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33 Perfect Experiences to Gift Instead of Stuff This Year (Even Last Minute)

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Not sure what to give that special someone on your Christmas list this year? We think we have the answer for you. Try gifting exceptional experiences that will be treasured forever instead of traditional gifts.


Everyone has someone on their Christmas shopping list who swears they don’t need another thing (ahem, dad!). Or perhaps it’s that impossible to shop for picky sister, your newly empty-nester friends trying to downsize or niece and nephew tikes that simply don’t need more stuff.

No matter the shopping list giftees stumping you this year, we think we have the perfect answer for you. Try gifting them exceptional experiences that they will treasure forever instead of traditional gifts.

Here are a few of our favorite experiential gifts to give this Christmas:

  1. Tickets to see their favorite artist in concert. Yes, please.
  2. Staycation hotel stay. The gift of rest, there’s nothing better.
  3. Theater tickets/season passes. (There are children’s passes too!)
  4. Trampoline jump passes. All ages invited, of course.
  5. Books, audiobooks or a book subscriptionTeleport them to another time entirely.
  6. Zoo membership. Double points for a family pass!
  7. Foodie bundle of gift cards to “must-eat-at” restaurants in their city. Can someone please gift me this?
  8. Little league membership dues for the squirts in your life. Or hockey, or basketball, or gymnastics...
  9. All-inclusive resort day package. Obviously only for those who have been especially good this year. Don’t worry mom, yes, I’m talking about you.
  10. Disneyland here we come. A coveted splurge for all ages. Double score if you go all-in for a season pass/family pass.
  11. Airfare to visit that special someone. Ain’t love grand?
  12. Museum and exhibition passes/tickets. Ah, the gift of culture—we likey.
  13. Swim with dolphins. Because breathing oxygen can be overrated.
  14. Cooking classes. Kids will especially be tickled pink by this one! And yes mom, you too—I know.
  15. Cruise vacation. But only if the gifter is allowed to accompany, right?
  16. farm stay. Eek! They really do exist and they are everything.
  17. Pottery classes. Trust us, you want on this train.
  18. Horseback riding lesson or excursion. Does it get any better than this? No, no it does not. (Pro-tip: Check out Wilderness Collective’s adventure offerings.)
  19. National or State Parks pass. Bonus points for tour guided excursions.
  20. An international bon voyage package. Airfare, lodging, recommended itinerary, etc.
  21. Kiddie swim lessons. Always a safe go-to (pun intended).
  22. A train ride to a destination city or attraction. Honestly, we should all do this more.
  23. Musical instrument and lessons. It’s never too late to learn something new.
  24. Vegetable and/or herb garden starter kit. Go green!
  25. Ballet classes. Just don’t forget the tutu.
  26. Indoor rock climbing experience. To be directly followed by a massage booking if you’re feeling generous. Rock climbing is hard, people.
  27. A hot air balloon ride. Swoon.
  28. Guided tours/historic tours to city attractions. No need to even travel. Show them a side of their hometown they have never seen before.
  29. Camping gear for a weekend away. Yes. So many times, yes.
  30. Massage. This experiential staple is never going away, ever.
  31. Whale watching day trip. I mean…
  32. Game night bundle. Board games, puzzles, munchies, sweeties, a bottle of their favorite and a cozy film with the promise of stellar company is all you need.
  33. Cinema gift cards. The next Marvel film is already calling their name, we promise.