With the holidays only a few weeks away, chances are you’ve started (or are maybe even finishing!) your Christmas shopping. If you’re like me, there are always a few people on your list who leave you stumped since they seem to have everything already. When shopping for those people, as well as my own kids, I’ve recently started leaning towards experiential gifts over things I can pick up at the store.
If you’d like to try wrapping up an activity instead of “stuff” this holiday season, check out our roundup of experiential gifts that are available no matter what part of the country you live in.
Treat Them to a Spa Day
Who doesn’t love a day at the spa? It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t deserve to be pampered, whether it’s with a massage, a facial, a mani-pedi, or just about everything in between. Many spas offer services for couples and kids, and most have services catered to both men and women. The great thing about a spa gift certificate is it’s something that a lot of people have a hard time treating themselves to, so chances are, they’ll be pleasantly surprised, and excited to dive into an afternoon of self-care.
Sign Up for a “Crafternoon”
For the person on your list who loves to get creative, seek out an opportunity for them to get in touch with their crafty side. Many cities and towns have businesses that offer evening classes such as “Paint and Sip” nights where participants join in to create a step by step painting while enjoying a glass of wine. Door signs, floral arrangements, and pottery painting are other popular options, but you’ll need to make a Google search or two to find out what’s available in your area! If you’ve got a little more budget available for your experiential gifts, check out your local art or craft supply stores and hobby shops, or dig to seek out local artists and craftspeople who might have gift cards available for ongoing lessons or classes.
Give Them a Night at the Movies
For many of us, a night at the movies is an extra-special outing these days, after having theatres closed for such a long time. Whether you’re a kid or a grownup, there really is nothing like sinking into a comfy chair and munching away on theatre popcorn while watching a fantastic flick on the big screen. You can go straight to the source for your gift certificates, or (if you’re a member) visit Costco (warehouse only) or AMA for discounted cards!
Crank Up the Fun at the Arcade
For experiential gifts for both kids and kids at heart, a gift card to your local arcade is guaranteed to be a hit. Many Cineplex theatres have an XSCAPE Entertainment Centre attached to them, and some cities are fortunate to have The Rec Room which offers food and beverages in addition to their massive assortment of arcade games. Whether you’ve got a big arcade facility or just a spot with a few pinball machines in town, a few rolls of quarters or a gift card are sure to take you a long way in the fun department!
Join Them for a Live Theatre Performance
Broadway may still be a little out of reach, but that doesn’t mean that a night of live theatre is out of the question. Does your city have a performing arts centre or even a high school doing a live production of an old favourite or spin on a classic? If the tickets are cheap, why not make a night of it and throw in a gift card to their favourite restaurant to stop at before the curtains open?
Surprise Them with a Concert
It’s been a while since we could enjoy the gift of live music in any capacity, so the fact that open mic nights and larger concerts are a possibility again is more than a little exciting. Does their favourite artist have a concert date scheduled any time soon? Is the local philharmonic ready to hit the stage? Are they just excited to get out to an open mic night? Whether you want to wrap up concert tickets or an “IOU,” plan to head out for an evening of live music together!
Take Them Out to the Ball (or Any Other) Game
If you’ve got a sports fan on your shopping list, tickets to an upcoming game are basically no-brainers for experiential gifts! If you live close enough to get in the stands for your favourite professional sports team, look for deals on tickets through their official site, or participating community partnerships (for example, The Calgary Flames offer discounted tickets through the local Co-Op). If they just love the action of a live game, look for cheaper tickets by checking out WHL or AHL teams for hockey, or rookie teams for baseball or basketball.
Surprise Them with an Experience They Won’t Forget
For the adrenaline junkies on your list, dig around to see what one-of-a-kind experiences are available locally or nearby that would work for experiential gifts. Does your city have an indoor skydiving facility? What about a bobsled or luge track? Do they love to ski or snowboard? Is there somewhere close to try out horseback riding? You may be surprised to see what exciting experiences you can find, and the look on their face when they open their gift will be priceless!
Help Them Sign Up for Lessons
Piano? Golf? Ceramics? Gymnastics? Calligraphy? Is there someone on your list looking to start up a new hobby? Do a little digging and find out if gift certificates are available for lessons or classes in their area of interest through a provider they’d like to attend with!
Get Them the Gear
If you’d really like to wrap something up to put under the tree, but want your gift to still be focused on an experience, why not find out what gear they need to get going? Kids are forever outgrowing last year’s skates and snow pants, pencils and paints can always be replenished, and joining a new sport often means that special jerseys or equipment are required. Sometimes it’s fun to pick a smaller item to wrap up and sneak a gift certificate inside!
What are your thoughts on experiential gifts? Do you have any awesome ideas we missed? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Check out these links for more great holiday shopping ideas:
- 25 Great Gifts for Under $25
- Great Gift Ideas for Work from Home Parents
- Useful & Fun Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Every Age
- The Burnt-Out Parent’s Guide to Must-Have Gifts
- Holiday Hacks: Tips to Save Time & Money During the Festive Season