Do you get tired of giving gifts and collecting more “stuff?” Toys and other gifts can be so much fun, but surely there is a limit to how many things a person needs to collect. I mean, we only have so much space in our home! That’s why experience gifts are so great.
Experience gifts can be so simple, yet really special. They don’t take up any space, and don’t need to be cleaned up or stored. They can be customized to fit the person receiving them, showing how much you care about things they love. These types of gifts can be great for Christmas presents and make great birthday gifts. I have compiled a list of 9 experience gifts you will love, to help you give less “stuff” and receive more of what’s really special to you.
9 Awesome Experience Gifts You Will Love
1. Favorite Things Day
Some very thoughtful friends threw me a going away party when I was moving away after graduation. And it was the sweetest party ever because they made all my favorite foods! We had tacos, deviled eggs… foods I love that don’t normally go together at all. It was so sweet of them to be intentional about preparing all of my favorites. And it meant so much that they even knew all my favorite foods!
This is exactly what a Favorite Things day is about. It’s the gift of knowing someone well enough to treat them to their favorites- making their favorite meal for dinner, playing their favorite games. If they love soccer, maybe the whole family heads to the park to play a game together. If they love shopping, everyone could head to a favorite shopping area to window shop together.
I love this kind of gift, because it’s so special to the person. It says “I may not be a big soccer fan, but I’m a big fan of you! So I’ll happily play a game with you.” A favorite things day doesn’t have to cost extra money, either, proving it’s not the price tag that matters.
2. Special You Time
My friends and I used to play a game where one person is in the middle and we each tell something that we love about them. After playing, we’d each walk away feeling so special. Imagine if all your closest family spent a little one on one time with you and told you what they really love most about you!
It wouldn’t have to be an elaborate event, since that’s not really the point. It could be dad taking you for a walk at the park, and grandma taking having you over for a cup of hot cocoa. Or for Mother’s Day each child spends time with mom, telling her what makes her so great. Taking special time together to talk and share would just be amazing and imagine looking forward to one of these every Friday for a month! I know I would be so excited looking forward to each special visit!
3. Special Interest Experience
Special interest experience gifts are based on the interests of the person. You can base your gift off what the person likes to do or things they are really interested in.
- Do they love animals? You could take them whale watching or to the local zoo.
- Do they love the outdoors? The whole family could go on a hike together and eat a picnic lunch at the park.
- Are they passionate about the solar system, memorizing fun facts about outer space? You could give them tickets to visit the planetarium at a natural history museum.
- Do they love baking? Have a baking day, where you spend time making your favorite recipes together.
- Do they love art? Bring them to the art museum or to paint pottery together.
This gift can be really fun for a family. You could purchase a family membership for a year to a place they love to visit regularly. Some ideas would include a nearby zoo, children’s museum, aquarium, art museum, pool or waterpark. This can be so fun, because the family can enjoy this for a whole year, making memories and enjoying time together!
This gift could be expensive, depending on the location and pricing. If it’s too expensive you might find others who want to split the price with you and you can give the gift together. Maybe both sets of grandparents pay for half of the membership, as an awesome gift for the young family. I know we would love a gift like this!
5. Lessons or Classes
Every year there are expensive activities to consider for both kids and parents. Sometimes cost can really be an issue, especially when trying to pay for activities for multiple kids. If you plan to buy them the lesson or class anyway, you could make these things experience gifts.
Depending on the person, and their ages and interests, there are so many options to consider. You could give them piano lessons, or another type of musical instrument. You could pay for gymnastics classes or a sport like soccer. Maybe they would enjoy art lessons or cooking classes. An adult might like yoga classes or guitar lessons.
6. Special Event
Another great experience gift is treating the person to a special event you know they’ll love. They might be a huge sports fan, and you could take them to a game to watch their favorite team play. That would certainly be memorable for a fan! If their favorite band is playing nearby, wouldn’t it be so exciting to take them to a concert? Watching their excitement as they sing along to their favorite songs would be so great. It could even be as simple as taking them to see the movie they have been looking forward to.
7. Surprise Party with Handwritten Letters
This would be a fun birthday gift for someone who doesn’t really need anything. You could surprise the person by throwing a party in their honor, inviting all their closest friends and family. Instead of gifts, ask each person to bring a handwritten letter that talks about a special memory they shared with the person being celebrated. Toys and other gifts only last so long, but that letter where grandpa shared how he felt the first time he held his grandchild will last forever!
8. Fun Project Day
Is there an amazing project you could work on together that you know the person would adore? Sometimes we don’t have a lot of time to set aside, so it would be an amazing gift to focus your whole day on doing something together!
I saw online where one family made a maze made out of cardboard boxes. As a gift to someone who loves building things, wouldn’t it be so much fun to create something like that together? If they love art, you could make sculptures out of modeling clay and paint canvases together. Either way, you could gather a few supplies and everyone sits down to create something exciting together!
Or maybe your teen daughter or granddaughter wants to learn to sew her own clothes. You could go to the fabric store together to pick out some fabric and a pattern, then come home and sew some fun outfits! You’ll be teaching a helpful skill and spending so much time together.
Volunteering together can be an awesome gift to give. I know someone who loves rescue animals, and has such a heart to help animals. Wouldn’t it be an amazing gift for an animal lover to volunteer with them at a fundraiser for the humane society? For someone you loved to care so much about a cause close to your heart?
Perhaps instead the person wants to put together gift boxes at their church to send to kids in need or collect food for a food drive. The whole family could try to help in some way, maybe helping collect donations or putting together boxes to send.
I really love how this gift focuses so much on giving instead of receiving. It focuses on what volunteer opportunities are close to a person’s heart, and everyone joins in to help them! Of course, this gift is not necessarily one that would be appreciated by everyone. But for some people, this gift would have so much meaning!
One more thing I should probably add about these experience gift ideas, is that you may want to run your gift idea by them first (or their parents, if they’re a child). That way they can check their schedule before you spend the money. You’ll want to make sure they can actually go to the concert or get their child to gymnastics lessons every Saturday before spending the money.
I hope these ideas have helped you think of experience gifts you’d like to try! If you are looking to lessen the “stuff” and increase the meaning, these types of gifts are great. Here’s to sharing awesome experiences!
If you’re looking for fun family experience ideas, don’t miss 5 Ideas to Start an Amazing Family Night Tradition and how to make a DIY Family Fun Jar!
Do you have more ideas to add to this list? Which of these experience gifts is your favorite?