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    28 Gifts For The Hard-To-Shop-For Friend Who "Likes Experiences, Not Things"

    Cooking classes, concert tickets, travel gear, and more.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A cooking class at Sur la Table so they can have fun learning practical skills to use in their own kitchen. Whether it's "Artisan Breads at Home" or "Chocolate 101," they're sure to have a ball getting out into the world and picking up a few tricks!,

    Class availability depends on location, so head to their class site, plug in a zip code, and start browsing! Classes are hands-on, last about two hours, and they'll of course get to taste their creation!

    Get it from Sur la Table starting at $59+.

    2. So You Want to Start a Podcast — a book to help them catch up with the rest of the world and start turning their personal experiences into #content. I'm running out of stuff to listen to, so tell them to get moving!

    Barnes and Noble

    This book is by Kristen Meinzer, co-host of one of my favorite podcasts By the Book. I would pretty much trust her with my life, so I would def trust her to teach your friend how to start a pod.

    Get it from Amazon for $9.81, Barnes and Noble for $19.73, or from a local bookseller through Indiebound.

    3. A beautifully illustrated write-in menu book so they can record and remember all of their soirées through the years. Oh, how they'll love reminiscing on the good old days when the friend group was constantly together, and their boeuf bourguignon was an absolute hit.


    Get it from Amazon for $15.71, Barnes and Noble for $18.12, or a local bookseller through Indiebound.

    4. A ticket stub diary where they can collect and organize all of their concert, sports game, museum, and travel tickets in one safe place. They are 100% gonna need somewhere to put their beloved Harry Styles/Jenny Lewis tour ticket so they can brag to their kids in 20 years.

    Uncommon Goods

    Get it from Amazon for $12.09 or Uncommon Goods for $14.

    5. A We Are Knitters scarf knitting kit for crafting their very own winter-wear. Sitting by a fire stitching away will be a cinematic moment they'll enjoy, especially if they're just learning.

    This beginner kit comes with enough wool yarn to complete the project, an instruction guide in English or in Spanish, and either straight or circular size 19 knitting needles. If they're already a knitting pro, check out the rest of their kits to give them more of a challenge!

    Get it from We Are Knitters for $55 (available in 36 colors).

    6. A pair of Vibes concert earplugs if they adore going to shows but refuse to protect their ears because it hurts the sound quality. These reduce noise by up to 22 decibels without affecting the sound — a win-win!


    The earplugs come with a carrying case and three ear bud sizes so they get the perfect fit.

    Promising review: "The compact case that comes with the ear plugs is so convenient I take them with me all the time. They are comfortable and effective in filtering out distorted, loud levels of noise. I wear them at concerts, movies, in restaurants when other voices are too loud, at sporting events in noisy arenas, and on airplanes they filter out the humming sound of the engines. I have given them as gifts, and the recipients are so grateful to have them." —Amazon Customer

    Get them from Amazon for $23.98.

    7. An Udemy class so they can learn anything from photography to yoga to animation all in the comfort of their own home and on their own schedule.


    There are so many classes to choose from (literally over 100,000), but some available classes *I* think would make great gifts are:

    Ultimate Beginner Guitar Masterclass

    Mastering wine - Jancis Robinson's Shortcuts to Success

    Sewing 101

    iPhone Photography | Take Professional Photos On Your iPhone

    Natural Beauty: How to Make Lotions,Creams and Body Butters

    Get them from Udemy starting at $10.99.

    8. A book on wilderness survival in case they want to test the limits of their ~experience~. You can't stop them from doing it, but you can try to get them to be as safe as possible!


    The book includes info on making your own tools, collecting food, protecting yourself from the elements, and more!

    Get it from Amazon for $9.98, Barnes and Noble for $15.29, or from a local bookseller through Indiebound.

    9. A sketch book and charcoal pencil set so they can translate the beautiful world around them onto the page — not to mention look very cool and artistic while doing so.


    The charcoal set comes with three charcoal pencils, one graphite pencil, four charcoal sticks, four vine charcoal sticks, and a carrying tin.

