12 Experience Gifts for People Who Don't Want ‘Things'

Asia's Tech News Daily

My husband and I have an understanding: Instead of getting each other physical gifts, we give experiences. I mean, I’ll still welcome a nice piece of jewelry any day but I’d rather take a weekend trip or tune into a crafting class. In fact, some of the best gifts I’ve given him are experiences, such as a personalized video from a basketball player on the New York Knicks via Cameo and a tie-dying class from Uncommon Goods.

12 Experience Gifts for People Who Don’t Want ‘Things’
© Provided by Food52
12 Experience Gifts for People Who Don’t Want ‘Things’
© Provided by Food52

While there might not be a physical present to unwrap, experience-based gifts are the gifts that keep on giving. You’ll make new memories and laugh until your bellies hurt, and you’ll still wind up with physical momentos afterward such as photos from a trip, a finished arts and crafts project, or a delicious meal that you cooked together.

12 Experience Gifts for People Who Don’t Want ‘Things’
© Provided by Food52

From virtual cooking classes, art demos, and even videos sent in from your fave athletes and celebrities, here are 12 experience gifts for anyone who says they don’t want anything for the holidays.

12 Experience Gifts for People Who Don’t Want ‘Things’
© Provided by Food52 32 Unique Gifts That Give Back—For Twice the Joy 32 Unique Gifts That Give Back—For Twice the Joy
12 Experience Gifts for People Who Don’t Want ‘Things’
© Provided by Food52 Our Beloved Holiday Swap is Back—& Better Than Ever Our Beloved Holiday Swap is Back—& Better Than Ever

1. Goldbelly Live!, varies

If you can’t cook up a storm with them in the kitchen IRL, you can still do so virtually via Goldbelly. It’s one of our favorite services to send food gifts, and now it’s hosting classes with chefs, bakers, and more from across the country. Each class comes with a kit that has all the ingredients so there’s no need to hit up the grocery store.

12 Experience Gifts for People Who Don’t Want ‘Things’
© Provided by Food52

2. Uncommon Experiences, $20+

For the crafters, Uncommon Experiences has a ton of fun virtual classes such as flower arranging, tie-dyeing, painting, and more. Most of the classes come with kits which are included in the purchase price, so there’s no scrambling to shop for materials.

3. Food52 Holiday Swap, $10+

12 Experience Gifts for People Who Don’t Want ‘Things’
© Provided by Food52

Our annual holiday swap is back! For the uninitiated, it’s our yearly tradition in which we pair up community members to send each other handmade or home-cooked gifts. Participants also donate a minimum of $10 to support the non-profit Feeding America.

4. Havenly Design Packages, $79+

For anyone who’s moved into a new space, a design service like Havenly can help them reimagine small or cavernous rooms alike with layout designs, furniture and decor recommendations, and even paint colors. Its latest partnership with Reese Witherspoon’s Reading Room Book Club is a great way to create a little reading nook in an overlooked spot.

5. Tilly Garden Coaching, $30

12 Experience Gifts for People Who Don’t Want ‘Things’
© Provided by Food52

If they were lucky enough to land some outdoor space, they’ll appreciate landscaping help. Tilly offers virtual garden coaching to help them figure out the basics like the best plants for their space, how and when to weed, and more.

6. Masterclass Annual Membership, $15+/monthly

If they love to learn, they’ll get so much out of a Masterclass membership. They can get tips for anything they’re curious about straight from experts like actor Samuel L. Jackson, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and even conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall.

12 Experience Gifts for People Who Don’t Want ‘Things’
© Provided by Food52

7. Cameo, varies

Commission their favorite actor, athlete, or celeb to create a personalized video message with Cameo for the most unique gift. I’ve sent my husband a video message from a basketball player on the New York Knicks and my niece a sweet message from Frozen’s Elsa—you should’ve seen their excited faces as they watched the video!

12 Experience Gifts for People Who Don’t Want ‘Things’
© Provided by Food52

8. The Sill Workshops, $10+

12 Experience Gifts for People Who Don’t Want ‘Things’
© Provided by Food52

Green thumbs and plant parent newbies can tune into The Sill’s workshops for plant-care tips, DIYs, and more. Most of the virtual and in-person classes don’t require any plants, though it’s helpful to bring your own if you have specific questions.

12 Experience Gifts for People Who Don’t Want ‘Things’
© Provided by Food52
12 Experience Gifts for People Who Don’t Want ‘Things’
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12 Experience Gifts for People Who Don’t Want ‘Things’
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12 Experience Gifts for People Who Don’t Want ‘Things’
© Provided by Food52

9. AirBnB Experiences , varies

12 Experience Gifts for People Who Don’t Want ‘Things’
© Provided by Food52

In addition to unique stays like the potato hotel or fun treehouses, AirBnB has fun online and in-person activities hosted by local experts such as making pasta with Italian nonnas or going on a haunted hiking adventure.

12 Experience Gifts for People Who Don’t Want ‘Things’
© Provided by Food52

10. The National Parks And Federal Recreational Lands Pass Kit, Annual Pass, And Brochure 2021, $80

If they can’t wait to explore the great outdoors, help them out with a pass that lets them visit all the national parks across the country for free. Well, free for them.

11. Atlas Obscura Experiences, varies

Choose from free and paid online or in-person experiences inspired by and featured in the popular Atlas Obscura book, such as foraging or learning how to read tombstones. It’s perfect for anyone who loves unique, off-the-beaten-path adventures.

12. Purple Carrot Meal Subscription, $51.94+

For anyone interested in a plant-based lifestyle, a curated meal subscription plan like Purple Carrot might jumpstart their taste buds. You choose the amount of weekly meals in the plan and they choose their own menu—a win-win for both of you.

This post was updated in October 2021 with new experience gift ideas. How do you plan on spending time with your loved ones this season? Let us know below! This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.

12 Experience Gifts for People Who Don’t Want ‘Things’
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