We all have way too much stuff. Fact.
And Christmas time can often leave us with piles of more stuff from our loved ones that we really don’t want or need.
So instead of giving a physical present this Christmas, why not gift your nearest and dearest an experience instead?
They’re fun, budget-friendly, and guaranteed to extend the jolly Christmas spirit well past December 25.
We’ve rounded up 20 awesome experience Christmas gift ideas that will make perfect gifts for the people in your life who are all about new adventures.
1. A massage or facial voucher
Most of us would consider beauty treatments a very special luxury that we can’t really justify spending money on, which is why a treatment voucher makes the perfect gift!
Example: Endota Spa has locations all around the country and gift vouchers for a facial, massage or spa package start from $25 and go up to $2000. The average treatment costs around $120.
Also, mobile massage company Blys is a genius company that brings a massage table to your home or workplace and gets to work right then and there. They operate seven days a week, from 8am until 11pm.
2. A movie gift voucher
How bloody expensive is going to the movies these days? One ticket, a popcorn and choc top later, and you’ve almost spent $50! So it’s wonderful to be able to gift a loved one a relaxing night out at the cinema.
3. A plane ticket
Many of us live far away from our families, so a free plane ticket home to see loved ones is one of the most precious gifts you can give.
Example: Virgin Australia allows you to buy e-gift cards online, or you can buy a physical gift card from the supermarket or Australia Post stores.
4. Cocktail-making classes
Have a Google and see which bars and pubs in your local area offer cocktail-making classes. They’re super fun and often include matching food to nibble on as you go.
Example: Learn to make all of the classic cocktails in a $75 cocktail class at The Roosevelt in Sydney’s Potts Point.
5. Donation to a charity
There are thousands of Aussie charities desperate for donations at this time of year. A donation on behalf of your loved one can go a long way, plus you’ll feel good knowing you helped those in need.
6. Tickets to a live show
There’s nothing quite like putting on your favourite outfit and heading out on the town to watch a concert, a play, the ballet or a cool live performance.
Example: You can buy gift vouchers from the Sydney Opera House website that are redeemable on any one of the excellent events put on at the iconic venue.
Also, TodayTix offers last-minute tickets at low prices in cities all over the world, including Sydney and Melbourne.
7. High tea
Picture this: hot scones, cucumber sandwiches, adorable mini quiches and bubbly Champagne. Going out for high tea is such a treat and a lovely way for women to spend time together with family members of a different generation. A great gift for grandmothers and aunts!
Example: Have high tea at the National Gallery of Victoria’s Tea Room, for $75 per person, including a glass of sparkling wine and a pot of tea or coffee.
8. Mini golf
Relive your childhood and play a few rounds of putt putt golf.
Example: Putt Putt Mermaid Beach on the Gold Coast almost feels like a theme park, with all its jazzy, colourful golfing holes.
9. Cork and Canvas
Here’s how it works: You’re given a painting to copy and then you try to recreate the art in front of you, while you sip on wine and chat with your girlfriends.
Example: Drink, paint and create at the various Cork and Canvas locations around Sydney and Melbourne.
WATCH BELOW: How to style your Christmas tree this year. Story continues after video.
10. Pottery lessons
Pottery is said to be extremely relaxing and meditative, so let your gift-receiver make like Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore in Ghost and make their own crockery at a pottery class.
Example: A single class at The Pottery Shed in Sydney’s Surry Hills costs $65, and gift certificates are easily available online.
11. Chocolate making classes
We couldn’t think of anything better than spending a few hours playing with chocolate, then getting to eat our delicious creations!
Example: Ganache Chocolate runs public chocolate making classes in Melbourne throughout the year, hosted by Master Chocolatier Arno.
12. Escape room
Haven’t you heard? One of the hot new “experience” trends involves people paying to be locked in a room, then given a set of clues to try and figure out how on earth they can escape. It’s thrilling, exciting and a whole lot of fun.
Example: Escape Hunt runs escape rooms all over the country and sells gift vouchers online.
13. Bridge Climb
Too often we don’t take up enough of the traditional “touristy” activities on offer in our own country. Overseas visitors climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge everyday, so give your loved one the gift of a spectacular harbour view.
Gift vouchers are available online from bridgeclimb.com
14. Indoor skydiving
This is a great gift idea for kids, if you really don’t want to give them any more toys or chocolate.
Example: iFly has loads of different locations around the country and you can purchase a gift voucher on their website.
15. Pasta-making classes
Many local cooking schools or Italian restaurants offer cooking classes for both kids and adults. And who doesn’t want to learn how to make pasta from scratch?!
Example: Learn to make fettucine, ravioli and tortellini at the Salt Meats Cheese masterclass in Sydney.
16. Bottomless brunch
Loads of cafes, bars and pubs offer bottomless brunch for a set price, offering up unlimited sparkling wine or breakfast cocktails alongside delicious brunch food. Search your local area for the best offers.
Example: The Globe in Perth puts on a Prosecco Fountain Brunch every Saturday and Sunday at 11am and 2pm, where you get a cocktail on arrival, then two hours of free flowing prosecco, as well as a mimosa and bellini station. And they sell gift vouchers online. Sold!
Treat the glammed-up lady in your life to a manicure and pedicure, on you.
Example: You can even ask a nail technician to come to their home, using a service like Perth-based Pamper At Home.
18. Art gallery or museum membership
If you’ve got a culture lover in your family, a year-long membership to an art gallery or museum in their local area will go down a treat.
Example: The Art Gallery of New South Wales offers memberships for individuals, as well as households, so everyone in the family can benefit. The gift vouchers are easily available online.
19. Restaurant voucher
Eating out can be expensive, so a gift card shows you care about your loved ones spending quality time together and enjoying a nice meal.
Example: Justin Hemmes’ Sydney hospitality empire Merivale has venues all over Sydney, and they do gift cards, so you can treat your friends to a fun night out. You can buy the cards online here.
20. Magazine subscription
Give a gift that will last all year, with a fresh new mag arriving on their doorstep each month.