10 gift ideas that aren’t “things”

Sometimes the nicest gifts aren’t even “things” at all. Whether it’s a class to inspire a new hobby or something that gets them out and about, “things to do” gifts show that you really know a person, and it’s always nice to buy something you know they will definitely use! So if you are looking for a thoughtful gift that’s a little out of the ordinary, see if anything on my list inspires you!

Gift ideas

For a theatre lover:

1. Theatre tickets. Well if someone likes theatre, they’re bound to appreciate tickets to see a show. It could be tickets to a specific show you know they’ll love, or if you want to leave the choice up to them try Theatre Tokens or even a gift voucher for their local theatre.

2. Theatre workshop. Something a little more unusual for theatre creatives. Check out your local independent theatre for their upcoming workshops. For example, HOME MCR always have an interesting schedule of industry-led practical workshops.

For a foodie:

3. Cooking class. I love the fact that some of Manchester’s restaurants also offer cookery classes. Zouk offers half day courses in Indian dishes with their expert chefs and at Chaophraya you can learn to master Thai cooking. Plus you’ll get to eat your creations at the end of the session!

4. Restaurant gift cards. If cookery classes are too adventurous though, you can’t go wrong with a gift card for their favourite restaurant or for somewhere they haven’t got around to trying yet!

For a crafter:

5. Crafting workshop or voucher. Manchester’s Ministry of Craft not only offers a range of sewing and crafting workshops, they also sell gift vouchers valid against any of the workshops so that you can give the gift of “crafting time”. Or how about one of Annie Sloan’s chalk painting techniques workshops to inspire some furniture up-cycling projects? Or even a calligraphy class! There are plenty of craft skills workshops out there, so you just have to find one in your local area.

For someone who needs pampering:

6. Spa treatment. Why not buy someone a voucher for a spa day or treatment for a bit of pampering? And if you don’t know what they’d like, I also think a Treatwell gift card is a nice idea because it leaves the choice of venue, treatment and date up to them.

7. Afternoon tea voucher. Because surely cake is the best gift ever?! Most tea shops who serve afternoon tea also offer gift vouchers for afternoon tea.

For an animal lover:

8. Adopt an animal. Show your caring side by giving a gift and giving to charity at the same time. How about adopting a donkey at The Donkey Sanctuary or one of the primates at Monkey World?

For someone who likes to be out and about:

9. National Trust Membership. An annual membership costs £63 and for that you’ll get free entry to over 500 national trust places in the UK. That’s a lot of days out to enjoy!

10. Treasure Trail. This is a cute idea for a Secret Santa gift because the trails are within a £10 budget. There are over 1000 themed treasure trails across the UK, and you can have the printed booklets posted out to you. You can even be extra thoughtful and personalise them.

The opportunities are endless but there will almost certainly be something to suit whoever you’re buying for. So hopefully I’ve inspired you in time for Christmas!

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