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Birthdays

(82 Posts)
ExDancer Mon 13-Mar-23 09:59:20

My daughter and husband have birthdays in the same month and this year I'd like to buy them an 'experience' day out. They seem to have everything else they need.
Has anyone had experience of this kind of thing - is it a good idea or a totally rubbish one?
Any recommendations?
SE England.

annodomini Wed 15-Mar-23 15:06:12

It occurred to me that these video personal messages from their favourite celeb, would also be a great gift for elderly or housebound people - a surprise on the day and something to treasure and replay whenever they want.

I devoutly hope that if this idea occurs to any of my nearest and dearest, they will

annodomini Wed 15-Mar-23 15:08:11

Something went wrong there. It should read "they will speedily reject it"

Magrithea Wed 15-Mar-23 15:23:52

I've both bought and been given experience days - it depends on their interests but there are lots to choose from. Have a look in your location as there are often local businesses offering these. I've still got a balloon flight to take! I recently did a Birds of Prey day and that was great.

Modompodom Wed 15-Mar-23 15:24:39

For Christmas 2021 I gave my daughter and her husband a night's stay at the Mermaid Inn in Rye, with dinner and breakfast. This year I am getting them brunch at the Shard when they decide on a date, then I will book it.

NotSpaghetti Wed 15-Mar-23 15:27:25

Ha ha. Me too AD grin

ATG theatre vouchers only work in 35 venues.
I would be wary of those, personally.

Shropshirelass Wed 15-Mar-23 15:44:59

I purchased an experience for a Christmas present, it wasn’t taken up an expired. In my experience it was a waste of money.

TheMaggiejane1 Wed 15-Mar-23 15:57:51

One of our DDs bought us a Red Letter experience the Christmas before last. It has been impossible to use it. First the venue had no availability until after THIS Christmas. When we contacted them in January they said they were no longer doing the experience and we needed to contact Red Letter. However, it is impossible to contact them as they don’t answer their phone and emails come back saying the facility is no longer available. I certainly would never buy anything from them.

Corkie91 Wed 15-Mar-23 17:06:48

An experience is a lovely gift, been given many as gifts and have also bought some. Virgin and red letter do good ones. Been gifted a trip up the Shard, climbing over the O2 day at the races, meal at a mitchelin restaurant

grandtanteJE65 Wed 15-Mar-23 17:25:55

I think this would make a pleasant change for them, as long as you are sure that you know the kind of things they like doing together, and that whatever you give them is not too tightly bound down to a specific period.

We were given a weekend away at a hotel, which we were unable to use, due to pressure of work, before the offer expired

If you can avoid this pitfall, go ahead with your plan by all means.

ChickenLicken Wed 15-Mar-23 17:50:48

We’ve had experience gifts - with the same mixed results as others have shared. It is shame & a waste when the gift can’t be used. DH was given one for a racing car day but reading the small print put him off (something about liability if damage occurred so insurance advised, raising the cost to him). Last year he had a train trip voucher which was great but in order to use it incurred extra costs due to distance & timing.
We give GC small personal gifts at Christmas but also money for ‘family fun’ to their parents so they can enjoy doing something they want together, bowling/day out/extra treats on holiday.
I’d rather be asked what I’d like - I don’t need anymore ornaments 🙄🤣

Dowsabella Wed 15-Mar-23 17:59:12

For my 70th birthday my children asked what I wanted. I said I'd like to ride on a motorcycle - I didn't say, but I hoped for a Harley-Davidson. What I actually got was a lesson on a 45ft HGV which was absolutely wonderful. (I think I missed my vocationwink) My DGD was allowed in the passenger seat, and must have seen how much I enjoyed it, so at age 10, some 2 years later, she has had a junior driving experience and enjoyed that just as much by the expression on her face!! So, warning: one experience can lead to another.......

PS. I was surprised by the number of grey-haired ladies of my generation who were also queuing for their turn. I think we were catching up, having lived through an era when certain jobs were for men

Tenko Wed 15-Mar-23 18:16:02

I’ve been both the giver and receiver of experience days and you need to find an experience that the receiver would like , not the giver . I love a spa/ pamper day , afternoon tea . My dh is a petrol head and lives anything with an engine . He’s done driving experiences , including driving an articulated lorry and loved them . A hot air balloon trip was amazing . I’d suggest thinking outside the box and have a day out or lovely lunch . Or if the experience is not local a night away in a hotel.
As for expiry dates , you can extend them , you may have to pay to extend but at least the experience doesn’t get wasted .

