10 top Christmas gift experiences that trump standard gifts

Turn those typical gifts into unique experiences this silly season with our guide to alternate Christmas gifts.

Updated

Presented by: Groupon_Logo

If you're stuck for a Christmas gift this year or want to shake things up a bit, exchange that store-bought physical gift for an experience instead.

Whether they have everything, are a social butterfly or simply love to explore and try out new things, an experience is the kind of gift you don't have to wrap but comes filled with unforgettable memories.

On top of being unique, it’s also an excellent option for those who tend to leave present shopping to the last (guilty!) as you can purchase it right up to the wire online.

And you won't have to battle the masses at the stores either.

So for something unique and left-of-centre that you don't have to wrap up this year, here are our favourite alternatives to that physical Christmas gift that we found on daily deals site Groupon.


10 top experience gifts for Christmas

10-top-Christmas-gift-experiences-1

1. Premium hotel stay

Instead of a picture frame or artwork: Give them a view to behold with a stay in a luxe hotel.

It could be a staycation in the city they live in or, if you know they're overdue for a holiday, you can offer to secure their room and surprise them with a 5-star escape.

To keep the cost down but the quality premium, check out Groupon's Premium Collection of heavily discounted travel stays but shhh – don't tell them how much you really spent.


10-top-Christmas-gift-experiences-2

2. Fine dining experience

Instead of a food hamper: Book them a spot at a hot table and take care of the bill.

If anybody tells you they hate to be wined and dined, they're obviously lying. Take care of them, as well as the cheque, by exploring the city's fine dining spots one dish at a time.

Alternatively, you can pre-purchase a fine dining experience for them to use at their leisure.


10-top-Christmas-gift-experiences-3

3. Scuba diving lessons

Instead of an inflatable pool toy: Extend their pool to ocean for an underwater adventure.

With the rush of the water around them and the colours of the coral below, a scuba diving experience is something they'll cherish for a lifetime.

Beginner courses for the uninitiated aren't as expensive as you may think, starting from $59 if you know where to look. Refresher courses for those who have tried their fins at the sport though are a little rusty are priced much the same, starting from $69.


10-top-Christmas-gift-experiences-4

4. Cooking classes

Instead of a cookbook: Let a master chef teach them the tricks of the trade.

Gifting a foodie this Christmas? Take them on a culinary journey by booking them a spot in a cooking class.

They'll learn new techniques or upskill in the art of cooking, baking and decorating and some classes even feature take-home recipe books – so you can double down on that present.


10-top-Christmas-gift-experiences-5

5. Spa day out

Instead of a beauty pamper pack: Pamper them with spa treatments and packages galore.

They'll be glowing from ear to ear after a day at the spa and they won't have to lift a finger to make it happen either.

Choose from massage, detox and facial sessions to a day out at the spa where they can relax in steam rooms and sink into saunas.


10-top-Christmas-gift-experiences-6

6. Theatre and gig tickets

Instead of a DVD: Take them out for a night of music, dance and comedy.

Pull them away from the comforts of their couch and surprise them with a gig in town, a night of live comedy or a theatre performance.

For some inspiration without the price tag, hit up daily deals websites like Groupon to see what's going on near you.


10-top-Christmas-gift-experiences-7

7. Go-kart experience

Instead of Mario Kart: Take them out on the track for a race in the real thing.

OK, so they might still want the latest copy of Mario Kart (can you blame them?), but if you feel like upping the ante or turning their video game dreams into a reality, get them behind the wheel.

It's a fun and thrilling experience that can be enjoyed by kids big and small and won't cost you a mint to gift either. In fact, it comes up cheaper than the video game when booked at the discounted Groupon rate.


10-top-Christmas-gift-experiences-8

8. Wine tasting course

Instead of wine: Bring out the true connoisseur with a tipple tasting.

Turn their love for a good drink into an educational experience that could potentially lead to fine snobbery.

Head to the cellar door to indulge in a winery's finest and learn the perfect pairings with fruits, cheeses and chocolates. Simply choose your cellar door and book a tour.


10-top-Christmas-gift-experiences-9

9. A day out at the aquarium

Instead of a pet: Explore the underwater world of the local zoo or aquarium.

When the little ones want a pet but you can't quite make their dreams come true, the next best thing is a trip to the aquarium or zoo for a close encounter with wildlife.

To make your gift really sing this Christmas, book them in for one of the zoo's or aquarium's behind-the-scenes or close encounter tours where they can meet the keepers, pet the animals and more.


10-top-Christmas-gift-experiences-10

10. A romantic holiday away

Instead of jewellery: Surprise them with a holiday.

If you're inclined toward the ultimate romantic gesture this Christmas, pack the jewellery away (or add it as a bonus gift) and go on a romantic trip instead.

Holiday packages do all the hard work for you and include flights, accommodation and sometimes meals, spa treatments, activities and then some. All you have to do is pick the date.

