One of the best presents you can give is your presence. Time together to explore your passions can reignite the spark in your relationship, rekindle a friendship and more. It can help remind you there’s more to life than punching in and paying bills.
Here are 20 experiential gifts for men that’ll really wow them.
Bouldering combines the fun of rock climbing with the seductive thrill of saying, “Look, Ma, no ropes!” This outdoor adventure sport gets you a full-body workout while letting you explore some of the world’s most gorgeous natural locations. Since you don’t use hooks or carabiners, your man will need a crash pad for his adventures. They come in two sizes — the standard 3’ by 4’, or a larger 4’ by 6’. Larger ones allow more room for error but are bulkier to carry into the wild. You can combine your gift with some hand chalk and a packed road trip bag. Scout out a likely location, and you have your next weekend adventure!
Kayaking lets you glide through the water the way raptors take to the skies, propelling along with streamlined ease. However, you’ll get an incredible upper-body workout as you maneuver your way through the rapids. Your man will need a kayak and all the accessories, like paddles and a lifejacket. Ensure you get the right size. In general, men with torso heights over 28 inches will use paddles measuring 200 centimeters and above, while those with shorter torsos will use paddles under 200 centimeters. Please remember to protect your man’s head, too — traumatic brain injuries can be life-shattering. Include a helmet with your gift purchase.
3. Off-Road Driving Adventure
Does your man love Monster Jam more than anything? Even if he pimped out his ride with a lift, there’s nothing like driving a genuine monster truck — it’s a lot harder than just slipping behind the wheel. Why not give him the chance to try? Your adventure will include a 30- to 45-minute training session before your man climbs up to the driver’s seat. Be sure to take plenty of side-by-side photos for social media so your friends can see the massive size of your ride.
4. Outdoor Adventure Course
Amusement parks are a blast, but weaving your way through hordes of littles can test your patience. Let your man play with the big kids by getting admission passes to an outdoor adventure maze where you can climb and zipline your way through endless laughter. You can take on an aerial rope maze or zip your way down a mountain in a speed tube. Bounce each other to the sky on trampolines and stretch your physical limits.
5. Wilderness Trek
If you’re seeking affordable adventure, you can get annual admittance to America’s national parks for less than $100. If your special someone served in the military, you can snag passes for free — imagine their surprise if they somehow overlooked this benefit! All you need to do is load up the family truckster with your tent, sleeping bags, and provisions — once you arrange for time off from work, of course. However, if sleeping on the cold ground isn’t up your alley, and you have a little extra, check out some of America’s best glamping resorts, where you can stay in style in a yurt or even a treehouse.
6. Survivalist Course
Could your man hack it in the wild? If he’s always enjoyed roughing it, why not give the gift of a survivalist course that can teach him anything from starting a fire without matches to foraging for food? Many places have courses that range from a few hours to several days in length. The skills acquired benefit anyone who frequently visits the backcountry, from trail runners to hunters. If nothing else, you have an ace in the hole if the zombie apocalypse comes calling.
Is your man fascinated by weaponry? Why not get them a gift basket full of everything they need for the range? Unless you live in California, you probably don’t have a waiting period to buy ammunition. Other ideas for what to add to your gift include safety gear. The right goggles and ear protection can keep your man’s favorite pastime at the range from turning tragic. A new cleaning kit for their gun collection also lends a thoughtful touch.
Does your man dream of more ancient weaponry like the bow and arrow? These weapons have evolved considerably — why not invest in the right gear to get out and hunt how those who lived in more primitive times could only dream? Today, compound bows provide more accuracy and power. However, if it’s strength and control your man hopes to build, a standard recurve bow can help him perfect his aim. You can throw in some hay bales and targets to let him practice before he goes after wild game.
9. Wine Tasting
What if your man has more refined tastes? If he enjoys the finer things in life, going on a wine tasting tour can introduce you both to a new vintage to sip to celebrate your anniversary year after year. You can combine your love of merlot with your wanderlust. There are tons of wine country destinations right here stateside — you need not wait for travel restrictions to lift. Many such locations offer chartered bus tours so you don’t have to fear drinking and driving.
10. Pub Crawl
Maybe your main squeeze is a little more Michelob than Moscato. If so, a pub crawl is a glorious excursion — only minus the zombies, a la Simon Pegg in “The World’s End.” Like wine tours, you can combine your pub crawl with a bit of travel. Sites like Whiskey Row in Prescott, Arizona, let you imagine what it would be like to be a cowboy kicking back a cold one to dissolve all that trail dust. Are you in the Northeast? Roam some of Boston’s cobblestone streets while sipping libations at establishments where the founding fathers once enjoyed a tipple.
