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Experience New York With These Incredible Gift Ideas

Make memories this holiday season with these unforgettable experiences you can only find in New York.

Can’t find the perfect gift at any of the city’s holiday markets? It’s time to follow the wise words of the transformed Grinch: “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas means a little bit more.” The best presents, in the end, are times with our family and friends. So skip the iPhone X and Instant Pot this year and share one of these incredible New York City experiences together instead.

Take a Ghost Tour

A gift fit for those who wish Halloween were year-round, the Boroughs of the Dead walking tour is a frightful experience that may just scare the Christmas spirit out of you. Named “the world’s best ghost tour” by the Today show and reviewed as a top NYC ghost tour by Trip Advisor, this boutique-size business is dedicated to uncovering and sharing the supernatural history of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

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Photo courtesy of Boroughs of the Dead

Private Glassblowing

Heat things up at Brooklyn Glass with a lesson on how to work with molten glass and transform it into something dazzling. The studio offers eight-week neon-bending courses, as well as one-day specialty classes, including a 2,800° introduction to flame working, glassblowing, and beer-mug making (talk about a perfect gift!).

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You, too, could make this! / Courtesy of Brooklyn Glass

Fly High on the Trapeze

You don’t need to join the circus to fly through the air with the greatest of ease. At South Williamsburg’s Trapeze School New York, you can navigate the flying or static trapeze, climb aerial silks, spin on the lyra, or reach new heights on the trampoline.

Make It a Spa Day

Nothing says Merry Christmas like a caviar mask, a champagne-and-pearl sugar glow body treatment, or a couple’s massage with a private soak and steam. You can treat yourself or a loved one to it all at the luxurious and tranquil pied-à-terre-style Cornelia Spa at the Surrey. There’s no better gift to alleviate the stress of the holidays than an hour (or full afternoon) of unabashed pampering!

Soar Over the City

Take sightseeing to new heights with breathtaking aerial views of the city on your own private helicopter tour.  Liberty Helicopters offers special packages that include Married Over Manhattan (if you’re looking to pop the question or exchange vows in grand fashion) and the Soar and Sail Tour, a helicopter ride during the day and a water taxi tour by night.

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A bird’s-eye view of the Big Apple. / Courtesy of Liberty Helicopters

Re-enact the Pottery Scene From Ghost

Get your hands dirty with a two-hour private lesson at La Mano Pottery, where you’ll learn to throw pots with the best of them. Not just for the Demi-and-Patrick types, a wheel-building class here is a great gift for artsy kids (and, hey, maybe your kiddo will spin you a flower vase!).

Get Cheesy at Murray’s

If you have an obsession for all things whey, this iconic shop in Greenwich Village is known for the most delicious curds from around the world. Murray’s educational events are designed to help customers learn the various cheese styles and pairings—and, of course, to taste them all! Try Murray’s Boot Camp for a more intense course, which includes guidance from in-house experts and even a final exam, or sign up for Mozzarella Making and drink unlimited glasses of wine.

experience gifts nyc
Photo courtesy of Murray’s Cheese

Let our experience-advising elves fill everyone’s stockings with these one-of-a-kind gifts.