See the latest Groupon promo codes and deals

Groupon Groupon

Up to 57% off Great Ocean Road attractions and hotels

Save on day tours, hotel stays, skydives and more along the Great Ocean Road.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 68% off desserts in Sydney

Available for takeaways on sweets including gelato, cupcakes, cakes, milk teas, macaroons, cookies and much more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Groupon Groupon

Up to 70% off hotel stays and vacation packages

Destinations include Gold Coast, Port Douglas, Bali, Phuket, Fiji, Vietnam and Hawaii. Sample packages include a 5-night stay in Surfers Paradise for $299 (Regularly $579) and a 5-night package to Fiji for $999 (Regularly $2,101).

Last verified

Groupon Groupon

Up to 20% off SEA LIFE Sydney entry

Valid until 31 May 2021. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 50% off WILD LIFE Sydney entry

Valid until 31 May 2021. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 20% off Madame Tussauds Sydney pass

Valid until 31 May 2021. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 15% off SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium entry ticket

Available until 31 May 2021. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 10% off Sydney Tower Eye entry ticket

Available on select dates until 31 May 2021. T&C apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 10% off Sydney's Illawarra Fly Treetops Walk entry ticket

Available on select dates until 31 May 2021. T&C apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 20% off SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast

Available on select dates until 31 May 2021. T&C apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 38% off Brisbane getaway

Available on stays until 30 September 2020. Package includes accommodation at Park Regis North Quay Brisbane, breakfast and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 51% off Shunshine Coast getaway

Available on stays until 30 April 2021. Package includes accommodation at South Pacific Resort & Spa, Noosa, bottle of wine, $25 spa voucher and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 43% off Queensland getaway

Available on stays until 31 March 2021. Package includes accommodation at The Point Coolum Beach in a Two-Bedroom Executive Villa for four people, wine and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 50% off Shunshine Coast getaway

Available on stays until 28 February 2021. Package includes accommodation at Kondalilla Eco Resort, bottle of signature Kondalilla Wine, $40 F&B voucher and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 55% off Brisbane getaway

Available on stays until 31 January 2021. Package includes accommodation at Gambaro Hotel, bottle of wine, chocolates and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 60% off Gold Coast getaway

Available on stays until 31 March 2021. Package includes accommodation at Burleigh Esplanade, 10% off your total bill and 1 serving of Olive Saltate at the Belvedere Stone Mill, tennis court hire and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 47% off Airlie Beach getaway

Available on stays until 30 June 2020. Package includes accommodation at The Mirage Whitsundays, breakfast and late check out. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 55% off Fraser Island getaway

Available on stays until 13 December 2020. Package includes accommodation at Eurong Beach Resort and breakfast. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 41% off Port Douglas getaway

Available on stays until 31 May 2021. Package includes accommodation at 5 star Port Douglas Apartments within Sea Temple Resort & Spa, use of amenities and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 46% off Silkari Lagoons Port Douglas getaway

Available on stays until 31 March 2021. Package includes accommodation for 2 or 4 people and a welcome gift. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 60% off Perth dining deals

Save on restaurant dine-in and takeaway deals for Thai, pub food, burgers, Japanese, Italian and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 65% off Melbourne dining deals

Save on restaurant dine-in and takeaway deals for Thai, pub food, burgers, Japanese, Italian and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 55% off Brisbane dining deals

Save on restaurant dine-in and takeaway deals for Thai, pub food, burgers, Japanese, Italian and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 60% off Gold Coast dining deals + Extra 10% off today only

Save on restaurant dine-in and takeaway deals for Thai, pub food, burgers, Japanese, Italian and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 60% off Adelaide dining deals

Save on restaurant dine-in and takeaway deals for Thai, pub food, burgers, Japanese, Italian and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 89% off things to do in Melbourne

Available on select dates and activities including bike tours, river cruises, scuba diving, skydiving, classes and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 73% off things to do in Perth

Available on select dates and activities including scuba diving, sailing, surfing, classes and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 81% off things to do in Sydney

Available on select 2020 dates. Activities include skydiving, tours, cruises, diving and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 50% off 2-night Sunshine Coast treehouse stay

Available for travel until 28 February 2021 at Kondalilla Eco Resort. Includes a bottle of signature Kondalilla wine, $40 voucher to be used at Kondalilla Restaurant and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 61% off 3-night Philip Island stay

Available for stays until 30 August 2020 at Silverwater Resort. Includes bottle of wine on arrival, 25% off food and beverage voucher and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 43% off 2-night Hunter Valley stay

Available for stays until 31 December 2020 at Aussie Rest Motel. Includes breakfast, bottle of wine on arrival and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 74% off things to do in Adelaide

Available on select dates and activities including skydiving, wine tours, kayaking, classes, rally driving and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

Up to 89% Australia activities

Available as birthday gifts on select 2020 dates. Activities include getaways, attraction admission, spas, classes and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Groupon Groupon

48% off: Mt Buller day tour from Melbourne

Available for trips from 6 June - 31 August 2020.

Last verified

Deal ends

Popular Groupon coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
29 May 2020 Up to 57% off Great Ocean Road attractions and hotels ********
21 May 2020 Up to 68% off desserts in Sydney ********
10 Mar 2020 Up to 70% off hotel stays and vacation packages ********
4 Jun 2020 Up to 20% off SEA LIFE Sydney entry ********
4 Jun 2020 Up to 50% off WILD LIFE Sydney entry ********

Related Posts

Latest travel offers

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site