Gifting an Experience

Posted : November 2, 2018

Our blog is chock full of great ideas for fun things to see and do in York Durham and Headwaters. We are always adding new content and updating old posts, but sometimes you might stumble upon something from our vault. If this article has inspired you to hit the road, be sure to double-check that the featured stops in this post are still welcoming visitors.

The holiday season is fast approaching and the planner in you is certainly gearing up to get a jump on your shopping list. Remember how awesome it feels to get through that list before the chaotic last minute holiday preparations begin? (We’ve all been there!) This year, we invite you to skip the panic and start early. You can even do one better, and give your loved ones the gift of an unforgettable experience in York Durham Headwaters!

Our elves have been busy running around the region collecting some of the best experiential gift ideas. Check it out!

The Chef Upstairs

The Chef Upstairs is the coolest venue in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) for private dining, corporate team building, catering, cooking classes, chef at home and kids programs. The Chef Upstairs features an intimate dining experience with celebrated chefs and spectacular food.

The Experience: Cooking Classes or Private Chef at Home Dinner

culinary workshopImagine an intimate gathering at a private dining venue, surrounded by friends and family. Participants in The Chef Upstairs experience assist a professional chef in preparing a gourmet menu paired with a selection of fine wines. At the end of the evening everyone will leave with the skills and know-how to duplicate the same experience at home.

Buy a Chef Upstairs Experience

Black Creek Pioneer Village

Visiting Black Creek Pioneer Village is like walking into a movie, only better! Here you can walk around an 1860’s country village and experience Ontario’s history first hand. Watch the sparks fly as the Blacksmith works at the forge, visit heritage farm animals, and even discover how beer was made the old fashioned way at the Historic Brewery.

The Experience: Brew with the Brew Master — a brewing apprenticeship

blackcreek Apprentices will spend a day working one-on-one with a brew master, experiencing the work of a 19th century crafts-person and learning all tricks of the trade. Participants will even get to take home their finished brew, impressing their friends and family with their new found skill.

Buy a Brewing Apprenticeship

Lux Limo

Lux Limo offers the first tour operator to offer formalized brewery tours via limousine in the Durham Region. The ‘Brews Cruise’ will start by arriving at your pick up location within the Durham and whisk you away for a fun, safe and care-free adventure.

The Experience: Brews Cruise — a brewery tour in a luxury limo

Booze Cruise This is truly an awesome way to spend an afternoon or evening with friends! Each brewery on the tour will offer a unique experience and your friends will be sure to appreciate the “cool factor” of having sampled some of the finest brews in the area. The “Brews Cruise” may be customized to suit the needs and expectations of the group making it an ideal gift

Buy a “Brews Cruise” Limo Experience

Note: Tours typically last between 3-4 hours. The majority of the breweries are open between 11am-9pm, closing at 6pm Sundays. 

Meta4 Gallery

The META4 Gallery, located in downtown Port Perry, is a premier destination for fine crafts, original art and invigorating studio programs for all ages. META4 supports local artists and offer an exceptional selection of works by more than 120 Ontario artists and artisans. It has a little something for everyone and makes a great shopping destination!

The Experience: A Hands-on Workshop

Hibernate in Style META4 Gallery Port Perry Hibernate in Style META4 Gallery ToolsThere are so many classes to chose from, the hardest part will be picking only one! Your loved ones can become an artist for a day, a week, a month, or a lifetime. Whether they’re just looking to dabble, or would like to experiment in a new medium, META4 Gallery has many experienced instructors to guide them.

Buy a Hands-on Workshop Experience

Savon du Bois

Savon Du Bois, located in Uxbridge, offers handcrafted high-quality skin care products that are natural, chemical-free, and eco-friendly. With the well being of your body and the environment in mind, Savon Du Bois hand-crafts the very best soaps and body products in small batches using only the purest ingredients, many of which are organic and sourced locally.

The Experience: “Bathtime with Savon Du Bois” Workshop

savon du bois soapThis is the perfect gift for the eco-conscious DIY person in your life. At a Savon Du Bois workshop participants will learn how make their very own all-natural skin care products and soap using organic and locally sourced ingredients.

