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Material gifts can be deeply meaningful, but are they any match for quality time spent with the one you love? Exploring new experiences together shouldn’t stop at the honeymoon or even the anniversary. Enter: the experience gift. This type of gift gives new couples a chance to continue revealing different sides of themselves to one another. Not to mention, experience gifts can satisfy multiple love languages simultaneously; for example, taking a massage class together would qualify as quality time, an act of service, a gift, and physical touch all at the same time!
Better yet, as Zola’s Director of Communications Emily Forrest explains, an experience “is a long-term gift…it gives the couple a chance to create lasting memories with each other.” That’s why we’ve put together this list of outstanding experiences for every kind of partner—foodies and florists, puzzle solvers and park goers, athletes and aesthetes, deep thinkers and wine/cocktail drinkers, and masseuses and mixologists. Adventure awaits!
Read on for the best gifts for couples to do together.
Couples’ Adventure Box Subscription
Coming up with exciting date ideas can be tough, so let the fine folks at The Adventure Challenge do it for you. Their couple’s edition is full of fun challenges designed to bring partners closer and help them learn about each other. Each new date is revealed scratch-off style (no takebacks!), and there’s space to paste a picture of the date and jot down highlights to remember–that way, they’ll always be able to look back on the fun they’ve had.
Buyers and recipients alike are gonna love Tinggly’s approach to gift boxes. (There’s no planning involved!) Buyers choose a gift box with a general theme like “taste the world” or “fun together,” and the couple who receives it chooses an experience for two from a list of over 100 activities in cities all around the globe. One-, two-, or three-day getaway packages are also available for purchase; couples choose a city and hotel and take off on an adventure!
Sur La Table Online Cooking Course
Is food their love language? Then help them expand their vocabulary with an online course created by Sur La Table. Each course includes 55 hours of instruction designed to teach students all the basics in a given area. Topics include kitchen organization and cuisine preparation, cooking methods and principles, the application of culinary nutrition in food prep and menu planning, and baking and pastry-making. It may be “school,” but at least you can eat these assignments.
The Sill Plant Care Workshop
Those with green thumbs and those just learning to keep their plants alive can have fun and glean some useful tips at The Sill’s online plant care workshops. Workshop titles include “Intro to Plant Parenting,” “Soil and Potting,” “Propagation,” and “DIY Botanical Bundle Dyeing.” Time to get down and dirty!
Vinebox 1 Year Subscription for two
This quarterly subscription is a dream come true for wine lovers of all levels of expertise. Every three months, they’ll each receive a box with nine of the season’s best wines, packaged in 100ml vials. Boxes also come with helpful tasting and pairing instructions. And, with each box, they’ll each receive credit towards a bottle of wine which they can spend once they’ve chosen a favorite. Cheers!
Let’s Roam Explorer Pass Membership
As it turns out, scavenger hunts are for adults too. And with a Let’s Roam membership you can go on as many as you like. Better yet, these hunts are designed to give participants a chance to get to know the city they live in and the ones they visit. Hunts will help you explore an area’s greatest attractions, navigate downtown areas, find all the best murals, and figure out what’s haunted and why.
ClassPass is perfect for fitness fans. The program allows users to try thousands of popular workouts at local studios and online. Since there’s no contract, members have a unique opportunity to develop a workout plan that’s just right for them and the freedom to switch things up whenever they like. Best of all, when they want to take a break, they can use their credits at top salons and spas.
Rosetta Stone Language Course
Even if you’re not learning a romance language, learning a language with or for a partner can be incredibly romantic. A Rosetta Stone language course is a wonderful gift for couples planning a big trip to a foreign country or for those who want to learn their loved one’s native tongue. Picking up a new language is also a fun activity for any couple that enjoys learning and acquiring new skills together.
It’s great to take long trips to faraway places, but it can be wonderful (not to mention much less exhausting!) to explore what your home has to offer. Airbnb experiences give couples an opportunity to spend time together and enjoy local(ish!) sites and activities they might not have otherwise discovered.
Couples could participate in a candle-making workshop, spend an evening visiting downtown speakeasies, or go on a biking tour of their city’s best artistic and historical monuments. (And all without having to find a pet-sitter for Sparky or Fluffy!)
Our Moments Couple’s Conversation Starter Cards
Sometimes you just can’t think of anything interesting to talk about. This card game is here to answer your SOS. It includes 100 thought-provoking questions that give couples an opportunity to spend time with each other, laugh together, and learn about one another. They’re ideal for car or plane trips, quiet nights in, and even brunch out.
Udemy Relax Couples Massage Class
This class is made for partners who can’t keep their hands off of each other. The two-and-a-half-hour tutorial covers techniques for massaging specific parts of the body (back, neck, head, arms, feet, etc.) and explains how the massager can ergonomically position themselves so they don’t create tension in their own hands and back while relieving stress in their partner’s. It's a great way to relax and connect with a loved one!
Masterclass 1 Year Subscription
If you know they love to try new things but aren’t sure what they’d like to learn, a Masterclass subscription is in order. With a subscription, they can stream over 100 classes taught by masters in many disparate fields. From food, design, arts, and entertainment, to business, sports, science, and wellness, there’s something for everyone!
Love Is Art Kit
With this kit, adventurous couples can make art and strengthen their love at the same time. Here’s the assignment: with a canvas and non-toxic, washable paints, the couple goes to the bedroom (or wherever they want to get physical), and they come out with a bold, abstract masterpiece. Talk about an avant-garde painting.
Chocolate Truffle Class and DIY Kit
Here’s a sweet deal: chocolate truffles, quality time, and professional culinary instruction. This kit comes with all of the ingredients (except cream) you’ll need to make three dozen truffles of many different varieties. You’ll also get admission to a two-hour truffle-making tutorial hosted by chef and culinary instructor Sidney Willcox.
Hunt A Killer 12-Month Membership
If they have an obsession with crime thrillers and detective shows, this one’s for them. With a Hunt A Killer membership, they’ll get to solve one case every six months. Each box they receive will provide new evidence and details about the case, and by the end of the series, they’ll get a chance to name their prime suspect and see if they’ve got what it takes to catch a killer.
Painting with a Twist
Creating a low-stakes piece of art with a glass of wine and your favorite person is a recipe for a fun evening. Plus, you get a couple of paintings (which you may or may not want to hang) out of it. Painting with a Twist has locations across the nation, and they offer at-home kits too. So the fun is accessible to everyone.
La Tienda Barcelona Culinary Adventure Gift Box
Send them on a bite-sized trip to Barcelona with this box of the city’s best foods: dark roast Tupinamba coffee, honey almond brittle turrón rounds, artisanal extra virgin olive oil made from Arbequina olives, and Salsa Espinaler. Once the food runs out, there’s also a book of 31 recipes from the most popular tapas bar in the Mercado Boqueria, Bar Pinotxo.
USGS National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass
Give them an excuse to leave the house and enjoy nature with this annual pass. Couples who love to camp, hike, or spend time in the wild will be thrilled to receive free entrance to all U.S. national parks and federal recreational lands for a whole year. They can even bring friends since the pass covers all passengers in a single vehicle (so long as there are no more than four adults).
Cocktail Couriers 6-Box Subscription
For those who love the taste of a fancy bar cocktail but don’t always want to leave the house to get it, this subscription offers the best of both worlds. Each box contains award-winning drink recipes and the supplies to make six to eight drinks. Subscribers’ drink profiles are used to match them with cocktails they’ll love, and it’s easy to skip a delivery, swap a cocktail, or add a cocktail kit.
Uncharted Adventures Destruction Room Pass
They’ll have a smashing time at their local destruction room and get to experience a date night that is way out of the ordinary. Rules and rates vary from venue to venue, but the gist is this: you get to break things (in a safe and controlled environment) without having to clean them up. Items can include plates, electronics, and even cars, and they’re all oh-so-satisfying to destroy with a baseball bat or sledgehammer.
What to look for in a Gift for Couples to Do Together
When shopping for an experience gift, it’s most important to take the recipient’s interests, hobbies, and aspirations into account. If they love beer, they might enjoy a beginner’s brewing class or tickets to a local pub crawl or beer bike tour. If they can’t get enough of the ocean, sailing classes or a short beach getaway would make great gift ideas. Alternatively, a bungee jumping or skydiving adventure, while exciting for some, would not be ideal for someone who is afraid of heights. The point is to keep enjoying each other...not terrify one another!
If you’re shopping for a couple and can’t think of a gift related to their existing interests, try to remember if they’ve mentioned wanting to try something new together. If they want to learn the art of making cocktails, a mixology 101 book or course might be in order. If they love to exercise but are getting tired of their regular gym routine, you might get them passes to a rock-climbing gym so they can check it out.
When shopping for a partner, you may want to get involved in one of their favorite activities. If they cycle, book a biking tour of your city or a local nature trail. If they dance and you’ve got no rhythm, a couple’s dance class could be a great experience for both of you.
It’s also important to consider location and timing. If you want to get them an experience gift for their honeymoon or vacation, you also want to make sure that you book an activity with flexible dates and times so that it doesn’t conflict with something they’ve already planned.
If you aren’t able to get a concrete sense of their travel plans, it’s best to keep it local. As Forrest points out, “Local experiences—such as a dinner cruise, food tour, or even a hot air balloon ride—are always a smart choice because the couple will have a lengthy period of time to book the experience at their leisure.” She adds that subscription services like wine clubs, fitness classes, even kombucha-making boxes are all safe bets as well. Deliveries can be canceled or delayed easily, and the goods come right to their front door.
What are some other experiences couples can enjoy together?
According to Forrest, “Many of the best-selling experiences on Zola are some of the most specific.” She adds that “some of our current top-selling experiences are scuba diving lessons, bioluminescent kayak adventures, prohibition tours, hot air balloon rides, whale watching, cooking lessons, and whitewater rafting. Experiences specific to the location—such as pizza tours in New York and Chicago, or wine tours in Napa Valley—are also always a hit.”
For those who aren’t outdoorsy, a trip to the closest art or history museum can inspire some meaningful conversations. Book nerds can choose something they’ve both been wanting to check out and take turns reading to each other—with or without distracting commentary. Making a meal or dessert together can also be a fun and sweet experience, especially if you have the perfect playlist to pair with it. If none of those options sounds quite right, being treated to wine, a charcuterie board, and some cuddles on the couch might be just the thing your personal needs.
What are some budget-friendly ideas for couples to do together?
There are a ton of low-cost activities for couples that provide a lot of fun without breaking the bank. If the weather’s nice, a surprise picnic with your significant other’s favorite foods is a thoughtful and romantic way to show them you care and are willing to make time for them. A hike or day trip to the beach (if you’re close enough) is also a wonderful way to get out and enjoy nature together.
Meet the Expert
Emily Forrest is Director of Communications for Zola, the one-stop-shop for all things wedding, registry, and more.
Why Trust Brides
Mckenzie and her partner have always preferred gifts that allow them to share new experiences and make memories. Those are the presents they remember the best and treasure the most. Mckenzie’s partner, Jo, still lists a pair of Hamilton tickets (and the subsequent trip to NYC) as one of their favorite gifts, and Mckenzie was thrilled when Jo signed them both up for a pasta-making class this past Christmas.