Make some memories this year when you give the gift of an experience.
What are Experience Gifts? In a nutshell, they’re presents that give the recipient something to do – an activity, an experience, an adventure.
Big or small, young or old… experience gifts can be great for everyone on your list.
Here are our suggestions for some Cincinnati Experience Gift Ideas that are sure to create memories to last a lifetime!
Unwrap a Broadway Experience this Holiday Season!
You all know how I love Broadway shows and this is ONE STELLAR SEASON! The first show for 2020 is THE LION KING! Following that one? LES MIS! And for the Buffet fans in the group – Jimmy Buffet’s ESCAPE FROM MARGARITAVILLE (a show partially based in Cincinnati)!
I saw ANASTASIA on Broadway and it’s a beautiful show – a great family friendly gift. And the 19/20 season wraps up with the 1970 rock opera JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR.
There’s something to love for everyone on your list. And tickets are now on sale for each and every one of those shows!
Give the Gift of a Membership or a Season Pass:
The Cincinnati Zoo:
The magic of our nationally recognized Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is unmatched! People come from all over to visit and there’s truly something for everyone. The Cincinnati Zoo has done an amazing job at creating experiences for everyone, all year-round. A family membership to the Cincinnati Zoo is a gift that will keep on giving into the next year. Learn from local zoo experts and experience all of the beautiful animals including our famous baby hippo Fiona and Theo, the newest baby giraffe – born just before Thanksgiving 2019. You will also receive access to the PNC Festival of Lights (going now through January 4th) and other seasonal events, such as Zoo Blooms, Zoo Babies, HallZOOween and more!
Visit or join today! Visit the Cincinnati Zoo site for more information!
Cincinnati Museum Center:
This year give your family the gift of a Cincinnati Museum Center Membership. With this membership, you’ll have premiere access to one of the Queen City’s most valued science and history programs. Membership of course has its privileges – free parking, unlimited free museum admission, member prices on OMNIMAX tickets, discounts on all food and beverages and exclusive member-only events, sneak peeks more!
Join Today! See the Cincinnati Museum Center site for more information!
Experience all the family fun at the Newport Aquarium! There’s always something new and exciting to see and do. Single tickets and/or an annual pass is the perfect gift for your family. Their annual passes have great perks and include something for everyone on your list this year, such as: unlimited visits and discounts for guests, exclusive exhibit previews and special events like Penguin Encounters and Backstage Animal Experiences and so much more! Be sure to visit soon and get your chance to meet Scuba Santa before he leaves on December 31st.
See the Newport Aquarium site for more information!
A true Cincinnati favorite and fun for all ages – there’s no greater experience than that of Kings Island. They have a number of ticket gifting options, including the ever popular Gold Pass. It includes free parking, exclusive discounts, early park access, and more (as of Dec., 2019)! New passholders are able to receive unlimited visits and free parking for the remainder of the 2019 season, including WinterFest.
See the Kings Island site for other ticketing options and to learn more!
Sam’s Club/Costco Memberships:
How could you go wrong with a membership to either Sam’s Club or Costco? Membership has its privileges – free shipping, savings, cash rewards and more.
For Those Who Seek Adventure:
Perfect North Slopes:
Take it to the slopes! Perfect for the experienced or first time skiers, Perfect North Slopes (located in Southeast Indiana) is fun for all ages. They offer skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing. Never been skiing? No worries! They offer lessons and equipment rental. Not sure what they would like? Perfect North offers a variety of season passes for all available activities. Just be sure to check their website prior going to the slope to ensure they are open for business. They require the right type of weather for their man-made snow!
Check out Full Throttle Adrenaline Park and Event Center for a fun and competitive experience. Love the adrenaline rush but not sure about racing? Full Throttle also offers axe throwing and, of course, you have to check out the new smash room! Tickets and gift cards are available for various levels and activities. Don’t miss out on the fun! Full Throttle is located in both Tri-County and Florence, KY.
Cincinnati first indoor skydiving venue opened last summer in Liberty Township which is just north of Cincinnati – right off I-75. Surprise a friend or family member this holiday season with an experience they will never forget. iFLY Cincinnati offers various flight packages. See the iFLY Cincinnati site to see which one works best for you!
More Experience Gift Ideas For Everyone You Love!
