The Gift Giving Guide of Experiences


Christmas is the time for giving, but that doesn’t mean you have to give a “physical” item. According to research, “the happiness from material purchases diminishes over time, experiences become an ingrained part of our identity.” Experiences will provider greater memories, longer happiness, and, best of all, less clutter. 

Along with creating memories, giving the gift of an experience can help to connect with others. There is greater joy in having an experience you can share with someone and tell stories for years to come rather than you each having a new sweater. Having a great experience, rather than material possessions, also helps diminish having to “keep up with the Joneses.”

Are you tired of running store to store, trying to find the perfect gift? Do you end up settling on any gift because you felt the need to buy “something” for someone? Personally, I’m tired of spending hours browsing the internet and store shelves looking for the “perfect gift.”  

This year I’m taking a vow to buy gifts that will add value rather than clutter. Here’s my guide to help you give memorable experiences in metro Detroit for everyone on your list.

Experiences for Babies, Toddlers, and Young Kids

  • There’s not a better place to beat the winter blues than at Goldfish Swim. Whether it’s for swim lessons or family swim, everyone is bound to have a great experience.
  • Not only do children have fun singing and dancing, it helps increase vocabulary, socio-emotional development, inspires creativity and their overall development. Consider giving them the opportunity to experience Music Together or Kindermusik.
  • Do you want to treat that special little for a day of fun? Send them out to Great Lakes Crossing. They can spend the morning building and using their imagination at LEGOLAND, followed by exploring the animals at SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium.
  • Take the kids for a date downtown. Take a look at the Fox Theatre Detroit and Little Caesars Arena to find when they have shows such as Disney on Ice or Sesame Street Live.

Experiences for Older Kids, Tweens, and Teens

  • For the adventure-seeker on your list, consider a gift card to TreeRunner Parks. They will get to experience zip lines and various physical aerial obstacles.  
  • Consider a day date at Barnes & Nobles for some hot chocolate and let that book lover on your list pick a new book. 
  • Send the young chef on your list to 12 Kitchen Elves. They will have a variety of classes to choose from whether it’s learning how to perfect a meal for Taco Tuesdays or holiday dessert. 
  • A Ninja Warrior Class is a great idea for an athlete on your shopping list. It will challenge them both physically and mentally while improving their overall fitness.

Experiences for Adults

  • Enjoy a relaxing and unique experience with afternoon tea at The Townsend Hotel or Mad Hatter Bistro.
  • Is there a baker on your list? Send them over to Miles Cake & Candy where they can take a class to learn new (or hone in on existing) skills. 
  • Pick a project, a date, and get your DIY on at AR Workshop. There are a wide variety of projects available from holiday decor to baby designs and even to home decor.
  • Send the chef in your life to Sur La Table for a cooking class. There are a variety of classes to choose from: pizza, pasta, steak, or pie. There really is a class  to spark anyone’s interest.
  • Looking for a special experience for parents or grandparents? Provide them with a few choices for brunch or dinner and let them pick the place. Consider places such as Rochester Brunch House or Green Dot Stables in downtown Detroit. 

I hope this guide above gives you a start to ease your mind during the gift-giving season.
Please share any other great experiences that make memorable gifts for others!


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