema so your child, tween or teen can treat their friends to the latest blockbuster? For younger children you could get them a family movie ticket and let them choose what you all have to go and see.
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Giving your child the gift of cooking is something they will always have as they grow. Look at local cookery schools, cafés or classes that run days for kids and teens, and get them booked in for a fun day of learning.
This experience gift idea has the added bonus of giving you a night off cooking dinner!
Horse Riding Lesson
If your child is crazy about animals, how about a day at the local stables? You could arrange for them to have a riding lesson and stay on to help out with the horses.
A Day Out to a Big City
I gave this experience to my teen and her friends recently and they loved it. We travelled by car but parked outside of the city and took public transport into the city centre. I went with them, but they headed off shopping on their own for several hours. If shopping is not their thing, check out what other fun things there are to do before you travel.
For those living in bigger cities, you could visit a smaller more rural one for a fun day out with a difference.
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From whitewater rafting and surfing to kayaking and paddle boarding, there are any amount of watersport experiences that can be booked for all ages.
Another popular choice for on the water is to visit an inflatable water experience.
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Concert or Show Tickets
Show or concert tickets are always a popular choice. You may need to accompany younger children but could give tickets to teens to attend with a friend.
Get their adrenaline racing with a trip around a go kart track! Some tracks even offer Grand Prix style racing options.
An Unusual Class Experience
How about booking them onto a class for something they never thought about before? From sewing, archery and golf to tap dancing, chess or pottery – it may ignite a new passion in them to take up a new hobby.
My Mum got this for her and my tween to go to a 5-star hotel and have afternoon tea. They both loved it and are still talking about it months later!
Hot Air Balloon Ride
This would make a super experience gift for a special birthday or celebration. There are various companies who offer this experience and do look out for deals on offer websites such as Groupon and Living Social.
Ice Skating with Hot Chocolate
Around November and December ice rinks spring up around the country and we happen to have a handy list of them already compiled for you.
During the year there are ice rinks that are open to the public in some larger towns and cities, including those with ‘fake ice’ which are accessible any time of year. Round off your ice skating experience with a hot chocolate for everyone!
I love a good game of bowling with the kids. We are not very good so usually ask to have the guard rails put up (even the adults!), but it is a fun experience to do as a family or with a group of friends.
Audible, Netflix or Spotify Subscription
With many kids and teens owning their own mobile phones or devices, a subscription to one of the many streaming services for films, music or books would make a good gift.
Pamper Day Experience
From getting their nails done to relaxing with friends at a spa, this is the ultimate experience for teens to receive as a gift. You could go together or give the gift to your teen to take a friend along. Take inspiration from our favourite Disney nails, or go for something seasonal with Spring, Summer, Halloween or Christmas nail designs.
For the men in your life you could get them a hot towel shave or a voucher for their favourite barber if spending a day at the spa does not appeal.
Most teens love to experiment with make up and while they go online to view the best ways to apply everything from lip-stick to eye make up, there is nothing like one-on-one tuition to get your look just right.
So consider booking your teen in for a style experience where they learn to apply make up in a way that best suits them. This gift has the added benefit of guidance on the best foundation colour for their skin tone!
Whether they have always dreamed of running out onto the pitch at Croke Park or seeing the dressing rooms at Thomond Park, a day out to one of our National Stadiums would be a dream come true for many teens. Better still would be if there were tickets to see a game thrown in!
We also have a wealth of sports activities to choose from including centres where you can take part in a number of different sports, wall climbing facilities, sailing clubs, tennis clubs and much more besides.
Theme Park Tickets
You don’t have to go to Orlando to experience a theme park, check out our round up of theme parks around the USA, UK & Europe for an amazing experience they will remember forever.
Most kids and teens like to get a day out at the shops so they can choose their own clothes. So organise a day with friends where you can stay close by with a coffee, a good book and of course your credit card!
Tickets to An Unusual Museum
Many museums are free to visit but there are some fun themed museums around the country that your child or teen may like to experience.
What about The Little Museum of Dublin, Cork City Gaol, The Wax Museum or EPIC, Irish Emigration Museum?
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Going to the theatre is a cool experience, and obviously the big shows are good ones to go to, but look out for more unusual theatre shows (as long as age appropriate obviously!).
I took my daughters to see a one man show about Tom Crean a couple of years ago and they both thoroughly enjoyed that.
Looking For More?
If the idea of putting money in a card doesn’t appeal to you, what about one of these Leaving Cert gift ideas that aren’t money?
Kids (and teens!) love a good old jump about and there are plenty of trampoline centres around now to book in for a trampoline session. Some centres run exercise and skills classes too for those looking to learn even niftier trampoline skills.
Off Road Driving Experience
Depending on the age of your child, many would love the opportunity to test their driving skills in a safe environment. There are tracks around the country where you can drive everything from top of the range cars to tanks to quad bikes.
If your child or teen is too young to drive themselves, look out for an off-road jeep safari experience.
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What other experience gift ideas would you add to our list? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!