There are so many gifts to give in a lifetime, along with the pressure to make those gifts memorable. You want to get your dad something cool, but he really doesn’t need another speaker. You want to buy your brother the best gift for that big birthday milestone, but he is unreadably particular. Sure, you can grab them something random from some store on the way to their birthday dinner—or you can get them something that beats even a great pair of sneakers or a new gadget.
Level up the power of your gift-giving skills with something that requires you to think bigger. We’re talking the intangible: adventurous, experiential gifts that will add a whole new dimension to their lives. Now, this idea of “adventure” is not limited to literal adventure, although if your giftee is into that sort of thing, go right ahead. Maybe it means zip lining or jumping out of a plane but it could also mean a local art class or an at-home wine-tasting night. All forms of experience are welcome here.
We rounded up 44 of the best experiences you can gift to anyone who fits the bill, whether that’s your partner, your parents, or your best friend. Sometimes that adventure can be found downtown, sometimes in the living room, and sometimes in a different hemisphere. But whether you’re thinking subscription boxes or globe-trotting getaways, you’ll definitely find the right experiential gift here.
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Order Now From $100, thechefandthedish.com
Knowing how to make handmade pasta means that you can have handmade pasta at any time, no travel expenses needed. The Chef & The Dish offers a ton of cooking classes (pasta and beyond) where you can get private or group cooking classes in a whole range of cuisines. Gift them a specific class you know they’ll love or opt for a gift card, where they can pick out the one that’s most appealing to them.
Order Now $180 for 1 year, masterclass.com
MasterClass gives them the opportunity to learn skills from the best—the literal masters of their fields—through online videos and material. Gordon Ramsay teaches a course on cooking. Annie Leibovitz teaches photography. Steph Curry teaches basketball technique. The list goes on.
A Virtual Learning Experience
Order Now From $25, uncommongoods.com
There are so many things that can be learned and enjoyed online—astrology, mixology, magic, and beyond. Uncommon Goods curates a selection of such courses that you can gift to anyone with free time and a desire for a new hobby.
Order Now Prices vary, airbnb.com
Airbnb is probably the best place to look for an unexpected experience. Depending on where your giftee lives—or where they’re traveling to—you can book them an adventurous experience, a cooking experience, a cultural experience, and more. Right now, you can browse through online-only experiences too, like a coffee masterclass or a virtual tour of Ireland. Dealer’s choice, here.
A Night in a Luxury Hotel
Book Now Prices vary, tablethotels.com
A luxurious stay spent being pampered in a gorgeous boutique hotel is a treat for everyone, even if the hotel is down the street from their home. Tablet scopes out worthy hotels in cities around the world to give them an escape from their everyday life.
A Molecular Gastronomy Kit
Order Now From $49, uncommongoods.com
The home cook will become a home chemist with this kit, which comes with instructions on how to be a mad scientist chef and sachets of food additives to make it happen.
Order Now Prices vary, huntakiller.com
Any true crime junkie—that’s quite a few of us, if Netflix’s slew of new true crime docs is any indication—will devour what Hunt a Killer has to offer: murder mystery board games with clues that come all at once or on a regular basis in the mail, depending on what you decide to gift.
Order Now From $50, spafinder.com
Can’t think of a single reason why anyone wouldn’t appreciate a day at the spa. A SpaFinder gift card will let them book a massage, facial, or full spa weekend near their home, any day they like.
Order Now From $65, blueapron.com
This food service, which mails packaged meals with precise ingredients and instructions included, will teach them important cooking skills and up their kitchen game.
An Adventure of Their Choosing
Order Now From $50, virginexperiencegifts.com
If you want to get them “an experience,” but haven’t got a clue what kind of “experience” they’d like best—a spa day? a white water rafting trip? a hot air balloon ride?—then just direct them to Virgin Experience Gifts, which offers tons of options across the country, from rugged to luxurious. And foot the bill with a gift card.
