Experiences for Christmas
With Christmas approaching, it's almost inevitable that our homes are about to be hit with an onslaught of ‘stuff’ that our children will obsess over for a week and then deposit into the toy graveyard. After hearing that Perform’s Jungle Rumble West End theatre tickets were being bought as Christmas presents, it got me thinking - are 'experiences' a better alternative to material gifts?
Watching my children grow up, I’ve realised that their memories of experiences lasted considerably longer than any toy I’ve ever bought them. Even as an adult, when I think back to Christmases and birthdays, I struggle to recall presents I received. The moments that do stand out are trips and experiences with my family. On top of this, the climate crisis cannot be ignored so now is a better time than ever to look for alternatives when it comes to gifts for our children.
Here are a few you might consider:
Tickets to the theatre
I always loved going to the theatre when I was growing up and it was a great source of inspiration to me! We’re spoiled for choice with a huge range of fantastic shows to see in the West End from Frozen to Mary Poppins to The Lion King - there really is something for everyone. Even better, Perform are making our West End debut next year at The Fortune Theatre with our brand new show Jungle Rumble. Why not give the children something to look forward to in February half term? junglerumble.show
How about gifting a ticket to one of the many museums we have in London and the surrounding areas? Both my son and daughter went through a phase of being utterly obsessed with dinosaurs and loved the exhibitions at The Natural History museum. There are often lots of interactive sections and activities in museums or, better yet, there is an event running called ‘Dino Snores’ in which the children can spend the night for a twilight exploration of the museum and lots of fun activities! www.nhm.ac.uk/events/dino-snores-for-kids
Pottery & Paint
If your child enjoys arts and crafts they may enjoy a day out at a pottery and paint cafe. There are lots of these dotted around which can serve as a family day out or a play date. It’s also fun to have their piece of art/pottery take away from the experience too as a keepsake! www.claytime.london/pottery-parties-for-children
A trip to the zoo can be a really exciting day out in itself, but there are also some fantastic add-ons available. For example, at London Zoo you can go behind the scenes to feed the monkeys or meet the penguins. An even bigger treat for older children is for your child to become a junior zoo keeper for the day! What an unforgettable experience that would be. www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo/experiences
Half term holiday courses
It’s no secret that my children’s social life is often better than my own, which can make it difficult to fit in all the extra-curricular activities they’d like to try. Half-term is a great opportunity to treat them to something a little bit different. Whether it’s a week of ice skating, trampolining or a Perform holiday course this will be an exciting gift for the children to look forward to and a great opportunity for them to try something new. www.perform.org.uk/hansel
Although, at least for me, it’s probably unrealistic to avoid material gifts altogether, it’s great to think about more sustainable, beneficial and long-lasting presents. Merry Christmas!