Without fail, there’s always someone who adamantly refuses to accept *things* as gifts. It’s not that they’re ungrateful — usually, it’s just because they have everything they could ever want and don’t need something else sitting around their house gathering dust. Still, if you love them, it can feel weird or even downright mean not to get them a present for the holidays, especially if you have for everyone else around them. There is one easy way to solve this dilemma, though: The experience gift, which will provide them with something more special than just a tangible item.
Because not only does this type of present provide memories, lessons, and adventures, it’s also highly personalized — and often even customizable. You have the option to take true crime lovers on a murder mystery weekend getaway; sign foodies up for a specialized cooking class; send wine snobs a monthly drink subscription; and even gift the decor-obsessed with an interior design consultation. The options are endless, and allow you to be wildly creative and seriously thoughtful, meaning you can provide the people in your life with a gift they’ll actually never forget.
Still in need of some ideas? TZR has plenty, so keep scrolling to check them out in the roundup of experience gifts, ahead.
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Southern Design Experience
HarbourView Inn, a newly refreshed waterfront retreat in downtown Charleston that was designed by local designer Jenny Keenan, is offering the ideal experience for design lovers. The $3,000 “Southern Design Experience” package includes one-on-one design expertise from Keenan and her team, two nights of accommodations in the Grand HarbourView Suite, a $750 credit toward a purchase at Fritz Porter on East Bay Street, and more.
Positive Affirmations Cards
This set features 44 cards and a guidebook meant to help you “utilize inner guidance and inspiration to live to your highest potential.” It also includes a clear quartz crystal point for intention setting, clearing, and charging the cards in the deck. Any spiritual or wellness-minded people you know are sure to love utilizing this deck of positive affirmations in their day to day.
A Bespoke Trip
Want to let your gift recipient pick their own destination? Set them up with a travel advisor from Get Lost Travel, who can work with them to create a totally bespoke vacation that includes unique services, the best local guides, and authentic experiences.
A Candle DIY Session
Gift this candle-making kit from Sculpd (and buy one for yourself, too), and then set up a time to craft your creations together. It contains everything required to make one candle as well as step-by-step instructions, so all you’ll need is some spare time, your crafting partner, and a little creativity.
Call With An Expert
For the perpetual learner in your life, give the gift of knowledge from an expert with a video call on the new platform, Intro. It offers one-on-one time with an industry professional in various fields, so they’ll have the chance to get advice from people like fashion designer and stylist Rachel Zoe or interior designer Nate Berkus.
Interior Design Consultation
Help someone complete or spruce up their space with a gift card to The Finish. They can use it to set up a consultation with an interior designer to chat about whatever they need for their home.
This Cosmopolitan kit is perfect for getting you and your friends together. Gift it to your besties, and then plan a Sex and the City viewing party so you can make cocktails and sip them together while you rewatch your favorite scenes and catch up on life.
Virtual Cooking Class
This hands-on cooking seminar on Context Learning is a literal treat for any food lovers out there. It’s led by historian, sommelier, and home cook Gina Tringali, and includes an interactive lesson to teach participants how to make struffoli, a Neapolitan Christmas dessert, like an expert.
Luxury Ski Break
Avid skiers and travel fans in general would jump at the chance to experience the Luxury Ski Break package at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. With it, you can get a three- or five-night stay in a Superior Double Room, a Rolls Royce pickup at St. Moritz station, access to Palace Wellness experiences at the spa, a complimentary ski pass alongside use of mountain railways, and much more.
Virtual Fitness Classes
If you’ve been wanting to take fitness classes with your friend or family member across the country, now’s your chance. Give them a subscription to obé (an annual subscription is $199 per year) and get one for yourself — then, you can join each other in “workout parties” during classes that you take. The best part is the huge variety of modalities, so there’s truly something for everyone.
Coffee School Classes
You’ll not only give someone the gift of good coffee with this espresso machine. It also comes with two Coffee School one-on-one classes with an expert from Clive Coffee, who teaches the art of using the machine, espresso basics, and latte art.
Choose one of the McBride Sisters’ wine club memberships to gift your favorite vino lover regular shipments throughout the year. They’ll get recommendations for wines suited to each season, and a select number of bottles and deliveries based on the plan you (or they) choose.
Book you and your favorite friend for a much-needed getaway with this package from The Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach, FL. It includes activities such as blowouts provided by The Brazilian Court Salon, accommodations in a luxurious suite, a half-day charter aboard a picnic boat, and so much more. Booking is open through Dec. 15, 2021, and the package starts at $9,015 for a three-night stay for two.
A Grounding Tool Box
Help someone you love re-connect with the earth and their inner peace with this grounding tool box. It contains items such as a Smoky Quartz Crystal and a 30 Days of Healing Workbook to guide them in creating their own calming practice.
This garden coaching service from Tilly provides the opportunity to video chat with the brand’s experts on all things gardening. A standard plan costs $30 a month and is ideal for those with basic garden questions: It includes things like a 30-minute virtual walkthrough, on-the-spot monthly maintenance tips, design advice, and more.
A Month-Long Dance Class
In Monthly’s one-month class with L.A. choreographer Kyle Hanagami, participants learn in-depth dancing skills. The goal? To become a more confident dancer — and end the class with three shareable dance video performances. This one’s for all the wannabe TikTok stars out there.
Murder Mystery Weekend Retreat
Now you know what to get all those true crime podcast lovers in your life. For around $500, this weekend getaway on Virgin Experience Gifts includes a two-night stay in New Hampshire for two people, during which guests investigate leads and follow the evidence during a delicious five-course dinner.
A Personal Styling Package
Whether you want to give your sister some help dressing for a big event or assist your S.O. in finding some new clothes, Wishi makes it easy. The platform connects users with stylists, who guide them in shopping, building a wardrobe, and more.
A Gardener’s Getaway
So they’re already a gardening pro at home? Instead of lessons, send them on The Great Gardener’s Getaway at The Claremont in Maine. It includes amenities and activities such as a two-night stay in the hotel's Summer House garden-themed suite, a private class with the hotel's Master Gardener, and a tour of some of Mount Desert Island’s beautiful gardens. The package can be booked from Dec. 1-23 by calling guest services at 207-244-5036.