Unusual Gift Experience Ideas for Xmas

By: Richard Adams
Every year we own more and more and need less and less. And every year finding unusual gifts for Xmas becomes more of a challenge. So many people these days seem to have everything they need and want (and then some!).

This is where the beauty of "experiences" can come in handy.

Experience days aren't so much a physical gift as an experience - a day out - something different to do.

There are literally hundreds of options available but here I'm just going to try and get your creative juices flowing as I lay out a few of the unusual gifts for Xmas I have either given or received over the last few years.

They're often not as expensive as you might first imagine, so put some tought into the sort of outing your loved ones might enjoy and get them something totally unique.

1) Helicopter Flight

You can arrange it for someone to go flying through the sky in a helicopter at over 200 miles per hour. Do you know anyone who loves speed or aircraft in general?

2) Flying Lessons

Whether it's a helicopter, plane or hot air balloon you can arrange a trial (typically one hour) lesson where your loved one will get to take control of the craft for some time, learn about how to fly and enjoy some once-in-a-lifetime views to boot. I flew a glider earlier on this year and it was a fantastic experience!

3) Family Portrait

This is one I bought for my Mum a few years ago. It involved a session at a professional photography studio where we went for a family photo shoot. The results were great and are proudly displayed on her wall for all to see.

4) Skid Pan

Go and drive a BMW round a simulated icy road, learning to handle the car is a variety of conditions and situations. Great fun though quite nerve wracking. For most driving-related experiences the recipient will need a full driving license.

5) Day At A Health Spa

One for my sister - a day for two at a health spa. A range of spas are included so there's one within a reasonable travelling distance of just about anyone. You go along and use all the facilities - have a swim, sit in the sauna, jump in the jacuzzi, have a massage, manicure and so on. Come out at the end feeling like a pampered princess!

6) Dinner For Two

You can prepay now for dinner at a restaurant of your choice in plenty of locations. You know how it is - so many of us look at the price of the meals in a restaurant as much as what dishes they're serving. Treat someone to a meal and they'll be able to choose from a set menu and enjoy the food rather than worry about the cost.

7) Environmentally-Aware Gifts

You can arrange for trees to be planted, training to be given to third world farmers or rainforest to be bought in someones name so if they're the kind of person who appreciates the ethical and the wholesome, there are plenty of possibilities.

8) Cookery Course

Be careful your loved one doesn't think you're hinting they *can't* cook! These days will take an existing cook and teach them new techniques, flavours and ideas. And hopefully as a result, you'll benefit from their new-found skills too :-)
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