Struggling to find the right gift for the person who seems to have everything? How about giving the gift of a truly ‘Vancouver’ experience? There’s always something to explore, learn, sip, taste, and even paddle around here so I thought I would highlight some unique experiences that you can gift to a special someone this year:
The Forbidden Tour returns in April with their “Lost Souls of Gastown” and “Prohibition City” tours. Tickets are *$22 and you get an educational and entertaining walk around some of the city’s most historic (and notorious) places. They have Christmas Cards available for purchase so you can book someone on any future 2013 tour. There’s a 2 ticket package (*$49), 4 ticket package (*$98), and private tour package (*$224).
Being a big fan of local history, I love the line-up of walking tours from the Vancouver Heritage Foundation. They haven’t posted their 2013 schedules yet but check back in January. In the meantime, if you know someone that loves local history too, you can purchase a Tribute Card in their name to support the Vancouver Heritage Foundation.
Food and Drink
The Original Vancouver Food Tour offers a Gastown Tasting Tour, a Vancouver Brewery Tour at Molson Coors, and a Craft Beer n’ Bites Tour. Gift certificates are available from *$25 to *$500 that can be spent on individual tours or used for group tours.
Taste Vancouver Food Tours are currently offering a Christmas Culinary Tour until January 8, 2013 but their main attraction is the Gastown Food Tour which you can book individually or as a group. This walking tasting tour is hosted by “Gassy Jack” himself. Gift certificates for future tours can be purchased for either tour, for *$39 (includes 9 food and beverage tastings).
Vancouver Foodie Tours does a Guilty Pleasures Gourmet Tour and the World’s Best Street Eats tour along with private/group tour bookings. You can purchase gift certificates for both. Street Eats tickets are *$49 and Guilty Pleasures (described as 5 courses, 14 tastings, 8 stories, 3 hours of bliss) is *$69.
Deep Cove Kayak is our place to go for local kayaking adventures and I discovered that they offer gift cards that are valid for retail store purchase, tours, or lessons in 2013. Try your hand at canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding in beautiful Deep Cove.
The Vancouver Park Board has gift cards available now that you can use in 2013 for community centres, swimming, skating, VanDusen Botanical Garden admission or an afternoon at Stanley Park Pitch and Putt. Gift cards come in *$50 increments and you also receive a *$10 bonus coupon which is valid from February to May.
A night at the theatre is a fantastic gift since it includes so much more than the pure entertainment value of the production you’re going to see. It’s a night out of the house, perhaps with dinner beforehand, and time well-spent.
The Arts Club Theatre Company is currently offering 6Flex Packages (*$329) for 6 show tickets for productions at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, Granville Island Stage, and Revue Stage. They also have Granville Island 4Flex Packages (*$159) for 4 show tickets at the Granville Island Stage and Revue Stage. Both packages contain ticket vouchers that are are valid now to August 17, 2013.
The Cultch offers gift certificates in any denomination for their season of programs as well.
If film is more your thing, you can purchase 10 Double Bill Passes (*$98) for Pacific Cinémathèque programming and Festival Cinemas gift cards for the Park Theatre, Fifth Avenue Cinemas, and The Ridge Theatre.
Feed Your Brain
Some of Vancouver’s best attractions are the most educational as well (you don’t have to tell the kids that though). Here are some top picks for annual attraction passes:
Science World has a variety of membership and annual pass options like the “You and Me” (1 adult, 1 child) passes for *$95 or the full family pass for *$165.
Family memberships for the Vancouver Aquarium are *$138 and there are a variety of combinations available such as 1 adult and 1 child pass for *$90.
The Vancouver Art Gallery has gift membership options for households (*$120), students (*$45), out of town households (*$75), and more. As a side note, the Gallery Store has some great artsy gift options as well.
One of my favourite (and most-recommended) places to visit is the Museum of Anthropology at UBC and I have discovered that they offer a UBC Museum and Garden Pass. Valid for 6 months from the purchase date, you can have unlimited visits to the Museum of Anthropology, UBC Botanical Garden, Nitobe Memorial Garden and Beaty Biodiversity Museum, plus discounts at other campus locations. Passes are available for adults (*$36.96), youth/student/senior (*$31.36), and families of 2 adults and up to 4 kids under 18 (*$95.20). Passholders also receive discounts at the UBC Bookstore and savings on admission to the Greenheart Forest Canopy Walkway.
I’m certain more suggestions will flow in once this post is published so I’ll be updating it with new information for the next week or so. Hopefully this list can inspire your gift-giving this season, or perhaps your general activities list for the year. Happy Holidays!
*Prices listed in this post may or may not include HST and other online processing fees that may apply. Please consult the websites of the companies and organizations directly for exact pricing and information.