Here are 8 amazing local experiences to gift… and you can do it even last minute!
A LITERARY EXPERIENCE
Help the bookworm in your life find their next fav read! Bethany Beach Books has a Book Drop program that offers subscriptions for all ages and genres. The Ivy Bookshop offers everything from a monthly cookbook club subscription to a quarterly poetry subscription to bi-monthly picture books for babies and toddlers. You can check out all of their subscriptions here. The newly-opened Snug Books in Lauraville doesn’t have a subscription or book club program yet, but a gift certificate to their new store is perfect for any booklover. (Pairs well with a gift certificate to Zeke’s Coffee, located right next door!)
AN ADVENTURE EXPERIENCE
Gift an unforgettable adventure that all ages will enjoy. Charm City Helicopter at Baltimore’s Pier 7 Heliport, lifts you off on a bird’s eye aerial tour of Baltimore and surroundings. See all the landmarks up close on a daytime flight, or fly at night to see the magic of the city lights sparkling on the harbor.
For active families with kids of all ages, give a gift certificate for kayaking tours or Hobie Catamaran sailing lessons at Ultimate Watersports. Is Stand-Up Paddleboarding more their speed? Give a certificate to BMore SUP.
Treat them to an afternoon of learning and practicing rope climbing at Movement Gym(formerly Earth Treks). Classes are available for all levels or book a private coach to work with the family. All ages can have a treetop adventure with Terrapin Adventures in Savage Mill! Try the climbing tower, high ropes course, giant swing, or a zip line!
A MEMBERSHIP EXPERIENCE
Everyone can enjoy a membership to local museums and attractions — and with a membership, the recipient can experience the museum over and over again! Here are some of our favorites: The National Aquarium, Port Discovery Children’s Museum, The Maryland Zoo, Maryland Science Center, The B&O Railroad Museum, The Baltimore Museum of Industry, The Walters Art Museum, and Irvine Nature Center. Added bonus? Many museums have reciprocal programs that offer free or discounted entry to partner museums across the country, or even programs where membership gains access to other museums in the city!
A CULINARY EXPERIENCE
For cooks of all abilities, give a gift certificate to culinary classes. Baltimore Chef Shop offers classes for kids, couples, and beginners through advanced cooks. At Schola in Mt. Vernon, you can choose one of their classes or design your own private event for all your girlfriends at their location or in your home. Culinary Craft Workshop in Catonsville offers everything from regional cuisine courses to parent and child workshops. Have a pint-sized Top Chef in your life? Consider a gift certificate to Young Chef’s Academy in Bel Air.
Several local restaurants are offering DIY kits that make fabulous family presents! Check out Miss Shirley’s Cafe’s Make-At-Home Pancake and Waffle Kits. They come in Peppermint Bark, Cinnamon Dash, and Fresh Fruit Flavors.
For families that love eating local, gift a CSA membership. They may have to wait to cash in on their gift cards since most CSAs don’t start until the spring, but that’s ok! Not only will your membership gift ensure that your recipient get fresh fruits and veggies all spring, summer, and fall — you’ll be supporting local farms and our local food ecosystem. A favorite CSA: Oak Spring Farm.
An out-of-the-box idea? Start a cooking club with your kids or friends! Or start a cooking club. Pick a favorite cookbook and gift it to all your girlfriends or couples you like to dine with. Then everyone can try the dishes from it and share reviews and tips – the Complete Autumn and Winter Cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen or Ina Garten’s Modern Comfort Food are great choices!
A CREATIVE EXPERIENCE
Winter is the perfect time to get those creative juices flowing! Black Sheep Yarn Shopoffers classes in knitting, crocheting, weaving and spinning and Domesticity offers any kind of sewing class you might imagine — and for all ages!
For those that are interested in visual arts,Social Studio holds classes in drawing, painting, fiber arts, sculpture, the creative process, and more. AND they offer art opportunities for kids and adults! If the mini Picasso in your life is closer to Harford County than Roland Park, check out classes and workshops at The Purple Bicycle in Bel Air. Aspiring potters of all ages can learn to play with clay at a “try it” class at New Phoenix Pottery. Artists exhibiting at Manor Millin Monkton offer a variety of arts based workshops and events, too!
For floriculturists in your life, gift them a flower arranging skills or design class from Flowers and Fancies, a membership to Floral Fete’s Bloom Society, a workshop from Local Color Flowers, or a subscription to Kimberly’s Farm Flowers.
A SPIRITED EXPERIENCE
We’re pretty sure that no one in your life that’s over 21 would turn down a wine subscription… Off the Rox in Highlandtown offers a monthly Rox Box subscription that includes 6 bottles of natural /organic / minimal intervention and small production wines.Bin 604in Harbor East has a flexible Case of the Month Club subscription. Both offer delivery service within Baltimore City and convenient pick-up options. Old Westminster Winery offers a wine club, but a gift certificate to rent a Winter Igloo at the winery for a few hours of sipping fun might be great option, too!
If whiskey is more their speed, check out Sagamore Spirits Company‘s Blend Your Own Whiskey Tour and Experience.
Why limit a craft brew experience to just one brewery? Baltimore City Brew Tours offers behind-the-scenes looks at several. Buy a gift card and let the recipient choose a tour!
A WELLNESS EXPERIENCE
As we emerge into whatever 2022 holds for us, one thing is for certain: wellness needs to be front and center. For outdoor enthusiasts, gift a membership to Irvine Nature Center! Irvine offers an impressive collection of wellness workshops for adults that physically connect the body with the natural world (i.e. mindfulness, herbology, tai chi, meditation, and yoga – – all of which take place outside on their grounds).
Coppermine is taking the sports world by storm in our area… and is opening The Mine, a new boutique fitness concept, at The Shops at Kenilworth in 2022. The space offers state of the art connected equipment and top-tier personal and group training programming along with a co-work space, kids club, concierge medical access and physical therapy services.
For a splurge, The Ivy Hotel offers a Weekday Wellness Package that includes a 60-minute High Performance Massage targeting the muscles compromised by frequent laptop, computer and/or cell phone use. Plus it comes a one-night luxury hotel stay. Kind of perfect for all of the work-from-homers in your life.
AN “I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT” EXPERIENCE
Sometimes the best gift is one that invites the recipient to get up close and personal with their favorite anima, behind the scenes at one of their favorite locales, or puts their talent center stage.
At The Maryland Zoo, you can gift a Penguin Encounter or Rhino Training — a wonderful gift for an animal lover. The National Aquarium offers a Family Sunrise Tour, dolphin training sessions, or even a personal virtual experience with their Animal Care and Rescue Center.
Have a musician that you’re buying for? Check out Stages Music Arts in Cockeysville. Not only do the offer great music classes for all ages, they have a state-of-the-art recording studio. Maybe take your YouTube musician to the next level? Leslie Odom, Jr. surprised attendees at their last Open Mic session, so the place is definitely a (cool) musician hotspot!
What is the best experience gift you’ve ever been gifted?