Studies have proven that the gift of an experience is more satisfying than the fleeting joy of receiving things. It’s true, not only because we feel this deep in our heart and soul, but, also because science said so.
Here are 12 local experiences in and around Windsor, Ontario that will help create lasting memories and make the perfect gifts this holiday season.
BE A BREWER FOR A DAY
Have you ever wanted to learn how to brew beer from a national award winning brewery? Now’s your chance.
Join the folks at The Grove Brew House for a day of brewing, eating and drinking with their Brewer For A Day program.
What’s great about his experience is that it’ll be different each time, depending on what brews you’ll be making. You’ll learn step-by-step in an intimate setting the entire brewing process. Even more satisfying, you’ll also get the chance to taste your work.
Each each experience includes a brewers lunch (with a beer flight pairing) plus a 20L keg of your creation (or 10L canned product).
DINNER ON A PIER
It’s an experience that many people have on their Windsor bucket list, but, may be too shy to pull the trigger on a ticket for themselves. This is one of many reasons Dinner on a Pier makes the perfect gift.
Dinner guests are treated to a variety of fresh dishes incorporated into the multi course meal, dining in the shadow of the iconic and historic Ambassador Bridge, overlooking the Detroit skyline and taking in a beautiful sunset, before enjoying a live musician under the stars and string lighting hung over the pier as ships large and small sail by. As one guest perfectly put it, “the evening felt as if I was at some wonderful seaside resort.”
This year, Dinner on a Pier is scheduled for July 16, 2020. Tickets are now available.
LIVE THE ORCHESTRA EXPERIENCE
Get up close and personal with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra.
This is an orchestra experience unlike any other as you sit onstage at the Capitol Theatre next to WSO musicians. Not only will you be up close and personal, you’ll also enjoy a carefully concocted cocktail and light snacks at cabaret tables as Maestro Robert Franz leads you on an immersive musical experience. At only one-hour in length, this performance is a perfect getaway from the stresses of work, a perfect first date, and a new way to enjoy your WSO!
Space is extremely limited. Tickets are available online.
BE A SAUSAGE MAKER
The Be A Sausage Maker is a hands on approach to learning the art and craft of sausage making taught by Windsor, Ontario’s only national award winning sausage maker. It’ll be an evening of learning, eating and fun.
In the class, you will learn the scientific principles that go into making sausages. From choosing your preferred meat, to binding, preparing your casings and figuring out the perfect ratio of spices. You will mix, stuff and tie your own links under Robbie’s guidance.
At the end of the class you will be able to take home 2lbs of the sausages you made so you can share with your family and friends. A complete step-by-step write up of all the techniques discussed, as well as as a master sausage recipe, will also be included.
Be A Sausage Maker will be an intimate experience with a maximum capacity of 15 people each experience. Tickets sell quickly, so buy yours online now.
The class also includes one beverage and some prepared sausages to enjoy over the course of the two hour class.
GET ON YOUR BIKE AND RIDE
If you’ll looking for a gift for someone who loves to ride their bike, there are two great experiences we think they’ll love. Wine Trail Ride Cycling Tour and Friday Night Lights season pass are amazing ways to explore our county and city.
Wine Trail Ride takes you through our beautiful county to explore our wineries, sip award winning wines and take part in a progressive meal along the way. A winner of provincial and national awards, the Wine Trail Ride offers a day of leisurely riding, wining and dining that is sure to create memories.
Friday Night Lights cycles through the city exploring restaurants, pubs and small businesses around town, all on bicycles that light up the night. Referred to as the brightest, most colourful bike ride in Ontario, it’s a great and fun way to explore the city with hundreds of folks on two wheels. The Friday Night Lights yearly pass gives a great opportunity to hop on the ride all summer long.
MAKE A TABLE
Join talented woodworker, Michael Difazio, and learn to build your own side table using unique materials under his expert guidance.
Over three hours, you will be immersed in the surroundings and workings of this busy studio, take shop breaks enjoying locally-sourced appetizers and refreshments, and along the way, hear Michael’s take on his business journey.
It’s a perfect experience for friends, singles or couples not afraid of a little sawdust.
DRINK IN HISTORY
Drinks of Walkerville takes you on a tour of the amazing distilling history of our region. Start off by exploring North America’s largest distillery, home of J.P. Wiser’s, then we’ll meander our way through the town of old Walkerville. You’ll also get a unique look and taste inside a private members club and a tour and tasting at Windsor’s largest craft brewery, Walkerville Brewery.
The tour itself was named an Ontario Signature Experience, making it a must-do on any visit to Windsor, Ontario.
Tickets are available online and include all alcohol and food tastings.
GET YOUR ART ON
Every city needs an Art Lab. Lucky for us we have the original. We’ve been long time admirers and supporters of The Art Lab and for good reason. We’ve booked multiple birthday parties, workshops, taken in slime classes and open studios and it continues to be a favourite for the kids. It’s a place where they can unlease their creativity without worrying about the mess (and parents…we don’t have to clean it!).
Their Creators Club and Open Studios are great gift options. Book a slime class, tie dye, bath bombs, or pour painting workshops.
And if you think this is just a kids thing….wait…there’s more. Adults can book the splatter room and make a mess too! They recently moved in to a larger space on the corner of Parent and Ottawa which makes it even awesomer! (I think that’s what the kids are saying these days).
Being the southernmost city in Canada (we like to call it Canada’s banana belt), it helps to provide the perfect opportunities for an extended outdoor festival season. And, oh boy, do we take advantage of that.
The Urban Wine Fest on July 25, 2020, is a newer edition to the festival landscape and provides a twist on what traditional wine festivals are like. Held in the heart of the city, it provides a more urban flair with its atmosphere and music, interactive art, and a different approach to the wine booths.
Whiskytown Festival has been steadily growing and the 2020 edition is sure to be the best yet. Much like the Urban Wine Fest offers to break the perception of drinking wine, the Whiskytown Festival is unique for a whisky festival. Its garden party feel on the historic grounds of a church built with whisky money by a whisky baron. Mingle with experts and brand ambassadors at what is likely the most gorgeous whisky festival in Canada.
Local artist and jewellery designer Greg deHetre, brings the magic of R.W. Studios to Serenity Lavender and North 42 Degrees Estate Winery in this hands-on workshop. You’ll learn the intricate design of this barrel weave bracelet and make your own in sterling silver, for yourself or a gift for someone you love.
A fabulous “experience gift” for the jewellery-loving person in your life who loves to work with their hands! Come and create a unique and beautiful statement piece to cherish for years to come.
This is a small intimate class with only 10 spots available. Call 519 738-6111 to reserve your spot.
It’s what we’ve all been waiting for. Sweet Revenge Bake Shop has started offering baking classes and they’re glorious. This month they have a Buttercream Wreath Cake class where you’ll ice your own 6″ cake, learn piping techniques, make a fondant bow, sip on hot chocolate all while listening to your favourite Christmas tunes. They are evening offering kids cookie ornament class and a mini cake decorating class.
LEARN TO CAMP
Looking to make some memories with the kids? Point Pelee National Park is offering up a Learn-to Camp experience.
The experience will take place January 25-26, 2020.
You’ll enjoy a starry night, breathtaking views, and a chance to bond with your family or friends around an open campﬁre. Parks staff will guide you throughout the experience and provide their expertise.
Make lasting memories with your family with a variety of great activities, including learning to build a fire, archery, geocaching, campfire programs, and more.
Packages can be booked for between 2-6 people per tent.