DeeJaysMum Wed 15-Mar-23 18:51:39

I'm in agreement with everyone who's said to make sure whatever you do is something the recipient will want to do.
My birthday is next week and with Mother's Day this weekend, my son always tries to buy me separate gifts, except this year.
This year he's told me that he's got me a ticket for a show (as a gift for both my celebrations) next Wednesday, which sounds lovely except that this is a show that HE wants to see, and is off absolutely no interest to me. He also said that he'd got a ticket for his partner (who also has no interest in this show).
I was also informed that none of my clothing is suitable for a trip to the theatre so I'd need to buy a new outfit.
I've spent ages and money I could do without spending, trying to find something HE would consider 'suitable', and I've now given up and told him that I really don't want to go and he should try to get a refund on my ticket.
He's now not talking to me because he thinks I should just stuck it up and get on with it but I believe that a 'gift' should be something the recipient wants or would enjoy, not something done for the benefit of the giver.

Nannan2 Wed 15-Mar-23 19:06:15

I got one of AC a paint balling experience day for up to 10- he never used it i dont think he thought it was an actual day out- or an actual gift that i had in fact paid for🙄🤨

BlueBelle Wed 15-Mar-23 19:42:45

My youngest bought her eldest a gift to partner a pilot in the cockpit as she was talking about wanting to work in aeroplanes
She never used it to this day that was 3 years ago

Milest0ne Wed 15-Mar-23 20:01:30

I bought GD a horse riding lesson but even though I offered to take her she didn't use it.
We were bought a wine tasting and vineyard visit experience, but couldn't fit it in within the limited time .
If you buy an experience do check the time limit as some have a very short life

Riggie Wed 15-Mar-23 20:37:12

I got DH an on line cheese tasting. Can't tell you what it is like until after Friday!!

We will get 5 cheeses "enough for your household" and a lack of crackers. They should arrive tomorrow and the on Friday there's an hour on zoom where the maker talks about cheeses and does a guided tasting.

I actually booked the tasting but they Ksondo gift cards as well.

SuperTinny Wed 15-Mar-23 21:04:45

Really good suggestions up thread.

I bought my D and SiL hotel vouchers for Christmas because I knew they were keen to visit a particular city for a short break. They are valid for a year and the value can be topped up by the recipients to enable them to book as many nights as they want.
And it wasn't for a an expensive hotel, just a bog standard city hotel chain.
Theatre or cinema vouchers are also good as it allows the recipients an element of choice. Cinema vouchers can also continue to be used until the value is used up.
Or, if they have a holiday booked, how about a prepaid currency card? You can buy them from the post office and load it with whatever amount you choose.

Nightsky2 Wed 15-Mar-23 21:25:00

What about a gift token for a stay in a nice country hotel.

yellowcanary Wed 15-Mar-23 21:31:35

Theatre tokens in general might be better than ATG tokens - they are valid in far more venues and don't have end dates (according to the site). I had some generated from a cashback site (over £200 worth) which came in handy as my friend and myself enjoy going to our local theatre. Sometimes you can book online with them or have to ring the theatre (I had to do the second). My sister has given me several spa/lunch or spa/afternoon tea vouchers which have been welcomed and used, for my 60th birthday she gave me a years membership to the National Botanic Garden of Wales which I thoroughly enjoyed using - when it expired I renewed it myself smile. It also gives entry to several other Gardens - unfortunately I haven't been to them as they are too far away, will have to arrange a holiday near them smile.

Anneeba Wed 15-Mar-23 21:47:28

I'd definitely recommend not getting balloon rides. Gave both daughters rides for them and their partners, but cancellation after cancellation due to poor weather conditions finally resulted in their actually getting into the basket only for one now son-in-law to nearly lose a finger as the rope caught his hand in a gust of wind and then the whole trip cancelled yet again. Never happened. Still, I expect a certain person could buy a few more palm trees for his island...

Frankie51 Wed 15-Mar-23 23:18:58

I've been bought experiences for landmark birthdays, eg a champagne afternoon tea for two, a long weekend with champagne and dinner in a lovely country hotel, and a wine tasting in an English vineyard with afternoon tea. All for two and thoroughly enjoyed .I bought my son and daughter in law a meal followed by the cinema . I looked after the children for the night. They loved it. Not all experiences are daredevil ones. You can get cookery classes , all sorts of things now. They are worthwhile if you get the right experience for the right person .Or you could make up your own . National Trust membership is expensive and involves travelling and not everyone is keen on going round houses or gardens . You also need to buy their partners membership too so they can have a companion.

janipans Thu 16-Mar-23 10:08:18

Experience days are good and if you buy one they don't like it can normally be exchanged for a different one (for a fee!). I also contacted a hotel myself and arranged an afternoon tea for two for my stepmothers birthday. I also arrange for flowers to be delivered to her from a florist local to her - so easy to just give credit card details to pay for something with a business that might be hundreds of miles away.

Thisismyname1953 Thu 16-Mar-23 11:13:48

I have a DD who turns 50 this year . I have got her and her DH tickets for ladies day at the Grand National next month . They have been before and really enjoyed it . I know you are further south but a lot of the race courses have special days over the next few months . You don’t even have to bet in order to enjoy the races .

Bibblebibbleblop Fri 17-Mar-23 08:34:00

I was once bought a Komodo dragon feeding experience- amazing present!!