12 Holiday Gifts That Don't Come in a Box Last Updated 12/18

Making your list, checking it twice and still not sure what to give friends and family this year? More and more people these days are looking for the gift of experience! Here are a dozen interesting ideas for purchasing a gift certificate or making a plan to treat someone to something magical and memorable in 2019!

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Make A Friend (or Two)

Get up close and personal with the friendly residents of Mystic Aquarium. You can book an encounter with seals, penguins and even a beluga whale!

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Give the Gift of Good Taste

Treat a foodie or wine lover on your list to tickets to the Mohegan Sun Wine & Food Fest in January!

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Feel the Need for Speed

A car lover on your list will love a chance to drive a stock car or exotic sports car around the track at Thompson Speedway or race at Lime Rock in Lakeville.

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Set Sail

When the weather warms up, everyone wants to be out on the water. Give a gift certificate for the Mystic Whaler, and give the experience of a Sunday brunch, sunset or even a lobster dinner at sea!

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Eat Your Way Through New Haven

Taste of New Haven Tours offer a variety of experiences for food lovers, including a range of foodie tours, pizza-making lessons or even a chef’s cooking class.

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Catch a Flight

If you know someone with a particular passion for excitement, Skydive Danielson offers gift certificates for a tandem jump!

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Get Cooking

The Cooking School at Hunt Hill Farm, located in a renovated, circa-1800s horse barn in New Milford, offers gift certificates in their Farm Shop for hands-on cooking classes for all ages, with special programs for kids and teens.

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Dine in Style

The Essex Clipper Dinner Train delights diners and train lovers alike with a four-course meal and ride through the scenic Connecticut River Valley. 

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Give a Gift of Adventure

Have an adventurer or two on your list? Get a gift certificate for EMPOWER Leadership Sports & Adventure Center’s fully guided Zip Line Canopy Tour, or one of their many other activities.

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Bike Tour on the Shore

Give a gift certificate from Connecticut Bike Tours and the recipient can choose from several tours — some leisurely, others more challenging — along the Connecticut shoreline. Bring a bike or rent one, the tour may even come with a boat ride!

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Passport to the Arts

What's better than the gift of culture and beauty? Buy a few CT Art Trail Passports and give friends or family members a whole year of visits to 21 art museums and historic sites in Connecticut.

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Make your Own Gift

For a really unique gift, and an unforgettable experience, consider booking a glass blowing workshop at Greenwood Glass Blowing Studio Gallery & School in Riverton. You (or your gift recipient) can learn to create a one-of-a-kind glass treasure.

Find more great “made in Connecticut” gift giving ideas here.