Give the Gift of Experience

Posted by BruceGreySimcoe | Nov 25, 2021
(Updated November 2021)

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.

 

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 

Gift the cyclist on your list a Humdinger Cycling tour like Pedal, Pints & Pubs or their Orillia 2-day trip as an excellent option for giving the gift of cycling. Humdinger also does custom tours throughout Bruce-Grey-Simcoe and surrounding regions and you can purchase gift certificates in any amount. For more information, head on over to their trips page right here https://www.humdingerbicycletours.ca/trips/

 

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.  Wye Marsh's Snowshoe Eco Tours also make a great gift. Find out more right here. 
 

Peak to Shore Adventures 

From SUP adventures on Georgian Bay to Cape Croker Park and hiking and yoga experiences on local trails, Peak to Shore Adventures owner Marissa Dolotallas has lots of local knowledge and joy to spread to her clients and fellow adventurers. Contact Marissa to get gift certificates for the holidays. 

 

Gift them an Ascent Aerial Park season's pass 

Have a thrill seeker on your list? Then an Ascent Aerial Park season's pass would make a great gift! Pass holders gain unlimited access to 30 high-ropes challenge elements, Canada’s first Zip Coaster, three 30ft vertical rock walls and the JUMP experience from 35ft. Buy online right here
 

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.
 

Get them on the water with a Diverse Rentals gift card

A gift card from Diverse Rentals is great way to say happy holiday and let's look foward to summer all at the same time. Located just outside Penetanguishene and right on the water, Diverse Rentals gift cards can be used for any of their captained tours like the Sunset Cruise to Gin Rocks or their Midland Boat Tour or towards rentals like SUP rentals, pontoon boat rentals and even floating water mat rentals. Don't want to wait til summer for adventure? Diverse Rentals also offers snowmobile tours. Find out more about their gift cards here


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.


Give a Progressive Aboriginal Cuisine Experience with Zach Keeshig's Nagaan 

Chef Zach Keeshig's Nagaan dining experience has found a new home at the Owen Sound Farmer's Market. With his 9 Course Tasting Menu as the cornerstone experience, Keeshig will also be offering pop-up launches and take out specialties. Want to bring the experience to the comfort of your own home? Keeshig can be booked for an in-home Nagaan experience too. Book online right here

 

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 and their lastest Shoe and Brew tour that combines snowshoeing and a stop at Sidelaunch Brewery - all 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.


Support local restaurants with FeastOn Vouchers 

Have a culinary fan on your list? Give them an Ontario Culinary FeastOn Voucher that will allow them to dine at  a local FeastOn certified restaurant of their choice. You can purchase the vouchers here and find a list of locally certified establishments here including Casero Kitchen Table, Casero Taco Bus, The Flying Chestnut Kitchen, TK Ferri Orchards, The Bruce Wine Bar and The Common Stove, Windlee Farms Maple Syrup. 


Give the Gift of a Blue Mountain Adventure Tour 

Blue Mountain Adventure Tours offers all-inclusive adventure tours that combine local wines, beer and ciders with local food.  Perfect for the foodie on your list.  Consider their Snowshoe, Waterfall and Wine Tour or Orchard Trek and Tasting.  See their full list here.
 


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 . This farm to fork approach is sure to thrill the food lovers in your crowd. Sumac and Salt offers a 7 course tasting menu experience for groups of 8+ all within the comfort of your own home! As always, they stick with our philosophy of local, organic and seasonal eating. Invite your loved ones to join you for a night of exploration through food and let Sumac and Salt deal with the rest! To book this experience please email hannah@sumacandsalt.com. They operate Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Cultural Treats



Give the gift of a Cultural Program at Cape Croker Park 

A new suite of cultural programs launched at the Cape Croker Park gives visitors a unique opportunity to learn more about the Anishinaabe culture in the beautiful setting of Cape Croker Park. Choose from Fire Making and WIlderness Skills, At Home on the Land and Walking with Nature and check the website for upcoming winter snowshoe offerings. Find out more right here
 

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.


Buy a Museum Membership that works in all 3 Counties! 

BruceGreySimcoe is home to several great musuems but did you know if you buy a membership to either the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre, Grey Roots Museum and Archives or the Simcoe County Museum, you get acccess to all 3 facilities! The Orillia Museum of Art and History also offers annual memberships. Museum memberships make a great family gift! 


Give the Gift of Local Theatre and Live Music


Why not pick up a pair of tickets for many of the upcoming live theatre and live music shows across our region as a unique holiday gift. From Meaford Hall to The Roxy Theatre,  Midland Cultural Centre, Heartwood Hall and the Orillia Opera House, there are many great shows on the horizon. For lovers of larger live music events, consider giving tickets to this summer's Mariposa Folk Festival or Boots and Hearts at Burl's Creek Event Grounds. 


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 sightseeing flight with your bubble at 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: