The holidays come and go each year along with a trail of gifts , wrapping paper , and beautiful bows. After all is said and done, few presents seem to last more than a year or so while memories last a lifetime. Creating memories with yourself, your significant other, your family, and friends is truly a priceless gift that will last much longer than the year’s hottest toy  or newest gadget. Give a gift that will remain in the minds of loved ones longer than a shirt in their wardrobe. Give the gift of experience.
Inexpensive Experience Gifts
When one thinks about gifting an experience, what might first come to mind is travel, skydiving, or something else just as amazing. Yet these options are not in the budget of most gift-givers. There are plenty of experiences you can gift others that are within your budget. No matter what you choose, think about creating a memory for a person. Here are six experience gift ideas to get you started:
- Cooking Lesson: These are so much fun. You can check out cooking stores, community colleges, or community education classes to find them. While you might need to sign the person up for an entire set of classes (I’ve taken cooking classes that meet 6 times over the course of 6 weeks), some are offered as just a one-time class of several hours on a specific date.
- Movie Tickets: My husband and I love going to the theater—it seems like it’s something most people don’t do anymore with how costly the tickets/food are and with the trend in home theaters and Netflix. However, this could make a wonderful gift for a couple or family.
- A Class Together: Give the gift of your time and of learning! Taking a class with someone is so much fun. If you like crafts, check out your local craft store such as Joann’s where I am waiting to sign up for a Cake Pops class with my friend. You can usually pay to drop into an exercise class, such as yoga, so you could just purchase one class for you and a friend instead of a series.
- Rock Climbing: Rock climbing can be a lot of fun as a date or with a team. Relying on someone else to hold your safety line and/or be your eyes as you climb a wall can really make you much closer. Look for an indoor rock climbing place near you.
- Miniature Golf: It seems like now that I am older I have no reason to miniature golf anymore…and I kind of miss it! I used to do it with our family in Ocean City MD, and then on dates and double dates as a teenager. This would be a great gift for a couple or a family, as all ages are welcome.
- Bowling: For my husband’s 31st birthday this year I got a group of family together (8 adults and 2 kids) and we all had a fantastic time!
For any of the options above, if you cannot purchase a gift certificate ahead of time you can make your own experience gift vouchers on the computer and place it in a card. If the pricing above is still too much for your budget, you can typically gift these experiences through a social buying website. Some social buying sites are Groupon , LivingSocial, SweetJack, etc. Also, if you missed out on a deal or if you just want to peruse past deals, check out sites like Lifesta.com  where people sell the deals they do not want to use (and the deals are transferable). You could see savings of 30-50%!
Stay tuned as we continue the holiday gift guide series every week during the holiday season!