Nose Your Bourbon
Bourbon Nosing Expansion Pack
Headspace 1-Month Subscription
Order Now From $45, getvinebox.com
Vinebox mimics the experience of a wine-tasting class, but in the privacy of their own home. Every mail-order box comes with nine different wines, packaged in single-serving vials. If they like one in particular, they can order more. If not, it’s onto the next glass.
Order Now Prices vary, thesill.com
A plant by itself is a great gift—cool home décor and a long-term project in one. But the Sill also offers free online workshops that’ll teach them how to keep that plant alive, which is a skill that’s definitely worth having. Send them a plant, then sign them up.
An Interior Design Upgrade
Order Now From $79, havenly.com
Who isn’t sick to hell of their home after the past year? Havenly is a personalized interior design service that pairs your giftee with a designer who’ll help them revitalize their space with new concept, layout, and decor ideas, then makes ordering any new furniture or accents easy.
An Infinite Wardrobe Stylist
Order Now Membership starts at $69 per month.
For anyone that puts time and effort into their wardrobe, give them the gift of an unlimited one. Based on the plan selected, you can choose different items weekly, from designer gowns to accessories. Give the gift of unlimited clothing.
Order Now $259.99, choosemuse.com
Achieving peace of mind is just about as improbable as winning the lottery these days. But, given the right tools, it gets a whole hell of a lot easier. Muse provides those tools: a high-tech headband that tracks brain activity and gives live feedback during meditation, as well as workshops and goals and an app to demystify meditation altogether.
A Shaker & Spoon Cocktail Kit
Order Now From $50, shakerandspoon.com
Every month, a box from Shaker & Spoon will arrive in the mail with instructions and ingredients so they can build three different craft cocktails (alcohol not included). If they’d rather learn outside the house, look for cocktail classes in their city.
Order Now From $50, classpass.com
ClassPass is great for fitness freaks who dabble in all manner of guided workouts. With it, they can sign up for different classes at different studios around their city, trying their hand at everything from boxing to spinning to boot camp.
Order Now From $30,000, saatchiart.com
A pricey gift—very pricey—to be sure. But one that’ll set them up with a personal art curator to, well, curate art for their home. That means one new piece to hang up every month. Now that’s an experience.
A Lifetime Language Membership
Order Now $189, amazon.com
Maybe they’ve got a big international trip coming up, or a life-long wish to become fluent in a foreign language. This unlimited Rosetta Stone subscription will get them to speak something other than English.
Winc 1-Month Wine Subscription
A Black Literature Book Subscription
Order Now From $25, doordash.com
A gift card isn’t fancy. Far from it. But what this gift card can purchase is nothing to scoff at. With it, they’ll be able to order the meal of their dreams to the safety of their home, without having to stress about delivery fees, tipping, or whether or not they should splurge on that appetizer.
Order Now Prices vary, museumhack.com
For connoisseurs of fine arts and really big dinosaur bones, Museum Hack offers private, personalized tours in five major cities (New York, Chicago, L.A., San Francisco, and D.C.). Get them a tour so they can absorb a history of museum secrets, scandals, and more that they might never know otherwise.
Order Now Prices vary, fathomevents.com
Not everyone can live in a thriving cultural capital. Fathom Events brings films and filmed live events to movie theaters around the country, allowing ticket holders access to the Metropolitan Opera, Broadway musicals, or rare screenings of movies like Spirited Away.
A Skydiving Over the Grand Canyon
Order Now From $329, skydivegc.com
This will cross a huge item off their bucket list: skydiving above a natural wonder. If the Grand Canyon is too far out of the way, look up your local tandem skydiving school, where newbies can safely jump from planes strapped to experienced divers.
Order Now From $99 for 1 year, learn.beerandbrewing.com
Craft Beer and Brewing is an online portal for craft brewing classes ranging from intermediate to advanced for beer lovers, with a gift option. If that doesn’t suit, UC Davis offers advanced online courses for those interested in the science behind brewing. And you can always check out options at a local brewery for gift ideas.
