Experiences stick to your memories more than material things. While we all love to open gifts, our special occasion memories are tied to the experience and not the things we receive.
We found out we were having our first baby shortly before Christmas. As my gift that year, my husband took me to see the Nutcracker and to dinner at “Son’s Addition”, a restaurant in San Francisco. In his birthday note he said the restaurant was “appropriately named if we had a boy” (we didn’t know the sex of the baby at the time). Guess what? Our first was a boy.
My husband and I have always gravitated toward gifting each other experiences rather than physical gifts, and because of this, I have a lot of memories of fun things we’ve done and places we’ve visited toge. It’s created stronger foundation for our relationship.
While it’s not always practical, I encourage people to try gifting an experience rather than a gift. Maybe it’s not the best idea all the time, but every once in a while, experiences are a nice change of pace to a gift.
Here is our list of ideas for experience based gifts
Theatre Tickets – Many large cities offer half price tickets to theatre events the day of. If you’re not sure what to do on any given weekend or if you feel like being adventures, head to your nearest city for the day and grab some tickets for a show in the evening. (Gift is appropriate for anyone 6 & older as long as they can sit still)
Museum Membership or Passes – Most museum passes include a +1, so the person you gift can always bring a friend with them. This is a gift that keeps giving for an entire year, it’s perfect for kids and families since it gives kids the opportunity to discover something new, and experience something unique.(Gift is appropriate for anyone 6 & older)
Movie Tickets – A pair of movie tickets is the perfect gift for anyone on your list. A young adult or a child would can do something safe without parental supervision. Parents can go out on a date night, or a single person can watch can escape to two movies. This gift doesn’t break the bank either. Extra point is you gift to a new luxury theatre with food and reclining seats. (Gift is appropriate for anyone 4 & older as long as they can sit still)
Arts & Crafts – There are many arts & crafts centers that offer different types of experiences. You can attend an art class, ceramics painting, or jewelry making classes.(Gift is appropriate for anyone 6 or older – Some venues may require participants be 21 & older since they serve alcohol.)
Mani Pedi – It’s so fun to get pampered, especially if you’re getting pampered with a friend. A mani pedi is a great way to bond, catch up, and relax. (Gift is appropriate for anyone 6 & older as long as they can sit still)
Concert Tickets – Save this gift for someone you know really well. They’ll be really excited you remembered you wanted to go to “that concert” or that you remembered you liked “that artist”. It’s a great night out and if you’re lucky, they might invite you to it. (Gift is appropriate for anyone 13 & older)
Escape Room – If you’re unfamiliar with escape rooms, the life size game requires four players to be locked in a room while they work through a series of clues that will help them escape the room. Every room is different and the adventure is available in a variety difficulty levels. Not appropriate for kids, but anyone high school or older would really enjoy it. (Gift is appropriate for anyone 15 & older)
Cooking Class – There are a few high-end grocery stores that offer simple cooking classes with bottomless wine. They’ll pair you with other couples and you can get to know other people while you bond over food & wine. (Gift is appropriate for anyone 21 & older)
We hope this list inspires you to give someone a unique experience based gift.