Ever since Mathieu and I met we have always gifted each other experiences. We’ve traveled, done photoshoots, park scavenger hunts, and so much more, and every single one of them has been 10x better than any materialistic gift. Every time a holiday rolls around I’m so excited to share and receive a gift because I know we will be spending quality time together and making memories we’ll hold on to for so many years.
It’s so beautiful to gift an experience; you’re giving someone time, incredible memories, and an adventure that they can remember forever. Whether it’s a trip away or just a beautifully planned picnic in the park, I think this is such a good alternative to products that are most often time used a couple times and then forgotten about. I know personally we’ve been so incredibly thankful for our experiences these last five years and even more grateful we have little Joshua to share it with now.
Here are a list of 15 experiences you can give this holiday season, or even in the coming year for someones birthday!
1.A Trip Away
This one is my favorite gift that we give each other for our birthdays but it does take a little bit of planning and a larger budget. A couple different things you can do is
- Wrap a little toy plane and write in the card that you’ll be taking a trip together in February (for example), and then spend the next two months planning. This way you can also get their input and take advantage of NYE sales.
- Check sites like the ones i’ve written about here, where they have great deals, packages, and easy to book flights. It is a task but it definitely can be done in a couple hours and your gift receiver will love it so much!!
2. A Photoshoot
This one is so so special because it’s something not a lot of people have a budget for but is cherished forever. How amazing would it be if someone told you that they planned a photoshoot and location for you to take pictures with your family, loved one, or even alone? I would be so excited! Giving this to someone is such a special gift and you can find local photographers through IG by just looking for a hashtag like #chicagophotographers
3. Cooking Class or Hiring a Chef to Your Home
We’ve done a couple of these and it’s always been so much fun! I love just putting our phones away and learning something new together. This is definitely a fun experience and you can always get great deals on sites like Groupon.
4. Wine & Painting (or other craft classes)
We’ve done a couple of these with friends and just as a couple and also have fun + get to bring back the craft we made so we can keep the memory even more alive. My favorite was the clay class Mathieu surprised me with! We still have the mugs we made and it makes me smile every time I use them
5. Sky Diving
This one’s not for everyone but if you need an adrenaline junky, this is probably on their bucket list and such a fun experience! We did this (before baby) and it’s still one of our fondest memories. (If you’re in Toronto, try the Sky Walk on the CN Tower)
6. Helicopter Tour/Ride
In most big cities you can find helicopter tours and although we haven’t done this yet, we have gifted it to our parents who really enjoyed it and still show people picture of it to this day. This one is such a unique experience and only a couple hours long for someone who might not have too much free time in their schedule.
7. A Night Away
Unlike the trip away, this one doesn’t need too much planning. Mathieu has surprised me with this for many holidays and it’s really just a day away in a nearby hotel for us to unwind and relax. We do room service, catch up on our favorite shows, hang out, and sleep in. In the morning we always go to the hotel spa and just enjoy the relaxation of the pool. I love these because they’re so inexpensive and such a great recharge for someone in your life! (You can see this blog of my favorite apps to get an incredible deal on your stay)
8. Spa Treatment
I love gifting spa treatments to women and especially new mamas. Nothing says TLC like a quite massage or spa treatment. Most women splurge on everyone else before themselves so receiving this can be something so special! And if there’s multiple women in your life, try giving it to all of them so they can spend quality time together while relaxing. Think sisters, moms, grandmas. This is honestly such a perfect gift!
9. Playing for Fun
I gave this to my dad not too long ago and we had so much fun! We went to Gameworks for a couple hours and just played like kids. Video games, car races, bowling, basketball, batting cages, go carts- we did it all and it’s still one of my fondest memories. This one is great for men and kids and I guarantee you will make someones holiday with this gift!
10. A concert or show
Theres something so special about bringing a favorite show or musician to life for someone and this has always been something we’ve gifted family members. It’s personal, easy to find, relatively affordable, and gives someone something to look forward to in the coming months!
11. A Hot Airballoon Ride
This is one I’ve always wanted to gift! Such a unique and breathtaking experience, and you can usually find it discounted on sites like Groupon or Social Deals. This gift would be so beautiful and really such an experience of a lifetime!
12. A DIY Adventure
Mathieu is a pro at this, he creates these beautiful adventures for us and honestly- it makes me cry every time. He’s done these wonderful picnics in a favorite park completely decorated and filled with food, he’s sent me on these incredibly detailed scavenger hunts, filled our room up with balloons, candles and served breakfast in bed, set up fancy dinners and cooked a home made meal for me, he’s even made me these BEAUTIFUL home made videos. There is something so special about a DIY experience and theres no gift he’s ever given me that has made me feel as loved as these ones. This is such a great experience to give someone you care about this holiday
*Bonus Tip* Check sites like Air BnB where they now have experiences you can purchase per city! We’ve done a couple of these and definitely recommend them!
Let me know what you think in the comments below or tell me an experience you’ve received or gifted before!