29 Fun and Unique NYC Experiences to Gift in 2024

Last Updated on February 22, 2024 | 0 Comments
experience gifts in NYC

'Tis the season to start thinking about gifts for everyone on your list, and if you’re bored of physical gifts, it might be the year to consider experience gifts in NYC instead. There are so many incredible things to do in the Big Apple, but a lot of them can be pricey. That’s where you and your gift-giving comes in. Give the people on your list the opportunity to do the things they may never have chosen to do on their own by getting them an amazing experience gift in NYC.

Not sure what to give them? We can help with that. Read on to learn all about the very best experiences in NYC to gift.


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Best NYC Experience Gifts for Foodies

1. Cooking Classes

Is there a foodie in your life who loves eating but isn’t always the best at making meals? Cooking is a science and an art; it’s not easy! Cooking classes in NYC can help. With this NYC experience gift, your giftee will be making chef-quality meals in no time. 

Gift your foodie friend a cooking class experience in NYC!
via Cozymeal

2. Private Chef Meal

Even the most enthusiastic foodies don’t want to cook every single night. If a favorite foodie in your life could use a break, give them the gift of a private chef meal. Private chefs in NYC are world-class gourmets who provide a sublime culinary experience in your own kitchen, and they even handle the prep and cleanup.

3. Food Tour

Food tours in NYC are some of the best NYC experiences to gift for foodies. There are so many cuisines present in the NYC restaurant scene. From sushi tours to pizza tours in NYC, there’s something for every palate. A food tour makes an excellent NYC experience gift because it may open your giftee up to new things that they never would have tried before. Start looking into food tours near you to find the perfect one.

A food tour is a great experience gift in nyc
via Cozymeal

4. Online Culinary Experience

Is your favorite foodie somewhat of a homebody? Perhaps they’re just busy and they aren't able to get out of the house much. If that’s the case, don’t worry. There are online culinary experiences that make perfect experience gifts in NYC. Your giftee can learn to cook their favorite meals in online cooking classes, learn about fine wine in virtual wine tastings or become their own bartender with online mixology classes. The best part is that they can do any of these things from the comfort of home. 

5. Foodie Gift Card

Not sure what to give a foodie in your life? With a foodie gift card, you can let them have the freedom to choose their own gift. These gift cards can come in any amount over $10 and they can be used for experiences, cookware and more. Indecisive gifters rejoice. 

A foodie gift card can be used for any Cozymeal experience
via Cozymeal

6. Dinner at Ellen’s Stardust Diner

Situated conveniently in the world-famous Times Square, Ellen's Stardust Diner is known for its singing waitstaff. The servers, often aspiring Broadway performers, entertain diners with musical performances while they enjoy classic American diner fare. Who doesn’t love dinner and a show?

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7. Omakase Sushi Experience

There are very few places outside of Japan where you can have a fantastic and authentic Omakase sushi experience. Luckily, the best NYC sushi often compares to true Japanese omakase restaurants. If there’s a foodie in your life who loves authentic Japanese cuisine (and seafood, of course), this might be the perfect NYC experience gift for them. 

A tasty gift experience in NYC is a sushi night out!
via Ishi Omakase & Premium Sake

Best Experience Gifts in NYC for Sports Fans

8. Catch a Game at Madison Square Garden

Catching a game or event at Madison Square Garden is a quintessential New York sports experience, making it an excellent NYC experience gift. Whether it's basketball with the New York Knicks or hockey with the New York Rangers, the atmosphere is absolutely electric.

Alternatively, you can gift an all-access tour of Madison Square Garden to explore behind the scenes, including locker rooms, the arena floor and the iconic arena's rich history. The tour offers insights into the sports and entertainment world that aren’t accessible elsewhere and makes an iconic NYC gift.

9. Take a Trip to Yankee Stadium

Baseball fans can't miss a visit to Yankee Stadium to watch the New York Yankees play. The storied history, iconic pinstripes and fervent Yankee fan base make it a must-see for baseball aficionados, even if they aren’t Yankees fans. 

Gift the experience of a trip to Yankee's stadium
via Yankee Stadium 

10. Check Out Metlife Stadium

If you’re looking for NYC experiences to gift a sports fan, you can’t go wrong with tickets to a game at Metlife Stadium. Home to both the New York Giants and the New York Jets, MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, provides an opportunity to witness NFL football in a state-of-the-art venue. This isn’t technically in NYC, but because it hosts NYC teams, it makes the cut. 

11. Golf at Chelsea Piers

Golf enthusiasts can practice their swing at the Golf Club at Chelsea Piers, which offers a multi-tiered driving range with excellent views of the Hudson River. This is one of the more relaxing experience gifts in NYC for sports lovers, and it’s a great way to spend an afternoon.  

Swing a golf club at this experience in NYC
via Chelsea Piers

Best Experience Gifts in NYC for Creatives

12. A Day at an Art Museum

A day at the museum is a fantastic NYC experience gift for any artists or art lovers in your life. There are so many different art museums in the city, but the Metropolitan Museum of Art is generally the first go-to for first-timers. There are almost endless things to look at, and it’s easy to spend a whole day wandering the various halls and rooms of the museum. This is one of the most popular indoor activities in NYC for a reason.

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13. Tickets to a Broadway Show

We can’t possibly create a list of experience gifts in NYC without mentioning tickets to a Broadway show. If you have a theater-loving friend, this is perhaps the best gift you can possibly give them. Broadway features the best of the best in terms of musicals. 

