Giving the Gift of Local Experiences

PeekingConcept-mb-1200x628-v1Holiday shopping can be daunting with the pressure to find the right gift for each of the people on your holiday gift list. You may have an idea of what you want, but finding the right “thing” online or in a store can be harder than it sounds. But yet, when it comes to buying presents for the holidays, the first things that come to mind are exactly that—things. A new watch, a cool gadget, a fancy kitchen appliance, the newest toys. And while sometimes these things are the perfect gift, they can also end up being a less-than-personal item that spends more time cluttering up someones house or closet, than actually bringing them joy.

dealsSo this year, we suggest you give the gift of experiences—specifically, local experiences. Experiences can range from restaurant gift certificates, to cooking classes, to museum memberships, to even a creative outing you’ve planned. Experiences take up no space, do not need to be shipped, and show you’ve put a little extra thought and creativity into your gift.

At Groupon, we are especially excited about giving the gift of experiences because they help people connect to their local community. Through experiences, gift receivers can discover a new restaurant that just opened in their neighborhood, take a class at the local bead shop, or spend a night out with friends listening to local musicians. They can also discover a new talent or hobby, fall in love with a cuisine they’ve never tasted, or remember why they chose to live in their neighborhood. And once people start actively experiencing the place they live, we believe they will keep seeking out opportunities to connect with the people and businesses around them.

Groupon offers a variety of deals on experiences on our site, many of which are for small, independent businesses and service providers. These deals can be purchased as gifts for friends in an instant, making them a great choice for last minute shoppers.

However, Groupon is not the only place to find local experiences. If you are shopping for someone who doesn’t live near you, consult the website of a local paper or blogger in their area to find out what some of the unique spots are in their city or town. Then, you can call a specific store or restaurant and have a gift card shipping to the lucky recipient or a service reserved for them in their name. Experiences let you shop locally for friends and loved ones, even if they are 1,000s of miles away!

Experiences let you shop locally for friends and loved ones, even if they are 1,000s of miles away!

So this season, consider skipping the bulky boxes and busy malls, and spend your time discovering a local, independent business—and then pass on the gift of experience to loved ones.