Gifts

The 44 Best Experience Gift Ideas for Her or Him in 2023

Tiffany
by: Tiffany La Forge
co-author: Sandy Allen
Last Updated on November 18, 2022 | 0 Comments
a trip to the amusement park is a wonderful experience gift

The perfect gift isn’t something that you can wrap or put in a box. The perfect gift is an experience.

In 2014, Cornell University published findings that experiences create more satisfaction than material goods over time. What’s more, the act of looking forward to an experience leads to more happiness overall. What does this mean for you? It’s time to start giving the gift of experience.

Experience gifts require a little bit more creativity (i.e., you can’t just walk into a store and pick one off a shelf), but the best experiences are always more personal, more thoughtful, more fun and are always a catalyst for unforgettable memories.

Check out these 44 best experience gifts for her or him, whether you're shopping for your significant other or your best friend. There's something thoughtful and unique on this list for each member of your inner circle.

 

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Experience Gifts for Her

1. Hands-On Cooking Classes

Give her the gift of a day spent with an expert chef! Hands-on cooking classes are great experience gifts that will teach her the ins and outs of all her favorite dishes. There are options for decadent desserts, global cuisines, fusion fare and more, with classes to suit all skill levels. Browse the cooking classes in Napa, cooking classes in Chicago, cooking classes in Dubai and other cooking classes near you to find one that will strike her fancy.

Cozymeal chocolate making classes are a fun experience gift
via Cozymeal

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2. Local Food Tour

Treat that adventurous someone in your life to a culinary exploration of her city’s tastiest bites on a local food tour. By combining sweet and savory food samplings with fascinating stories, local culture, history and architecture, a walking food tour is the perfect recipe for a memorable experience gift. Explore food tours in San Franciscofood tours in Boston and more food tours near you.

cozymeal food tours are great experience gifts
via Cozymeal

3. Culinary Experience Gift Card

If food is a general love for this special someone, a foodie gift card is her gateway to a world-class collection of cooking classes, food tours, personal chef experiences and even cookware in the Cozymeal Shop. Gift cards can be purchased in any amount from $10 up and they never expire. 

chef rolling a pizza cutter through a flatbread during a cooking class
via Cozymeal

4. Online Mixology Classes

Give the gift of a crowd-free night out and craft cocktails! Online mixology classes offer virtual instruction from charming, top-rated mixologists who love teaching the art of cocktail-making. This is a great experience gift certain to shake things up.

mixology classes make a great gift idea
via Shutterstock

5. Virtual Wine Tasting

No vineyards nearby? No problem. Round up the girls for a virtual wine tasting event that will bring the elegance and expertise of a professional wine tasting lesson right to their own kitchens. With expert instruction from world-class sommeliers and chefs, they'll get to sample wines from all over the world. They'll even get to learn about pairing each wine with a complementary appetizer or dish.

she'll love an experience gift of a winery tour
via Shutterstock

6. Coffee Classes

For the ultimate morning person in your life, you can't go wrong with coffee classes for an experience gift. Led by the best baristas in the industry, these interactive classes teach tricks of the trade for brewing café-quality coffees at home. For the person who loves relaxing at the corner coffee shop, these classes bring the ambiance, charm and delicious drinks home to your own kitchen.

online coffee classes are a great experience gift
via Canva

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7. Spa Package

For that someone in your life who is always doing things for others but never takes time for themselves, this is an experience that they will truly appreciate. A day at the spa is one of the most relaxing and rejuvenating experience gifts you can give. She can indulge in a mud bath, enjoy a hot stone massage or try out a trendy new spa treatment. Forest bathing, perhaps?

a massage or spa day is a great gift for her
via Unsplash

8. Pottery Class

Sign her up for a pottery class that includes step-by-step instruction with experienced, enthusiastic local artists. This is an experience gift she will definitely enjoy. Plus, she will leave with her very own one-of-a-kind creation she can proudly display.

give the gift of pottery classes
via Unsplash

9. Yoga Retreat

For one of the most energizing and relaxing experience gifts you can give — book a yoga retreat! If a yoga retreat is a bit of a stretch (financially, that is), book a fun local class like SUP yoga, aerial yoga or goat yoga instead.

give a yoga retreat as an experience gift for her
via Unsplash

10. Hotel Gift Card

Travel is the ultimate memory-maker, and traditionally it’s hard to give as a gift. You can get around this hiccup with a hotel gift card. Whether it's for a local staycation or a resort you know she's always wanted to visit, plenty of hotels big and small offer gift vouchers that be redeemed for a stay.

a hotel gift card is the perfect gift for relaxation
via Unsplash

11. Dance Classes

Give the gift of dance classes for a twirling good time. From the flirtatious foxtrot to the sensual salsa, dance lessons are an experience gift that will make couples want to grab their partner and shimmy, shake or cha-cha all night long.

dance classes are a fun experience gift for her
via Unsplash

12. Camping Trip

Doing the legwork to reserve and pay for campsite fees in advance is a great gift for the adventurous. If there’s a site they’ve always wanted to camp that fills up quickly, book it now!

book a campsite as a gift for your adventurous friends
via Unsplash

13. Canoeing or Kayaking Trip

For the woman that loves unplugging and enjoying the great outdoors together, find a canoeing or kayaking trip for them! Canoeing and kayaking make for great experience gifts any outdoorsy person would love to receive.

kayaking is an exceptional experience gift
via Unsplash

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14. Day Passes to an Amusement Park

Spring for a day pass to an amusement park, water park or fun park nearby. Perhaps even for the whole family! They will enjoy rousing a little healthy competition on the go-kart track, getting wet and wild at the water park or seeing who made the best face on the roller coaster.

amusement park tickets are a fun experience gift
via Unsplash

Experience Gifts for Him

15. Online Cooking Classes

If the man in your life loves experimenting in the kitchen, you can't go wrong with online cooking classes. These virtual classes turn any home kitchen into a culinary classroom, where world-class chefs will give step-by-step coaching on how to cook a gourmet meal. Pick a menu of his favorite foods or surprise him with something he's never tried before!

young couple waving at laptop during an online cooking class
via Adobe Stock

16. Private Dining Experience

Treat him to a private multi-course meal prepared by top-notch chefs in an intimate dining experience. No matter what he defines as his favorite meal, private chefs offer menus that please all palates (and budgets). When people sit down and dine together, they are sharing more than just food. There are private chefs in Austinprivate chefs in NYC, private chefs in Perth and more. Browse all private chefs near you today.

Cozymeal private dining is a great experience gift
via Cozymeal

17. Whiskey Tasting

If he loves whiskey, scotch or bourbon, whiskey classes can give him a guided tasting experience. Each tasting is led by a world-class scotch steward with a wealth of knowledge on the creation, history and enjoyment of whiskey and all its iterations. He'll also learn recipes for seasonal whiskey cocktails to enjoy year-round.

virtual whiskey tastings are a great experience gift for him
via Canva

18. Craft Brewery Tour

A craft brewery tour is one of those experience gifts that is always a good idea. Do a little research and check out what tours are available in your city. Or, hire him a designated driver, round up his buddies and make a tailored itinerary just for him.

a brewery tour is a great experience gift for him
via Shutterstock

19. Tickets to a Sporting Event

No matter what his favorite sports are, there always seems to be a “big game” coming up, right? Whether it’s a pro match or the minor leagues, tickets to a sporting event always make for great experience gifts for him.

sporting events tickets are a great gift for him
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Gift a Private Chef Experience Now
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20. Golf Tee Time

Instead of getting the golf enthusiast in your life yet another golf shirt or box of golf balls, surprise him by scheduling a tee time at a course he’s always wanted to play. A round with his friends at a top-notch course is sure to be an experience gift he’ll love.