Gift the experience of Broadway
via Broadway

14. Performances at Brooklyn Academy of Music

The Brooklyn Academy of Music has been a treasured home for adventurous artists for over 150 years. It’s the perfect spot to catch some off-the-beaten-path performances that you won’t be able to see in larger and more popular venues. Find a unique performance and buy tickets for your artistic loved one.

15. DIY Art Class 

Give the gift of a session at a local art class where your giftee can create a masterpiece. A “paint your own pottery” place is perfect for this. It’s great for artists of all levels. Your giftee will enjoy a relaxed and creative atmosphere and come home with a custom souvenir of their NYC experience gift. 

Pottery painting is a fun experience to gift in NYC
via Canva

16. A Show at Anthology Film Archives

Anthology Film Archives in the East Village is a haven for film enthusiasts, making it an excellent NYC experience gift for any creatives in your life. It showcases experimental and avant-garde films, making it a unique space for those interested in the cinematic arts. Give your creative friend the gift of tickets for one of the unique shows.

Best NYC Experience Gifts for Parents and Families

17. New York Aquarium Visit

Gift tickets to the New York Aquarium in Coney Island. Families can enjoy a day of marine exploration, featuring exhibits on sea life, interactive displays and entertaining live shows. You can even gift a VIP behind-the-scenes experience. Your giftees can get a closer look at marine life, participate in feeding sessions and even enjoy exclusive access to certain exhibits that are otherwise unavailable. 

18. Bronx Zoo Family Membership

This year, why not give the gift of a family membership to the Bronx Zoo? It provides unlimited access to the zoo and its attractions, making it an NYC experience gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. Families will love this thoughtful gift.

Gift the classic NYC experience of a trip to the Bronx zoo
via Bronx Zoo

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19. Central Park Horse and Carriage Ride

If you’re looking for a fun and relaxing experience gift in NYC for a family with young children, arrange for them to take a horse and carriage ride through Central Park. It's a charming and leisurely way for the family to explore the park's iconic landmarks and it’s perfect for parents of toddlers and small children who may not be able to walk the whole park. 

20. New York Hall of Science Membership

Gift a family membership to the New York Hall of Science in Queens. Any families with kids or parents who are interested in STEM will love this educational experience gift in NYC. It's a hands-on science and technology museum with interactive exhibits and engaging activities for all ages.

Gift a bit fo education with tickets to the NYC Hall of Science
via NYC Hall of Science

21. Escape Room Adventure

Give your giftees the chance to engage their family in an escape room adventure. They’ll have to work together to solve puzzles and unlock mysteries in one of NYC's many unique and entertaining escape room venues.

Best Experience Gifts in NYC for Couples

22. Museum of Sex Superfunland 

This is an underappreciated NYC experience, but it’s so much fun for friends or couples. The Museum of Sex Superfunland is both fun and educational. Not only will your giftees learn about the history of various sex-related topics, but they’ll also get to enjoy fun adult-themed carnival games and activities. This is a truly unique experience gift in NYC. 

23. Romantic Sunset Sail

Sailing in NYC? Yes please. Have your giftees set sail on the Hudson River with New York Harbor Tours for a romantic sunset cruise. They can watch the sun dip below the skyline while enjoying a private boat ride. This is an unforgettable experience gift in NYC. 

Give the experience gift of a boat tour around NYC harbor
via New York Harbor Tours

24. Spa Day for Two

Treat your giftees to a relaxing spa day. Many luxury spas in NYC offer couples' packages with massages, facials and access to wellness amenities like hot tubs and saunas. There’s nothing quite like giving the gift of relaxation. 

25. Helicopter Tour of NYC

Take romance to new heights with a private helicopter tour with a company like FlyNYON over the iconic skyline. Your giftees will enjoy breathtaking views of famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Central Park and the Empire State Building. This is a perspective you can’t get from the ground or even the tallest skyscraper in the city.

Gift a helicopter experience in NYC
via FlyNYON

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26. Private Yoga Class with a View

Buy passes for a private yoga class for two with a breathtaking view. Many studios and rooftop venues offer yoga sessions that combine wellness with stunning cityscapes. This is a great NYC experience gift to kickstart a long NYC date day for a special couple in your life.

Best Outdoor NYC Experience Gifts 

27. A Stroll Through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a stunning place and a fantastic NYC experience to gift any plant lovers in your life. It may not be much to look at during the winter in NYC, but there are still unique greenhouse biomes in the garden that stay toasty, thriving and warm even when the outdoor garden is lacking. The garden is over 52 acres, so there’s plenty to see.

The Brooklyn Gardens are a beautiful experience to gift
via Brooklyn Botanic Garden

28. Rock Climbing in Central Park

Gift a rock climbing session in Central Park for a fun and exciting NYC experience gift. The North Meadow Recreation Center offers outdoor climbing lessons for climbers of all levels, so even if your giftee is new to rock climbing, they’ll be able to have a fun (and safe) experience. 

29. Zip Lining at the Bronx Zoo Treetop Adventure

Give the gift of adventure with zip lining at the Bronx Zoo Treetop Adventure. It's a thrilling experience amid the treetops, and the zoo offers a variety of courses for different skill levels. This is an activity for the warmer months, but there’s nothing wrong with buying tickets (or promising tickets) during any season if you have an adventurous friend who will be in NYC during spring or summer. 

Gift the NYC experience of an exciting treetop adventure
via Bronx Zoo

So which of these experience gifts in NYC are you adding to your gift list? It’s not hard to have a good time in the Big Apple, especially if you are trying out any of the exciting experiences above. There’s sure to be an experience for everyone with so many fun things to do in NYC

For even more ways to explore NYC, check out other experiences happening on Cozymeal.