When it comes to the impossible-to-buy-for set or the lucky few who seem to already own everything, an experiential gift is often your best bet come holiday season (and not just because you could benefit from it as well).
Naturally, tickets to Leafs and Raptors games are no-fail options for the sports fans on your list. And the foodies always appreciate a gift certificate to a trendy restaurant. But there are also a ton of other experiential ideas in Toronto.
Here are 12 of our top picks.
A day at the spa at Four Seasons Toronto
Give the gift of a little New Year’s pampering with spa gift certificates to the newly remodelled Spa at Four Seasons Toronto. Let your parents, siblings, or significant others leave their endless to-do list behind and indulge in a day of body treatments, facials (including the popular rose gold facial), and water therapies at the pristine spa.
A family pass to the Museum of Illusions
For the snap-happy family on your list, a family pass to the brand new Museum of Illusions is sure to please. Inside the unassuming looking space in the city’s St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood, you’ll find 80+ exhibits – which are all based on science, math, and psychology – that include things like trippy vortex tunnels, tilted rooms, reverse rooms, an infinity room, and other completely Instagram-friendly holograms and illusions.
Tickets to a musical
There are few things more uplifting in the dead of a Canadian winter than a high-energy musical. Mirvish’s smash hit Come From Away is still going strong and the coveted tickets make a well received gift for the theatre lovers on your list. The feel-good production moves to the Elgin Theatre in February.
A Niagara ice wine tour
Wine-filled weekends away to Niagara aren’t just reserved for the summer months. In fact, ice wine season just kicked off in the region. Surprise your significant other with a winter weekend escape this holiday season. A luxury vehicle will pick you up from your hotel or Airbnb, and you’ll spend the day exploring up to eight different wineries.
A cooking class at Dish Cooking Studio
Whether your loved one already enjoys cooking, or they’re looking to expand their skills, a cooking class is a great experience for you to share together. Dish Cooking Studio offers a variety of classes weekly where participants can get their hands dirty, while enjoying some beer or wine.
Surprise the lover of the Toronto arts scene with tickets to the ballet or the opera. Both the National Ballet of Canada and the Canadian Opera Company are filled with world-class talent. As an added bonus, the venue that houses them both – the beautiful Four Seasons Centre for the Arts – invites an excuse to get dressed up and take photos on the stunning staircase.
A pass to Escape Manor
For a unique and interactive gift (and one they won’t expect) treat your friend or family members to an escape room experience that takes the concept to new heights. At King West’s new Escape Manor, guests find themselves trapped in a creepy asylum, in a jail cell on death row, or in other claustrophobia-inducing rooms as they are forced to hunt for clues around the space in a race against time.
A night at Paint Lounge
Certificates to Paint Lounge make an affordable and thoughtful option, especially if you’ve just started seeing someone and are in that awkward “to give a gift or not to give a gift” phase. Making for a great date night idea, guests are given a canvas, unlimited paints, and supplies.
Self-care certificates from Hoame
Gift the wellness warrior with the gift of self-care with a certificate to Hoame, Toronto’s one-stop centre for all things mindful. The modern meditation studio – one of a few that have popped up in Toronto as of late – offers a variety of meditation classes, a Himalayan salt cave, and an infrared sauna.
A dining experience from UFeast
The foodie will appreciate the curated food experiences offered from Toronto-based UFeast. The company offers thoughtful pop-up food experiences at some of the city’s hottest restaurants. During the multi-course communal meals, guests are invited to make new friends, meet the chef, and interact with the bartender.
Custom lipstick from the Lip Lab by Bite
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind experience for the beauty maven of your family and friend group, look no further. Bite Beauty offers a custom lipstick making experience, and it’ll cost you less than $100. You choose the pigment, the finish, and the flavour for a lipstick that’s uniquely you.
Services from WAXON
WAXON will be opening up a new location in mid-December in Yorkville Village – just in time for the holiday’s! Give your loved one the gift of pain-free, convenient hair removal! This location will also be equipped with WAXON’s new state-of-the-art laser offering on top of its regular hair-removal offerings.
Featured Image: Instagram/@dishcookingstudio