The Experiential Gift Guide for Millennials
Holiday wish lists are no longer limited to items you can wrap. Gifting experiences has become increasingly popular, and they’re particularly great in a last-minute pinch if you’ve missed the ship-by date. From bucket-list adventures to practical everyday delights, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite experiential gift ideas for all the special somebodies in your life.
For the outdoor explorer
America is home to thousands of astonishing national parks (and public lands that are worth protecting). To delight those looking to bask in nature’s greatest gifts, the $80 America The Beautiful Pass grants card holders free entry to over 2,000 recreational sites across the country, along with 3 accompanying guests.
For $200, an Annual Membership to Rapha Cycling Club gives cyclers access to organized member rides, an international community of cyclists, club gear, and unlimited coffee at any Rapha location in the US and abroad.
A perfect gift for any travel junkie-turned yogi, Yogascapes provides once-in-a-lifetime yoga experiences in breathtaking locations all over the world.
Hipcamp, AirBnB’s more outdoorsy cousin, helps outdoor enthusiasts discover and book unique lodging like yurts or airstreams at spaces such as ranches, farms, vineyards, nature preserves and public sites via one seamless web experience.
For the cultural connoisseur
IFONLY there was a one-stop-shop for gifting any conceivable cultural experience in any major US city, like an architecture tour in Chicago or private theater tour along Broadway.
Hosting concerts and simultaneously growing a community of like-minded music fiends on a global scale, Sofar Sounds invites passionate concert-goers to intimate live shows at unique venues, like someone's living room or a collaborative working space.
An Airbnb gift certificate can be the answer for both extraordinary lodging and an unforgettable opportunity to enjoy the culture of your hometown or wherever your travels may take you, thanks to the recent launch of Airbnb Experiences.
What better way to immerse yourself in the culture of a faraway place than speaking the native language and connecting with locals? Rosetta Stone and global language schools like GoAbroad make perfect gifts for all the polyglots in your life.
For the foodie fanatic
For those who delight in preparing food themselves, explore local culinary centers for cooking classes like Cavallo Point in the Bay Area, The Institute of Culinary Education in New York, or for Sur la Table for nationwide offerings.
Foodies know that the only thing better than an unforgettable dining experience is an unforgettable dining experience no one else knows about. Consider gifting a membership to an exclusive underground dining club like SubCulture Dining or Spring Street Social Society.
Blue Apron or one of the many other niche food subscription boxes make for a great DIY experience. The step-by-step instructions are (almost) foolproof and, when gifted to a roommate or significant other, allow you to become a beneficiary too.
If the foodie on your gift list happens to live in a state where weed is legal, give them the gift of a sophisticated, marijuana-infused meal from premier cannabis dining events from companies like Cultivating Spirits or Mason Jar Events.
For the pampered prince or princess
Gift the ultimate good hair day with a wash and blowout at Drybar starting at $40, with complimentary wine and mimosas to boot.
Discovery kits from Le Labo offer collection vials for sensory exploration, allowing recipients to craft their very own unique fragrance to get blended into a perfume by hand at any Le Labo location.
Credo Beauty has something on the menu for everyone, with spa experiences like massages and facial treatments at its NYC, LA, and SF locations.
Sensory deprivation tanks, like this experience offered at Re:boot Float Spa in the Bay Area, are all the rage these days offering visitors an unplugged, refreshing experience unlike any other.
For the art & design aficionado
Offering limited edition collectable prints from both renowned and up-and-coming artists around the world, Absolut Art is helping connecting young collectors to gallery quality art. Prints are delivered ready to hang within 2 business days.
For those in the greater NYC area, consider gifting the exclusive EmptyMet Tour, where an small group of no more than 25 people get VIP access to the Metropolitan Museum, before the doors open, for some quality alone time with their favorite galleries and exhibits, along with an expert guide.
Check out Ace Camps and help your loved ones gain new artistic skills while traveling the world. They can master the craft of Portuguese ceramic tiles on a trip to Lisbon, or learn weaving and dyeing techniques in Oaxaca, Mexico.