I started researching some options and came up with these non-product alternatives.
1. Weekend retreat
This one is first on my list for a reason: here is a vacation where I am not planning anything or packing anyone else's stuff. All I have to do is just show up and all else is taken care of. There are so many retreats to choose from depending on the kind of activity you like. Art, yoga, cooking, zip lining, hiking.. plenty of options out there. This site is a good place to start. http://www.retreatfinder.com/Directory/Retreats_by_Activities.aspx
Ace Ritchie camps have been on my radar for a while and I hope to go travel with them once I save up enough, and when my kids are older. http://ritchieacecamps.com
2. Hire a Personalized Experience Planner
If you do not want to deal with any decision making then this is for you! Hubbies, and family members, take note. If you are not sure what you or the lady in question, want, then finding a local party planning service is a great option. This Pampered Life is one such company in Leeds, UK, that offers bespoke experience packages foreveryone. You just have to let them know your interests and hobbies. (Full disclosure here: It is run by my sister, Minoti Parikh, who is doing a fantastic job! I wish she could offer something like that here in the US). Clients can choose from horse riding lessons to sky diving sessions to spa treatments, you name it.
3. Dance Classes
Sign up your mom (or yourself if you are one) for a dance class. Nothing can make you feel more rejuvenated and young that an hour of shaking your booty! Trust me, when my son and I get dancing to a Bollywood song, we are totally carefree and lose track of time. For those who feel intimidated, just remember you delivered your baby in front of complete strangers, so you can do this! Local community centers are good places to look up. Or find a bunch of girl friends to go with. But DO NOT WAIT on anybody.
4. One night at a local fancy hotel
Checking into a fancy hotel with room-service and super soft bedsheets just for the heck of it can be heaven! Again it involves minimal packing and travel arrangements on your end. You can go window shopping in the neighborhood, get a drink at the hotel lounge, use the hotel spa, or just curl up in bed with a book. Enjoying the silence will be the ultimate relaxing experience, I guarantee ya! Don’t ruin it by calling up your girlfriends or checking on your family or watching TV. Truly shut off.
This is a no-fail gift. Who doesn't love a good massage and some pampering at the spa. Ladies, if your husbands dont get the hint, then use the credit card numbers and book yourself a session.. or two ;). Try to keep it solo. If you go with hubby then you might end up talking about grocery shopping or 401Ks inadvertently!