Following on from my ‘Stop Buying People Presents’ blog, I wanted to compile some ideas of alternative gifts that I could give. So I’ve trawled the internet and created a list of experiences and  vouchers that won’t clog up someone’s house. I’ve broken it down into Kids/Family, Adults and Local. I’m pretty chuffed with the variation so I thought I’d share it.

Some of these ideas are either vouchers you can buy or even more thoughtful – a voucher for quality time that you can make yourself. I’ve tried to include things of varying cost. However, really, it’s not about financial value but perceived value of what that gift creates. For example, all my sister wanted for the her birthday this year was a lie-in! So I helped facilitate that by watching her kids for a couple of days. The financial cost to me – £0. The value for my sister – £Priceless!

I haven’t included prices or specific retailers etc because the main objective of this list is to spark ideas in you for your loved ones. If anything takes your fancy, google it for more details.


  1. Subscription boxes (craft / science / STEM)
  2. Animal experience at a zoo
  3. Sponsor an animal (zoo/aquarium / sanctuaries)
  4. Magazine subscription
  5. Games night
  6. Movie night in
  7. Movie night out
  8. Nature Scavenger Hunt
  9. Grow Your Own kit (plants/veggies/herbs)
  10. Craft Basket
  11. Amusement Park Tickets
  12. Activity Centre Tickets (trampoline park/soft play / bowling)
  13. Bowling Night Out
  14. Ice-skating
  15. Roller skating
  16. Craft Classes (Sewing/Pottery)
  17. Personalised Voucher book (desert of your choice, movie night, massage, tickle fight, lunch date out from school, face painting session, make-overs, walk in the woods, picnic etc)
  18. Homemade Pizza night
  19. Parent/Child project kit to do together (e.g. go-cart, bird box)
  20. Tubing and Tobogganing (at Chatham Snowsport Centre, Kent)
  21. And if you’re brave, a 52 Voucher book (one thing a week for a year!)
Pic of toboggan at Chatham Snowsports Centre


  1. Subscription boxes (e.g. food/toiletries/drink/books/cassettes/puzzles/stationary/self-care)
  2. Animal experience at a zoo
  3. Sponsor an animal (zoo/aquarium / sanctuaries)
  4. Ultimate date night
  5. Magazine subscription
  6. Wine tasting / Cookery Class
  7. Garden membership (RHS or National Trust)
  8. Food hamper (chocolate/savory/beer/spices)
  9. Theatre tickets/voucher
  10. Sports event tickets
  11. Instrument lessons
  12. Babysitting voucher for friends
  13. Professional cleaning services
  14. The gift of a lie in!
  15. Salon voucher
  16. Photography lesson
  17. Craft Class (Calligraphy workshop / life drawing class / sewing / knitting / macramé / pottery / ceramic / blacksmith / glass blowing class / perfume making / flower arranging)
  18. Site-seeing bus or walking tour
  19. Adventure voucher (flying trapeze / indoor or outdoor sky diving / helicopter ride / go-karting / flying lesson / zorbing / climbing / abseiling / bungee / land yachting / segway / paintballing / zipwire / zombie experience)
  20. Escape Room
  21. Dinner on the river Thames.
  22. Chocolate Making Lesson
  23. Skiing/snowboarding lesson
  24. Afternoon Tea
  25. Spa Day
  26. Yoga/Mediation class
  27. Street Art Tour in London
  28. Make your own bespoke shoes
  29. Crime Scene Investigation Day
  30. Stargazing Evening
  31. Organised Pub crawl
  32. Tattoo Voucher
  33. Dinner!
  34. Gym membership (if you’re feeling really brave!)


This section is by no means complete. There are so many wonderful things to do in and around Essex but here’s a few ideas that haven’t been included above, some are even from some awesome people I know…

  1. Seaside Daytrip (Pier train / amusements / RNLI lifeboat centre / ice-cream)
  2. Sealife Centre
  3. Karaoke (Legends, Basildon)
  4. Indoor crazy golf restaurant
  5. Sewing/knitting class at Kayes Textiles
  6. Family Photography Shoot (Mia Davies Photography or Photography by Petra)
  7. Cooking class at Sweet Peas Cake Boutique
  8. 1:1 Dance lesson at Western Dance (Hadleigh) or Wiggles Dance Studios (Southend)
  9. A relaxing yoga/mediation retreat by Kerry Conway Yoga
  10. Reflexology / Indian head massage / massage  by Therapy HQ
  11. Mum To Be Essential Treatment Voucher (includes Pregnancy yoga, dietary advice, birth preparation and pregnancy reflexology/massage. Contact
  12. Massage / Facial by Hummingbird Therapies
  13. First Aid Class for anyone wanting to learn a vital life skill by Daisy First Aid Southend
  14. Weaning Workshop for Babies and Children by Teeny Weanies
  15. Bra Alterations for Breast Feeding Mammas by The Nursing Mumma
  16. Soul Fulfilling Workshop by Soulful Hearts
  17. Holistic Healing (Reiki, Crystals, Angel Oracle Card Reading) from Guided Harmony – Guided Harmony
  18. Personal Stylist for a wardrobe clinic, personal shopping services and outfit creation by Dress Doctor
  19. Organic, vegan and natural mobile Spray Tanning by WooTan
  20. Or of course there’s always a Spacial Wellness voucher to help someone you care about, take control of their spacial wellness, which is effectively the gift of less stress, more freedom to enjoy life, to feel more joy and fall in love with their home again. ;o)

I’ll no doubt be adding to this throughout the year so watch out for the extended version. To keep up to date with tips/tricks, why not join out mailing list below.

Click here for more details about the Spacial Wellness gift voucher. x