Ava rides a horse

It took awhile to figure out what to get Ava for her birthday… she’s the hardest one of our kids to buy for because she’s not really into anything… except reading and art. And we have plenty of books and more art supplies than we can keep track of! This year we decided to give each of our kids an incredible experience for their birthday.

I feel like the “in” thing for kids to get these days is a new gadget… the latest and greatest iPod, iPad, iPhone, etc. But we don’t really let the kids play on devices very much so they really have no need for their own devices (we will be getting them iPads for our Europe trip since they will legitimately need them for reading and schoolwork). So, we came back to the idea of an experience. We focus a lot on creating memorable experiences for our family and birthdays are the perfect time to give each kid their own special experience!

Like I said, Lia and Max were easy. Lia got tickets to the Taylor Swift concert and Max got to go to a Chiefs game. As Ava’s birthday drew closer, I got more and more nervous… what kind of special experience could we give her? And then I happened upon a Groupon for horseback riding lessons. Ava loves horses, so I thought this would be perfect!

Her birthday was in November, but with the holidays, our cabin trip, and everyone being sick over Christmas break, we didn’t get a chance to start her lessons until a couple weeks ago. Josh took her to her first lesson and she was in absolute heaven! She climbed right up onto Boomer with no fear at all and followed all of the instructions for trotting and she even got to brush the horse. And lucky for her, she’s got five more lessons!

Do you try to give your kids a special experience for their birthday? We’d love to hear more about it! Leave us a comment below! This post is part of a collaborative project called Childhood Unplugged. To find out more information, click over to the website or Facebook page!

birthday present horseback riding lessons at timbermist farmslittle girl learning to ride a horse

Jenny (290 Posts)

Jenny Solar is the co-founder of The Happy Family Movement and Phone Monsters, Inc. She's a wife to Josh and mama to three kiddos: Max, Ava, and Lia. She's passionate about creating memorable experiences for her family and inspiring others to do the same.


Jenny these are great! That first image with the light piercing in through the window is dreamy! We have really been focusing more on experiences also. My husband just got back on Sunday with my oldest and three of his friends. For his 17th birthday this month he wanted to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that is in Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure in Orlando. He has been reading the books and is really into them. He said they had an awesome time. 

I'm finding that experiences are more fulfilling! Looks like Ava had a great time!

happyfammvmt moderator

@mcalderin thanks Monica! I have to give the credit for the photos to my hubby :) But we are both solidly on board with experiences over things! How incredibly fun for your son!! I am certain he will never forget his 17th birthday!


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