Helicopter rides to personalised Lego: 15 ideas for great Christmas presents

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Gourmet food subscriptions, Supercar track days and more...

1. Adopt an animal

From £30 a year

Adopt a polar bear, giraffe, bear cub, hyena, tiger or turtle via the Born Free Foundation, which works to save animals and protect species in the wild. You will get photos of your specific animal, along with regular updates on their progress, with a magazine and various other goodies that really make you feel involved, both with a unique wild animal and also with the global conservation movement.


2. Tour your home town in a helicopter

£65.83 for Boundless members

Enjoy a 25-mile guided helicopter tour over one of a selection of British cities: Cambridge, Edinburgh, Manchester, Newcastle, Liverpool and more. For a full list of cities and booking details: boundless.co.uk

3. Have them made in Lego

From £14.99

What could be better than a tiny Lego caricature of yourself or a loved one, framed with a witty caption and put on your wall? All made by "bona fide building brick professionals (six-year-old children)."


4. Drive two Supercars 

 £71.20 for Boundless members

For a lover of motorsport, what could be better than driving a Supercar on a track? Well, how about driving TWO supercars in the same session. Boundless members can do this at a choice of ten circuits around the UK, with cars available including Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Audi, BMW and more. After your own laps, you’ll get taken round as a passenger at race speed by an expert… 


5. The gift of your time


Breakfast in bed? Back massage? Romantic night in? Formalise your personal offering to your loved one by giving them these free-to-download vouchers that they can cash in when they fancy.


6. Make your own perfume 

£44 for Boundless members

Hone your own scent – for men, for women or for everyone – by blending a combination of 18 fragrances in a unique fashion under the expert guidance of a perfumier. The sessions are available at 26 locations across the country. See boundless.co.uk.

7. Give the gift of… ‘life skills’

There's never been such a range of opportunities for adults to learn new life skills, possibly on the back of a top-rated TV show.

So if Strictly Come Dancing has given you itchy feet – why not learn to dance: Boundless members can sign up for FIVE ballroom or salsa lessons for just £55 at classes all around the country.

If your leisure time has been dominated by watching people making cakes on The Great British Bake Off - why not learn to do it yourself? London's Cookery School offers a range of culinary classes and workshops, including cake baking and Thai food.

Followers of back-to-nature chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage books and TV shows can go at learn to cater the HFW way at a great selection of one or two-day courses, including bread and cheese-making, cooking meat and baking.

Going Digital offer a variety of one-day photography courses at 120 locations across the UK.

'Create something beautiful and learn a new skill' is the call to action of Saturday Sewing Sessions, which offers day workshops in dress-making (and relating sewing workshops) from £110.

Become a sushi master with a fun workshop at Yo Sushi, for just £30: it's fun, you learn something and you get to take home a big plate of fresh sushi that you've made yourself.

Or Boundless members in Staffordshire can improve the look of their home environment forever by taking a lesson in floristry with an award-winning florist for just £37.40.

8. Socks – with a difference

£10 a month

There's something really appealing about giving or receiving a gift that lasts beyond the holiday season, so why not give a subscription? It doesn't have to be a magazine: there's loads of new "...of the month" clubs that are a gift that keeps on giving. Take the London Sock Company's Sock Club , for one, who will send your loved one a monthly delivery of a lovely pair of socks. 

9. A subscription to... wine or beer 

From £21/month

Let your loved one enjoy a premium wine tasting at home with a Wine Sampler, or subscription to try a different wine each month. Well-established wine and beer subscription services on the market include Vinoa, which sends a selection box of six bottles of wine a month, selected to match your own preferences; and Beer52, which sends a monthly selection of craft beers, plus a magazine and a free snack for £24 a month or £21 if you subscribe for the year. 

10. A subscription to... bacon

From £5.95 a month.

The trend for treats arriving through the post on a monthly basis has extended to gourmet food – bacon, for instance. Cure and Simple offer a variety of bacon and even have a way of stopping your dog jumping on the package when it falls through the letterbox... cureandsimple.com/

11. A subscription to... coffee

From £6.95 a month.

Unique and unusual coffee can be delivered direct to the door every month, from small independent farmers from around the world. Perfect gift for coffee lovers. Pact sends boxes of freshly-roasted, world-class coffee to your door. Prefer tea?  Eteaket or the London Tea Club offer by-the-bag or loose leaf options in a variety of herbal, black, white and green teas to the door.

12. Name a star after them

From £49.95

 Mahatma Gandhi, David Bowie, Judy Garland and Bill Clinton are among the two million people to have had stars named after them (don’t worry: there’s another 14 million visible from Earth still waiting for names). You could join the mind-bogglingly diverse crew [http://www.starregistry.co.uk/celebrity-star-names.html] by signing up a loved one to the International Star Registry. It’s been going since 1979. They send you a map of the heavens, with your named star on it, a certificate, a guide to astonomy and other goodies. 


13. New music on vinyl every month 

 From £20/month.

For the retro hipster in your life – or, possibly, the teenager to whom the whole 33/45rpm situation is all new: there is a growing number of vinyl record clubs that send you a selection of new music on 7-inch vinyl every month. Flying Vinyl promises five singles a month featuring the best new independent artists for £20 a month (or £216 a year) while Polyvinyl Records of Illinois sends members one specially-recorded single a month, made in a uniquely collaborative way and featuring design that you might just fall in love with.

14. Art for art’s sake: free entry to hundreds of galleries and museums

From £62

From Cardiff Castle and Kensington Palace to the V&A and Tate Modern – the National Art Pass gives you free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic houses across the UK as well as 50 per cent off entry to major exhibitions. From £62. https://www.artfund.org/national-art-pass

Or if you can’t stretch to that… buy membership to their favourite Art Gallery ie Membership of the Tate.

15. Something solar powered 

A good choice for the eco-conscious traveller, this solar DAB radio from Roberts harnesses the sun’s rays to power the radio as well as recharge batteries, so you can use it away from sunlight, too. £80 from robertsradio.co.uk; 01709 571722

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