Browsing Tag

gifting experiences


Experience Gifts! A Round-Up of the BEST ideas.

There’s been a rising trend in gift giving in recent years and nooooo it’s not the newest iPhone.

People are slowly making the switch over to gifting experiences rather than presents for Christmas and it’s for good reason! Researchers at Cornell University have spent the last decade studying why receiving an experience provides more of a lasting happiness rather than gifting material possessions and it comes down to this- people tend to get less and less happy with material purchases over time.


One of my favorite gifts I have ever received was a surprise trip to Boston and NYC for my 30th birthday gifted by my husband. I was woken up at 4 am, told to pack my bags, and we were off! The surprise factor, the anticipation, and the trip itself made for an experience I will never forget.

We are trying to implement this into our own family as well. We have started a tradition of doing a cooking class for each birthday instead of exchanging presents. We also gifted our daughter tickets to a movie and an ice cream date instead of whole load of toys she doesn’t need for her 4th birthday.

We’ve rounded up some ways to replace the “stuff” on Christmas lists this year with amazing experiences- reach on below!

Gifts for the Family:

  • A family trip (socially distanced AirBnb anyone?! See our round up here of the BEST getaways)
  • A hike or a trip to their favorite park
  • Membership passes to local museum, kids’ center, or aquarium
  • Tickets to an event (sporting events, live production, concert, comedians, art shows)
  • Volunteer together as a family

Gifts for Kids:

  • A visit to a trampoline park or mini golf
  • A meal at their favorite restaurant
  • A full day of their choice of activities
  • Local pottery class
  • Lessons (piano, guitar, language, tennis, horseback riding)
  • A class they can take (photography, baking, science)
  • Coupons for small treats like ice cream dates
  • Ice skating, roller skating, or bowling
  • A full day of their choice of activities
  • Movie tickets
  • Escape room

Gifts for Parents:

  • Monthly subscription (cooking boxes, beer of the month, book of the month)
  • Airplane ticket to visit yourself or family
  • Couples dance lessons
  • Photographer for family portraits
  • A trip to the spa
  • Pre planned date night

Gifts for Grandparents/Extended Family

  • Day out with the kids
  • A trip to visit family
  • Amazon prime membership
  • Memory book
  • Oral interview or history book of them recounting memories to you

Gifts for Friends:

  • Gift cards with set up coffee or lunch dates
  • Yoga passes
  • Music, art, baking classes
  • Day or weekend trip together
  • Fresh flower subscription
  • A wine tasting
  • Makeup less or closet consultation
  • Massage or spa gift certificate

The Bottom Line

YES there can be such joy in giving meaningful gifts. BUT satisfaction from buying things like new televisions will quickly fall, while the happiness you find in spending quality time will only continue to grow.

Family time and memories made with your loved ones will always mean more than physical gifts!

Have you tried making the switch over to gifting experiences instead of presents? How did it go with your family? Let us know in the comments below!