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100 Vancouver experiences that make awesome gifts

Skip the stuff this year! Here are 100 ideas for Vancouver experiences to give as gifts this Christmas...or anytime.
Great things come in small packages - especially when it's not a thing at all you're giving, but rather an experience. There are so many great experiences to gift in Vancouver this holiday season.

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.

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 to give as gifts.

We've provided links to some specific vendors; for others, you'll need to figure out what works best for your recipient.

1. Cooking classes at Dirty Apron and the Northwest Culinary Academy (or look for specialty classes and workshops).

2. Improv lessons or workshops 

3. First Nation Kayak Tours

4. Learn about Indigenous sustainability practices while in nature

5. Ukulele classes 

6. Tickets to Vancouver Cocktail Week 

7. Downtown donut tour

8. Vancouver Brewery Tours

9. A culinary adventure around Vancouver with Secret Food Tours.

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 and around 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 nail salon

15. Macaron wokshops with Bon Macaron Patisserie

16. Vancouver Aquarium membership or tickets to a special event like their sleepover or adults-only night

 After Hours at the Vancouver Aquarium (Photo courtesy Vancouver Aquarium)
After Hours at the Vancouver Aquarium (Photo courtesy Vancouver Aquarium)

17. Vancouver Art Gallery membership

18. Theatre, opera, or concert tickets

19. Grouse Mountain passes

20. Tickets to an unusual beer festival

21. Sea to Sky Gondola

22. Fight choreography class

23. Dance classes

24. River rafting tours

25. Flight experience in Squamish 

26. Stand-up paddleboard lesson

27. DJ classes

28. Art classes

29. Vancouver Circus School

30. Wall or rock climbing

31. Pole dancing workshop

32. Sex workshops

33. Tour Vancouver and the Capilano Suspension Bridge

34. Take a blacksmithing workshop

35. Behind-the-scenes tour of Rogers Arena

36. The Olympic Experience at the Richmond Oval

37. Collage classes

Give the gift of learning with passes to Science World events or a membership. Science World

38. Adult evenings at Science World (or a gift membership)

39. Photography courses or lessons

40. The Forbidden Walking Tour

41. Membership to VanDusen Garden

42. Tickets to the Just For Laughs festival

43. Wine tasting/classes

44. Go behind the scenes at the Museum of Anthropology

45. Bird watching

46. Ziplining

47. GT Race experience

48. Go-karting

49. Jet Ski to Bowen Island for dinner

50. Helicopter tours

51. Go visit a farm animal sanctuary

52. Go for high tea

53. Scotch Whisky tasting events

54. Historical Chinatown tour

55. Calligraphy classes

56. Escape Rooms

57. Ride on a vintage Interuban Streetcar

58. Puppy yoga classes

59. Star gazing excursion

60. Paintball

61. Whistler snowmobile tours

62. Pin-up photography (for men and women)

63. Try out some stunt driving

Photo: Person checking into hotel / Getty Images

64. A NASA-inspired space adventure

65. A paella making class

66. Boat rental

67. Bowling

68. Paint Nite wine and painting

69. Hawk Walks

70. Pottery classes

71. Scuba diving lessons

72. Beginners Taxidermy Class

73. Personal shopping/stylist experience

74. Learn how to forage from the sea

75. Soap making school

76. Tickets to sporting events in Vancouver

77. Stand-up comedy classes

78. Creative writing classes

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

False Creek Ferries doing their 'ferry ballet.' Photo via Instagram

85. Take a water taxi at Granville Island, hop on an Aquabus or False Creek Ferry.

86. Parkour classes

87. Go for a seaplane tour

88. Vancouver Gun Range

89. Virtual Reality at Zero Latency

90. Visit to Catfe

91. Take a jewelry-making class

92. Sword fighting lessons at Academie Duello

93. Curling at Richmond Curling Club

94. Scavenger hunt at Let's Roam

95. Laser tag

96. Glass blowing classes at Vancouver Studio Glass

97. Intro to bartending class

98. An excursion on a vintage bus from the Transit Museum Society

99. Exotic car rental

100. Horse-drawn carriage ride in Stanley Park