Give the Gift of Experience

Posted by BruceGreySimcoe | Nov 24, 2020
(Updated November 2020)

With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to start choosing the perfect presents for your friends and family. In recent years, we’ve started to hear a new refrain—your hard-earned money is better spent on experiences than things. Do those on your list really need another pair of socks or the latest tech gizmo? Or would a new experience to look forward to when we can all get back to travelling ultimately hold more value? BruceGreySimcoe is home to a wealth of unique experiences. Learn to cook with wild edibles, sky dive over the world’s longest freshwater beach, take a cycling tour through Simcoe County or gift them a subscription to a virtual concert. We’ve put together a great list of experiences—divided by outdoor, cultural, food and bucket-list—that we hope will help you find the perfect experiential gift for the special people on your list.

The Great Outdoors

If those on your list are lovers of the great outdoors, these experiences are for them. From afternoons spent on Georgian Bay to mornings spent hiking along the Niagara Escarpment, there’s an outdoor experience in BruceGreySimcoe that they’ll be happy to see under the tree.

OSM Adventure Travel

Based in Collingwood, Ontario, Kevin at OSM Adventure Travel specializes in small group tours that will keep you safe and help you experience adventures you might not tackle otherwise. Gift the angler on your list an OSM Ice Fishing Adventure or buy them a Collingwood Adventure Voyage summer fishing experience to look forward to next year.

Bruce Peninsula Boat Tours

Bruce Peninsula Boat Tours offers cruises of the Fishing Islands in Oliphant as well as sunset cruises of the Sauble River. Get them dreaming of next summer right now! You can purchase gift cards online as well as book tours. The cruises have a great informational and historical component, and The Stewarts are now offering several books and videos to complement their various tours.

Eco Adventures on the Bruce Peninsula

With a range of tours available that feature knowledgable guides and the added perks of benefitting the Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association, Eco Adventures are a cool gift idea. From snowshoeing to the grotto to skiing the Lion’s Head, find all their tours here and check out their gift shop for more ideas.

Golf in Ontario Packages

BruceGreySimcoe is home to some great golf courses and our friends at Golf in Ontario have made it super easy to pre-book golf packages in our region. Instead of more golf balls this season, why not treat the golfer on your list to a round or two? Book online here.

Give them a Humdinger Cycling tour 

The crew at Humdinger Bicycle Tours made a huge debut in 2019 offering some awesome tours across the region. Booking them a tour with Sarah and her crew is sure to put a smile on their face. With great socially distanced options and small group sizes, you can book online.

Gift them a Bruce Trail Membership

Chances are if you've visited BruceGreySimcoe you've hiked a section of the Bruce Trail. Why not give the gift of a Bruce Trail membership - help support the trail and give your loved one a way to connect with fellow hikers in a local club like the Beaver Valley Bruce Trail Club, The Blue Mountains Bruce Trail Club, the Sydenham Bruce Trail Club or the Peninsula Bruce Trail Club.

Why not Wye Marsh?

For outdoor lovers, a membership to the Wye Marsh is a wonderful gift. This beautiful nature preserve offers trails year-round for snowshoeing and hiking as well as abundant wildlife viewing opportunities. Purchase a membership online.  

The Gift of Skiing and Snowboarding

Whether they are looking for downhill skiing and snowboarding or cross country, there are some amazing resorts across the region you can treat your loved ones to. Consider buying them a season’s pass, a gift certificate or even rentals at a local resort. Remember that in 2020, those with season's passes will be given priority at most resorts and it's key to book ahead/call ahead. Hardwood Ski and Bike  offers adult and youth programs that would make a great gift,  Scenic Caves Nordic Centre and Highlands Nordic all offer season's passes. For downhill consider Blue Mountain Resort, Horseshoe Resort, Mount St. Loius Moonstone or Snow Valley Resort.

Help them train to win with VO2 Sports

Do you have a budding athlete on your list who would like to take things to the next level? Then hook them up with personal coaching from VO2 Sports Co in Collingwood, from triathlon training to personal coaching, this is a gift that will pay off for years to come.

Fabulous Food and Drink Experiences


For the foodies on your list, we’ve put together some of the most delicious experiences across the region. From sampling local beer, wine and cider to learning to cook with wild edibles, there’s something for every food lover.

Pair your Outdoors with some Delicious Aprés with Free Spirit Tours 

Free Spirit Tours offers some great tours that combine the outdoors with local beer, wine and cider. Their Hike and Wine Tours and Snowshoe and Wine Tours make fun gifts. For an even more unique option, gift them The Wild Edibles Experience with Barefoot Brian—a foraging experience that will have teach them a ton about eating off the land. Free Spirit Tours also offers guided Forest Therapy Walks that would make a soothing stress-relieving gift for friends and family.

Gift the Gift of an Ace Transportation Tour 

With some very stylish shuttles and great guides, the folks at Ace Transportation now offer some great local food and beverage inspired tours for the foodie on your list. Consider their Snowshoe, Waterfall and Wine Tour or their Vineyard, Snowshoe and Wine Tour. 

Treat them to a Cooking Class

The Shoreline Cooking School in Saugeen Shores offers some great small group classes that will take them from blasé to gourmet in no time. Get all the details here.

Buy them a Sumac and Salt Dinner Experience 

A truly local food experience, treat your friends to a dinner prepared by Sumac and Salt on a local farm. This farm to fork approach is sure to thrill the food lovers in your crowd. Call or email to confirm available times.

Brewery and WIne Tasting packages at Fern Resort 

Fern Resort is well known as a summer destination for families, but their winter offerings are pretty awesome too. Why not treat them to a stay at Fern paired with a Qualye's Brewery Experience or a Wine Pairing Dinner in the resort dining room.


Cultural Treats

Bring a concert series to their living room

Electric violinist Victoria Yeh's Travel by Sound series would make a great gift for the music lover on your list. This six-concert series will have them tuning in live to shows online each month, each set in a different locale in BruceGreySimcoe. If you haven't heard Yeh, check out the video below to see what she's all about.  You can also read our blog post, Live Music (Still) Lives.


Take them to the (virtual) symphony

The 49th season of the Georgian Bay Symphony would make a great gift for the music lover on your list. Forced to innovate, the symphony's season is now online and you can gift a subscription to view all the performances.


For the Artist on Your List

For those who’d like to get creative themselves, give them the gift of an art class. The Imagination Studio in Clarksburg offers some amazing small group workshops from batik to painting as well as Pod Classes - Private Studio Groups. The Southampton Arts Centre also offers a wide range of opportunities for them to embrace their inner artist. All classes are now governed by COVID-19 protocols and small group sizes.

Bucket List Experiences  

If you still haven’t found the ultimate experience on our list, we’ve saved some truly bucket list items for last.

Fly the BruceGreySimcoe skies 

For the person on your list who’s done it all, consider a private helicopter tour with Blue Heron Tours, or a sightseeing flight with your bubble and Owen Sound Flight Services or check out Collingwood's Big Blue Air helicopter tours.

Take them Skydiving in Wasaga Beach

Last but not least, give them a gift they will never forget: A skydiving experience above the world’s longest freshwater beach with Skydive Wasaga Beach. Get all the details here.

More BruceGreySimcoe Gift Ideas

Check out these blog posts for more fun and inspiring gift ideas: