Memories last a lifetime, especially those that make your heart race. So why not buy your loved one a thrilling experience rather than a physical gift this year?
Great experiences make us happier than material items, right?
I mean for me personally it's those special moments that get your blood pumping and spending happy times with your friends and family that makes life so wonderful.
So giving someone you love a memorable experience rather than a regular gift can make a nice change, and be something that will stay with them for many years to come.
If you agree, then the good news is you are spoiled for choice nowadays.
As there are so many fantastic gift experiences on offer, ranging from relaxing and pampering days out to full-on, heart in your mouth excitement.
And for this article we are going to focus on the latter.
So if you know someone that likes to live on the edge and challenge themselves, check out our suggestions for great gift experiences to satisfy even the biggest adrenaline junkie.
I've split these into 4 sections, so you can choose one to suit your loved ones interests:
And finally, another reason these experiences make great gifts is that they can usually be shared with someone.
So if you are buying for your partner or your best friend they might take you along with them, and you can get to see the enjoyment on their face first hand.
However just keep in mind that you are buying the gift for them, so choose an experience they will enjoy, not something for yourself!
Satisfy Their Need For Speed Behind The Wheel
When I think about adrenaline surging, heart racing, blood pumping, high-octane activities and experiences, the first thing that comes to mind are fast cars.
These cars come with a glamorous image, and driving them involves skill and brings out your competitive edge, which just adds to the excitement.
So if you have a thrill-seeking petrolhead in the family that you need to buy a gift for, treating them to a driving gift experience is a great choice.
And there are a wide range of experiences to choose from here, from driving supercars around a race track to crushing a police car in a monster truck, all of which will make a great gift.
Supercar Track Days
There's just something about a supercar that turns heads (as well as turning some of us green with envy!).
Whether it's the sleek and sexy design, the roar of the engine, the acceleration, or the glimpse into another world that most of us will never know, they have a certain allure that makes them really attractive.
But they don't need to remain a mystery any longer, because for a reasonable price you can spend a day driving some of these cars around famous race tracks to feel the buzz of the g-force for yourself.
So this is a great gift idea for any frustrated racer who really enjoys speed, but doesn't want to keep picking up speeding tickets!
Because you can really open up and let loose on the track.
You can choose from a range of different supercars to drive, such as Lamborghinis, Porsches, Ferraris and Aston Martins.
And the amount of cars you try, and the distance and time you get to drive in each one, can be tailored depending on which package you go for.
You'll also get to experience a high-speed lap as a passenger with an experienced driver, so you can really get to see what these cars are capable of and get your blood pumping that bit faster!
The only downside is that your own car may feel a bit puny on the drive home.
NASCAR Racing Experiences
If you know a fan of NASCAR racing then this gift experience will make their year.
Because you can treat them to no-holds barred ride around a famous track in a NASCAR Sprint Cup stock car, with a professional driver taking the wheel and really putting the car through it's paces.
So they'll feel every slide, every corner, and every ounce of g-force that these cars can give you as you power around 3 laps of the track.
Which is a really unique experience and is something that will only deepen their love for the sport more.
There are also pricier options where you can actually drive the NASCAR around the circuit yourself, although to really feel the full surge of adrenaline and speed I'd rather leave it to the professionals to show me how it's done.
Driving a fast car at speed is one thing, but doing stunts in one like skids, spins, donuts and handbrake turns will take your adrenaline levels through the roof.
And it just looks like so much fun in the movies right?
Well the good news is you can gift someone a day of experiencing and learning how to carry out these stunts themselves.
They'll spend time with an experienced stunt driver who will first take them through how the stunts should be done, then instruct and guide them as they take the wheel.
These sessions range from 1-2 hours to full on 3-day courses, depending on how serious you are about learning.
But a short taster session will make the perfect gift for someone, and give them a massive buzz and a great sense of achievement when they pull off a manoeuvre they would have thought impossible only a few hours earlier.
Ride A Monster Truck
Monster trucks are huge and magnificent, and there's not many vehicles that will give you the same buzz you get when getting behind the wheel of one.
