OK, first, it must be said that my mother, sister, and I lean towards girlier pursuits when we are together. While these suggestions may be very my-family-specific, I hope they serve as useful examples of how we give each other experiences. Your mileage may vary.
Making Things Together
For those who are crafty, check out your local craft stores for classes. My mother, sister, and I have loved making necklaces at Beadniks, a local bead store. Everyone gets to design their own item (which is useful when people have different tastes).
Here in Chicago, we have 1154 Lill Studio, a custom, design-your-own handbag place. You pick your bag style and fabric and three weeks later, you have a new, unique purse. It’s a mother-daughter favorite. It was actually going to be my gift to my bridesmaids, but things didn’t quite workout that way (though I’m in love with they way things did work out).
Doing Things Together
Because we are crafty-types, we love going to craft fairs together. Most craft fairs are free, but some (like the One of a Kind event we are attending this Friday) have small ticket fees.
My mom is quite the gardener, so flower shows are also a much-loved activity. We are lucky that Chicago has several.
My family is also pretty active. One year, I gave my mother the gift of classes at assorted gyms in my area. This sounds like the worst, most passive-aggressive gift ever, but we love doing yoga and kettlebells together. This year, my gift to my sister (a combined Christmas and Birthday gift) is a trip for us to Utah to ski this coming January (right after Alt Summit). Don’t worry, she already knows.