Shop Local for Unique Experiences This Season

Skip the wrapping paper and give the gift of a local experience or Virginia getaway this holiday season
shop local for holiday gifts

This holiday season, instead of giving someone in your life the latest gadget or something they’re bound to regift, opt for a hands-on experiential gift. These experiences can be even more thoughtful than a physical gift and also give the recipient a chance to enjoy their favorite local activity or explore something new in Coastal Virginia.

For the Entertainment Enthusiast
Hit a high note with tickets to a local entertainment venue, from regional bands at Elevation 27 to major headliners at Hampton Coliseum and Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater. A variety of family-friendly shows take center stage at Scope Arena, with touring Broadway productions at Chrysler Hall. Season passes and memberships to Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Virginia Stage Company allow the recipient to enjoy shows throughout the year.

For the Snacking Specialist
Keep your friend’s and family’s pantries full with snack-based subscriptions. Whitley’s Peanut Factory offers a 12-Month Variety Club plan that features an assortment of sweet and salty nuts. A Virginia Cheese Co. Cheese Club subscription includes a themed, curated selection of cheeses paired with accompaniments. Courtland-based FERIDIES offers a Nut of the Month Club that delivers mouthwatering peanuts to someone’s door monthly, bimonthly or quarterly.

For the Adventure Seeker
A gift certificate for The Nature Bus provides customizable, guided eco tours. The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium grants a fun day of climbing and ziplining for all ages. Matador Sportfishing supplies all the gear someone will need to reel in the big one. Norfolk City Cruise features holiday, meal and other themed cruises, while Sail Yorktown offers sightseeing and sunset sails for an unforgettable time on the water.

craft beer For the Libations Lover
Craft beer aficionados will love a membership to their favorite brewery’s beer club, like Three Notch’d Brewing’s that features a new brew every month and access to exclusive events. Oenophiles will look forward to uncorking a pre-release or reserve vintage, as well as receiving tasting room discounts, from a winery’s or wine shop’s club. Or, let spirit sippers learn mixology at one of Waterman Spirits’ craft cocktail experiences.

For the Culinary Curious
Restaurants like The Baker’s Wife host themed wine dinners that offer a sumptuous meal and educate diners on proper wine pairings. A seat at the chef’s table at Todd Jurich’s Bistro provides an up-close look at culinary techniques in an intimate setting. Seafood lovers can indulge in fresh oysters from the Lynnhaven River and learn about aquaculture on Pleasure House Oysters’ Chef’s Table Tour.

For a Girl’s Night Out
Treat your besties to a girls’ day/night out. Start the day with a mimosa-filled drag brunch at Croc’s 19th Street Bistro or goat yoga hosted by Fun with Goats. You and your girls can have high-flying fun at Airotique Aerial Arts or a take a sexy pole dancing lesson at Studio Rio’s Twisted Fitness. Wind down the evening with a paint-and-sip party at Painting with a Twist.

For the Hobbyist
Learning a new skill is the gift that keeps on giving. For the musically inclined: voice, piano, guitar, violin and other lessons at Music & Arts. Help someone on your list perfect their putting prowess at Kingsmill Resort’s Golf Academy. Book a cooking class for kids, teens or adults at Now You’re Cooking or Untamed Chef in Chesapeake. A future fashion designer or quiltmaker can develop their skills with one of Tidewater Sew-Vac’s classes.

luggageFor the Bougie Traveler
Surprise your partner with a romantic stay among grapevines at Afton Mountain Vineyards’ guest house or cottage. Book a beach getaway for someone on your list at the historic Watson House in Chincoteague, home to the famed wild ponies.

The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond has several packages that make fantastic gifts, including the bed-and-breakfast package and romance package complete with
sparkling wine upon arrival.

For the Self-Care Guru
A deep tissue massage from Seahill Spa or Flowering Almond Spa is the perfect gift to help someone decompress after a busy holiday season. Or book someone an afternoon of pampering with one of Changes City Spa’s packages. Breathing in soothing minerals in the salt cave at Williamsburg Salt Spa or spending some time in a sensory deprivation tank at Float Norfolk also make for a unique gift.

For the Culture Connoisseur
Membership to attractions like Chrysler Museum, Norfolk Botanical Garden, Virginia Living Museum and Colonial Williamsburg allow the recipient to enjoy cultural experiences year-round, plus other perks. Animal lovers can get up close with different species whenever they like as members of the Virginia Zoo and Virginia Aquarium. An annual pass from Virginia State Parks allows the recipient to visit any of the Commonwealth’s 42 parks at their leisure.

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