Put A Bow On It: Boston’s Best Experience Gift Guide

November 27, 2018 | , , , , , ,
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Best Boston Experiences To Gift This Holiday Season

Tis’ the season…yes, THE season! Go ahead, you have the green light to binge all that music you’ve waited all year to rock out to. Break out the stockings, and the tinsel, and the eggnog. Oh, and the shopping lists! If you’re overwhelmed by the thought of holiday shopping, don’t be! We’re here to help. We are all about gifting experiences. They make amazing gifts and are super easy. We’ve come up with a long list of awesome Boston-based experiences that you can gift to anyone this holiday season. We’ve got stuff for the eaters and drinkers, the crafters, the learners, the adventurers, the stressed, and more. All you have to do is put a bow on it!

1. Cocktail Class and Distillery Tour: Bully Boy Distillers

bully boy cocktails

Photo Credit: Bully Boy Distillers

Started by the Willis brothers, Bully Boy Distillers is Boston’s local distillery with a tasting room and cocktail bar open to the public. Once a month they offer cocktail classes led by their lead bartenders that will educate you in basic bartending skills using Bully Boy spirits. The classes also include a tour of the distillery and a drink to start off with. So give someone the gift of mixology and let them start shaking things up!

2. Walking Food Tour: Bites of Boston Food Tours

tour guests outside south end buttery

Photo Credit: Bites of Boston

Give someone the experience of a Bites of Boston walking neighborhood food tour. There are three neighborhoods to choose from – the South End, Chinatown, and Allston. If you have someone who is hungry for food with a side of knowledge then this is the perfect gift. Bites of Boston Food Tours will take you through unique Boston neighborhoods while sharing some fascinating history behind them as well as behind the restaurants and bakeries you will be stopping at along the way to sample bites from. It’s a special chance for someone to eat their way around some of the best restaurants in each neighborhood.

3. Cake Decorating Class: Oakleaf Cakes Bake Shop

hamburger cake

Photo Credit: Oakleaf Cakes Bake Shop

If there’s someone you know whose got the baking part down but needs to sharpen their decorating skills, Oakleaf Cakes Bake Shop offers an array of classes that you could sign them up for. From simple cake decorating and buttercream basics to advanced fondant work, air brushing, and sculpting. This is a super fun gift for someone who really wants to get their hands dirty, with frosting that is.

4. Arepa Party: Orinoco Kitchen

arepa

Photo Credit: Improper Bostonian

Orinoco Kitchen, one of the stops on the Bites of Boston Sweet & Savory South End Tour, has three locations serving Venezuelan fare including old family recipes from Chef/Owner Andres Branger. They are known for their incredibly fresh and flavorful arepas; it’s kind of like a pita pocket made from ground maize that is stuffed with different fillings to make a sandwich. If you want to give a really unique gift to your friends or family this holiday season, gift them an arepa party! Orinoco Kitchen will host this specialty event for you so you can experience this quintessentialVenezuelan dish with your group.

5. Art: Painting Workshop with Laurel Greenfield Art

painting class

Photo Credit: Laurel Greenfield

Another really fun gift idea for a group of your friends or family to do together, or just to celebrate the season, is to book a painting workshop with one of Boston’s best food artists, Laurel Greenfield. You choose the design and she will bring all the materials you need. The only thing you need to bring is your creative eye and maybe a bottle of wine, or two…

6. In the Air: Helicopter Tour with Tuckamore Aviation

helicopter tour

Photo Credit: Tuckamore Aviation

Give the gift of flight with Tuckamore Aviation’s helicopter tours of Boston. This is definitely a way you’ve never seen the city before as you hover over it, feet dangling out the sides of the helicopter. Perfect for that adventurous and daring person in your life or someone who needs a little lift!

7. Gift a Splurge: Tasting Menu Dinner

clam in glass with foam

Photo Credit: L’Espalier

For that super special someone, or someones, in your life, think about giving them the gift of a splurge to a restaurant that offers a tasting menu. To make it easy, we’ve already made a list of some of Boston’s best tasting menus in our post, “Tasty Tax Return Splurges: Boston’s Best Tasting Menus.” Check it out here. Hopefully this will be a gift that they will remember for a long time.

8. Flower Arranging Class: Alice’s Table

flower arranging

Photo Credit: @sanazphotography via Instagram

For the one with the green thumb, or maybe the one who needs to work on theirs, give the gift of a flower arranging class with Alice’s Table for the holidays. They will learn the art of flower arranging while sipping cocktails and then have a beautiful bouquet to take home as proof that they’ve learned the skills.

9. PGA Golf Lessons: CityGolf Boston

men golfing

Photo Credit: CityGolf Boston

If you’ve noticed someone’s swing looking rough (no need to name names) or know someone who wants to tweak their skills on the course then give them the gift of a PGA golf lesson with CityGolf Boston. You can book individual or group lessons for different lengths of time and skill levels. Fore!

10. Cooking Class: Stir Boston

culurzones

Photo Credit: Stir Boston

For someone whose favorite room of the house is the kitchen, give them the awesome gift of a cooking class at Stir Boston where some of the city’s best chefs and instructors teach you some of their highly coveted skills. Learn about elite items such as caviar and truffles or keep it a little homier by choosing a class based around classic trattoria cooking. Either way they will leave with a full heart, mind, and stomach.

11. Massage: Exhale Spa

lady getting massage

Photo Credit: Exhale Spa

One of the best experiences to gift someone is that of RELAXATION. Give your loved one a gift certificate for a massage at Exhale Spa and they will be so thankful. Exhale is one of Boston’s best spas and they have a ton of massage options to choose from so the person receiving the gift can soak up their me time with exactly the kind of massage their body needs.