Firstly you are so high in the air that you have to climb up to reach your seat.
Then comes the huge tyres, awesome horsepower and a feeling that is a mixture of both invincibility and chaos as you drive along that makes it such a unique experience.
And they're fun to watch too, with tens of thousands of people attending shows such as the Monster Jam, where professional drivers perform jumps, insane stunts, and crush cars like cracking eggs beneath their wheels.
So why not gift a monster truck fan the experience of driving one for themselves?
These days out are great, as after receiving detailed instructions and training, they'll get to drive the monster truck around a pre-determined course which will be a real buzz in itself.
But the piece-de-resistance is that you get to finish the ride by driving over and crushing two dis-used police cars. Very satisfying!
So if you want to gift someone an experience that will thrill them and make them feel super powerful all in one go, a drive in a monster truck is the one to go for.
Take To The Skies
While flying commercially in pressurised cabins, crammed in with a hundred or so other travellers, is no-ones idea of fun, there are other ways of getting up into the clouds that are totally exhilarating.
Because there's nothing like being thousands of feet above the ground to give you a fresh perspective on life and help you to feel your own mortality.
And it's not just a thrill, it makes you feel really alive inside.
So if your loved one has a love of heights, take a look at the following gift experiences that will get their blood pumping.
Now jumping out of an airplane at 7,000 feet doesn't sound like my idea of a good time, but if you're brave enough it will give you the thrill of a lifetime.
In fact it's an adrenaline rush that you'll struggle to match.
As with each skydive you get around 10 seconds of free fall when you first jump out of the plane, and if this doesn't make you feel alive then nothing will!
But it's not just this rush of adrenaline that makes skydiving such a wonderful experience.
Because once the parachute opens, things become really tranquil and beautiful as you glide down to earth taking in the stunning views beneath you.
It's becomes about as close to the experience of flying like a bird that a human can get, and this mixture of the initial buzz followed by the peace and a different perspective on the world is a hard one to beat.
Add to that the feeling of pride and accomplishment you'll get from completing a skydive, which will really boost your confidence and self-esteem to take on and overcome other challenges in your life as well.
It's safe too, as all the equipment will have been rigorously checked and double-checked, and you'll be attached to an experienced instructor that will be in control of everything.
So by gifting someone a skydiving experience you are doing more than just feeding their need for adrenaline, you are also making them feel fantastic about themselves in general too.
Which makes it a great gift in my eyes.
If you want to treat your loved one to the thrill of jumping out of a plane but without forcing them to do so at 7,000 feet, then indoor skydiving could be the answer.
As it aims to replicate the thrill of free falling from a plane with the help of a vertical wind tunnel.
This wind tunnel is something else, and the blast of pressure you'll get as you step into it not only lifts you off your feet, it'll take your breath away too.
You'll usually get two 60-90 second bursts of free falling during each indoor skydiving session, which is great as this is 3-4 times the amount of free fall you'd get on an actual skydive.
However you obviously miss out on the peace, tranquility, and views that come with a regular skydive once your parachute opens.
Having said that, this is still great fun and is an activity that will really get the blood pumping.
You'll receive expert tuition from trained instructors on how to position your body, arms and legs as you fall.
And it's a good introduction for someone that wants to build up their confidence towards doing an actual skydive.
So if you want to gift someone an afternoon of blood-pumping thrills and excitement, indoor skydiving fits the bill.
Bungee jumping is a real test of nerve and character, as willingly flinging yourself off a raised platform hundreds of feet up in the air goes against every human survival instinct you have.
But the result is an exhilarating adrenaline rush that will awaken every last nerve and sensation in your body and mind.
The initial free fall lasts for a few seconds before the cord catches and bounces you back up again.
Then comes the second thrill, as your stomach flips over as you hang weightless in mid-air before plummeting for the second time.
And once the thrill is over you get a minute or so of hanging suspended while waiting to be lowered, which can feel really peaceful and help to calm your jangling nerves down again.
So for such a quick burst of activity, you really get to feel the real extremes of sensations with bungee jumping.
And you can add to the overall experience by choosing picturesque locations to bungee, such as off bridges and over rivers, gorges, and canyons.
This will really help you to connect with nature and feel your heart race all at once.
And if you can gather up the courage to do a bungee jump, then life's other challenges will feel far less daunting afterwards.
So if you want to give someone a thrilling experience and challenge their nerve at the same time, a bungee jump makes a good option.
Zip lines are really good fun.
They are cables you travel along that take different routes through picturesque locations, giving you the feeling of flying like a bird as you pass along them.
And they are not for the faint-hearted either, as some zips can reach speeds of up to 100km/h, meaning the wind will be rushing through your hair while your stomach does somersaults.
The way it works is you are strapped into a harness and attached to the zip line, then shot from one end of the zip down to the bottom end.
You can do this in a superman pose, seated pose, upside down pose, or backwards pose, depending on your preference.
It really is a thrilling experience, similar to what you'd get by riding a rollercoaster.
And you can choose to zip in many different locations too, such as in national parks, through rain forests, over lakes, and even inside volcanoes!
So if you have a Superman or woman in your life and want to gift them a fun day out, they will love zip lining.
Hot Air Ballooning
Hot air balloon rides don't offer the pure adrenaline rush that the previous airborne suggestions do, but they are still a unique and thrilling experience nonetheless.
The epic views, wind rushing through your hair, and the sound and heat from the burner keeping you afloat, are all wonderful sensations to make you feel alive.
And being that high up in just a basket will still make your heart beat that little bit faster too!
If you live in a picturesque part of the world then even better, as a hot air balloon ride is a great way to really see and appreciate the wonder of nature below you.
You can schedule early morning or evening flights so you can see the sun rise or set.
And many companies offer you a nice glass of champagne upon landing which wraps the whole experience up nicely.
You can also relax knowing that hot air balloons are the safest form of aviation travel out there.
So if you want to gift someone a spectacular experience that they'll never forget, a hot air balloon ride is an excellent choice (and you'll also get to go with them!).
A helicopter ride is another exhilarating and unique way of seeing the world from a different angle.
However unlike the peace and serenity of a hot air ballloon ride, going up in a chopper is a real assault on the senses.
As the noise and aggression of the rotor blades, the speed at which you rise and move through the air, and the small size of the passenger cabin is all a real thrill.
Plus unlike a hot air balloon, you can ride through major cities on a helicopter.
So if you want to get a birds-eye view of your favourite cities like London or New York, a helicopter ride is a breathtaking way to do it.
Alternatively you can choose to take a ride along the coast, into the mountains, across the countryside, the options are endless really.
But whichever trip you choose, you are sure to get a one of a kind experience that you'll never forget.
And this makes gifting someone a ride in a helicopter a really great idea.
Air Combat Re-enactments
This is an awesome and special experience to get for someone who is a thrill seeker but also a war history buff.
As you can gift them the experience of going up in a fighter jet and simulating what it would feel like to be in actual battle (with the added bonus of having no-one firing at you!).
This is a really unique opportunity that only a few people ever get to experience.
And while war and combat can be a terrible thing, actually experiencing what it's like to fly in one of these planes can really open your mind to what fighter pilots actually went through during wartime.
You have a few different options if you want to do this.
Firstly you can choose just to take a ride in one of these planes to experience the feel of them, and you can take the controls at some point too if you want to experience actually flying one.
The warbirds available are mainly ones from WWII such as the Spitfire, P40 Kittyhawk and the Stearman Biplane.
And if you want to increase the adrenaline rush you can choose to take an acrobatic flight instead, where the pilot will take you through the fighter planes full repertoire of moves.
These will both finish will a thrilling high speed fly past close to ground level to imitate what it would've been like in actual battle.
But if you want the ultimate experience you should go for the full air combat package.
This involves taking to the skies simultaneously with another fighter plane.
Your pilot will then run through a series defensive and offensive manoeuvres and tactics as you engage in simulated combat with the other fighter plane.
You can even take control of firing the guns (simulated, obviously). How cool is that?!
So if you want to buy an extra special, once in a lifetime experience for a loved one who has an interest in war and fighter planes, a day up in the clouds on one of these will live forever in their memory.
Get Out On The Water
If your loved one is a water baby and loves nothing more than getting out onto the water, gifting them an experience that reflects this makes good sense.
And the good news is there are plenty of ways to get your aquatic thrills, either out in the ocean or on lakes and rivers.
So check out the following water-based experiences and activities, as these will all make great gifts.
White Water Rafting
White water rafting is a fantastic activity to get into for a multitude of reasons.
Firstly it gets you out into nature, gets some fresh air into your lungs, and lets you appreciate the amazing scenery that the great outdoors has to offer.
And it also gives you a real adrenaline rush, as you have to fight against strong currents and rapids at certain points as you navigate your way down the river.
This also makes it a great workout that will tone and strengthen your arms, back, and shoulders, while also improving your cardiovascular stamina.
And it's a really social activity too, as you have to work together with your team to keep your raft on course and not end up capsizing into the drink!
But it's not just an adrenaline surge, as there are sections of river that are calm and tranquil too.
And these parts are very therapeutic, allowing you to relax, de-stress, and really let go of any tension you may be harbouring.
So gifting someone a white water rafting experience is a fantastic idea, as it will give them the whole package of adrenaline rushes, a physical challenge, and a relaxing and enjoying social afternoon.
If you want a thrilling experience where the boat picks up the slack rather than having to do all the grunt work yourself, then a ride on a powerboat is ideal.
Because these things really move.
And you can't help but feel the awesome power beneath you as they reach speeds of up to 125 mp/h, which will having you skimming over the top of the water's surface with the wind and spray pounding against your face.
Awakening your senses and giving you a real adrenaline rush similar to being in a racing car.
Now you can find powerboat trips in many tourist cities that have rivers, and it's a good way to mix a bit of thrill-seeking with some sightseeing.
But you can usually find options if you live close to any stretch of river, coastline or even large lakes, so have a look around your local area if this sounds like an interesting gift idea.
As while powerboating is maybe more passive than many of the other options here, it's still a really exciting way to spend an hour or two.
Flyboarding is a fairly new craze which looks like something from the future, as it's a mixture of water-skiing, wake boarding, flying, and diving.
To get an idea of what it is, Imagine being Iron Man but on the water, and that is basically it!
But while it seems like something only a superhero from a movie could do don't worry, because while it takes practice to get really good at, flyboarding is easier than it looks.
To begin you get strapped by the ankles onto a flyboard that is roughly the size of a skateboard. This is attached to a hose pipe that connects it to a jet ski, and this hose pumps out pressurised streams of water that lift you up from the water up to 20 feet into the air.
This pressure keeps you elevated in the air too, so you can get the feeling of flying as your amigo on the jet ski whizzes you across the bay, lake or ocean front.
Finally they will cut the pressure, if you haven't lost your balance already, which is when you get your chance for your big finish as you dive back into the water.
Flyboarding is a great workout, especially for your abs and legs, and getting out into the sun and water will leave you feeling energised and happy.
Not to mention the thrill of flying above the water which is a real buzz, and the challenge to become good at it could mean your gift experience actually becomes a new hobby for your loved one.
So if you're buying for someone who loves a challenge and trying new things, this could be a great option.
Driving a hovercraft is so much fun, as they are unlike any vehicle you've ever driven before, either on land or sea.
This is because they are really unique in the way they move, as they glide over the ground on a cushion of air, rather than remaining in contact with it.
This makes them hard to master, as it's easy to drift and slide away until you get the hang of it.
But this is all part of the fun, and driving one of these is a really exciting and enjoyable experience.
They're quick too, reaching speeds of up to 40mp/h, so speed lovers won't be disappointed here, and they have no brakes so adrenaline junkies will also be happy!
Which makes a day spent racing a hovercraft around a course a really fun experience.
These courses are usually between 2-5km long, and you'll each get a certain number of laps to go around and try and score your best time.
