12 Holiday Gifts That Don't Come in a Box Last Updated: September 2020

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 2021! Even if your gift recipient can't redeem their gift immediately, the adventure will be worth the wait!

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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 penguins, rays, and even paint with sea lions!

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Give the Gift of Good Taste

Treat a foodie or wine lover on your list to a tour of Mohegan Sun's 48 dining options! Give a gift card and their dream foodie outing will be on you — not to mention it can be used for shopping and entertainment too!

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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 Harvest Kitchen at Jones Family Farms located in Shelton is a Farm-to-Table Cooking Studio that features farm-style cooking classes, wine and food pairing classes. Their philosophy of the Harvest Kitchen is that meals feature local and seasonal ingredients that are delicious, exceptionally healthy, and environmentally sustainable.

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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 to experience Nomads Outdoor Adventure's six state-of-the-art ropes courses up in the trees!

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Bike and Boat Tour on the Shore

Book your favorite nature lover a tour from Connecticut Bike and Boat Tours! 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 class at Brookfield Craft Center. You (or your gift recipient) can learn to make anything from jewelry to clay and glass creations. Gift the class or gift the art — either way, it'll be a present to remember!

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