An Online Guitar Lesson from Fender
Order Now $89.99 for a year, fenderplay.com
Or ukulele lessons, or bass lessons. Whatever their musical inclination might be, Fender offers a year of online lessons, with tabs for popular songs, easy videos to learn good form, and the ability to track progress. And then they’re that much closer to living out their rock star dreams.
Order Now $19/month, studio.com
Buying someone you love cookies is good, and buying someone the resources to make their own favorite cookies at any time is even better. Milk Bar founder Christina Tosi teaches this 30-day baking class where you learn three of her recipes and make three recipes of your own. It’s the gift of creative and delicious expression.
A Personalized Celebrity Message
Order Now Prices vary, cameo.com
Cameo is ridiculous, and also genius. With it, you can pay one of its many D-list celebrities (along with a few B-listers!) to record a personalized message for your giftee. They got a thing for the Housewives? They’re on Cameo. A certain drag queen? Yep. A New York Yankee? Also there. The options get crazier the deeper you dig.
A VIP Tour of Paramount Studios
Order Now $199 per person, paramountstudiotour.com
A movie buff’ll love a more exclusive look at the Paramount studios, where Hollywood magic literally happens, from props to sound stages to sets.
A National Parks Yearly Pass
Order Now $80, usgs.gov
A year-long pass to the Unites States National Parks and federal recreational lands is great for outdoors adventurers who are always looking for an excuse to pack up the hiking gear and spend a weekend among the trees.
Order Now Prices vary, xperiencedays.com
For another creative outlet, Xpereience Days brings together local art classes all over the country. Choose the class you think fits your giftee in the city they live in. There are a ton of options, like drawing, painting, photography, and pottery.
Order Now Prices vary, letsroam.com
Let’s Roam has a library of scavenger hunts set up in cities across the U.S. If you’re giving a gift to someone who loves a challenge—or who just moved to a new city—a pass lets them chose a date and time to go on the hunt for clues.
Order Now Prices vary, driveshare.com
Like Airbnb lets you rent homes in every city, Hagerty’s DriveShare lets you rent cool, classic cars. Hook them up with a day spent cruising the backroads in a vintage convertible—one with a manual transmission if they’re extra daring.
Order Now From $119, ski.com
Epic Pass is an excellent adventure gift for ski bums and ski bum wannabes alike. There are a few tiers of passes: the Epic day pass, the Epic season pass, and the Epic pass, which includes some extra resort stays. The pass works at partnering ski resorts across the country.
Order Now Prices vary, resy.com
Resy caters to the person who craves a night (or morning, or afternoon) out on the town, drinking in the good life through exclusive restaurant, bar, and otherwise foodie-centric events. For instance, a sake tasting in Brooklyn, or a Wu-Tang and Wings night in D.C., or a Southern Smoke benefit dinner in Houston.
Order Now Prices vary, ticketmaster.com
Got a sports fan who needs a gift? Send them on a behind-the-scenes tour of their favorite team’s stadium, ballpark, or arena. That could mean any team from the New York Yankees to the New Orleans Saints to the Denver Broncos. Just search for it on Ticket Master.
A Tailor Made Luxury Journey
Order nowPrices vary, abercrombiekent.com
From Antarctica cruises to immersive Zambian safaris, Abercrombie & Kent curates luxury itineraries for all types of travelers. Whatever adventure is desires, they will handle all of the logistics, activities, accommodations, and even transportation, so that you don’t have to. A hassle-free vacation of epic experiences awaits.
Order now prices vary, barrys.com
Whether it’s for the fitness fanatic or the couch potato, Barry’s classes will whip anyone into peak physical fitness. Available for purchase in single classes or class packs, this will get anyone hooked on adrenaline.
Order now prices vary, stubhub.com
A StubHub gift card is truly a gift to just about anything. From sports games to concerts to Broadway theatrics, this is truly a “choose your own adventure” type of present. When you don’t know what to get the person that seemingly has everything, this is a safe bet.
Order now From $50, getaway.house
Venture to a pristine little cabin in the most stunning of locations with Getaway House. The properties are spread across the country, so you can truly give the gift of escape wherever they might be. With complete immersion in nature, these houses are a little slice of utopia.
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