20 Experiences To Get Your Partner Instead Of A Gift

When you're looking for a thoughtful, last-minute gift for your partner, tickets to see a show is an obvious way to go. After all, experiential gifts are often more memorable than a random trinket or pair of slippers. But there are other meaningful ways to connect with your partner that don't involve sitting silently in a dark theater together.

Ahead, find 20 experiences you can get your partner, or do with your partner, that make for great gifts. And if you already got them something for the holidays, feel free to save these for a date idea later on in the year.

illustrated by Bella DiMarzio.
See a medium.

If your partner had a tough year, schedule a one-on-one session with a medium to get them on track for 2018. Even if they haven't lost any loved ones, a medium can provide surprising insights about their personal life and career.
illustrated by Bella DiMarzio.
Sign up for a pottery class.

They follow tons of ceramic accounts on Instagram, so find a local pottery studio where they can hone their own skills. And maybe find a spot on your shelf for all the trinkets they'll be bringing home.
illustrated by Bella DiMarzio.
Rent a car.

If you live in a metropolitan area and rely on public transportation to get everywhere, rent a car for the weekend and take a drive outside the hustle and bustle of the city. You don't have to go anywhere special — just get out of your usual neighborhood and daydream about what life in the burbs would be like.
illustrated by Bella DiMarzio.
Unlimited movies.

If you haven't heard of Movie Pass, this might change your life. For just $9.95 a month, you can get unlimited movie tickets at any theater. Sign the both of you up and you're set on date nights for the year.
illustrated by Bella DiMarzio.
Go hiking.

Unplug for a day and take your partner on an easy hike. If you're not sure where to go, All Trails is an easy way to find trails nearby. All that fresh air and nature will be supes romantic.
illustrated by Bella DiMarzio.
Sit for an omakase meal.

Instead of ordering your usual Seamless sushi, splurge on an omakase dinner. The sushi chef will curate the courses for you (which takes the guesswork out of ordering), and it's typically a long and fancy ordeal.
illustrated by Bella DiMarzio.
Take a burlesque class.

Burlesque classes aren't just whacky bachelorette party activities or something the ladies on Real Housewives do for a cheap thrill. Some people say that learning burlesque in a safe setting like a class can improve your confidence and help you connect with your inner sexiness. And if you're not actually into it, at least you and your partner will learn some tricks for the bedroom before you bail.
illustrated by Bella DiMarzio.
Have your birth charts done.

If bae has a passing interest in astrology but doesn't know all their signs, aspects, and angles, consider getting them a one-on-one birth chart reading so they can actually learn what's up. Or, if you really want to know what the stars have to say about your relationship, book one together (just cross your fingers it's all good news).
illustrated by Bella DiMarzio.
See some modern dance.

Tickets to The Nutcracker are fine and all, but opt for a less commercialized modern dance performance. See which companies are coming through your local dance theater and buy tickets to whatever looks cool.
illustrated by Bella DiMarzio.
Pick out a pet at the shelter.

If you and your partner have been talking about adding a furry friend to your squad, the holiday season is the perfect time to do it, because you've probably taken days off work. Pick a date to go to the shelter together and adopt a dog or cat. Then cancel all your plans so you have time to swoon over it.
illustrated by Bella DiMarzio.
Go to a very extra spa.

Your partner works so hard but never takes time for self-care. So, get a day-long couples package at a fancy spa so you can both spend the day doing nothing together.
illustrated by Bella DiMarzio.
Consider a tantric workshop.

Interestingly, the practice of tantric sex isn't all about breathing and yoga (although that is sometimes involved). Some say that tantric practices can help couples resolve conflicts and build community. Consider signing up for a session with your partner for a holiday treat.
illustrated by Bella DiMarzio.
Take an improv course.

If your partner makes you laugh until you cry, sign the both of you up for an improv class. Who knows? Maybe learning to say, "Yes, and..." will help your relationship communication skills, too.
illustrated by Bella DiMarzio.
Take a plant workshop.

You've been talking about getting some greenery for your apartment, but don't know anything about houseplants. Avoid getting a love fern that dies instantly, and sign up for a plant workshop at The Sill.
illustrated by Bella DiMarzio.
Music lessons.

Show your partner you support their passions by getting them a few private music lessons. Whether they want to hone their singing skills or just learn to play ukulele, they'll appreciate the gesture that shows you're their number one fan.
illustrated by Bella DiMarzio.
Take a chocolate walking tour.

A "chocolate walking tour" is basically like a bar crawl, but instead of going to bars you visit a bunch of bakeries and candy stores and try a different chocolate at each. Most of them last a few hours, and when the sugar buzz wears off you can head to the bar.
illustrated by Bella DiMarzio.
Do something unapologetically festive.

Don't be a Grinch if your partner really turns up for Christmas. Find something to do that really embraces the holiday spirit, like attend a tree-lighting ceremony, follow around some Christmas carolers, go iceskating, take pictures with Santa, or see your local orchestra play Christmas tunes. Basically, lean into the festivities.
illustrated by Bella DiMarzio.
Taste a bunch of whiskeys.

You might not know the difference between whiskey and bourbon, but after taking a whiskey tasting class you will.
illustrated by Bella DiMarzio.
Make cheese.

Cheese-making classes exist. Get ye to one, and you'll never buy a ball of mozzarella again.
illustrated by Bella DiMarzio.
Learn to rock climb.

If you haven't been near a rock-climbing wall since your 12th birthday, it might be time to get re-acquainted with the sport. Rock climbing is an accessible workout for all levels, and can be a very rewarding experience. Find a climbing gym in your city and book a beginner lesson.