I love finding the perfect little something to add to someone’s life. But I’ve learned that sometimes that perfect little something can’t quite fit in a box. Sometimes the best gifts are those you don’t unwrap, but rather those that unfold before you. I’m talking about experience gifts…and these are some of my favorite Denver experience gifts to give (and to get!).
Give the gift of time (and dinner)…
Home-Cooked Dinner In, SupperBell, $25 and up
Buy them some time by gifting them dinner at home on you! In our busy, overscheduled modern lives, is there anything more valuable than time? I can’t think of anything else that I wish for more. Of course, you can’t actually gift time, but for a busy professional or parent, the gift of not having to make dinner (yet still getting a delicious, healthy home-cooked-ish meal) is pretty fantastic. I’ve not only long been a fan of SupperBell‘s food delivery to save me on the days when cooking dinner just wasn’t going to happen, but I’ve also been the recipient of a SupperBell gift card more than once and I’m always thrilled. Recently they’ve even partnered with Baby Fresh Organics to include healthy, made-from-scratch baby and toddler food in your order.
Where to buy: Order a digital gift card at SupperBell’s website and it can be emailed directly to the recipient or emailed to you to be printed.
Give the gift of yum…
Colorado Gourmet Delights, prices vary
One experience gift I love to give is local food and drinks. Colorado has so many delicious, home-grown or locally crafted culinary offerings that the state put together their own gift guide. The official Colorado Proud Online Gift Guide includes mostly beloved local foods and beverages like Syntax Precision Spirits (crafted in Colorado using local raw ingredients), Yay Primo! Preserves (I swear by the blackberry serrano), and Helliemae’s salted caramels (which made it onto our Denver Holiday Gift Guide: The Best Stuff to Give list) as well as an assortment of other things like beauty products and socks. A basket of some of your favorites would thrill anyone.
Where to buy: Visit the Colorado Proud Online Gift Guide to browse the many locally grown and locally made Colorado foods for inspiration. Most of the items can be ordered online at the listed websites.
Monthly Cheese Club, Cheese + Provisions, $100-$180
I realized years ago that way too much of our monthly grocery budget was allotted to cheese, unintentional though it was. But, I’ve decided I’m okay with that because there are just too many cheeses in the world to not indulge a little. I love popping into Denver’s cheese shops, and Cheese + Provisions is one of my faves. I was totally thrilled to discover recently that they have a cheese club! You can gift a 3- or 6-month subscription to your favorite cheesemonger, and even add salumi for an additional charge. If your budget is a bit smaller, you can also buy a gift card starting at $25.
Where to buy: Order a Cheese Club subscription, cheese gift basket, or a gift card online at Cheese + Provisions website or in shop (2432 W. 44th Avenue, Denver).
Give the gift of pampering…
Day Spa or Massage Gift Certificate, prices vary
Oh, how I love when my husband and kids gift me a gift card for a massage or facial or pedicure or any other pampering experience. It’s not that I can’t buy it for myself. But, as a mom of young kids it’s so hard to justify time away by myself, so this gift somehow removes the guilt I feel so I can really enjoy that time. My regular spots (all on the northwest side of town as that’s where I live) include Vert Beauty (there’s a tiny but serene service space for facials above the store), UberChic Nail Boutique (in Edgewater), Highland Massage Company, and Indulgences Day Spa. But, I also enjoyed a recent visit to Ella Bliss Beauty Bar centrally located near downtown. (Read about it here.)
Where to buy: Visit in person or online at links listed above.
Give the gift of learning…
Wine-Making Class, Bonacquisti Wine Company, $49
You’ll never impress your favorite oenophile with yet another bottle of wine (because she’s always going to know more about it than you do), but you might wow her by gifting her a wine-making class at Bonacquisti Wine Company, an urban winery right here in Denver. (The first class is January 20 with future dates to be announced). And, they also offer a wine club membership for $49/quarter.
Where to buy: Bonacquisti Wine Company (4640 Pecos Street, Denver)
Woodworking and Maker Classes, The Craftsman & Apprentice, $25+
I just spent a delightful morning with my 2-year-old son and my 2-year old nephew, and my sister, mom and dad, in this amazing little workshop, and we all absolutely loved it. The Craftsman & Apprentice has so much to offer…adult workshops in woodworking and crafting (some of their most popular classes are modern paper quilling and woven necklaces) as well as children’s classes and open studio time starting as young as 18 months old. Gift cards start at $25 with adult classes ranging from $35 to $75, and children’s workshop time available for $12 for preschool hour, $20 for after-school open studio, and $75 for an all-day camp. Fun for the whole fam!
Where to buy: The Craftsman & Apprentice (1325 E. 22nd Avenue, Denver)
Give the gift of fun…
Dining Club Membership, Feast Locally, $60-$100
I’m loving this unique new concept for dining around Denver! Feast Locally is a recently launched membership-based “small batch dining club” where members enjoy exclusive offers and discounts to some of Denver’s hottest restaurants and food businesses. Members get 4-5 monthly offers not available anywhere else…typically 20% off the entire bill (including alcohol!). And, you can even go back and use the same offer all month long if you like. Gift cards can be purchased for 3-month ($60) or 6-month ($100) subscriptions.
Where to buy: Visit Feast Locally online to order a membership or gift card. (Order by December 22 for December 24 delivery.)
Cooking Classes, Cook Street School of Culinary Arts, $89+
Cook Street School of Culinary Arts isn’t your traditional learn-how-to-cook for newbies. Sure, there’s plenty of learning going on, but the classes are as much of a social event as they are educational. And, there are so many options to choose from that even the most advanced cook will enjoy it. The husband and I had took a Chinese street food one-night cooking class and had a blast. And, as a firm believer that cooking should always include a little vino, I love that they serve wine with every lesson.
Where to buy: Visit Cook Street School of Culinary Arts (1937 Market Street, Denver) online to see the full schedule of classes and to sign up for a class. Gift cards are available starting at $89.
The Local Deck, $30
Launched in 2017, The Local Deck is back again and even bigger this year. The Local Deck is a package of coasters, each one good for an incredible deal to one of 30 local Denver hot spots, including restaurants, breweries, coffee shops, and entertainment venues. This year’s edition is as varied as you’d expect from Denver’s dining and entertainment scene, including Alamo Drafthouse, Blackbird Public House, Cuba Cuba, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Little Man Ice Cream, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Nocturne Jazz, Sarto’s Jefferson Park, and 22 more.
Dating Concierge Services, Denver Date Nite, $39-$120
Denver Date Nite is like having a personal assistant or concierge to plan an out-of-the-ordinary-but-perfect-for-you evening on the town. An especially great gift for new parents (or let’s face it, old parents) who are simply too exhausted to put any thought into a night out, but are sorely in need of one. And, I know I’ve read somewhere that trying something new together is a great way to bring some fresh excitement to your relationship. (Right?) Denver Date Nite can help shake up your regular routine and maybe inspire a new shared passion.
Where to buy: Visit Denver Date Nite online to purchase gift cards for a Perfect Night Out ($39), Group Fun ($50), Overnight Away ($65), or Weekend Trip ($120).
Not done with your holiday shopping? Check out the first part of our 2-part holiday gift guide, Denver Holiday Gift Guide (Part I): The Best Stuff to Give to pick up the best stuff in Denver without ever setting foot in a shopping mall.