8 Thoughtful Experience Gifts!

Okay this gift guide could actually be for ME. When someone gives me a gift I am always really touched. But I have a lot of stuff and am pretty specific in my taste, so I don’t always wind up using a lot of the things I am given. Conversely, when someone gives me thoughtful experience gifts, I am REALLY excited. It just feels so much more personal and special and it’s also always really nice to have a fun experience to look forward to or a new goal to work toward.

Besides the fact that experience gifts often feel more thoughtful, they rather conveniently make fantastic last-minute gifts. With a few exceptions, you could buy most of these the day of if you found yourself in an emergency. It’s always good to have a few good ideas up your sleeve for last minute gifting / when you accidentally forget someone important!

I’d love to hear your favorite experience gift ideas. Leave them in the comments, if you have one!

A Membership to Headspace.

Headspace is my favorite meditation app. I’ve been using it for a couple years now and could gush about it for a while. First of all, I joke that Andy is my boyfriend. His voice is so soothing. Second, over the past year, they’ve unveiled all sorts of incredible sleep tools. My favorite are the sleepcasts… kind of like a bedtime story for adults. I am embarrassed to say how much I listen to the Cat Marina one. Almost every night! They recently changed it up and I noticed.

A membership to Headspace is thoughtful, out of the box, and perfect for that friend who wants to prioritize their happiness + health this year (also, me!)

(I recently just signed a 3 month partnership with Headspace so want to disclose that this mention is a part of my partnership with them!)

A gift certificate to Air BnB.

I was out to lunch with a friend and she was talking about how her and her husband were going to take a trip because they had a gift certificate to Air BnB and I just thought… what a BRILLIANT gift!? You can use it literally anywhere, it encourages the recipient to take an adventure or get away… I had never heard of anyone giving that as a gift and just thought it was so smart.

Along these lines (but probably more spendy) you could also treat someone to one night in a really luxurious hotel in your city. Sometimes a staycation is just the perfect way to reset!

A membership to the Whitney Museum.

Or really, to any museum – whatever your favorite one may be! The Whitney is my personal favorite museum in the city.  I try to support them whenever I possibly can and actually have a discount code for you to use if you buy a membership between now and 12/31 (it’s GRACE10!)

But what I love so much about gifting a membership to a friend or family member is that you have an excuse to do something together for the rest of the year. Whether it’s checking out a new exhibit, attending a private tour, or doing something fun like Empty Met or Quiet Mornings at the MoMA. If it’s a museum you both love, you basically get a year’s worth of fun plans!

A class that you can take together.

I love the idea of getting a significant other or best friend a gift certificate to do something together. Whether it’s cooking classes, dance lessons, a craft or painting class, wine tasting classes,  or something else, it’s something fun that you can look forward to doing together.

A Subscription to Book of the Month.

I hesitated to include Book of the Month on this list as technically this is a “thing,” but a) you can buy it last minute, and b) your recipient gets to pick. And it encourages reading, which of course is something very important to me! I am a huge fan. I’ve been a paying member for about two and a half years and I look forward to it every month… they pick the best books!

A painting kit from Let’s Make Art.

Okay this is a “thing,” but I really wanted to include it anyway! My mom got me a few of these kits for my birthday and I love how easy they make it to create beautiful art. Perfect for the creative who maybe needs a little extra guidance.

A membership to Aaptiv.

Aaptiv is another great gift that I love as I use it every single time I am traveling. It allows the recipient to work out wherever they are, with access to fun classes, anywhere! It’s one of my favorite things!

Cookies from Levain.

Also a “thing,” but a thing that won’t last very long! I’m sorry but these are possibly the best cookies in maybe the whole entire world. Why not send a box to a deserving friend!? I’m actually starting to drool just thinking about these cookies!

Created in partnership with Headspace!

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment


  1. These are such great ideas, Grace! I gifted my best friend a subscription to a beauty box last year and she loved it. 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    12.19.19 Reply
  2. Jessica Camerata:

    I’ll gladly take a box of Lavain cookies ANY DAY! Love this list. I especially love the idea of an experience as a gift. Such a great thing to get.


    12.19.19 Reply
  3. Angela:

    Welp, drooling over those cookies.

    12.19.19 Reply
  4. Jennifer:

    Thank you for recommending Book of the Month. An interesting diverse choice each month and inspired present choice. Now added to my Wish List!

    12.19.19 Reply
  5. Katie:

    I’ve been purchasing children’s museum memberships for my nieces and nephews for the past couple years and it’s such a nice alternative to more material things! It’s an easy hit with them and it’s so fun to be able to take them whenever I visit!

    12.19.19 Reply
  6. Dana Mannarino:

    Loving these ideas! As I get older, experiences seem like way better gifts!

    Dana | The Champagne Edit 

    12.19.19 Reply
  7. Jessica:

    This is truly the only gift guide I’ve seen by any blogger this year that has actually helped me. I never would have thought to look for wine tasting classes and, upon looking, found an awesome whisky tasting class for my partner who is impossible to shop for! Thank you Grace!

    12.19.19 Reply
  8. Jen:

    I am not sure how I learned this but one thing that Book of the Month offers is a Young Adult subscription. I love this idea since I cannot keep up with my kids reading between the books they own, school and the library. I bought both of them their own subscription and I know they will love picking out their book each month or if nothing interest them then they can pause it for that month. Just thought in case anyone else was looking for teen gifts.

    12.19.19 Reply
  9. Bri:

    Love this! I’m big into giving experiential gifts, but logistically, I’m curious how you actually GIVE it. Printing out a confirmation page feels so impersonal and a card feels small! Maybe the solution is a smaller gift + some sort of confirmation code?

    12.19.19 Reply
    • Print it out and put it inside a pretty card! Or do a small gift too! There’s no right or wrong!

      12.19.19 Reply
  10. These are all wonderful ideas, and truly the only things I’d personally want as gifts!! I value experiences so much more than stuff, and I almost wish I could get everyone on board with gift ideas like this. Thanks so much for spreading the good word:).

    12.19.19 Reply
  11. Lisa S.:

    Love these ideas ,Grace! I bought a weekend at a resort in New York for my boyfriend and myself during their chefs on the mountain weekend. A nice pre spring get away and as your article states, an experience that lingers ( like those cookies)

    12.19.19 Reply
    • Oh I love this! Well done – have so much fun!

      12.19.19 Reply
      • Lisa S.:

        Will do! 🙂 Also, I booked the stay during their after thanksgiving sale so saved 25% off the cost of the stay !

        12.19.19 Reply
  12. Laura:

    This year for my birthday one of my employees got me a gift certificate for a treatment at a spa nearby AND booked the appointment so that she knew I would go. So often things get so busy that you never get the chance to go, it was so thoughtful that she did it for me. Great ideas xo

    12.19.19 Reply
  13. Kate:

    I’m loving this post! I got my sister a kit from Let’s Make Art, and Levain cookies look to die for!! What’s your fave flavor(s)? Many thanks!

    12.20.19 Reply
  14. Ashley:

    This is such a great blog post. I love all of these ideas!!!

    12.20.19 Reply
  15. I really like the idea of experience gifts!

    12.20.19 Reply
  16. Shana:

    Love these ideas! Gifted my friend a 3 month to Headspace 🙂 had to google how to gift it because I am clueless but they have very clear instructions and it was super easy!!

    12.21.19 Reply
  17. Jerry Cone:

    Every Christmas I treat a group of girl friends to the
    Christmas holiday house and always with reservations
    at a fun place for lunch.
    This year was my seventh time and I love the time we all get to be together. Big plus (charity for children’s hospital). It’s a win win all around.

    1.23.20 Reply