While it may require more advance planning, gifting an experience rather than a traditional wrapped gift can be a great way to change things up and help the recipient make memories even after the holiday season has passed. An experience gift doesn’t need to be anything super fancy, either–I would consider subscription boxes to fall into this category, for example, because they’re a gift that keeps giving into the new year. A friend once gave me a three-month Birchbox subscription and it was the sweetest thing because it’s something that I wouldn’t have necessarily bought for myself and it made me think of her every time a new box arrived (which was extra special because she had moved overseas by then and we couldn’t communicate as frequently as we did before).
I’ve done some brainstorming and compiled a list of experience gifts that have caught my eye lately!
If you’re in the DC area…
Jen Sincero talk: I love going to events at Sixth and I, a synagogue in downtown DC. I was fortunate enough to see Mari Andrew speak there last spring and it was a full house! In November, I purchased a ticket to see Liane Moriarty talk about her latest book but then had a work trip pop up, so my mom went in my place and absolutely loved the talk and the atmosphere–honestly, getting out of the house and going to an event downtown is so energizing, even if you think you’ll be too tired to make the trek after a long day. And in January, Katie, Laura, and I are going to see the U Up podcast hosts IRL and we cannot wait! Seeing Jen Sincero speak is also on my list, and tickets are under $20 (I just don’t want to book too far in advance until I have a better sense of my January schedule!). A ticket to this talk would make a great gift for the badass woman in your life. Pair it with a copy of You are a Badass or You are a Badass at Making Money, and you’re all set!
Winery day: I have been itching to do a winery day with friends in Northern Virginia forever and this would be an adorable gift idea for a mom, sister, or close friend. Pick up a bottle of her favorite wine (whether it’s local or not) and explain that you’d love to treat her to a day of tastings once the weather warms up. I don’t know much about the VA wineries (I’ve only been to Barrel Oak), but Katie has some great roundups on her blog that will help steer you in the right direction!
Carole King Musical: Carole King’s Beautiful is in DC! This is one you’ll have to jump on in advance since most of the showings are before Christmas, but it would make a great early holiday gift nonetheless! I have heard amazing things about Beautiful and love all of Carole King’s music (as does my mom!), so this would be a fun experience gift to enjoy together. My parents got me tickets to Legally Blonde the Musical for my 16th birthday and it’s a memory that I cherish to this day!
Regardless of where you live…
Workout classes: Yes, I consider Soul Cycle to be an experience, haha. My friends and I love asking for class packs for the holidays because they’re a practical but much appreciated gift–spin classes are expensive! It also feels great to jump back on the workout wagon after a food and drink-filled holiday season, and prepaid classes make the experience that much better. Any exercise fanatic in your life will be super grateful for something like this, whether they love spin, barre, yoga, etc!
Airbnb reservation: This is a more luxurious gift that requires a little bit more planning, but if you can swing it (maybe for a sibling or significant other), it would be so thoughtful! Book an Airbnb in a town the two of you have been hoping to visit and then enjoy planning a weekend getaway together in the new year. I’ve been wanting to stay at this Airbnb for AGES and am determined to make it happen! 😉
Cooking class: One of my friends bought tickets to take a cooking class with her mom a few years ago, and I know people who have done similar things for their spouses to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, etc. It’s always fun to do an interactive activity with someone and cooking is extra enjoyable because you and sit down and enjoy a meal together after the instructional portion of the class is over. Bon Appetit!