Buy a Savon Du Bois DIY Experience

Millcroft Inn and Spa

Experience tranquility, comfort and heritage charm at the Millcroft Inn & Spa, the definitive country inn retreat located in the Village of Alton, Ontario. A blend of rural serenity and sophisticated hospitality is less than an hour northwest of Toronto. Their 100 acre estate is nestled in the rolling countryside of Southern Ontario’s Hills of Headwaters.

The Experience: A Day at the Hot Spring Pools

Hot springsA day at Millcroft’s outdoor hot spring pools will be sure to soothe cares away. For full health benefits, spa-goers will brave the polar plunge pool, and then reward themselves with another steaming soak in the hot pools. Open year round, the hot spring pools are a guest favourite, with their waterfalls and lush surroundings.

Buy a Millcroft Hot Springs Day Pass

Museum of dufferin

At the Museum of Dufferin (MoD) you will find an eclectic mix of exhibits and special events as well as a collection of over 10,000 artifacts relating to Dufferin County and the people who were born, lived in or contributed to the region.

The Experience: Membership at the MoD Museum

Dufferin County Museum OrangevilleMoD members benefit from knowing they are supporting a vital aspect of the community, as well as free admission to the museum. They also receive 25% off admission for additional guests, an event guide and a special annual publication mailed directly to them. They will also enjoy special member ticket rates for MoD events and programs, 15% off Corbetton Church, and MoD grounds rentals.

Buy a MoD Membership

McMichael Canadian Art Collection

Twenty minutes north of Toronto, surrounded by 100 acres of northern landscape and hiking trails, the McMichael’s 6,500-piece Canadian art collection includes works by Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven, their contemporaries, and First Nations, Metis, Inuit and contemporary artists. It’s world class collection attracts over 100,000 visitors annually from all over the world.

The Experience: McMichael Gallery Membership

McMichael Collection KleinburgMembers of the McMichael enjoy a host of extraordinary benefits, and help preserve one of Canada’s most valuable art collections. They will receive year-round gallery admission and parking, two free guest passes, plus a discount on additional guest passes, reciprocal admission privileges with many Canadian galleries and museums, exclusive invitations to exhibition openings and gallery events, and discounts at the gallery café. To top things off, members will receive a welcome gift of an 8” x 10” Group of Seven reproduction.

Buy a McMichael Gallery Membership

Kingcrafts Studio

Kingscrafts Studio is a not-for-profit arts and crafts studio located in King City. Members of various studio groups meet every week at Kingcrafts House, a historically significant landmark in King City. New members of every skill level are welcome. Kingcrafts also holds two studio sales a year, in April and November but visitors are welcome by appointment or any time the studio groups are in session.

The Experience: Hands-on Craft Workshop

Weaving ClassThe Kingscrafts Studio workshop experience makes a great gift for the person on your list  who likes to get their hands dirty! They offer a rotating selection of workshops that get the creative juices flowing like pottery, beading and weaving. Offering custom workshops for groups, you could even get all your Christmas shopping done at once and make this a gift for the entire family!

Buy a Craft Workshop Experience

Kingcrafts Annual Studio Sale 2018

November 16-18 & November 24-25, 2018

The upcoming Kingcrafts Annual Studio Sale 2018 is your opportunity to get your Christmas shopping done and to buy a craft workshop experience gift certificate in person. You may even meet some of the many talented Kingscrafts studio artists!

Friday, November 16, 1pm to 7pm
Saturday, November 17, 10am to 7:30pm
Sunday, November 18, 10am to 4pm

Saturday, November 24, 10am to 4pm
Sunday, November 25, 10am to 4pm

Learn More about the Kingscrafts Studio Sale

Sanctuary Day Spa

The Sanctuary Day Spa invites guests to enjoy spa and salon services in elegant surroundings. Located in a 5,000 square foot restored historical home in downtown Newmarket, the spa showcases a serene garden with a picturesque rooftop lounge.

As the most highly recommended spa in the Newmarket area, the Sanctuary Day Spa experience is consistently defined by advanced products and treatments, and the highest standards of personalized care and professional expertise.

The Experience: Relaxation — Massages, Facials and Body Wraps

woman relaxing in spa salonA gift wrapped in relaxation guarantees a big smile every time! Make gift-giving easy and let the recipient choose their own spa experience — all you need to do is pick the dollar amount!

