top of page

This blogpost may contains affiliate links, meaning I may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links at no extra costs to you. 

Copy of World Earth Day 2024 Badge (1).png
  • Writer's pictureValinda

Beyond Materialism: 100+ Meaningful Experience Gift Ideas

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

Jump to

Experience gifts are a unique and thoughtful way to show your loved ones how much you care about them. Instead of giving a meaningless material object that may eventually be forgotten, an experience gift creates memories that will last a lifetime. From cooking classes to ice skating, the options for experience gifts are endless. Not only are they more personal and meaningful, but they also promote bonding and create opportunities for new adventures with your friends and family. In this article, we will explore a variety of creative experience gift ideas that are sure to make your loved ones feel special.

Don't feel like reading? Watch it instead!

Why experience gifts are better than physical gifts

  • An experience gift is a very sustainable gift. It doesn’t cause any waste or clutter like a physical gift may making it a very eco-friendly gift.

  • An experience gift creates a memory that lasts much longer compared to an object that may eventually be forgotten.

  • An experience gift is much more meaningful and personal as it can be tailored to the interests and preferences of the recipient. Not only that, it is versatile enough that you can tailor it to specific budgets as well.

  • By giving an experience you create memories with loved ones making it a great opportunity to bond with them over these new shared memories. Experience gifts are an amazing way to introduce someone to a new activity or hobby that they may not have tried otherwise.

art museum

How to ask for experience gifts

If you rather not receive physical gifts for yourself, just be honest about it. This not only prevents disappointment but also makes sure you receive the gifts that make you happy. If you send out (digital) invitations, you can simply put it on the invitation that you would like experience gifts and add a few examples for those who have no idea what these are. You could mention a specific activity or event that you would like to go to, or a place you have always wanted to visit. Another way to ask for experience gifts is to mention a general category of activity, such as "I would love to try a cooking class" or "I would love to go to a beauty salon." Be sure to express your excitement and gratitude for the opportunity to have this experience.

How can I give an experience instead of physical gifts?

When I gave climbing park tickets to the son of a friend I designed a specific card for this activity to give to him while I (secretly) gave the money for that activity to his mom.

You could package the experience in a thoughtful way, such as a printed or electronic gift certificate, or a personalized note explaining the experience you have in mind for them. It's also important to consider the timing of the experience, whether it's a one-time event or something that can be used over a longer period. Overall, an experience gift should be tailored to the recipient and show that you put thought and effort into selecting the perfect gift for them.

50+ Experience Gift Ideas for Couples

The gifts below are great experience gift ideas for couples who have a celebration in mind like an anniversary, Valentine's, or birthday. They also make a great gift for parents who have been together for a long time but hardly do anything new together.

Experience gift ideas for couples

  • Recreate your First Date

  • Breakfast in Bed

  • StayCation

  • Hotel Stay

  • Picnic in a Park

  • Restaurant Visit

  • City Scavenger hunt

  • Train Tickets

  • Camping Trip

  • National Park Visit

  • Botanical Garden Visit

  • Museum Visit

  • Zoo Visit

  • Movie Set Tour

  • Movie Night

  • Game (video or board) Night

  • Hand Reading Session

  • Theater

  • Comedy Show

  • Cirque du Soleil

  • Concert

  • Festival Visit

  • Escape Room

  • Observatory Visit

  • Amusement Park Visit

  • Zorbing

  • Mini Golf

  • Roller Skating

  • Ice Skating

  • Indoor Ski Park

  • Bike Ride

  • Bowling

  • Dance Lessons

  • Surf Lessons

  • Snorkeling Lessons

  • Scuba Diving Lessons

  • Kayaking/Canoeing Trip

  • Rafting

  • Go-Karting

  • Paint Ball

  • Laser Tag

  • Indoor Wall Climbing

  • Outdoor Rock Climbing

  • Art Classes

  • Cooking Classes

  • Wine Tasting

  • Cheese Tasting

  • Local Food Tour

  • Spa Day

  • Massage

  • Therapy Session


25+ Experience Gift Ideas for Him

Men can be very difficult to buy gifts for. An eco-friendly gift is a great idea but if you prefer to give something else for a change, these experience gift ideas may be a great option. Also, take a look a the gifts for her below. Not all men and women are the same and some may prefer an experience gift I put on a different list.

experience gift idea men

  • Coffee Tasting

  • Beer Tasting

  • Whiskey Tasting

  • Brewery Tour

  • Beer Brewing Classes

  • Music Lessons

  • Coding Classes

  • Game Event visit

  • Sports Event visit

  • Sports Club visit

  • Rock Climbing Park visit

  • Factory visit

  • Virtual Reality Game visit

  • Personal Trainer

  • Gym Membership

  • Golf Lessons

  • Archery Classes

  • Martial Art Classes

  • Photography Classes

  • Survival Lessons

  • Fishing Trip

  • Car Wash

  • Handyman Service

  • Pet Sitter Service

  • Spotify Subscription

  • HBO Subscription


25+ Experience Gift Ideas for Her

Most women already have a lot of stuff, to begin with, and giving a zero waste gift may be a good option, an experience gift may be an even better option.

experience gift ideas for women

  • Manicure

  • Pedicure

  • Haircut

  • Facial

  • Stylist Consultation

  • Professional Photoshoot

  • Tea Tasting

  • High Tea

  • Cocktail Mixing Classes

  • Cake Decorating Classes

  • Sewing Classes

  • Knitting Classes

  • Yoga Classes

  • Meditation Classes

  • Acting Classes

  • Singing Classes

  • Language Classes

  • Flower Arranging Classes

  • Horseback Riding Lesson

  • House Keeping Service

  • Interior Decorator Consultation

  • Plant Care Workshop

  • Gardening Service

  • Netflix subscription

  • Audiobook subscription

  • Donation to a charity of her choice

More Zero Waste Gifts


Do you use

Unpaper Towels?

Unpaper towels - zero waste etsy shop

Visit our shop with over 50 different prints of reusable kitchen towels. These not only look super cut but they are also very eco-friendly and save you money.

Valinda - Natural Parenting Blog - Eco-friendly mom - Cloth diaper - sustainable pregnancy

Meet Valinda

Hi there, I am the founder of the green and happy mom blog and green and happy shop. After battling severe depression, I am determined to make the world a little better and I want to take you along that journey with me. 

Free Ebook?

ebook side bar.png

Free Ebook?

ebook side bar.png
zws banner-1.png

Follow me on Youtube!

bottom of page