A few years ago my husband was looking for experience gift ideas for me and came up with a great one–a kit to test our dog’s DNA. Of the four dogs we’ve owned, all have been rescues. So even though we had veterinary records about their background, we never really knew what kind of dog they really were. That is, until we tested their DNA. He got me the Wisdom Panel dog DNA kit, and it was an awesome gift!
That experience gift may not have given me something to put on a shelf or display when friends came over, but it gave me something I could talk about forever. It was an experience. A memory. It was priceless.
Since then our family has focused on coming up with experience gift ideas. One year it was spa gift cards. Another year it was six months of food delivery. Hey, when you eat your gifts, you don’t have to worry about having stuff left behind. And cooking together is an experience unto itself.
Since then we’re always brainstorming ways to come up with new experience ideas we can enjoy. We do this for the holidays but also at different gift giving times during the year.
Last year we decided to test our own DNA through an Ancestry DNA kit as an experience gift to ourselves. This year our experience gift is to take everyone to a Broadway show on Christmas Day. Who knows what experience gift ideas we’ll come up with for the next year?
If you’re looking to buy presents for someone who doesn’t need any more “stuff,” I can help. I’ve put together seven experience gift ideas that you can easily buy online and have delivered to the gift recipient. Or you can buy it online, have it delivered to you, and then you can surprise that special someone with that gift.
These experience gift ideas are listed here in alphabetical order.
Right now Ancestry DNA has a free shipping deal going on for the holidays:
* Free shipping on DNA kits when you use code FREESHIPDNA.
Now here’s why you’ll want to consider giving this experiential gift, one of my favorites to give and receive. I was so excited when I received an AncestryDNA kit. While I know a bit about my family’s history, I couldn’t wait to find out if there was more to my ancestry that I thought. The answer is “Yes” but more about that in a minute. Completing your AncestryDNA kit is super easy. First things first, you need to log onto Ancestry.com and register your kit. Then you need to, basically, spit into a little tube so you can send your saliva off for analysis. Shipping to do that is free. It takes a few weeks to get your results back, which appear on your Ancestry page. I was super surprised to find out that I’m 30 percent Irish. My husband, who is only a second generation Italian American, was surprised by his results as well. While mostly Italian, he had a big swath of Irish as well. This will make for quite the conversation at our next holiday gathering. And now we’re thinking we need to take a trip to Ireland. (This Mother’s Day, celebrate her DNA story. Order DNA test kits today at 23andme.com. Save $20. Hurry, offer ends May 14! )
Getting away to a bed and breakfast is the perfect gift for a couple who likes to travel but wants an experience beyond chain hotels. What I love about Bedandbreakfast.com is that through its online reservation program, you can book a stay in nearly 2,000 B&Bs worldwide. BedandBreakfast.com makes it easy to buy gift cards, too . The Getaway Gift Card always ships for free.
My older daughter loves her clothing subscription to Dia&Co. In case you’re not familiar with the company, Dia&Co is a body-positive shopping experience for women who wear sizes 14 and up. It provides personal styling in the comfort of their own home. Their stylists work with the best brands–from industry staples to up-and-coming young designers–to provide each customer with curated looks to suit their unique style and shape. For a real-size woman or girl in your life, signing her up for a subscription could be a gift that gives all year long. She can choose how often she receives her plus size styling in a Dia&Co box. For more about the experience, check out my review of Dia&Co after my daughter first started using the service. She’s since ordered two more boxes!
Whenever my family and I go to the movies, we always buy our tickets in advance via the Fandango app on our smartphones. If you’re looking for a gift for a movie lover, I think a Fandango gift card is a great idea. Right now when you spend $75 or more on Fandango movie theater gift cards, you’ll get a free FandangoNOW movie rental for yourself. I love getting a free gift for me while buying gifts for others! Make sure you use code MOVIE4U.
Look at these yummy Buffalo chicken sliders you can make with Plated!
Right now you can save $24 on the first Plated delivery if you order before 12/30/16.
Plated delivers chef-designed recipes and seasonal ingredients to your door each week for a more sustainable, personalized, and easier way to cook more and live better. By spending time in the kitchen, you’ll experience a sense of discovery, creativity, and connection that you can only find when you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. Best of all with a Plated gift you won’t have to shop for your ingredients–they come right to you. If you’ve got someone on your gift list who loves to cook, this would be a great experiential gift. You might even want to give yourself this gift, too!
I mentioned that this year our experiential gift is taking everyone to see a Broadway show on Christmas day. If you have family members who like seeing Broadway shows, or getting tickets to sports events or concerts, you should check out SeatGeek.com. They have millions of tickets, all in one place, for tons of cities across the country. SeatGeek enables fans to quickly and easily discover the best deals for sports, concert, and theatre events. When I was on the site, I saw tickets to NHL game, NCAA college games, Adele concerts and more. I’ve already told my husband that I want to go see Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden in 2017. I’m definitely going to be pointing him towards SeatGeek.com to get tickets.
Here’s how you can save on a Spafinder gift card right now: use code ENT001 when you purchase a Spafinder gift card, and you’ll save 10% when you spend $100.
I have to give props to my mother, who has been giving me Spafinder gift cards for years. What I love about Spafinder gift cards is that I’m not limited to one spa where I can cash them in for the pampering of my choosing. So even though my mother lives in Maine and I live in New Jersey, she can feel confident that I can find a place near to me for a massage, facial or another kind of pampering service. In fact, Spafinder has 20,000+ partners. This is also a great gift to give your significant other so you can book a couples’ massage together.
Final thoughts on experience gift ideas
In conclusion, here’s what I love about experience gifts. They aren’t just limited to Christmas and Chanukah or the holidays season. You can give these kinds of gifts for an anniversary, a birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or even a high school or college graduation. Frankly, you can give an experience gift for any other celebration that occurs during the year. So while this post is first appearing in December, it really is relevant all year long.