Buy a Spa Gift Certificate

Hockley Valley Resort

From the moment guests arrive at the Hockley Valley Resort they’ll be treated with genuine hospitality and surrounded by comfort and elegance. Whether visiting for a weekend getaway, a romantic dinner, an afternoon of golf, or a day of skiing, Hockley promises to make every stay an experience to remember.

The Experience: Skiing and Snowboarding at Hockley Valley

Hockley Valleykids skiingThis year, give the gift of an exhilarating experience! Beginners, seasoned veterans and everyone in between will delight in receiving ski and snowboarding passes at Hockley Valley Resort. Whether you need a pass that includes lessons, an inclusive weekend stay or just a day pass, Hockley has something that will accommodate your gift-giving need.

Buy Hockley Valley Ski Passes

Conservation Parks: TRCA and CVC

Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) and Credit Valley Conservation Parks (CVC) works with its partners to ensure The Living City is built on a natural foundation of healthy rivers and shorelines, green space and biodiversity, and sustainable communities. The TRCA and CVC believe that by committing to protecting, restoring and enhancing nature, we allow the natural world to bestow its many benefits on our bodies, our minds, our spirits and our communities.

The Experience: Conservation Parks Membership

conservation area mom and daughterYour friends and family will be filled with that warm fuzzy feeling, knowing that TRCA/CVC members help conserve natural areas for everyone to enjoy. Membership includes admission to all TRCA/CVC Parks (Albion Hills, Boyd, Bruce’s Mill, Glen Haffy, Heart Lake, Petticoat Creek), access to the historic Black Creek Pioneer Village and Kortright Centre for Conservation, admission to all of Credit Valley Conservation Parks (Belfountain, Island Lake, Ken Whillans and Terra Cotta Conservation areas), cross-country ski trail admission at Albion Hills, as well as admission to special events such as the Maple Syrup Festival, Kite Festival, and more!

Buy a Conservation Parks Membership

Bruce’s Mill Driving Range

Escape the city and let nature be your guide on the trails at Bruce’s Mill. Step onto a winding boardwalk that leads you through bright fields into the forest canopy. Follow a wooden bridge across a soft stream, navigate the forest’s floor, and discover the gifts that nature has to offer.

The Experience: Golf Driving Range Season’s Pass

GolfDo you have a golf lover on your list this year? They will enjoy the Bruce’s Mill Golf Driving Range with a 50-60 station grass tee deck, putting green, chipping areas, a pro shop with rentals and lessons to enhance their game. Bruce Mills driving range is a professionally designed facility in a beautiful park setting.

Buy a Driving Range Season’s Pass

Eagles Nest Golf Club

Eagles Nest is the ultimate golf and leisure destination. This golf course is an exquisite balance of nature and design. A spectacular award winning layout, offers a truly unique links style golf experience. Your imagination, creative shot making, and a little luck will help you navigate this sea of rolling fairways.

The Experience: Eagles Nest Golf Passes

    Golf BallYour dad doesn’t need another tie or ‘number 1 dad’ mug for Christmas. He needs to feel the wind in his hair, the grass beneath his feet and to work on his golf swing while wearing silly socks. Grab a golf pass for the future golf pro in your life.

    Buy an Eagles Nest Golf Pass

    iFly Whitby

    Defy the law of gravity at IFly Whitby! Experience the thrill of a free-fall (without jumping out of a plane!) Indoor skydiving is a safe and fun activity unlike any other and will leave you wanting more. It is the perfect activity for families and is accessible to children as young as four, people living with limited mobility and anyone who has ever dreamed of flying.

    The Experience: Indoor Sky Diving Lessons

    iFLY Toronto Whitby Indoor SkydivingA perfect gift for the adventure seeker within. Choose your adventure, from a range of packages. All packages include: in-class training with an instructor, all the necessary equipment for flying, question and observation period, the flights and a review session with your instructor.

    Buy Indoor Sky Diving Lessons

    And if you need a little more convincing,  did you know that it is a scientifically proven fact that those who spend their money on experiences report being happier than those who spend their money on things? Make sense to us! After all, how many ties and sweaters can one person possibly need?

    On the other hand… there do happen to be some pretty cool things here in YDH that would make someone on your list happy. Did somebody say cheese?!

    Holiday Gifts – 2018 Featured Finds

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