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According to the National Association of Productivity and Organizing, a surprising 79 percent of the population never use some of the gifts they receive each year.1 Whether it’s a birthday or around the holidays, the statistics show a majority of us have received gifts we didn’t want, don’t find useful or forget about quickly. Next time a dear friend or relative’s birthday approaches, you may want to consider taking an alternative route to your gift-giving strategy. We’re offering six experiential birthday ideas to help your loved one create lasting memories without taking up space.

Gift #1: Wine Tasting or Brewery Tour

It’s likely you know someone in your life who really enjoys craft beer, especially if you’re in an area with plenty of local breweries. Or for those with a sweeter palate, wine might be their drink of choice. Check out your local breweries and vineyards for tours or tastings, and gift your friend an afternoon together. If you want to make a day of it, hire a driver to safely transport your group to multiple vineyards or breweries to create a whole tasting tour.

Gift #2: Cooking Classes

Do you have a family friend who loves to watch The Food Network? Chances are, they could be soaking in some inspiration and looking to become a better cook themself. Or maybe you have an adventurous friend who loves to tackle some new dishes each week. Whatever it may be, getting them a cooking class is a great way to expand their skills in the kitchen.

Gift #3: Passes to a Local Zoo, Aquarium or Museum

This can be a great gift idea for anyone, but especially for those with small children. If you live in an area with a zoo or museum close by, purchasing tickets for the day could be fun for the entire family. If you already know they plan on venturing out on a regular basis, then a yearly pass could be a generous gift that lasts all year long.

Gift #4: Tickets to a Concert or Musical

While this may be limited during Covid it remains a great idea for later. Whether you know someone who loves classic rock, country music or show tunes, providing tickets for some type of musical experience is always a good idea. If you aren’t sure what type of concert your loved one may enjoy, the theater or ticket vendor may offer gift certificates. This would allow the receiver to choose which concert or program they’d like to attend.

Gift #5: Escape Rooms

Escape rooms are fun for a birthday party, a work outing or just for a night out on the town. You have to think quickly and work through problems together, meaning it creates a memorable bonding experience and fun competition if you’re going against other teams. They are offered in many cities throughout the country, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a local one near you. 

Gift #6: Workout Classes

If you have an adventurous or athletic friend who loves to try new workouts, you may want to look into what classes are offered in your area. Anything from aerial yoga to taekwondo could offer an exciting and invigorating relief from their same old gym routine. If you aren’t sure what type of class they would like, there are services available that allow users to pay one flat fee and try out different classes at different workout facilities.

This quick list offers a few creative options to gift your loved one that won’t collect dust in the guest room. If you still aren’t sure what to buy, keep an eye out for any upcoming events in your area that your loved one may enjoy.

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