It can be difficult to find the perfect thing to give someone as a gift. The trouble with things is that not everyone likes the same things. Things get lost, things get damaged, things get put aside and forgotten. This year, why not give an experience as a gift? Studies, such as this one published in the journal Psychological Science, have shown that experiences typically lead to more happiness, even in simple anticipation of the event itself.


Reasons to Choose and Experience over a Material Gift

By giving an experience as a gift, you're giving something that's more personal than another tie or some other item that will be forgotten. An experience is a great way to bond and create long-lasting memories. This type of gift can also be used to give the recipient time away from kids and other responsibilities, if even just for a short time. Additionally, experiences can have broader applications by providing a learning experience or an opportunity to grow.

Great Examples of Experience Gifts

When choosing an experience gift, you will still want to base your selection on the desires and abilities of the recipient. Bungee jumping or a ride in a hot air balloon may not be appropriate for someone with a serious fear of heights. In addition to these experiences, here are some other ideas that could be used as gifts:


  • City tours
  • Museum passes
  • Amusement park passes
  • Movie or theater tickets
  • Outdoor adventures
  • Spa experiences
  • Escape Room activity
  • Sports tickets
  • Art classes
  • Restaurant certificates
  • Water activities

Wrap Your Experience

When giving an experience gift, you don't have to show up to the party empty-handed or have nothing wrapped under the tree. There are many ways to wrap gift cards, tickets, and gift certificates. You can even print out e-certificates for wrapping.


  • These items can be placed in a frame. Decorate the frame in a theme that goes along with the experience.


  • You can even scan or take a picture of the certificate and have a puzzle printed from it. Imagine the joy on the recipients face after completing the puzzle and reading the gift of an experience.


  • Fold the certificate and place in an empty bottle. Decorate with ribbons and give like a message in a bottle.


  • You can fill a box with balloons. Fold the certificate and stick it in one of the balloons before tying it off. Leave instructions for the recipient to pop all of the balloons to find the gift.


  • You might decide to wrap the experience gift with a small token that relates to the experience. For example, you can wrap a little toy car to go with a driving experience. Tie some helium-filled balloons together and place in a box for a hot-air balloon ride.


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