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  • Molly Weinfurter

24 Experiences That Make Better Gifts Than Products

Updated: Apr 9

Gifts don't always need to be a physical item. Sometimes, going out and doing something is more memorable than any product. Products often sit on shelves collecting dust but memories can last a lifetime. So, if you want to give something unique to your loved one, consider getting them an experience instead of an item they can unwrap.

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1. Dinner at Their Favorite Restaurant

A simple yet thoughtful gesture is taking someone to their favorite restaurant. If there's a special restaurant that's too far or too expensive for a normal night out, it could make a wonderful gift, especially if you surprise them with it. This option can also be paired with some of the other activities on this list.

fancy restaurant

2. Weekend Getaway

If you want to go big, consider planning a weekend getaway. This is a great option for couples or groups of friends. Depending on where you live, you could travel to the nearest city, a popular tourist attraction, or an area with lots of nature trails.

3. Game Night

An experience doesn't have to involve leaving the house. If you know your loved one enjoys playing games with friends, a game night could be the perfect gift. You may want to buy new games for the occasion, so here are some of my favorites:

Catan board game

4. Scavenger Hunt

If you're feeling creative, consider making a scavenger hunt for your loved one. You can hide stuff around the house or have a list of things they need to find and take pictures with. Planning a scavenger hunt can take a while, but it's a great DIY gift for adventurous individuals.

5. Concert Tickets

For music lovers, concert tickets are the key to their heart. If you know their favorite band is coming to town but they haven't gotten tickets yet, consider surprising them with some. Concerts can be expensive but they're also extremely uplifting for many people, so a gift like this is something they'll never forget.

exciting concert

6. Sporting Event Tickets

Sports fans love sporting events the way music lovers go crazy for concerts. So, consider buying tickets for you and a loved one to go to their favorite team's game. Even if the team doesn't win, it can still be a thrilling experience.

7. Movie Tickets

If you want to buy tickets to something simpler than a concert or sporting event, consider movie tickets. There's something special about going to the theater instead of watching a movie at home. Check to see what movies are playing and pick one you know the person will be interested in.

movie theater projector

8. Live Theater Tickets

You can go to the movies any day, but if there's a live theater production coming to town, that's something unique you could do. If you know someone who loves plays, musicals, or comedians, tickets to a live performance could be a wonderful gift that most people wouldn't think of.

9. Wine Tasting

As long as the other person loves wine, wine tasting is a fabulous gift idea. Not only do you get to try lots of wines, but you'll also get to talk with the person and spend some quality time with them. If they don't like wine, see if there's a chocolate tasting experience near you.

wine tasting

10. Massage

Everyone deserves time to relax now and then. Getting them a gift card to a massage place could be a great experience for them to enjoy. If you're comfortable enough around each other, the two of you could go get massages together and have a soothing spa day.

11. Art Class

Art classes are more popular than ever thanks to "Sip and Paint" events. If the person you're getting a gift for is creative, going to an art class can be a fun, social activity. Even if your projects don't turn out as expected, you'll have a special art piece to remember the event by.

painting class

12. Craft Kit

If the person loves art but prefers to hang out at home, you can get them a craft kit that you can make together. Consider what type of art they love most and choose a product based on that. Here are a few ideas:

13. Puzzle

Another great at-home activity is a puzzle. Working together to build a puzzle is a fun, casual activity where you can socialize with your loved one while doing it. Here are a few great puzzles:

pile of puzzle pieces

14. Lego Set

Like puzzles, Lego sets are another great at-home activity that you can work on with the other person. Not only are Legos a fun hobby, but they also create a unique decoration for the person to put in their home. Here are a few great Lego sets:

15. Trivia

Lots of bars and restaurants host trivia nights, so you can plan a trivia event as a gift for someone. Themed trivia can be extra fun if there's one for your loved one's favorite show or movie. Even if you're not good at trivia, it's still a fun experience for you and your friends.

trivia night at bar

16. Dance Lessons

Dance lessons are a great gift for a significant other because it's a chance to learn a dance style that you can use at weddings and parties. Even if you never end up using it, dancing is fun! If the person prefers to dance in the comfort of their home, consider getting a Just Dance game.

17. Museum Trip

Museums are great places to wander around and socialize with someone while looking at displays and learning new facts. If you know someone who loves visiting the museum, plan a museum day as a gift. This could include a history museum, art museum, or science museum.

museum dinosaur skeleton

18. Camping Trip

If the person loves spending time outside, a camping trip could be an exciting experience. Plan a weekend trip to a nearby campground so you and the other person can enjoy a peaceful trip among nature, away from the chaos of life.

19. Horseback Riding

Horseback riding probably isn't an experience most people would think of off the top of their heads, but it's another great nature activity. You get to spend time with a majestic horse while walking down trails. It's not every day you get to do something like that.

woman horseback riding

20. Hot Air Balloon Ride

If the person you're getting a gift for is brave, a hot air balloon could be an exciting activity. Just make sure they're comfortable with it before you buy tickets since the height isn't for everyone.

21. Ziplining Adventure

Ziplining is another activity that isn't for the faint of heart, but it's so much fun for those who love adventure. Ziplining through the trees will make you feel like you're flying while taking in all the beautiful nature around you.

ziplining through forest

22. Escape Room

If the person is strategic and likes a challenge, you can plan an escape room event for them and some of their close friends. Whether or not you solve it in time, it's a one-of-a-kind activity that the person is sure to remember.

23. Water Park Day

If it's a hot summer day and you're willing to go big for the person's gift, consider getting water park passes. Sliding down water slides and lounging in the lazy river sounds like the perfect gift for a sunny day.

Florida waterpark

24. Amusement Park Trip

Amusement park trips aren't cheap, but they're a great way to go all out for someone you care about. Whether it's Disney, Universal, Six Flags, or a smaller local amusement park, it'll be a day full of thrilling memories. If you're going on a Disney trip, you may want to buy some Disney ears for the photos you take.

Choosing the perfect gift for a loved one can be tricky, but selecting an experience is a great way to give them something unique and memorable. Anyone can buy a random object, but only someone close to you can get you an experience that you'll never forget.


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