Still shopping? 23 cool Charlotte experiences you can buy as a gift right now

Still shopping? 23 cool Charlotte experiences you can buy as a gift right now
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I think most of us can agree, we don’t need any more stuff.

This holiday season, the most thoughtful gifts are ones that won’t add clutter to anyone’s life, including your kids. Plus, you don’t even have to wrap them. Win-win.

A Skillpop class

From flower arranging and cheeseboard crafting to calligraphy and Instagram photography, Skillpop has something for everyone. I’m obsessed with taking Skillpop classes. I’ve learned how to brew my own kombucha, bake the perfect pie crust and create a whimsical flower arrangement. 10/10 recommend.

Price: $30. Buy

Annual pass to the U.S. National Whitewater Center

Have someone outdoorsy on your gift giving list? An annual pass to the whitewater center will win Christmas. They’ll be able to use it for 365 days from the first use of the pass and get full access to both land and water activities.

Price: $169 for youth & $199 for adults. Buy


Cooking class with Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen

Chef Alyssa’s classes are perfect for people who already love to cook, those who burn toast and everyone in between. She offers classes at five different ability levels with menus ranging from thai food to winter comfort foods (I see you, gnocchi with braised short ribs).

Price: Most classes are $65. Buy

Agenda guide: What to expect at a cooking class at Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen

A helicopter ride around Charlotte with Heliventures

Kick holiday gift giving up a notch this year with a 30 minute helicopter ride over the Queen City. You won’t get skyline views like this from any other vantage point in Charlotte. Heliventures also offers tours over Lake Norman and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Price: $299. Buy

Tickets to a Charlotte Hornets game

The Charlotte Hornets’ season goes into full swing after the holidays, which means there will be plenty of games to choose from. I bought my dad and I tickets last year for Christmas and we had a blast hanging out, drinking beer and eating some barbecue.

Price: Tickets start around $15 and vary by game. Buy

Home decor workshop at Anders Ruff

This boutique DIY studio offers hands-on classes for creating charming home decor. Think chunky knit blankets, wood plank trays and signs, and painted canvas pillows. Most classes offer the choice between a variety of projects. It’s BYOB and craft skill level does not need to be high.

Price: Most workshops range from $40-70. Buy

Wine and painting class at Wine & Design

These two hour classes allow you to sip wine and paint a beautiful masterpiece to bring home and hang on your wall. They offer a wide variety of designs to choose from and, don’t worry, they are lead by instructors. You don’t need to be Picasso to have fun here.

Price: $35. Buy

A baking classes at Sweet Spot Studio

This sweet spot opened this past fall and they teach a wide range of baking classes. French macaroons, naked cakes, blooming succulent cupcakes, and cake pops are just a few items you could create and, most importantly, eat. They even have cocktail classes.

Price: Prices start around $45. Buy

A Discovery Place membership for the whole family

Be a real hero this holiday season and gift the whole family with a Discovery Place membership. Choose access to one museum, two or all of their local museums. Membership not only includes free admission – it also includes tons of discounts and access to Member-only events.

Price: Starting at $130 (for everyone in your family). Buy

Pour-your-own-candle class at The Candle Bar

Why guess what scented candle someone would enjoy when you could just let them go create their own? The newly opened South End shop allows you to pick a vessel, choose a fragrance and then pour your candle. Boom.

Price: $35. Buy

Agenda guide: Pour-your-own candle workshop The Candle Bar now open in South End

candle-bar- things to do inside

A luxury facial at Toska European Spa

Splurge on someone special with a trip to see facialist and miracle worker, Toska Husted. Her Dilworth spa is the *height* of skincare luxury and your mom/sister/wife/girlfriend will be STOKED to receive this.

Price: Mini treatments start around $120. Buy

A driving experience at Charlotte Motor Speedway

For NASCAR fans, car enthusiasts, or for that one person in your family with a lead foot, this gift is the move. You can opt for a ride along experience or the “Rookie Experience,” which lets you drive a real NASCAR race car by yourself for an 8 minute timed racing session.

