- Setting a budget...just like a birthday party, birthday experiences can be provided at any budgetary level. Make sure you consider not only the cost of the tickets (for sporting events, concerts or theme parks for example), but also food and any other souvenirs you are willing to purchase.
- Choosing the experience...every child is different, professional sports events might top the list of some, while others may want to visit a theme park or new museum they haven't been to yet. Others may simply want an over-night stay at a hotel with a pool or to see the professional ballet or symphony. A ride in a helicopter or a limousine might be what other kids have always wanted to do. Decide whether you will offer choices to your child or select it for them.
- Inviting friends...depending on the experience and your budget, you may be able to invite a few friends to go with your child on their experience. Having someone to share an experience with can not only increase enjoyment but also help create even more special memories for your child.
- Giving other gifts...just because you are giving an experience doesn't mean a traditional gift is not possible. Consider giving a gift that coordinates with the experience or maybe something to help time pass on the trip if there is a long car ride to the experience. A new baseball glove if you are going to a baseball game, new tennis shoes if the event requires a lot of walking, maybe let them chose a souvenir from the gift shop or a camera to take pictures during the experience.
- Making it special...Birthdays are all about having a special day for your child. Send invitations if inviting others for the experience. Make a paper announcement or special certificate to detail the experience for your child. Consider ordering a special dessert or maybe bringing a cake to the experience. Give a t-shirt or hat as a party favor if it fits into your budget.
We've all seen it...the pile of gifts at a traditional children's birthday party. It is exciting at the time, but ask them in six months what they received and most won't remember. However, take them to that event they have always wanted to go to and they will surely remember it. In a world where "stuff" seems to overwhelm our lives, consider giving the gift of an experience this year instead of a traditional party. Make a memory with your child they won't soon forget.