What are the best gift you’ve ever received? Experience gifts are the ones I love most and remember the longest. Experiences make great gifts!
Science even backs up that experiences make you happier than things. So we’ve put together some of our favorite experiential gifts for both adults and kids, as well as ones that inspire travel and exploration.
As nice as it is to open that toy or sweater, having something to look forward to after the hustle and bustle of the holidays is over can be more exciting. So without further ado, here are the best gift ideas that keep giving even after the decorations have been put away.
Experiences can be hard to wrap up and put under the tree, so keep reading for ways to box up your special gift, so the recipient gets the thrill of unwrapping too.
Book your Getaway to a cozy cabin in nature starting at $99.. with a mission to offer people, couples, friends and families the ability to disconnect and recharge – and live life a little more deeply.
Originally building escape pods in the Northeast, Getaway has ventured into our neck of the woods for the first time, with a “camp” in Suches. Even the most avid North Georgia adventurist might need help with that location…it’s in Union County, but much closer to Dahlonega that Blairsville. Expertly, in the middle of no where.
Have you ever watched an episode on HGTV and then immediately wanted to investigate every nook and cranny of that house? Now you can!
These 14 Airbnb rentals were featured on HGTV’s various shows, and they are each dotted around the south – easy for our Atlanta readers to get to and enjoy. A stay at any of these would make a great experience gift the recipient wouldn't soon forget.
PERFECT TRAVEL COMPANION FOR KIDS
Looking for the perfect gift for the kid in your life? Look no further than Moosey the Blue-Footed Moose! It's a gift and experience in one. Moosey the Blue Footed Moose is a cute stuffed animal, who happens to be on a quest to find other moose who are unique just like him. This adorable squeezable plush and accompanying book teach kindness, patience, and a cheery attitude.
Moosey loves to travel and is the perfect companion for kids. So pack his Moosecase for a unique adventure with your child.
WINE TASTING FOR TWO
Try new bottles, or old favorites at Vino Venu. You get to put as little or as much as you'd like on a wine card, and taste selections you're sure to fall in love with.
Save a little cash by ordering appys in the wine-tasting section, rather than making a reservation (though if you can indulge - it is totally worth it)!
FLYING HIGHT IN A HELICOPTER
Henry County is the place to be for an epic experience -- a helicopter ride.
The Army Aviation and Heritage Center offers affordable helicopter rides in real Huey choppers. Riders can fly with a veteran pilot and up to 9 other passengers. For an even more intense ride, spectators can ride in an AH-1F Cobra attack helicopter, which is a single passenger ride. Certain age, health, and weight restrictions may apply.
Read all about all the fun we had HERE!
NATIONAL PARK KIT
If you've got a friend or loved one that loves the outdoors, how about getting them a National Park Kit! This is not something you can buy, but it's something you can easily put together!
Start with a National Parks Pass, then add a National Parks Passport and Junior Ranger Passport Combo, a Trekking the National Parks board game, and a National Parks and Monuments Map Poster. They'll be out in nature in no time.
DATE NIGHT AT THE BURGESS HOTEL
First opened in 2000, The Burgess Hotel quickly became known as one of the best hotels in Buckhead. After an extensive renovation and rebranding, The Burgess Hotel is now known as the first boutique hotel in Buckhead.
Immerse yourself in a warm, inviting ambiance where the details make all the difference. Explore indoor and outdoor spaces designed with original artwork. From the courtyard to splash pool, bar and restaurant, their carefully curated experience features beautiful spaces for work, play and relaxed enjoyment.
VR GAMING FOR ADULTS
Looking for some fun? Skip the escape room and head to Revery VR Bar! Revery is the first adult-only VR Bar in the nation, and it’s right here in Atlanta!
Now don’t get the wrong idea…it isn’t “adult-only” because of the VR content. It’s actually a bona-fide bar that just wants to offer a relaxing kid-free zone for adults. And the VR is an added bonus!
ATLANTA FOOD TOUR
Food Tours Atlanta offers two food tours that are sure to make a memorable experience gift!
The Modern Southern Food and History Tour is a walking tour through the Inman Park neighborhood where you'll uncover local history, learn the stories behind its colorful Victorian homes, and enjoy food from some of the best places, including a treat from a James Beard award-winning pastry chef at Krog Market food hall.
Stroll along the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail, known as Atlanta’s largest outdoor art gallery, for an up-close look at its vibrant street art and cool off with King of Pops.
Or...try the Ponce City Market Food, Art, and History Experience. Come experience Atlanta’s most buzzed about food hall, Ponce City Market. Set inside a historic Sears & Roebuck store, PCM has some of Atlanta’s best restaurants, including one of America’s favorite burgers.
The tour will take you to some of the best spots where you’ll taste and sip from award-winning chefs while learning about the storied past of this iconic landmark. Head up to the 3rd floor where you'll hop on the BeltLine to discover street art and share the history of baseball in Atlanta.
Either (or both!) of these amazing food tours will be memorable for years to come.
Indoor skydiving at iFly Atlanta is available to everyone who is 3 years old and older. (Yes, even Grandma and Grampa!)
Our youngest is 4 years old and he loved every minute of it! We prepped him with some videos before-hand so he’d know what to expect, and that helped. I have to admit that seeing the boys fly was even more fun than flying myself!
iFly Atlanta offers great ways to surprise your loved ones with this fun experience! Click HERE for all the details!
