Alternative Christmas Gift Ideas for Families and Children

Alternative Christmas gifts for families

What do you get the family or child for Christmas who already has everything they could possibly need? More plastic tat? Or something that’s going to provide memories that last longer than the wrapping paper?

We’re a big fan here of buying experiences rather than stuff. Are you?

The gift of travel should never be underestimated. Travel, even if it’s just to the little farm across the other side of town, opens up children to new experiences and broadens their horizons. It gives them something to talk about and draw on when they need inspiration. It shows them that life goes on outside their four walls, whether they are literal walls or those that exist in their online world.

Here are some ideas for experiences and days out for families and children (some of these are affiliate links and we may earn a small amount if you choose to buy after you’ve clicked through).

Membership to the National Trust

Join the National Trust and enjoy entry to a wealth of places of interest all around the UK. Family memberships for two adults and up to 10 children (or grandchildren) is £126 per year for example – a one adult membership costs £78 a year.

Membership includes……

  • Free entry to over 500 special places, such as The Royal Burial Ground at Sutton Hoo or Polesden Lacey
  • Free parking at most National Trust car parks
  • National Trust Handbook full of ideas to help you plan a visit
  • National Trust Magazine sent to you three times a year
  • Regular newsletters sent straight to your inbox

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A membership to English Heritage

Similarly, English Heritage have a family membership available – Two adults and up to 12 children is £105 per year. You can buy this is a gift and it will go to your recipient as a gift pack and be active from the date of first use.

There are lots of places to visit around the UK including Stonehenge, Eltham Palace, and Bolsover Castle


The London Eye from the City Cruises boat on the Thames in London

A day trip to London

My children love a trip to London. Granted, it takes us more than a day from Yorkshire – we usually make a 2 – 3 day break out of it – but it’s great for a day trip. There’s so much to do for families. Check out our round-up of things to do in London with kids.

Why not buy your favourite city trippers entry to one of the numerous attractions, such as London Zoo, Kidzania, or Madame Tussauds, London? Or maybe an open top bus tour with Big Bus Tours?



Young Driver at Leconfield East Yorkshire

Driving Skills!

We are big fans of kids’ driving lessons. I think it’s a great way of introducing road sense to younger teens before they start lessons on the road. It gives them a much bigger appreciation for the sensible attitude you need when learning to drive and when using the roads once you’ve passed your test. The lessons are suitable for 10 years and up (4′ 8″ minimum height requirement).

Check out our review of Young Driver UK lessons


What are you planning on buying your loved ones for Christmas?

Disclosure – article contains affiliate content


Joanne and the girly gang review family days out around the UK and beyond, with a little help from their friends.

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