Perhaps you have someone on your list that is hard to buy for or has done everything; or may be you are looking for a special gift that’s more than an gift, but an experience they’ll always remember.
Here are a few options that'll make any gift recipient smile.
- For the thrill-seeker on your holiday list (or if you need to give a hint to someone about the perfect present for you), consider a gift certificate from Historic Banning Mills Adventure Park
in Whitesburg, Ga. Home of the world’s largest continuous zip line
and eco-canopy adventure tours, and well as the world’s tallest free-standing climbing wall
, they offer adventures for all ages. The Level 1 adventure tour is great for novice adventurists who weigh 50 lbs or more. Levels 2-4 are for weights of 90 and above, and the difficulty increases with the levels. For extremists, Banning Mills offers an all-day rush where guests can enjoy each level of the tour for an all day thrill ride. Prices vary.
- Animal lovers will enjoy Audubon Aquarium of the Americas’ new experience,Backstage Penguin Pass
. The New Orleans-based aquarium offers the opportunity to go behind the scenes for an up-close encounter with an endangered African penguin. Along with member of the Aquarium’s husbandry, they’ll be able to meet with a penguin up close, learn more about them, visit the Aquarium Prep Kitchen where food is prepared for the penguins and many of the Aquarium’s animals, and receive a penguin painting created during the experience along with a photo to capture the unforgettable moment. Backstage Penguin Pass is $125.
- Give the gift of learning how to cook- Italian style to your favorite foodie/gourmand with Tour d’Italia at Ariccia Trattoria & Bar
. Led by Chef Garry Anderson, classes focus on traditional Italian dishes from various regions in Italy. Participants receive hands-on instruction on preparing various pastas, sauces and entrees. Throughout the class, they will be able to sample their creations in different courses, paired with select wines. At the end of the evening, everyone receives a take-away basket containing fresh pasta, basil pesto (made with basil from the Ariccia herb garden), Ariccia’s traditional tomato sauce, a small block of cheese from the featured region, and a signature Ariccia apron. The classes take place on the first Wednesday of every month and cost $100 per person. To reserve, visit the website
or call 334-321-3179.
For those who’ve nearly done everything, give the experience of a Moonshine Distilling Class at Dark Corner Distillery
in Greenville, S.C. Led by Richard Wenger, the creator and co-founder of Dark Corner Distillery, the seven-hour experience is a hands-on training course. Spirit lovers will learn grain science, fermentation, filtration, distillation, proofing, bottling and aging. Lunch and plenty of samples are provided. Upon graduation, participants receive an official Dark Corner Distillery certificate of completion, a bottle of unaged corn whiskey (moonshine) and a Dark Corner Distillery t-shirt. Classes are $195.
A perfect gift for either outdoor lovers or water sports enthusiasts is stand-up paddle boarding, or YOLO boarding as it’s called in South Walton
(Florida). Learn to paddle on one of 15 rare coastal dune lakes, a favorite activity of South Walton locals and visitors. Companies such as 30A Paddle Supply
, YOLO Board
and South Walton Outfitters
rent YOLO boards and provide lessons for all skill levels. Prices vary.
photos: (top right) courtesy of Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, (bottom left) Dark Corner Distillery