A Guide to Experience Gifts – Or How to Quit Christmas Shopping and Still Give the Best Gifts Ever

Do you remember who gifted all of those unused gift cards in your purse to you?  Do you love dragging the kids to the mall/Target/Kohl’s to do the holiday shopping?  Who enjoys finding out in January how much you really spent on Christmas gifts?  Do the kids remember what they gave grandma and grandpa for Christmas last year?  No, No, No and NO.  It may be time to change how your family gives gifts, and start making those gifts count.  It’s time to start giving experience gifts.

Looking for experiences gifts just for kids?  Read this Experiences You Can Give Kids Instead of Things

Experience Gifts for Sports Fans

Tickets to a sporting event.  A day out at the ballpark, stadium, or field watching their favorite team win will become a favorite family memory.

experience gift for sports fan

Take a stadium tour.  You may get to peek into the team locker room, offices, practice areas, and those pricey suites.

Attend training camp for your nearest NFL team.  Maybe get a few autographs too.

Play a sport together.  Shoot some hoops, play some golf, try something new!

Take lessons together.

Visit a hall of fame.

US Hockey Hall of Fame in Eveleth MN

The US Hockey Hall of Fame

Plan a bowling night.  All ages can bowl and wear the cool shoes.

Food Experiences to Give as Gifts

Go out to eat at a “new to them” restaurant.

Cook together.  Cook those old family recipes, something they’ve always wanted to eat, or do some baking.

Prepare a fancy dinner at your home for them.

Visit a food hall, and buy a few goodies to try.

Attend a tasting and buy a few favorites for them.

Walk thru a farmer’s market, and buy lunch or ingredients for a recipe to make together.

Prepare a progressive dinner.  Works good if you have a lot of family in the area and everyone can prepare a course.

Sign up for a cooking class.  Check for classes at your local kitchen store or community education classes.

cooking class christmas gift

Gift them a cookie of the month.  Bake a new recipe and deliver it each month.  Or bake something together.

Buy tickets for a food festival.  You’ll definitely try some new foods there!

Order from a meal prep delivery services and prepare the recipe together.

Treat someone to a picnic.

Experience Gifts That Will Get Everyone Outdoors

Go hiking.

Gift them a state park pass, or visit a park together on free park day.

Experience gift hiking

Visit a botanical garden and then plant some flowers together at their home.

Take a ride on a bike trail.

Ride the rails.  A scenic train ride is a great idea for fall.

Take a drive on those back roads.

Go fishing, kayaking, canoeing, boating, swimming…spend a day out on the water

Experience Gifts for Everyone Who Loves Music and the Arts

Gift them tickets to a play.  Broadway, a touring production, or even children’s theatre.

Visit an art museum.

Walk thru a sculpture garden.

experience gift for art lover

Attend a concert.

Take them to an event at their local library.

Go to a reading or book signing at a bookstore by one of their favorite authors.

Music in a park is a fun summer event that a lot of towns offer.

Visit a venue that has made a mark on music history.

Experiences for the Explorer

Take a day trip to somewhere they’ve been meaning to visit.

Plan a scavenger hunt.  Some larger cities even offer hunts on their tourism websites.

Visit a science, history, or children’s museum.  Check the local library to see if there are museum passes available to check out.

Go to the zoo.  Take a behind the scenes tour.

Experience Gifts for the Whole Family

Volunteer together.

Go to a parade.

Spend the day at a theme park.  Try a new ride, play a new game, or eat some new food.

Take them to the movies…indoor or a drive in.

experiences for kids

Host a crafting day.  Plan a few projects, take a trip to the local craft store, and create.

How to Give an Experience Gift

In the past, we’ve written up a poem that tells the recipient about the experience or special day that we have planned for them.  You can also have the kids make a coupon, certificate, or drawing that tells about the gift.  You could also give them a small present that relates to their experience.

The possibilities are endless, and that is what makes this type of gift fun!  So gather the kids up and have them brainstorm ideas for experiences that they would like to give or receive.  Of course, you can give experiences anytime of the year so that there is always something to look forward too!

Happy holidays and enjoy your upcoming adventures!

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