give him the gift of golf tee time
via Unsplash

21. Charter Fishing Trip

A charter fishing trip makes a great experience gift that’s sure to catch him a good time! You can choose between half-day or full-day trips and there are charter fishermen that go out on all bodies of water including lakes, rivers and the ocean.

charter a fishing boat as a gift for him
via Unsplash

22. Concert Tickets

Whether a major arena tour or a local show at a hole-in-the-wall, concert tickets are great gifts that always create lasting memories. Find out what concerts or music events are playing nearby. There's sure to be something good in the lineup.

give him the gift of concert tickets
via Unsplash

23. Hot Air Balloon Ride

No gift is complete without an abundance of balloons. It’s time to take it up a notch (or a lot of notches) and book a hot air balloon ride for a fun experience gift that will take anyone you gift it to up to cloud nine.

hot air balloon rides are a great gift idea for him
via Unsplash

24. Tickets to a Comedy Show

Check out the lineup at local comedy clubs or see if any big comedic acts are coming to town. Comedy show tickets make a great gift filled with fun and gut-busting laughter.

gift him tickets to a comedy club
via Unsplash

25. Paintball

For an adrenaline-pumping experience gift, find a paintball park nearby and spring for entry fees and gear rentals. Giving him the gift of paintball is sure to be one of the most colorful experiences out there.

paintball is a fun experience gift idea
via Skirmish Paintball

26. Helicopter Tour

Gifting a helicopter tour is a surefire way to knock his socks off. Send him sky-high to admire awe-inspiring aerial views for one of the most breathtaking experience gifts out there.

book a helicopter tour as an experience gift
via Unsplash

27. White Water Rafting Expedition

White water rafting is one of the greatest experience gifts for the adventurous soul. Different classes of rapids mean the expedition can be as daring, exciting and exhilarating as they please.

white water rafting is an exciting experience gift
via Unsplash

28. Ziplining Tour

Take experience gifts to new heights at a zipline park. A day at a zipline park is guaranteed to score high on the fun-meter as they conquer dangling obstacles and explore the trees from a new perspective.

ziplining is the perfect gift experience for adventurers
via Unsplash

Experience Gifts for Couples

29. Sunset Dinner Cruise

Gift them the experience of sailing off into the sunset with a private dinner cruise. Destinations like Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago and Charleston immediately come to mind. However, you don’t need to be near a major ocean waterway to find dinner and sightseeing cruises. Don’t forget about those local lakes and rivers! 

couple on a sunset dinner cruise
via anva

30. Horseback Riding

How about riding off into the sunset? Horseback riding is a fun and unique adventure whether it’s at sunset, on the beach or along a wooded trail. Check out a local stable or farm for horseback tours, lessons and trail rides. If the couple is headed to an island destination for a honeymoon, anniversary or just for fun, do a bit of research and surprise them with a pre-planned riding excursion.

horseback riding is a unique experience gift for couples
via Canva

31. Theater

Whether it’s the latest Broadway musical, a Vegas magic show or a Shakespearean drama, experiential gifts of live theater are a wonderful idea for your favorite couple. You don’t even have to live near a major city to catch great live theater. You can find tickets for traveling shows and local and regional ensembles across the country.

women performing during a live stage show
via Canva

32. Try a New Sport

From SUP and ATVs to kayaking, canoeing, golfing and roller skating, sports activities make a fun and unique experience gift for couples who like to exercise and enjoy the outdoors. Try a local sports outfitter for guided tours or rent gear and take a solo excursion.

couple kayaking at sunset
via Canva

33. Old School Drive-In Movie

Fans of movies and unique experiences will enjoy a trip to a drive-in movie. Drive-ins offer classic, vintage and first-run movies. Sit back, dig into a bucket of popcorn and watch comedies, dramas, mysteries or animated flicks.

visiting an old school drive in theater is a cute experience gift for couples
via Canva

Experience Gifts for Friends

34. Dessert Night

Gift an experience of a decadent dessert night for your best friend, favorite colleague or a well-deserving neighbor. Whether you bake treats yourself, order from a gourmet bakery or present them with a gift card to a local restaurant or bakery, they’ll remember this sweet treat.

