The holiday season is upon us and many are starting to check off items on their shopping lists. Though New York City has no shortage of retail options, sometimes you can get stuck trying to find that perfect gift.
If you’re shopping for a fellow New Yorker, there are plenty of options that will make any New York City resident excited. Here are a few suggestions for giftable experiences that you can find in the Big Apple, no shipping required:
Join in the fun of a real-life video game right in Brooklyn! Gift givers can choose from Beat the Bomb’s one-hour missions, where you suit up in hazmat gear, dodge lasers, and crack codes to Beat The Bomb. Or you can kick back in our immersive arcade lounge and get drinks from The Bomb Bar. Regardless, you’re in for an unforgettable time! Visit beatthebomb.com for more information.
This year, TALEA Beer Co. is stepping it up with a handful of giftable experiences for the NYC beer lover in your life. The tap room has options for Beer and Cheese Tasting ($80 for two people), Yoga and Beermosa ($40) for the yogis who want to drink while they stretch, and traditional beer tastings ($30). If you have a group of four, you can try out the Beer Tasting + Cheese and Charcuterie option for $165. Visit taleabeer.com for more information.
For the animal lovers in your life, a WCS membership is the gift that keeps on giving. With options for individuals, couples and families with kids, the memberships give you admission access to all four of the city’s zoos (Bronx, Central Park, Prospect Park and Queens), plus several add-on options for discounts based on which level of membership you choose. Visit bronxzoo.com for more information.
To unwind after the holiday season, a gift card to QC NY provides the gift of relaxation and wellness. The spa offers many gift cards are varying price points, so you can potentially gift part of or the full spa experience for your loved one. For an extra splurge, you can gift any of QC NY’s spa packages this season. Visit shop.qcny.com for more information.
For the New Yorker that wants to learn a new skill, ClassBento has a huge number of hands-on classes to experience! From pottery and custom lamp making to fresh pasta making and candle making, there is truly something for everybody. If you’re not sure what class would be the most fun for your loved one, ClassBento has gift cards as well! Visit classbento.com for more information.
If your friends or loved ones enjoy doing puzzles, Escape Room Madness, located at 38 West 32nd Street, takes it to the next level. Escape Room Madness has six different rooms to choose from, each with its own unique story and puzzle to solve. There are also two virtual escape room experiences to choose from as gift options. Playing the game starts at $35 a person, so gather your best holiday group and get solving!
There’s exploring the city, and then there’s exploring the city in style. Dapper Tours offers experiences where you can get a tour of Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan while riding in the sidecar of a motorcycle. The tour will make stops along the way so you can get some shopping done or pop in and out of city landmarks to snap some pictures. Tours start at $119 on dapper-tours.com.
A rug-making class at Brooklyn’s own Scattered Kind is a great option for the artsy New Yorker in your life. Once you purchase a class, you send the team at Scattered Kind what image you want to make into a rug. They’ll set up your canvass and give you a tutorial on how to make it at the studio, and once you’re done they’ll seal the back and send it to you. Scattered Kind has gift card options to pay for part of a class ($50), half of a class ($124) or a full class ($249) on scatteredkind.com.
Another artsy pick, Shiny Sparkle Labs offers glassmaking classes for those who want to learn more about the art. You can gift any of the lab’s workshops, but we recommend the Fuze & Booze class where your loved one will enjoy adult beverages and snacks while making their glass craft. Fuze & Booze starts at $124 for 3 hours. Visit shinysparklelabs.com for more information.
A free taping of a New York City-based show
If you’re on a budget and you have a New York City friend that’s dying to get into a live studio audience, this is a great gift option. You can head over to 1iota or TVTaping to find tickets to “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “SNL,” “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” and “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.” The best part? The tickets are free!
Editor’s note: The items and experiences on this list were chosen at random by the author.