11. Indoor Laser Tag
What activity takes the fun of paintball, removes the sting, and lets you play in the dark? If you said “indoor laser tag,” you win the kewpie doll! What makes this activity even more fun is that you can make an all-day event out of it at many centers. If you love arcades, many locations offer various games you can play once you get tired of stalking each other through the maze.
Here’s another activity that you can spend the day enjoying. Many lanes offer all-you-can-bowl prices one day per week — you can swing a full day of fun for a couple for less than $35, including shoe rentals. What if your man is a member of a league? Think about ways that you can support him in his next tournament. Outfit him with a new glove and a ball-cleaning kit, for example.
Golfing is a glorious way to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine while getting some exercise. It doesn’t have to be all about health, though. There’s plenty of frustration to be found on the links, but fortunately, the beer cart attendant can bring in some liquid anti-anxiety medication. Here’s another idea you can combine with travel to create the experiential gift of a lifetime for your sweetie. Book a stay at one of America’s top resorts for golfing partners and challenge your mate to a match. After working up an appetite on the links, you can indulge in treats like a couple’s massage and fine dining via room service.
14. Foodie Road Trip
What’s to stop you from getting in your car and taking a road trip today? Nothing can limit you except yourself. Stock up on plenty of hand sanitizer and disposable masks and hit the highway in search of some of the most delicious adventures you can find anywhere. If you live near New England, you can find some of the freshest and least-expensive seafood along the northeast coast. Eat your fill of crab down Maryland way, then head up to Maine for some rock lobster direct from the sea. The Midwest isn’t just a place to fly over. When you think Kansas City, you think barbecue. Get your bib on and devour some of the juiciest ribs on either side of the Mississippi — and remember to pack a few extra packs of wet wipes!
15. Museum Tour
What if your man has a taste for fine art, scientific endeavors, or world history? Why not set his intellect aflame with a trip to the big city and a tour of a famous museum? You can easily spend a week or more going through all 19 Smithsonian museums, gazing at everything from WWII aircraft to replicas of early marine dinosaurs. Are you more into the quirkier side of history? Check out places like Philadelphia’s Mutter Museum at the College of Physicians, where you can witness oddities like the “soap lady.”
16. Deep-Sea Fishing
Has your guy always wanted to say, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat,” like Martin Brody in “Jaws”? If the lake and rowboat are no longer cutting the wanderlust mustard, why not give your man a deep-sea fishing excursion as an experiential gift? If you and the crew are heading south to Florida to visit the famous House of Mouse, you can spring this surprise on your sweetie as a side trip. That mahi-mahi steak tastes ever-so-much better when you hook it yourself. Your guy will gain a better appreciation of the strength the big ones have — it takes the combined muscle of several grown adults to pull in an 800-pound grouper!
If your man has no fear of heights and craves the ultimate adrenaline rush, a fall from thousands of feet in the sky ought to do the trick. Skydiving offers an unbeatable high — no pun intended — and gives him some impressive bragging rights at his local watering hole. Ensure you book the photo and video package, as this is one experiential gift your guy will want to show off on social media. If jumping out of a perfectly serviceable airplane holds little appeal, you can always try the indoor version. You’ll enter a wind tunnel that recreates the sensation of falling and helps you perfect your form if you ever do decide to take the full outdoor plunge.
18. Theme Park Getaway
Is your love like a roller coaster? Why not plan a road trip and hit some of the world’s best amusement parks where you can ride your way into the sunset and beyond? To get the most from your trip, plan to visit on a weekday when attractions have fewer visitors and lines. Splurge on the VIP pass to reduce your wait time even more.
19. European Vacation
Did your guy dream of backpacking through Europe after college but never got the chance? If you have deeper pockets, you can cry, “If it’s Tuesday, it must be Belgium!” once travel restrictions ease. Start doing your research now to avoid travel delays later. You can start by getting your vaccine and downloading the right app to show your COVID-19 status.
20. African Safari
If your man wants to be as awesome as Frodo’s sidekick, Samwise Gamgee, he has to see an “Oliphant” at least once. A trip to Africa lets you witness magnificent creatures like elephants and lions in their native habitats. If you’re an athletic couple, you can book a climbing excursion up Mt. Kilimanjaro. They range from easy to challenging and give you the chance to take some unbelievable photographs. Find out if Hemingway was right, and whether the dried and frozen carcass of a leopard lurks near the top.
Consider These 20 Experiential Gift Ideas for the Special Man in Your Life
Filling your man’s house with more trinkets to gather dust is no way to show how much you care. Instead, give one of these 20 experiential gifts for men and share in the adventure of a lifetime.