    Get them from Amazon: the sketch book for $9.99 and the charcoal set for $5.01.

    10. A set of Table Topics that'll help them start interesting conversations with their friends, family, or even enemies, I guess! A good conversation is one of the best things about life, so anything that can help get one going is an A+.


    Promising review: "This is an awesome way to spark all kinds of conversation. My family played it on Thanksgiving and Christmas and it was so much fun. I thought I knew a lot about my family, but this helped me to know more than I ever could have imagined. It also helped me to know more about myself, as it makes you think about things you probably don't normally think about. I highly recommend this product." —hospicern

    Get it from Amazon for $25.

    11. An escape room board game so they can work with their friends to — you guessed it! — escape from a mad scientist who's trying to turn everyone into werewolves. Nobody wants that!


    The game only has one goal: escape! As a team of two to eight players, they'll need to work together to ~escape~ before a mad scientist turns them all into werewolves! Spooky! It includes two locked boxes, a locked jar, puzzles, and hint books. There are 19 (!) puzzles to play and it's intended for ages 13+.

    Promising review: "What a blast! I love doing escape rooms, but those can always be expensive and difficult to organize big groups of people. This was more fun than some rooms I've done. It was the perfect amount of fun and challenging. After playing I pre-ordered a bunch as Christmas gifts. Perfect gift for pretty much all of my friends. I can't wait to see what they come up with next. MORE PLEASE!" —Damian

    Get it from Amazon for $20.99.

    12. A set of Himalayan salt tequila glasses for the friend who mostly defines "experiences" as incredible parties. They'll feel like a real baller busting these out at their next bash.


    Promising review: "These glasses are beautiful and they will definitely impress your friends. They pair great with tequila, and there's obviously no need to salt the rim with these. They have that pure salty taste that you find in high-quality Himalayan salt. Overall they look awesome, taste great, and your friends will definitely be impressed when you break these out! I would definitely recommend." —Gavin

    Get a set of four from Amazon for $14.99.

    13. An Ostrich Pillow to help them sleep anywhere, anytime. People don't tell you that with a big sense of adventure comes a big need to snooze. Ya gotta take advantage of rest when it comes!


    The pillow is made of memory foam and has a machine-washable sleeve.

    Promising review: "I absolutely love this product. It is extremely comfortable and made of high-quality material. Definitely worth the extra money. I really like the velcro connection on the front that allows me to make the pillow nice and tight. It takes all the pressure off my neck and allows me to sleep on the airplane easily. As someone who has never been able to sleep on planes, logging nearly 12 hours on back to back trips has completely changed my life. I would highly recommend." —Patrick

    Get it from Amazon for $59.99 (available in three colors).

    14. Some concert tickets from SeatGeek so they can go see their favorite artists live, baby! And it'd be a shame if they had to go alone...better get one for yourself, too!

    Getty Images

    Maybe they're excited for the Harry Styles tour. Or next year's Fall Out Boy run! Perhaps Chance the Rapper's more the vibe. There are SO many good tours next year!

    Shop all the tickets at SeatGeek.

    15. Some daffodil bulbs they can get outside and plant *now* for a floral explosion come spring —something to look forward to!

    In some areas, the holidays may not be an ideal time to plant bulbs, but it totally depends on the weather! The 40–50 degree range is ideal for a good crop in spring. Check out this helpful article from HGTV for more info to decide if these could be good for your pal!

    Promising review: "These bulbs have their own 'power' song to launch in spring! 'I'm coming up so you better get this party started!' They arrived right on time in the fall looking plump and healthy. I planted about half of them right away. Then I had an unrelated injury and couldn't get back to the rest of them until much later than the normal planting window for our zone. I took a chance and planted them late anyway, and a few weeks ago they'd all pushed through and are still blooming like crazy! I've ordered bulbs from reputable nurseries and bought locally, and I think these are the healthiest bulbs I've ever planted. There is a nice variety of types of blooms and color combinations. Highly recommend." —KtN

    Get a 20-pack from Amazon for $18.95.

