Gift Guide: Experience gifts for everyone on your list
The best things in life aren't things -- they're experiences. This year, think about giving the gift of time to the people you love. Plan an activity, organize a date, and reconnect with your family and friends by spending some time together. But what to do, exactly? We've come up with a TON of great ideas to get you started.
1. HIT THE ARCADE
Challenge the kiddos to a skeeball competition, have a showdown at the air hockey table, and see who's the true pinball wizard of the family. All you need is a roll of quarters and your inner child to make a fun memory that's sure to last.
2. TRAVEL BY TRAIN
There's just something so cool about seeing the the world go whizzing by when traveling by train. It doesn't have to be a big adventure -- a simple trip within your own state will do. The novelty of riding on a train and gazing out the window is what it's all about.
3. GO CAMPING
Sleep in a tent, build a campfire, roast marshmallows -- do it ALL and create a special moment free from screens that your kids will absolutely love. No campgrounds close to home? A backyard will do just fine.
1. COOKING CLASS
Have some fun and learn a couple new tricks in the kitchen by signing up for a cooking class together. Try out a new cuisine, master the delicate art of pasta making, or learn to decorate cakes. Pick something that interests you and you can't go wrong!
2. SPA DAY
Massages anyone? Treat your best gal to a day of pampering -- manicures, facials, the works! Either leave it up to the professionals, if you're up for the splurge, or create an at-home spa on the cheap and give her a day of the VIP treatment.
3. WEEKEND GETAWAY
Plan a weekend of exploration that's just the two of you. Pick a place on a map and just go for it -- no itinerary required. Explore close to home or travel to some far-flung locale you've always dreamed about. The point is: just get outta town!
1. HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE
Plan a romantic afternoon floating high above the trees and take in the sunset from a hot air balloon. Pack some bubbly and raise a glass to the one you love.
2. DO THEIR CHORES
You know all those bothersome chores we have to do even though we probably wish we didn't? Give your partner a break -- for a day, a week, or even a whole month! -- by taking on their most-hated chores. Mow the lawn, do all the dishes, walk the dog every day -- you get the idea. You're giving them the gift of a little extra time all to themselves.
3. VISIT A VINEYARD
Red or White? Or perhaps Rosé? Sip, swish, and spit to your heart's content at a winery near you, where you can learn all about the wine-making process.
1. CONCERT TICKETS
Take your bro to see some live music -- whether it's his favorite band or a brand new artist you've never heard of -- and you can sing and sway along with the crowd.
Hop in the car and set out for the open road, stopping at all the silly roadside attractions you can find. Buy a disposable camera and document your adventures along the way. Driving playlist mandatory.
3. SPORTING EVENT
Spend some time cheering on the home team with a beer in one hand and one of those cheesy foam fingers on the other. It could be a pro team or a local farm league -- it really doesn't matter, as long as you're having fun!
1. BEACH DAY
Get some sun by planning a trip to a local beach and dig your toes into the sand. Too cold? Get bundled up and walk the coast, searching for seaglass. Don't live near the beach? Get a spray tan and sip on some summery cocktails, complete with Tiki glasses and tiny umbrellas. Summer is a state of mind, people.
2. SEE A PSYCHIC
Curious about what the future holds? Get an expert opinion and have your tarot cards read by a local psychic. Whether you believe in it or not, it's a fun way to reminisce about the past and dream about the future with one of the people who has known you the longest -- perhaps your whole life!
3. THEME PARK
Channel your childhood and spend a day at the local theme park. Ride the biggest roller coaster you can find, eat some cotton candy, and win a couple of those enormous teddy bears. It's all about spending the day together and having fun.
1. WATCH HOME MOVIES
Remember all those home movies your parents filmed of you growing up? It's time to watch them. So make some popcorn, cue up your 2nd grade dance recital, and marvel over just how young everyone was back then. Pro tip: Keep some tissues handy.
2. TRY A NEW RESTAURANT
Treat mom and dad to a special night at a restaurant you've never been to before. Perhaps it's a cuisine they've never tried, or a part of town you don't usually visit. Trying something new is part of the fun!
3. SEE A SHOW
No need to venture into the big city if you don't want to. Many towns offer great options for affordable, community theater. See a play or take in a ballet -- you could even see a movie together! Check out local events listings for what's happening in your community and then make a plan to go!
Have you ever given an "experience gift" to someone in your life? Tell us what you did in the comment section below!