a dessert night is a fun experience gift for friends
via Canva

35. Zip Around the Race Track

Speed demons will love the experience gift of getting behind the wheel at a race car driving track. They’ll learn how to drift drive à la "The Fast and the Furious," do stunts, go off-road or just speed around the track in a luxury sports car like a Lamborghini, Porsche, Ferrari, Mustang or Corvette. 

race cars driving around a track
via Canva

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36. National or State Park

Annual passes to state or national parks make terrific experiences to give as gifts. Your friend can hike, bike and explore the mountains of Shenandoah National Park, the unique landscape of Joshua Tree National Park or the rock formations of Arches National Park. Pick a park near them for a gift of experience, recreation and the great outdoors they can enjoy all year.

arches national state park
via Canva

37. Game Night

Plan a game night with a group of friends, family or co-workers. Play your favorite board games, trivia challenges or even high-tech video games. Don’t forget the snacks! No worries if you aren’t all in the same area: You can still have a virtual game night as long as you have an internet connection. 

friends playing a card game
via Canva

38. Day at the Museum

From NYC’s Museum of Natural History to the vast collection at D.C.’s Smithsonian to the art, culture, history and science archives in Chicago, Miami, Boston and San Francisco, there are a wide array of museums across the country. A day at the museum can be a fun and informative excursion for friends and groups of all sizes. 

a day at the museum is a fun experience gift for friends
via Canva

Experience Gifts for Kids

39. Batting Cage

Baseball fans will flip over an experience gift of an hour or two in the batting cage. Whether they’re already a star batter or they’re just getting started, this is the perfect activity to work on technique, develop hand-eye coordination and build confidence. They’ll be hitting home runs like a pro!

kid taking a swing at the batting cages
via Canva

40. Pottery Classes

Creative kids will love the experiential gift of a pottery class. They’ll learn how to shape, sculpt, glaze and fire blobs of clay into vases, plates, mugs or unique sculptures. Professional artists make classes fun for kids of all ages.

kids pottery class
via Canva

41. Go-Karts

The local go-kart track makes great experiential gifts for kids who like to zip, zoom and race around the track. Plan a session for a thrilling birthday party or special event.

go-karting is a fun experience gift for kids
via Canva

42. Escape Room

Book an interactive escape room experience for a gift of experience they won’t forget. From themes like Harry Potter, robots, ancient Egypt and mad scientists, many escape rooms are super kid-friendly. The kids might even figure out the clues and puzzles faster than you can.

an escape room is a fun experience gift idea for kids
via Canva

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43. Spa Day

Manicures, pedicures and facials — kids need a me-day too! Book your mini diva a day of relaxation and pampering. They can even receive hair treatments, massages, French braids and movie star makeup sessions.

kids enjoying a spa day
via Canva

44. Zoo or Aquarium

One of the best experiential gifts you can give an animal lover is a day at the local zoo or aquarium. Spend the day exploring the Bronx Zoo, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, the San Diego Zoo and others around the country. As the chauffeur, you’ll get to enjoy all the cute, cuddly and fishy creatures along with the kids.

a zoo day is a great experience gift idea for kids
via Canva

Whether it’s a birthday, holiday, anniversary, graduation or any occasion in between, you can’t go wrong with these 44 experience gift ideas for her or him. Spare yourself the task of canvassing stores for presents that might be forgotten in less time than it took you to find a parking spot. Give the gift of an experience instead and help create memories that last a lifetime. There’s something for everyone in your life.

For more experience gifts for anyone and everyone in your life, check out more experiences on Cozymeal in a city near you.

Tiffany
by: Tiffany La Forge
co-author: Sandy Allen
About Cozymeal

Discover the best in culinary experiences and products on Cozymeal: From in-person cooking classes to virtual cooking & mixology classes to private chef experiences and top-rated cookware — from world-class chefs, mixologists & more.

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