Tablespoon Cooking Co. is the perfect holiday gift for those who love to cook and want to perfect their skills. Choose from several hands-on cooking classes or join for their monthly Cookbook Club. Each class includes professional chef instruction, craft beer and wine, all the food you cook and enjoy during the class, and any leftovers to bring home! You can pick the class OR give a Tablespoon Cooking Co. gift card.
Tip: Grab a Tablespoon Cooking Co. class when you see an opening. They sell out FAST!
Ohio Renaissance Festival:
Huzzah! It’s never too late (or early) to step back in time and enjoy over 400 years of fun at the Ohio Renaissance Festival. Located just north of Cincinnati – in Waynesville, Ohio, the festival runs Saturday, Sundays & Labor Day from August 31 – October 27. They’re currently running a seasonal special with discounted general admission and $10 off season passes. But hurry, time is ticking! Get your tickets and season passes for the 2020 experience before sales end on December 31st, 2019.
The beloved BB Riverboat offers you the opportunity to experience the Ohio River both day and night. They offer several signature cruise experiences from wine tastings, family friendly fun, historical sightseeing, jazz concerts and more. Whether it’s for that special someone, groups or fun for the entire family – there’s plenty to choose from here! Learn more about each of their signature day and night cruises on the BB Riverboat site.
Great Wolf Lodge:
Escape the cold weather and plan a fun family getaway with a night or two at Great Wolf Lodge. Their resort offers an indoor waterpark with access to 13 slides and eight pools and various dry activities all in a nice 84-degree space. Visit their site for more information or to book your getaway today.
You can truly never go wrong with a date to the movies. Whether it’s a party of one or twelve, a day at the cinema is always a good idea. Cincinnati has a number of theatres to choose from. Get a gift card for that special someone!
Tour the City:
There are a number of great tour companies in Cincinnati. Here are a few we love:
Cincinnati Food Tours: Enjoy one of their many food tours around town such as The Original Findlay Market Tour, the Signaure Over the Rhine Tour, Wander Walnut Hills, Sweet Stroll, and more.
American Legacy Tours: Take a tour through lagering cellars on their Queen City Underground Tour or The Under the Market Tour. They offer haunted tours plus seasonal offerings as well.
Have an adventurer on your hands? Escape your holiday shopping and give the gift of an escape room this holiday season. It can make for a great night out with friends or a fun activity for the whole family.
Cincinnati Escape Room is located on the west side of Cincinnati – just a 6-minute drive from downtown. Parking is free! (2300 Montana Ave, Suite 420 Cincinnati, OH 45211)
Breakout Games Cincinnati is located in both Hyde Park and West Chester. Check out their monthly subscription-based mystery, Dispatch. Test your skills in the comfort of your home with a new delivery each month. For the hands-on experience, they are offering 10% off holiday gift cards with a special code.
The Escape Game is located on The Banks in Downtown Cincinnati. Make it a date night or a night out with friends and explore downtown Cincinnati. With four rooms to choose from, you won’t be disappointed!
Trains and More Trains:
Get your holiday in motion with a train ride through the city!
Get all aboard and tour the city on the popular Cincinnati Dinner Train! While riding, guests will receive a four-course meal, cash bar, scenic sites and music from the Queen City Sisters. Book your ride now or get a gift certificate for a 2020 experience – these rides sell out fast!
The Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad (LM&M Railroad) offers historic train rides in Warren County Ohio departing from downtown Lebanon. Step back in time and get your chance to ride in (vintage) style! The LM&M Railroad offers family friendly train ride experiences and themed events year-round for passengers of all ages. There’s still time to get tickets for their holiday experiences taking place this month – Wine & Cheer Train, North Pole Express, and Holiday Express.
Get Creative with your Wrapping!
Now that you have some cool ideas for gifting the experience of a lifetime this holiday season, you have to ensure that the presentation matches the gift itself.
- For the little ones, get a themed book that matches the activity. Tie a little ribbon around it and hide the gift certificate or passes inside! The catch – they have to read it to find the gift inside.
- For movie theatre tickets or gift cards, purchase some movie popcorn and candy and tie it up with a bow!
- Gifting a cooking class this holiday season? Buy them some cookware or utensils and oven mittens that can hold the gift card in place.
- Create a scavenger hunt for the family to find the gift. Include clues around the house or provide them a clue each day as Christmas Day approaches.
However you choose to present your experience, be creative this season and make it fun!