    16. A Lifestraw personal water filter so you can always rest assured your adventure-prone person will have clean, fresh water to drink on their frequent hikes.

    Promising review: "Used it on a hike recently; tried different configurations as shown, with the drinking straight out of the river, and out of a wide-mouth bottle. The flow-rate through the LifeStraw is a little reminiscent of drinking a really thick milkshake, which is understandable considering the filter basically gets everything. When I filled up my Nalgene with water from the stream, I could see the sediment start to settle; I even made sure to get some with the straw just to see. Worked like a charm. You just need to remember to blow into it afterwards to clear out the straw." —Kingston

    Get it from Amazon for $17.47.

    17. A Moleskine notebook for them to use as a travel journal. They'll love this little artifact once it's full of their doodles, notes, and taped little mementos.

    The hard cover of the book will help its pages stay nice and safe. I have this notebook, and it's survived some rough treatment like a champ.

    Promising review: "I've traveled around the world and I've seen many notebooks, many imitation Moleskines, and really, the only notebook that stands up to Moleskine standards is the Moleskine. I know obnoxiously snotty people who refuse to use anything but the best, and they use Moleskines. I know ridiculously frugal artists and writers who have lived through the most mind-blowing situations, and they dare not record any of it in anything but the most sturdy and trustworthy of notebooks. They use Moleskine. It's a Moleskine. It's awesome. If you want one, you should get one." —slipslip

    Get it from Amazon for $15.42 (available in 15 colors and four styles).

    18. A scratch-off map so they can keep track of the many places they've travelled to and proudly display it on their wall. A completely acceptable brag.


    Promising review: "I gifted my brother at Christmas with this world scratch off map as he has traveled a lot. It was shipped in a sturdy tube and arrived in good condition. He couldn’t wait to start the process of uncovering all the places he has been. He plans to frame it with no glass so he can continue to reveal locations he travels to." —peggy

    Get it from Amazon for $23.99+ (available in two sizes).

    19. A new pair of hiking boots — these have awesome ankle support but are sneaker-like so they're comfortable and broken-in right out of the box. They'll be ready to hit the trail at a moment's notice!

    I have these and L-O-V-E them! They fit like a glove, have killer bounce, and are super supportive. Truly the best of both worlds between hiking boots and sneakers.

    Get them from REI in women's for $169.95 (available in sizes 6–11 and in two colors) and in men's for $169.95 (available in sizes 7–14 and two colors).

    20. A kombucha making kit, because making their fave strange and delicious fizzy tea using a benevolent floppy bacteria will be — in a few words — an experience!, Amazon

    The kombucha kit includes a one gallon brewing jar featuring a place to write brew notes, pH test strips, a temperature gauge, a 16-page post-brewing guide, organic sugar, an organic tea blend, and a kombucha culture and liquid starter.

    Promising review: "It has everything you need to start a first batch of kombucha. It includes clear instructions on how to make it and continue your kombucha for the second batch. Now I’m making my third batch and loving it so far. After the first batch, you will need to find your own tea leaves and sugar but it’s fun trying different tea to see how differently it tastes. It’s also fun trying different fruits/spices for second fermentation. If you purchase this kit as your first kombucha investment, you can brew your kombucha forever only with additional tea leaves and sugar." —Meg

    Get it from Amazon for $44.99.

    21. Or a mushroom growing kit if they're more into the process of growing and eating fungus! These pink oyster mushrooms are adorable, tasty, and easy to grow.

    The kit comes with an all-in-one already colonized block as well as a spray bottle for keeping the bb mushrooms nice and hydrated.

    Promising review: "This kit worked extremely well! My family and I were shocked at how full and quickly the mushrooms grew. They're delicious as well. The directions that come with the kit are very simple and clear but I HIGHLY recommend watching the short video online. These would be great for the classroom because of the ease of growth and ability to see the whole mushroom (mycelium). Can't wait to try the brown oysters next!" —J. Dochtermann

    Get it from Amazon for $23.99.

