Experience gifts for people who don't want material things this Christmas

Sometimes, something that creates a memory is a much more loving thing to give at Christmas, over a material item.

Experiences, memories and feelings are the things people hold dear, so why not spark some more for your friends and family?

Everyone loves a new item of jewellery, book or homeware set, but if you’re stuck for what to get someone special, an experience gift might be a safer way to go.

Many are embracing virtual experiences given the pandemic, and Hobbycraft found that the demand for online workshops has increased by 250%, as businesses cancel in-person parties – so we have some suggestions that don’t require you to leave the house.

But we also have experiences that do get you out the door and into the world, depending on where you live.

Whether they’re the person that has it all, is fussy, or is someone that enjoys having an event to look forward to in the calendar, we’ve got a suggestion.

Floral Street Scent School

Get it for £24 from Floral Street.

For anyone interested in fragrance, the virtual scent school is a fun option.

Over an evening, those gifted the workshop will get to learn more about notes and how they work in fragrances, along with a sampling set of most of Floral Street’s perfumes.

Sets also come with a voucher for a free travel fragrance, so they can pick their favourite of the scents for a second treat.

London Cabaret Club

Set the amount you want to spend.

For a night of entertainment and fine dining, the London Cabaret Club is an experience that’s bound to impress.

Most recently they put on a James Bond themed show, but themes change often so your gift receiver is likely to find one night they’re keen for.

Hobbycraft Candle Making Workshop

Get it for £45 from Hobbycraft.

Put your creativity to the test with a candle making workshop.

You’ll receive a kit with all you need and it could be a fun one to do with friends or solo.

She’s Lost Control Tarot Reading

Get it for £65 from She’s Lost Control.

For those interested in tarot and want to know what the year ahead will bring, treat them to a virtual reading which can be done from the comfort of their sofa.

Treatwell Manicure

Prices vary.

You can’t go wrong with a simple beauty treatment gift, and Treatwell has plenty to suit your location and price point.

If manicures aren’t their favourite, why not a massage or blow dry?

Dinner at Six By Nico

Prices start at £35, though may change.

Every six weeks the menu entirely changes, so diners are kept on their toes – as are the staff.

For expertly curated food that sticks beautifully to a theme, take a foodie out for a fun tasting experience that comes at a reasonable price point.

We tasted the New York menu, which was delightful, and could be easily adapted to suit dietary requirements.

Birch

Prices vary depending on what you book in for.

For the ultimate getaway that could include yourself as well as your pal, book a room at Birch for rest and play.

Those staying can use the spa and book into classes, like how to make bread.

In leafy Hertfordshire, it’ll provide the perfect sense of respite.

Astrid & Miyu Bracelet Welding

Prices start at £120.

While a bracelet is technically material, the welding part and ‘forever’ commitment to the chain is an experience in itself.

Head to London’s Notting Hill to pick out a bracelet and charm, then watch as it gets tailored in length and secured on for good.

You could make an event of it and get matching charms with a friend or partner.

Symprove Probiotics

Prices start at £79.

For the health conscious person in your life, consider getting them a 12 week course of Smyprove.

While it might seem boring in comparison to our other suggestions, they’ll appreciate it.

12 weeks later, they’ll likely notice a difference, such as increased energy and better gut function.

The Ivy Afternoon Tea

Prices start at £49.90.

Get a voucher for a fancy afternoon tea, available to use at any branch.

It’ll surely be an afternoon to remember.

Virgin Experience Race Track

Prices vary.

For the adrenaline junkie, get them onto a racing course so they can zoom off and get competitive.

Lola’s Cupcakes

Prices vary.

Not all gifts have to be grand – sometimes, a simple surprise cupcake delivery can be all it takes to brighten someone’s day and show them you care.

Ticketmasker Gift Card

You set the price.

For the person that’s never happy with what you buy them, let them be the buyer with a gift card they can spend on any Ticketmaster event, such as a gig.

iFly Indoor Skydiving

Get it for £50 from Virgin Experience Days.

For a unique, fun experience, take them to a skydiving simulator.

Virtual Escape Room

Prices start from £20.

One that can be done anywhere, anytime and with anyone, this’ll suit those still keen to stay at home at the moment.

With plenty of themes to choose from, you’ll have a fun few hours solving puzzles and getting your thinking caps on.

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