Search icon


23rd Dec 2016

Want To Do Something A Little Different This Christmas? Get Loved One’s Experiences


Say you came into a bit of money that you didn’t need to save or spend on something urgent. How would you spend it? Would you buy an expensive item or book yourself a fantastic holiday?

It might seem like a better choice to buy the item because it would last longer. But you might get more from the experience.

For the past two years, there have been a number of articles about studies showing that, over the long run, experiences make people happier than things.

Often when we get something physical, we tend to forget about it and it falls into the background of our day to day lives. How excited were you to get your new phone? Now, you probably barely think about it at all.

By comparison, we tend to value experiences more over time. They are the things our minds wander to, the stories we tell and sometimes they form part of our identities.

In terms of gifts, giving someone an experience will help you stand out from the crowd. They also solve the problem of what to get the person who, if they don’t have everything already, buy it as soon as they realise they want it.

This Christmas, why not buy your loved ones an experience? Here are some example of the types you can get.

Taste of Dublin

Wine Tasting

In Dublin we’re surrounded by some of the best food and drink in the world. Why not take advantage of the many tasting tours on offer? For the wine buffs you could go for tasting courses in tons of wine bars like Ely, Qrtr East and Olesya’s. The Jameson and Teeling Distilleries and the Guinness Storehouse are not just for tourists either.

And for the foodies, there are some great walking food tours to choose from.

Get pampered


Going to a spa is something people often long to do but which feels too luxurious to actually allow. The recipient will appreciate you getting something they would probably never get for themselves. This isn’t just a present for women either – most spas have men specific treatments.

And for those on a budget, why not arrange a manicure or pedicure instead? Or for men, an old-fashioned close shave in a barbers?

Learn a fun skill

Cooking Class

Have you ever gone to a bar and marvelled as the bartender threw together the ingredients to make something magnificent? Or have you ever wanted to recreate a fantastic meal you had?

Quite a few bars are now offering cocktail master classes, such as the Blind Pig, Harry’s on the Green and 37 Dawson Street. The cost is cheap enough but you usually need to book a group.  

A few cooking schools also offer courses, varying from an evening to one requiring weekly lessons. Cooking lessons can be quite expensive so make sure to shop around a little bit.

Just the ticket


A lot of people keep a look out for tickets for big gigs that come up, the type that are usually sold out within the hour. 

But sometimes it can be a nice treat for someone to see a smaller up-and-coming band, to see a play or to go watch a comedian. Or you could go somewhere like Smock Alley where they have dinner and a show during the summer.

Go on an adventure


It’s probably been a while, if ever, since the recipient has done an adventure activity. This doesn’t necessarily have to mean bungee-jumping or sky-diving. Have you ever considered how cool it would be to kayak down the Liffey? 

A few companies offer activities right in the centre of Dublin. If you’re willing to go further out you could expand the list of horse riding, hill climbing and zip-lining among other things.

Another option, if that strikes you as too outdoorsy, is to try the Adventure Rooms near Capel Street. For 60 minutes, you try a mix of physical, mental and teamwork challenges in an aim to get as many points as possible.

Get away


Of course, the ultimate experience is to go travelling. For some that can mean simply getting out of the house. There are tons of hotels in Dublin or not too far out that offer great deals, especially during the low season. Or, if you have the means and the inclination to spend a bit more, take advantage of flight sales and book that city break.

These are just some examples, but there are plenty of others. You can personalise it according to who you’re buying for and if you go along with them it’s a good opportunity to bond with the person as well.

Well after they’ll have forgotten the other gifts they received, the memories of the experience will stay in the person’s mind.

READ NEXT: Need To Do Some Last Minute Christmas Shopping? Here Are All The Opening Times For The Big Dublin Shops