    22. An AirBnb Experience either somewhere they're planning on traveling or right in their backyard. They can have a photoshoot in iconic spots around New York, tree camp in Costa Rica, or even have tea with sheep in the UK!


    With options all over the world at all different price points, there's truly something for everyone!

    Get the New York photoshoot for $65/person, tree camping in Costa Rica for $168/person, tea with sheep in the UK for $43/person, and shop all of the Airbnb Experiences here.

    23. A pair of binoculars so they can spot landmarks, animals, and more on their long, meandering hikes.


    Promising review: "Bought these for my boyfriend before heading on an Alaskan cruise. They were perfect! We loved using them for whale spotting and seeing the beautiful blue colors of the glaciers in Glacier Bay. They’re very lightweight and compact but also work very well. Highly recommend!" —Lora

    Get them from Amazon for $25.20.

    24. And an Audubon Society bird field guide so they can figure out which creatures of flight they're actually seeing. No more being like "it's......a blue one?"


    Get the North American Eastern Edition from Amazon for $15.79, Barnes and Noble for $20.66, or a local bookseller through Indiebound *or* the North American Western Edition from Amazon for $14.58, Barnes and Noble for $20.66, or from a local bookseller through Indiebound.

    25. An Instax camera that'll let them capture and store their memories irl — a novel concept! They'll for sure appreciate being able to snap pics without being glued to their phone.,

    Promising review: "Instant cameras are making a comeback and the Instax is a great little camera to buy. Great for parties, weddings and other social occasions. I’ve bought this as a gift for parents and friends. The novelty of it is a lot of fun! Easy to load, and start using right away. It’ll give you the lo-fi, saturated, vintage look people try to accomplish through filters on Instagram at the click of a button." —Evahnsan

    Get it from Amazon for $49.95 (available in seven colors and with film packs).

    26. A Hunt a Killer subscription so they can become enthralled with solving a fictional murder case. Will they be able to solve the crime with the clues provided? Only one way to find out!


    Each month they'll be sent a box full of clues for solving the (fictional) murder of Charlie Macdonagh. Police reports, audio files, yearbooks, and more evidence will help them piece together the answer. The first "season" lasts for six boxes.

    Get the first month from Amazon for $25.46.

    27. An ENO double nest hammock to help them commune with nature in the form of an outdoor nap. Naps are always good, but with a gentle breeze gently rocking their cozy cocoon? Heaven., Amazon

    Reviewers recommend also getting the ENO Atlas straps for simple set-up!

    Promising review: "My most treasured item! Has seriously changed the quality of my life! I use it for backpacking, day hiking, taking naps, car camping. Fun to go backpacking with friends who all have ENO hammocks, too! The Atlas straps are a must! Comfy with my boyfriend in it, too." —--

    Get it from Amazon for $41.66+ (available in 54 colors).

    28. A carry-on suitcase so they don't have to pay extra on flights for checked bags but can still bring along anything they need for their journey. I once got this as a gift, and it certainly holds more than it appears!


    Can confirm: this is a good gift! I would know, since it was once gifted to me. I used to travel a lot for work and this was the only bag I ever reached for. It easily fits a week of clothes/toiletries and it sooo easy to roll around the airport. 10/10.

    Promising review: "I purchased this after reading ALL the Amazon reviews for carry-ons. This one always came out on top and had the best recommendations on the flight crew blogs. My husband is a pilot and we travel A LOT! This bag is great quality and just the right size. You can cram a lot of gear in it without it getting busy or too heavy. The rollers are smooth and it is easy to drag through the airport. I liked the black and added a colorful luggage strap so I don't get it mixed up with other similar bags." —Shaunna Kay

    Get it from Amazon for $127.49 (available in six colors).

    Hope the gift-ees enjoy these experience and experience-adjacent presents!


    The reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

    Searching for some great Amazon finds? Check out some of our favorite cheap things to buy on Amazon, some of the weirdest things on Amazon you might actually want, or read through all the rest of our incredible Amazon product recommendations.

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

    Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed

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