Giving experiential gifts rather than material items at the holidays is a growing trend. The benefits of this option have been shown through research conducted by Thomas Gilovich, a professor of psychology at Cornell University. In an article in the Globe and Mail, he says, “An experience contributes more to who you are, your sense of identity. You can love your material things, but however much you love them and identify with them, they nonetheless remain separate from you. Experiences really are part of you; we are the sum total of our experiences.” (Globe and Mail) Gilovich goes on to add, “Experiential purchases also have a social effect, in that they connect us to others in a way that objects simply can’t.”
In a similar vein, a recent article in Market Watch addressed the idea of enjoying gifted experiences together, saying “there is evidence that experiential gifts make the giver and receiver feel closer and more connected.” (Market Watch) The article continues, explaining “This is all part of the expanding experience economy, where U.S. spending on activities such as spectator events, amusements parks, dining in restaurants and traveling has grown more than 1.5 times faster than overall personal-consumption spending, according to a recent McKinsey report, and almost four times faster than spending on objects.” (McKinsey Report)
To address this growing trend and to encourage “more doings and less things,” Palatine Park District offers a revamped gift card program that promotes giving the gift of recreation fun this holiday season and throughout the year. The new gift cards are plastic cards with bar codes that can be redeemed for most park district programs with 8-digit program numbers including aquatics, early childhood, cultural arts, athletics, horsemanship, and fitness programs along with special events and some rental opportunities. Additionally, this experiential gift is one that will be appreciated by recipients of all ages, from very young children through active adults.
Gift cards can be purchased in person at Birchwood Recreation Center, 435 W. Illinois Avenue; Community Center, 250 E. Wood Street; Falcon Park Recreation Center, 2195 N. Hicks Road; and Palatine Stables, 1510 W. Northwest Highway. After the initial purchase, gift cards can be reloaded online at palatineparks.org.
In addition to the new Palatine Park District gift cards, separate cards are available for rounds of golf through Palatine Hills Golf Course and the District’s recreation centers and theatre tickets can be purchased through Cutting Hall Performing Arts Center Box Office and online at cuttinghall.org.
Whether you are looking to give opportunities in athletics or arts this holiday season, consider giving the gift of recreation at Palatine Park District. For more information, contact Customer Service Manager Christine Rice at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847.991.0333.
About the Author • Joan Scovic, CPRP
Joan Scovic is an award-winning creative marketing professional who uses her skill set to develop communications strategies, marketing campaigns, and organizational branding in an innovative and fiscally responsible manner. Joan has been with Palatine Park District since 2012 and is currently the District’s Communications and Marketing Manager.