100 Vancouver experiences to give as gifts this Christmas (or anytime!)

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Gift giving doesn’t have to be about stuff. Skip the material goods this year and give an experience that will do anything from build skills to create memories, and offers a lot of fun in between.

Not only does an experience mean ditching some tangible object that may end up re-gifted or in the landfill, but it also makes the joy of the holidays last a little longer, and often well into the new year–like when the weather is warmer.

gift
Small gift/Shutterstock

This is a call to get creative, too. Write a coupon book of IOUs for anything from a promise to take the lucky recipient to a big festival next summer, or for a few hours of babysitting to some tired parents. And, hey, we won’t blame you if you work yourself into the experience, too. Win-win!

Here are 100 Vancouver (or nearby) experiences you can give as gifts this Christmas. We’ve provided links to some specific vendors; for others you’ll need to figure out what works best for your recipient.

dirty apron cooking class vancouver
The Dirty Apron/Facebook

1. Cooking classes at Dirty Apron and Cook Culture (or look for specialty classes and workshops)
2. Improv lessons or workshops
3. First Nation Kayak Tours
4. Tarot Card Reading
5. Guitar or Ukulele building classes 
6. Canadian Craft Beer Tours
7. Off the Eaten Track Gourmet Ice Cream Tours
8. Vancouver Brewery Tours
9. Float Tank Therapy (Pure Float, Float House)
10. Whale Watching
11. Dining at Dark Table
12. Introduction to Fly Fishing course from Pacific Angler
13. Spa visit. We have tons of amazing spas in Vancouver, from the indulgent downtown luxury hotels to something smaller in your neighbourhood. There’s always Scandinive in Whistler for a special experience.
14. Mani/pedi from a favourite shop
15. Kombucha making class from o5
16. Vancouver Aquarium membership or tickets to a special event like their sleepover or adults-only night
17. Vancouver Art Gallery membership
18. Theatre, opera, or concert tickets
19. Grouse Mountain passes
20. Restaurant gift certificates/cards
21. Sea to Sky Gondola
22. Fitness class pass or gym membership
23. Dance classes (ballet, hip hop, jazz, ballroom)
24. River rafting tours
25. Flight experience in Squamish 

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stand up paddleboard vancouver
Stand Up Paddleboard Vancouver/Facebook

26. Stand-up paddle board lesson
27. DJ classes
28. Art classes
29. Vancouver Circus School
30. Wall or rock climbing
31. Pole Dancing workshop
32. Sex workshops
33. Vancouver Trolley tours
34. Sins of the City Tour with the Vancouver Police Musuem
35. Behind the scenes tour of Rogers Arena
36. The Olympic experience at the Richmond Oval
37. Crafting classes
38. Adult evenings at Science World (or a gift membership)
39. Photography: A sitting, or lessons, or a one-on-one workshop
40. The Forbidden Walking Tour
41. Membership to VanDusen Garden (or take them to see The Festival of Lights)
42. Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival
43. Wine tasting/classes
44. Hula hooping
45. Bird watching
46. Ziplining
47. GT Race experience
48. Go-karting
49. Jet Ski to Bowen Island for dinner
50. Helicopter tours

forest
Forest on Vancouver Island/Shutterstock

51. Forest bathing
52. Vegan food tour
53. Scotch Whisky tasting events
54. Historical Chinatown tour
55. Calligraphy classes
56. Escape Rooms
57. Hookah bar visit
58. Yoga classes
59. Star gazing excursion
60. Paintball
61. Whistler snowmobile tours
62. Pin-up photography/boudoir photoshoot
63. Vancouver staycation
64. Wild Foraging and lunch tour
65. Afternoon Tea
66. Boat rental
67. Bowling
68. Paint Nite wine and painting
69. Hawk Walks
70. Pottery classes
71. Scuba Diving School
72. Beginners Taxidermy Class
73. Personal shopping/stylist experience
74. Learn woodworking

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snowshoes
Snowshoes/Shutterstock

75. Soap making school
76. Tickets to sporting events in Vancouver
77. Stand-up comedy classes
78. Writing workshops or retreats
79. Snowshoeing
80. Meditation course
81. Housecleaning service
82. Professional organizer/de-clutter service
83. Ski lift tickets
84. Amtrak tickets from Vancouver to Seattle or Portland
85. Aquabus ride around False Creek and hang out on Granville Island
86. Parkour classes
87. Rocky Mountaineer to Whistler 
88. Vancouver Gun Range
89. Virtual Reality at Funtastic World
90. Visit to Catfe
91. Spiritual workshops and sounds baths at Dharma Movement Company
92. Sword fighting lessons at Academie Duello
93. Curling at Richmond Curling Club
94. Scavenger hunt at Big City Hunt
95. Laser tag
96. Glass blowing classes at Terminal City Glass
97. Tickets to see the Harlem Globe Trotters (December 30)
98. Surfing lessons
99. Exotic car rental
100. Horse drawn carriage ride in Stanley Park

Thanks to Bob Kronbauer, Adam Nanji, Brenna Temple, and Tessa Vikander for contributions to this list.

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Lindsay is a Senior Writer at Vancouver Is Awesome. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she was previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive and Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz. Lindsay grew up in Vancouver and Toronto, then spent over 20 years in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city’s top blog, earned her Masters in English, attended culinary school, and was an English professor. Lindsay’s first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancouverisawesome.com