A friend has 2 DD's who just had b-days. 9 and 7. This year she gave them a choice of having a party or taking them shopping. They both picked shopping.
My friends (different friend) mom also did this with us, but not until we were in probably high school. We each got $100 to spend. If we went with her, she would usually spend a little more.
I think this is a good idea.
Anyone else ever do this?