A few years ago, when we decided to take all four kids to Nova Scotia, I used a new (to me) company to create share-worthy photos. It’s called Flytographer. (Use this code and get a $25 credit!) We used it again this year in Miami...and it was amazing. You can hire a photographer for a shoot here in Atlanta...or plan one for your next getaway!
What a wonderful way to gift the memory of togetherness.
Give an entire year of discovery with the gift of a museum membership! It's great for kids, families, or couples.
If you don't want to spend the dollars on an entire membership, then get them tickets which can be used toward a full membership on their visit.
What could ever be better than sleeping with the whale sharks?! Go as a family...or bring all your besties to the Adult Overnight!
You’ll get access to the Aquarium at 6:30 p.m. to start your adventure. You’ll have two different guided tours (one that night and another the next morning,) dinner and breakfast, your sleeping mat, and next-day entry to the aquarium including the 4D theatre, the sea lion show and dolphin show…plus all the other amazing things included in a ticket.
Looking for a unique experience? Try the 2 person 90-minute glassblowing lesson at Decatur Glassblowing.
For $216 total, each person will get to make at least one piece, choosing from multiple items. Decatur Glassblowing also offers Gift Cards, to make gifting an experience here easy!
VIP WINE TOUR
Experience North Georgia's Wine Country in a fun way! Either book a private tour or join the classic Full Day Wine Tour with Artisan Picnic Lunch and Tastings at four North Georgia Wineries.
As the South’s Original All-Inclusive Wine Tour, VIP Southern Tours includes everything to make your day fun, carefree and educational. You can sit back and relax as their exclusive chauffeur takes you to the Southeast’s best wineries.
MURDER MYSTERY DINNER
I won’t lie – I had my doubts the first time we went to a murder mystery dinner…but I was overwhelmed with how enjoyable The comedic Murder Mystery Company dinner truly is.
A murder mystery dinner show takes only the 3 minutes necessary to make a simple reservation online– but it INCLUDES dinner and entertainment – the kind that gets you talking and giggling with your date…not just blankly staring up at a screen “together” for 2-3 hours.
Project Chimps provides lifelong care to former research chimpanzees at its 236-acre forested sanctuary in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The sanctuary is open occasionally for special events, field trips, volunteer vacations, and private tours. We went this year and loved every minute of it.
Looking for a simple and inexpensive experience gift? We've got you covered!
ClueTown Books are a great way to explore the city by going on a scavenger hunt. Solve puzzles to move on to the next stop.
There are seven Atlanta area ClueTown Books, PLUS seven Atlanta neighborhood mini-hunts, so you can explore the area of most interest to you!
SUBSCRIPTION BOX FOR KIDS
Subscription boxes make great gifts for all ages -- and they're the gift that keeps on giving.
KiwiCo is a great, kid-friendly subscription box that definitely feels more like an experience than a box of toys. The STEAM-related projects are geared toward different age groups, and are fun to build and then enjoy.
Another fun subscription box is Little Passports. Little Passports helps kids explore new ideas and places, and celebrate cultures with globally inspired experiences, hands-on art and science activities, and stories for kids ages 3-10.
SEASON PASSES TO ATLANTA ATTRACTIONS
Atlanta has no shortage of amazing attractions -- and a season pass to any of them would be an amazing gift! Consider a season pass to...
HOW TO WRAP EXPERIENCE GIFTS
The memory of an experiential gift may last a lifetime, however, an IOU isn’t too exciting to open, especially for kids. If you’re planning to give an experiential gift this holiday season, here are some ideas on ways to wrap it up to make it more exciting.
Ask about Premiums. When purchasing an experience for the holidays or even a membership, ask the organization about premium items. Often attractions offer a certificate, tote bag, stuffed animal or other item with a gift purchase. If they don’t offer a premium, ask if you can purchase something inexpensive from a gift shop or online to wrap up with the membership or tickets.
Wrap a Book About the Adventure. Wrap a brochure or book about the show, attraction, or something you’ll see during your visit (we’ve used books we already own or even a book from the library). Not only is it something to open, but it educates the recipient about what they’ll experience and get them excited for the visit. For younger children a picture book like If I Ran the Zoo can help them visualize what to expect on a trip to the zoo.
Purchase something Small. Purchase a small toy, ornament, hat or other object that represents what you’ll be doing. I find it perfectly acceptable to wrap up something you already own for this purpose – especially if it’s your own children. For instance, wrap a CD or video for a Broadway show, a toy boat for a wake boarding lesson, pick up a rock in the yard for rock climbing at Atlanta Rocks, Stone Summit or caving at Cloudland Canyon. If it's a golf lesson or trip, wrap up golf balls.
Package a Certificate Creatively. Create a certificate for the recipient and get creative with the packaging. Include a helium balloon that rises in the air as they open the box. Nest wrapped boxes with a clue in each one to what the recipient will find at the end.
MORE HOLIDAY FUN:
- CHRISTMAS EVENTS: Christmas in Atlanta: Your Festive Guide To The Best Holiday Events
- LAKE LANIER ISLANDS LIGHTS: Lakeside Lights Spectacular Returns
- GARDEN LIGHTS: Atlanta Botanical Garden Lights: Brilliant Holiday Fun
- STONE MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS: Tips & Tricks for Maximum Fun At Stone Mountain’s Christmas Event
- ICE SKATING: The Best Rinks in Atlanta for Kids, Teens & Adults
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