11 Experience Gifts For The Minimalist In Your Life

Staff Guide | NOVEMBER 2016

For Those Who Value Thoughtful Gifts & Experiences

The science is clear: experiences makes us far happier than things. Experiential gifts are a wonderful way to give a gift that keeps on giving and is the perfect choice for our minimalist friends who reject the idea of owning more things and would prefer to instead experience something new.  From cooking classes to nationwide museum and yoga memberships, here are 11 of our favorite ideas for giving an experiential gift this holiday. 

1. Give To Charity In Someone's Name

Now more than ever, gift givers everywhere are moving towards supporting charitable organizations in lieu of physical presents. Giving to a charity in honor of someone is a thoughtful and impactful way to celebrate the holidays, all while doing good. Global Giving is a nonprofit that gives social entrepreneurs and local organizations to raise the money that they need to improve their communities - the best way to show someone you care.

2. Give The Gift Of Binge Learning

Learning nowadays is at our fingertips, if only we seek it out. Whether you’ve wanted to learn how to knit, take up graphic design, or start those intro-MBA courses, sites like Coursera and The Great Courses Plus make learning easy and attainable for everyone, everywhere. Many courses are accessible via phone, tablet, or computer and can be done on your own schedule - help a teach new skill set this holiday season.

3. Nationwide Museum Membership

We all have the one friend or family member who has a love of travel and learning - but you’re in luck. The North American Reciprocal Museum (NARM) Association offers a nationwide museum membership, that works with over 800 institutions in the US, Bermuda, Canada, and Mexico to provide members with reciprocal benefits! Score free visits, museum coupons, and discounts on tours and lectures for weekends filled with art and culture. Visit their website to find your local affiliated organization for a membership.

4. Botanical Garden Membership

If someone you love lives in a major metropolitan area and they are yearning to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, a membership to the local botanical garden might just be the perfect gift. Botanical gardens in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Denver offer memberships starting as low as $40, that provide unlimited annual visits, discounts, and free year-round parking. They can take a Sunday stroll, meditate amongst the flowers and trees, or find that perfect natural snapshot, all within their area.

5. Photobook For The Aspiring Photographer

Driven in part by our love of Pinterest and Instagram, we are taking photos now more than ever before. For the person in your life who cherishes lifelong memories through photographs, we love Artifact Uprising’s photobooks. Using recycled pages and reclaimed materials when possible, and made in the USA, their handcrafted photo albums will be a family heirloom for years to come. Their ultra-thick pages that lay completely flat and hand-stamped covers will stay intact as it is passed down through generations.

6. The Wine Club That Gives Back

Still not sure what to get your boss that he’ll appreciate, or your mother-in-law who’s very specific with jher wine preferences? Look no further than Winc, the wine club formerly known as Club W. Newly rebranded, Winc is more than just a company devoted to chardonnays and pinot noirs - they are committed to the grape-to-glass supply chain and sustainability. Their gift options range from seasonal choices, to the classic duo, to a red wine tasting for two - the possibilities are endless for the wine connoisseur in your life.

7. Gift A Subscription To These Socially Conscious Magazines

In a world saturated by tabloids and gossip magazines, it’s easy to forget the beauty of the magazine in its original form. Visually appealing, perfect for the commute or the coffee table, and focused on topics like conscious living and women’s empowerment, these magazines are the gifts that keep on giving: Conscious MagConscious CompanyDarling Magazine, and Thoughtfully Mag. Plus, they'll be pleasantly surprised when one shows up at their door every few months.

8. A Yoga & Wellbeing Membership

After gluttonous meals and stress from the holidays, some of us are in need of relaxation along with a dose of exercise - and we know just what you’re searching for.  Both Core Power Yoga and YogaWorks provide gift cards and memberships nationwide to their classes, aiming to empower you long after you roll out your mat. Strengthen your body, inhale deep positive breathes, and relax your mind, just in time for the new year.

9. Release Their Inner Chef

Have that one foodie friend who’s always looking for the next great recipe? This year, gift them with a cooking class. Sur La Table and Williams Sonoma offer nationwide cooking classes, from simple topics like Knife Skills 101 to Sushi Making -- plus, they offer classes for couples and families like their Tasty Thai workshop! Take a class together, and you’ll both be whipping up delicious dishes before 2017 rolls around.

10. Affordable Adventures: Walking Tours

If you’re looking for a gift for the explorer in your life, consider a walking tour! We find ourselves living in areas for so long, yet we know little to nothing about their history or culture. Support your local small business and get to know your stomping grounds a little better with a walking tour - our favorites include the Ghost and Haunted House Tours in New Orleans, the Speakeasy Walking Tour in New York City, and local food or brewery tours based on the culinary delights of your particular city. More often than not, you’ll find that these are reasonably inexpensive, sometimes even free with a “give what you’d like” option.

11. Give Back Gift Boxes

Receiving a gift box in the mail can be one of life’s best little joys. For the person in your life who may be far away, or the one that’s always thinking of others, a gift box that gives back may be the perfect option this year. PHYLA lets you thoughtfully curate a box filled with items that are Fair Trade or sustainably grown, while Little Box of Rocks sends crystals and positive energy your way, while donating 10% of proceeds to charity. Want to support independent artisans around the world? We’ve got you covered there too - check out GlobeIn!