And a good thing about hovercrafts is that they will work over water and over land as well. So most courses you drive on will have a mixture of land and water sections so you get to experience both.
So if you want to treat someone to a really fun gift experience that will also satisfy their competitive side, a hovercraft race day will go down really well.
Get Your Thrills On Land
There are plenty of adventurous activities on land that you can get involved in that will push you and get your heart beating a little bit faster.
And these are ideal to give as a thrilling gift experience for someone.
As they make for a fun yet challenging day out, and may even lead people to get a taste for them and take them up as hobbies afterwards.
You also get a decent amount of exercise and some fresh air into your lungs, which is always a good thing.
So check out the following activities and see if they would be something your loved one would like to try.
Zorbing is a serious buzz.
Imagine being inside a giant inflatable ball rolling down a hill, picking up speed as you go, and tell me that doesn't sound like fun!
Because that is exactly what zorbing is. You step inside a huge 10-foot diameter PVC ball with one of your friends and roll down hills reaching speeds of up to 30mph, while being spun over, turned upside down, and thrown around like a rag doll.
And by the time you reach the bottom of the hill, you won't know which way is up or which way is down anymore!
There are two different types of zorbing experience to try: harness and aquatic.
Harness zorbing is where you get strapped in and attached to the inside of the ball, stopping you from flying all over the place as you descend.
While for aquatic zorbing you are not strapped in, and the inside of the ball contains up to 30 litres of water, so you slide around and get soaked as the ball rolls downhill.
This experience is a mixture of being in a human washing machine and being on the best water slide of your life.
Both of these zorbing experience are thrilling, and you'll usually get to experience both on your day out.
So if you want to treat your loved one to a fun and exhilarating experience, gift them a day of zorbing.
Rock Climbing & Abseiling
For anyone with an adventurous spirit that enjoys a challenge, climbing up a rock face is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon.
As it's not just a challenge of your physical strength and agility, it also tests you mentally too, as you need to plan your route and climbing strategy as you ascend the rock.
This is a completely absorbing activity with the added bonus of spending time in the outdoors in some stunning places (meaning you can get some cracking pictures when you're halfway up!).
And the feeling of achievement and elation when you finally reach the top is extremely satisfying.
You then get the added bonus of having the option to abseil back down the rock using your ropes, which is another great experience in itself.
So buying someone an introductory rock climbing and abseiling experience makes for a really good gift.
They'll receive expert tuition and instruction from experienced, qualified guides that will show them what to do and keep them safe.
And they'll also get a total body workout, as rock climbing is extremely good exercise.
So introduce someone to their new favourite hobby with a rock climbing gift experience.
Bear Grylls Survival Challenge
This one is definitely not for the faint-hearted.
But if you know someone who really enjoys pushing themselves to the limit, then this survival challenge would make a fantastic gift for them.
Run by the Bear Grylls academy in the UK, you are taken out in a group with 3 experts and challenged to survive in the wild for 24-hours.
But this is no gentle hike and camping trip, it's a gruelling test of your stamina, fitness, courage and resilience.
You'll be taught potentially life-saving skills such as how to navigate, travel over rough terrain, build a shelter, hunt for food, protect yourself from becoming prey, light fires, and tie knots.
They'll also be time spent climbing trees, plunging into icy streams, and crawling through mud, like an assault course in the wild.
It's both great fun and an incredible challenge.
And if you can make it through the 24-hours unscathed, then it will give you the confidence to handle anything life has to throw at you.
All your food and most of your equipment is included, such as sleeping bags and rucksacks.
So if you want to get someone who loves the outdoors a truly unique gift experience, and you think they would enjoy rising to the challenge, this one ticks all of the boxes.
I hope you have found a gift experience or two here that will be perfect for someone you know.
As they make really great gifts, and are something that people love to receive.
However if you can't decide which experience to go for, you could always buy your loved one a gift experience gift card instead. This way they can choose for themselves what tickles their fancy.
So give someone a gift to remember this year by helping them to do something fun and exhilarating.
And even if they don't like it, they'll never forget it!