Here's a list of 25+ experience gift ideas! Instead of being just material things, these gifts are each an experience that's sure to lead to an incredible memory.
What are experience gifts?
I'll say it: experiences are more meaningful than materials. I'm a firm believer that the gift of an experience—an opportunity to do, see, learn, or try something—is worthwhile.
That's what an experience gift is! It's investing in an opportunity for someone. It's an opportunity to spend time together, have fun, make memories, learn together, try a new place, and truly bond.
Let this list of experience gift ideas give you inspiration for purchasing your next gift.
Why gift an experience?
An experience gift will likely have more impact and make better memories than whatever object gift that you're gifting someone.
I'm not saying that there aren't meaningful material gifts out there. In fact, there are really awesome gifts that are materials. This love language gift guide is filled with over 50+ thoughtful, affordable gifts.
I'm just taking the stance that gifting someone the opportunity to make memories, spend quality time with someone, and learn, will be incredible gifts.
Experience gift ideas
This list of 25+ experience gift ideas are great ideas for a partner, best friend, family member, or really any significant person in your life.
Give them concert tickets
Search your area to find when a favorite artist or band is touring! You could go also find tickets to a local symphony.
If you want to be extra sneaky, casually ask your person who they have been listening to lately and then check online to see if they're touring nearby!
Plan a choose your own adventure day
If your person loves surprises, plan an adventure for them! Just tell them when to be ready and what they need. You can have an entire adventure planned like a picnic, kayaking, eating out, etc.
If your person wants to be involved with the decision, give them a "choose your own adventure" day. Make a list of a couple of options for what to do and let them pick as they day goes on!
Here's some ideas for date night adventures where you can choose your own ending.
Take them on a spa day
Plan a spa day for your person! You could even schedule an appointment get pampered with them. Here are some examples:
- Manicure / pedicure
You could also plan a luxurious at-home spa day.
Plan a camping trip
If your person loves adventures and the outdoors, take them on a camping trip! Let them pick a new place or give them options for where you could go. Initiate all of the logistics for making this trip happen.
If both of you have never been camping, here's a list of what to pack for your trip!
Create a scavenger hunt
If your person loves adventures and riddles, create a scavenger hunt for them! You can make it as easy or difficult as desired.
Here's a printable scavenger hunt idea for date night.
Throw a themed party
If your person loves parties or surprises, plan a themed party for them! It could be something like a murder mystery party, 80's party, Oktoberfest, or something else fun. They might appreciate having a night with all their friends together doing something fun!
Here's a list of party theme ideas to get you inspired!
Plan a game night
Does your person love outdoor games like frisbee, softball, or soccer? Do they like board games or card games? Whatever their preference, plan a game time with them and their friends for them to enjoy.
If you are board game people, here's the best games of 2021 (according to the experts).
Go on a picnic date
Make a meal, pack some favorite snacks, or pick up takeout from a local restaurant. Head to a nearby park with a picnic blanket, maybe a bottle of wine, and enjoy a meal together!
Donate to a local shelter
Instead of purchasing a gift, use your money to donate resources to a local shelter. You could also gift your time and serve together in whatever way is needed.
Plan a trip together
If your person loves to explore and travel, plan a trip together! Work together to pick a place, find a place to stay, and plan the itinerary. This is a great mix of spending time together and making new memories.
Schedule a photography session
Plan a photography session! Having special photos taken together could be a really meaningful gift. This could be a couples or family photoshoot.
- Example: One year for Christmas my siblings and I booked a photoshoot for my mom & the entire family, including all kids, parents, and grandparents.
Bonus: Get a few of the pictures printed and framed after the photo shoot!
Gift a National Parks Pass
Gift an annual National Parks Pass to the adventurer in your life! This parks pass will give them access to any National Park for free.
Musical or play tickets
Search your local area to find tickets to a musical, play, or theatre performance. This is a fun idea where you can dress up fancy and enjoy an evening out!
Attend a sports game together
Do you have a competitive sports fanatic in your life? Get tickets to a local game you can attend together. Baseball, basketball, hockey... choose a major or minor league team!
Visit a local museum
Does your person love to learn? Take them on a date to a local museum! Art, history, whatever you have, take them!
Attend a dance class
It could be fun to learn how to dance together! Sign up for a local class or learn on YouTube. If you both already know how to dance, spend the evening at a dance club practicing your skills.
Sign up for a cooking class
If your person loves to spend time in the kitchen, sign them up for a cooking class! It is a really fun way to learn some new skills and meet new people. And of course, you get to enjoy some delicious food!
There are couples and groups classes if you want to enjoy with more people too!
Attend a pottery class
This is another idea for a creative and artistic person in your life. Pottery is a really fun skill to learn and you can make some really awesome items!
Do an outdoor activity like skiing, biking, boating, etc.
There are some really fun outdoor activities you can do together depending on the season!
If it's the summer, you could rent kayaks or a boat, and spend time on the water together. If it's winter, bundle up and have some fun on the slopes!
Go bowling & have drinks
For a cheap and easy date night, visit a local bowling alley! Order a few drinks and enjoy a little friendly competition together.
Subscribe to fitness classes
If your person loves to be active, subscribe to a few fitness classes! There are memberships for cycling, weight lifting, boxes, and all sorts of fun group classes.
Have a mini golf night
Taking a mini golf adventure is a really easy, cheap idea! It's fun, simple, and doesn't take too much time either.
Gift them a florist course
If your person loves beautiful things, they might enjoy a florist course! Local floral shops have classes for learning how to arrange flowers.
Gift house cleaning services
While this might not be something the person directly participates in, they will certainly experience it! For a host, busy people, or someone who just hates to clean, giving them a service for house cleaning could be life-giving.
Plan a staycation
If you aren't able to travel far but still want to spend some quality time together out of the house, plan a staycation! Book a hotel, get an airbnb, go to some of your favorite restaurants, and have a relaxing weekend together.
Sign up for an art class
Is there a local art studio nearby that offers painting, drawing, sewing, or some sort of craft? These classes are an awesome creative outlet and great way to try something new.
Attend a murder mystery night
Depending on where you live, there are usually historic buildings or haunted mansions that offer murder mystery nights to attend. If you're feeling ambitious, you can also plan your own home murder mystery party!
More great gift ideas
If these experience gift ideas didn't work for you, try this love languages gift guide. It's filled with over 50+ thoughtful, affordable gift ideas.