12. Glass Blowing: Diablo Glass School

glass blowing

Photo Credit: Diablo Glass School

Know someone who likes to figuratively play with fire? Well then why don’t you give them the gift of literally playing with it! Diablo Glass School offers the chance for them to learn about the craft of glass blowing and make some unique pieces of their own to take home. This is definitely not an ordinary gift or experience but that makes it all the more memorable.

13. Cheese Class: Formaggio Kitchen

formaggio cheese counter

Photo Credit: Bites of Boston

Giving the gift of cheese in any capacity is a win, but take it a step further and give the gift of taking a cheese class at Formaggio Kitchen where some of Boston’s cheese experts will educate (and feed) them on their enormous selection of cheeses. There are two options to choose from: Cheese 101 and Brave the Caves: An Underground Cheese Lesson. They are beloved by us at Bites of Boston and are featured on our Sweet & Savory South End Tour so we can guarantee this is a great present to give and receive!

14. Brew Your Own Beer: Hopsters Brewing Company

people making beer

Photo Credit: Hopsters Brewing Company

For someone who loves the brews, give them the gift of concocting their very own. Hopsters Brewing Company will give them the opportunity to make their own beer with as much or as little guidance as they’d like by Hopsters knowledgeable staff. They let you choose from one of their recipes or bring your own. What will be included is: their own concierge brewer, all ingredients, bottles, customized labels, and approximately three cases of their own hand-crafted beer. Sounds like something to cheers to!

15. Go to a Show: Broadway in Boston

actors in show

Photo Credit: Broadway in Boston

For your theater buff, and everyone knows one, give the gift of seeing a Broadway show in Boston. Shows are rotating, but next up in January is a favorite of many, Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” And, curtain.

16. Hot Tub: Inman Oasis

japanese hot tub

Photo Credit: Inman Oasis

For a gift of utter relaxation and cleansing give someone a gift certificate for a soak in one of Inman Oasis’ private hot tubs. Taking a soak in one of these is signing off at it’s finest, no phones in here, just warm bubbles and a playlist of their choice. Go ahead, book one for yourself and for a friend. You deserve it.

17. Craft Cocktail Technique Class: Boston Shaker

outside boston shaker

Photo Credit: Boston Shaker

Know someone who loves to entertain? Then help them shine even more as a host by giving them the gift of a craft cocktail technique class at Boston Shaker. This hands-on class will have them feeling confident about mixing, shaking, and stirring in their own home, learning how to make drinks from start to finish all the way to the garnish. After class they can purchase any of the tools they need from the shop, which is filled with everything they may need to be a top notch home bartender.

18. Photo Class: Boston Photography Workshops

people taking pictures outside

Photo Credit: Boston Photography Workshops

For someone who likes to take photos with something other than an iPhone, a digital camera perhaps, then look into getting them a class at Boston Photography Workshops. They hold fantastic classes of all kinds from one-day workshops to private lessons. Say cheeeeeeeese.

19. Baking Class: Flour Bakery

cupcakes

Photo Credit: Flour Bakery

For the person who always has their nose in the cookie jar, let them spend an afternoon in Flour Bakery’s kitchen learning how to bake some of their most delicious recipes. Joanne Chang is one the leaders in baked goods in Boston, so they will learn some of her secrets in a hands-on or demonstration class. It’s only fair that they show you what they learned, so tell them that you expect some bakes goods!

20. Chocolate Making and Tasting: Boston Chocolate School

chocolate truffles

Photo Credit: Henry Boudoir, Boston Chocolate School

For more of the sweet tooths in your life, consider gifting them a chocolate making class at Boston Chocolate School. We’ve not encountered many people who will turn away a chocolate truffle, and the experience of making them on your own is a ton of fun. Let them learn about chocolate from experienced chefs and get their daily fill of cocoa.

21. Beading, Metalsmith, and Fiber Courses: Bead + Fiber

class

Photo Credit: Bead + Fiber

For that crafty person in your group, or the person who wishes to be, send them to Bead + Fiber for a class in beading, metalsmith, or fiber. They will learn with fellow crafters how to make beautiful handmade products that they can show off and either give as gifts or enjoy for themselves. We’ll take a scarf please!

22. Be Part of the Show: American Repertory Theater

theater and actors

Photo Credit: American Repertory Theater

To give a truly unique and memorable theater experience, give the gift of seeing a show at the American Repertory Theater. This award-winning theater puts on transformative theatrical experiences that always include the audience. They put their own creative spin on well-known shows as well as creating their own. For example, “Something Strange” is a live music and burlesque tribute to “The Nightmare Before┬áChristmas.”

23. After Hours Pasta Making: Dave’s Fresh Pasta

girl making spaghetti

Photo Credit: Dave’s Fresh Pasta

Everyone loves pasta, but not many know how to make it. It’s actually pretty simple! Give the gift of a homemade pasta making class at the popular Dave’s Fresh Pasta in Somerville. There’s something so satisfying and heart warming about making food from scratch and that is a wonderful gift to give someone!

24. Fun Nails: Boston Nails and Spa

nail art

Boston Nails and Spa

For a pampering gift, give someone a gift certificate for a special manicure at Boston Nails and Spa. They are well-versed in nail art of all kinds, it’s truly incredible what they can do. The person receiving this gift can tell them what they want and surely the highly-skilled manicurists can make it appear on their nails. This is a gift that people will go wild for!

25. Private Food Tour and Dinner: Bites of Boston Food Tours

private tour group

Photo Credit: Bites of Boston

For the food lovers in your life, give a very special gift from Bites of Boston this year in a private tour ending with dinner. Give this gift to a larger group of friends or family or keep it nice and intimate. A shortened version of the public walking neighborhood food tour will be given with a dinner to finish off from your choice of restaurant. This is a thoughtful gift that you can even be a part of too!

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