07:06 Friday 30 November 2012

10 of the Best... unique gifts

Written byLeah Cassady

OK, so we're only just reaching December and yet Christmas is already everywhere. But buying your gifts early can save you a lot of stress, the shops only get busier and the thing you have in mind might even be sold out come the week before Christmas.

So here are a few unique gifts which you may not have thought of giving, to help get those cogs turning with ideas!

Give a theatre card this Christmas. It gives members some great privileges including special ticket offers including half price on many productions, no booking or postage fees on most shows, free ticket exchange, save 10% on pre show and interval drinks, free cloakroom and priority tickets – get the best seats first! You can even use the ATG Theatre Card at 39 venues, including 12 theatres in the West End – all for £30! Visit their website for more information.

Want a gift with a difference, try this. The Amazings is a project that allows over 50s to sell their skills as a class or workshop. They offer over 120 classes in everything from art, gardening, beauty, textile crafts, knitting, chess, music... the list goes on. Single classes are around £20, courses run from about £120, visit their website for more information.

Crochet with Bernadette
Crochet with Bernadette

If you know a family who love spending time outdoors, give them this set of seven, engaging story walks based in Eden, Cumbria. Follow the hand-drawn maps on the reverse of each story, explore, discover, solve clues and interact with the landscape en route. They are even laminated so they can be used in all weather. £20.95 for the set or £3.95 each plus P&P, visit their website for more information.

Give the gift of flight! Let them take to the skies and enjoy the views of Staffordshire countryside from a hot air balloon. This voucher even gives the flexibility of choosing when to fly. Wickers World, established in 1984, has launch sites across the Midlands including the stunning stately home of the Lichfield family, Shugborough Hall. Vouchers start from £99, visit their website for more information.

A must for gaming enthusiasts! Arcade Mania has over 150 timeless arcade classics in one machine. This sleek and stylish machine comes with a black and chrome finish and a pair of matching stools. It has dual sided buttons for 1 or 2 player options. Tough and durable, its smoked glass top can double as a super cool coffee table. £1500 from Tesco online.

Why not buy them pilot lessons? Get five hours of training in a Cessna 152 aircraft (£125/hour) for the price of four. This package allows people to embark on the forty-five hour course towards their Private Pilot's Licence. We also offer trial lessons, starting from £68. The lessons can be taken between 9am-5pm seven days a week, apart from Bank Holidays. Package costs £500 from Tatenhill Airfield.

Or give them a helicopter flight for justover £100 for 20 Minute in a R22 Helicopter. They will be encouraged to operate the controls and will be presented with a certificate of the flight afterwards. This Special Offer is only available on the last Saturday of every month. £104 from Staffordshire Helicopters.

This personalised take on the traditional datekeeper will make great stocking fillers or secret santas as everyone needs a little organisation in their life. Each feature the name of the recipient orrecipients cleverly worked into a design to suit their personal style. The hardback diaries are available in week page spreads for £7.99 or a large page per day view for £9.99 from Getting Personal.

We all know a shoe-oholic, so these shoe speakers are an ideal gift. They're great to look at without adding to their already bulging collection! Perfect for a bit of pre-night out dancing. Available in red or black, the speakers are compatible with PC & MAC and cost £24.99 from Just Mustard.

This is a great sentimental gift for a loved one. The create your own service allows you to upload a photograph or image and even place it exactly where you want it. It’s a durable phone case personalised to perfection and once ordered should land on your doorstep within a few days. From 12th December they offer special delivery in time for Christmas at £7. Currently available for Blackberry Bold and Curve, iPhone 3, 4/4S and the iPod Touch 4th generation costing £19.99 from Giant Sparrows.

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