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.
How to come up with experience gift ideas
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 holiday special. It is one of the lowest prices of the year. AncestryDNA is just $59 for an Ancestry DNA kit. 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.
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! You can always send a Dia&Co gift card, too.
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 buy Fandango movie theater gift cards, you’ll get a $2 towards a movie or TV show.
When I was trying meal kit companies to write this review on the best meal kit delivery services, our family ended up liking HelloFresh the best.
Our family has been cooking with HelloFresh meal kits for awhile and we love them. We get three meals a week, which is the right amount–enough to make dinner interesting a couple nights a week but not too much to be overwhelming. HelloFresh got us out of our meal rut and into eating a healthier menu. Another plus to HelloFresh–wine! You can get 50% off your first wine box!HelloFresh is a great gift for a foodie who doesn’t have a lot of time to cook but still wants to eat well at home.
Another way to get Hello Fresh at a savings: Right now, you can get a great deal on meal kits like Hello Fresh through Groupon. Sign up before they sell out!
You can get 10% off gift card purchases of $50 or more right now!
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 many states away, 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.