Price: Starting at $99. Buy
For kids: They have junior ride alongs for kids 4-5 feet tall for $79.

Horseback riding lessons at a local riding academy

Your kids have been asking about horseback riding for forever. Be mom and dad of the year and sign them up for lessons at a local riding academy. Horse Shadow Run, Leg Up Equestrian and Lenux Stables & Riding Academy are a few highly-rated stables nearby.

Price: Varies by location but usually around $40-50 for a group lesson.

Day pass to Inner Peaks Climbing Center

Get a little adventurous with your gift giving with a day pass to Inner Peaks. It’s a great idea for both adults and kids. They offer instruction for climbing newbies and you can easily rent any climbing equipment you need.

Price: $19 day pass + $9 harness and shoe rental. A five-visit pass is $90. Buy

Tickets to a show at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center

From Broadway shows to stand-up comedy, tickets to the theater are never a bad gift idea. There are tons of must-see events lined up already for 2019. Shrek the Musical, American Girl Live and Aladdin are just a few to consider.

Price: Prices vary by event. See events.

A membership to Blackstone Shooting Sports

Blackstone is unlike any other gun range. They have a huge retail space, classrooms and an exclusive, member-only VIP Lounge. Plus, the staff are all true gun pros, who take safety first.

Price: Monthly memberships start at $39.95. Buy

Paint pottery at Dish It Out

Perfect for kids, a trip to Dish It Out includes getting to choose and paint your own piece of pottery. The staff at Dish It Out will glaze and fire the piece for you and then you can pick it up within a week.

Price: $6/per hour of studio time + the cost of the pottery piece you choose (typically $10-$20)

A trip to play with cats at Daily Mews Cat Cafe

For the cat lover in your life, nothing would make he or she more excited than a trip to Daily Mews Cat Cafe. For either 30 minutes or an hour you get to sip wine and snuggle with adoptable cats.

Price: $7.50 for 30 minutes or $12 for an hour. Buy

A visit to Treehouse Vineyards

A tasting and tour at Treehouse Vineyards is an ideal gift for anyone who enjoys wine. You can even do it big and rent a treehouse for the day or night. If you’re really nice, you’ll agree to be the designated driver or at least pay for the Uber.

Price: $8 for a tasting & tour. Treehouse rental prices vary. Buy

Agenda guide: Treehouse Vineyards, a family-run winery on a 200-year-old farm in Monroe, is a gem of a weekend getaway for wine-loving Charlotteans

An Emerson Joseph membership

This swanky men’s grooming lounge is the place to go in Charlotte for a men’s haircut. Memberships includes all of their services, from haircuts and straight razor shaves to massages and facials. It also includes preferred scheduling and complementary neck trims and shoe shines.

Price: Memberships start at $510. Buy

Walking food tour of Charlotte with FEAST

Just because you already live in Charlotte doesn’t mean you can’t go on a food tour. It’s fun way to try new restaurants and explore neighborhoods you don’t normally hang out in. Plus, you get to eat delicious food.

Price: $60-$80 per person. Buy

A spa day at the Ritz-Carlton or Ballantyne Hotel

An indulgent day of pampering spent at a luxury hotel? Even Santa would want this. Both hotels offer lavish digs and a wide variety of spa treatments to choose from. The Ritz has something called ‘A Honey and Chocolate Detox’. Yes. Please.

Price: Treatment prices vary. Book at the Ritz-Carlton or the Ballantyne Hotel.

A ‘Sycamore Mug Club’ mug

This glorious mug gets you 24 oz. pours of Sycamore’s craft goodness at pint prices every Monday. A thoughtful gift for any beer lover or Sycamore regular. There are only a few 2018 mugs left so jump on that.

Price: $25. Buy at Sycamore’s taproom.

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