Still working on crossing those final few names off your holiday shopping list? Instead of scouring the shelves last minute, opt to give the gift of an experience! Birmingham is full of opportunities for sports fans, foodies, adrenaline junkies, and folks who just never seem to take enough time for self-care. We know we’ve merely scratched the surface of all Birmingham has to offer, but we’re sharing some of our favorite ideas below in hopes of taking the pressure off these last remaining holiday shopping days!
Gift These Birmingham Experiences (No Wrapping Required!)
Give the Gift of Self-Care
For friends and family members who take on so much, without taking time for themselves, a nudge towards a little self-care (or a lot) is the perfect thoughtful gift. But then again, who wouldn’t love to experience all that Birmingham has to offer by way of beauty and wellness?
- The ultimate way to encourage those close to you to indulge in a little R&R is, of course, a gift certificate to one of Birmingham’s luxurious spas. Two can’t-miss local favorites are Escape Day Spa and The Retreat Day Spa.
- For skincare buffs, opt for a specialized facial at Dermatology & Laser of Alabama (go for the HydraFacial!).
- One of the latest trends in therapeutic relaxation is the infrared sauna. HOTWORX takes the benefits one step further and offers a variety of virtually guided workouts to complete inside a private infrared sauna, so your loved ones can maximize their time and leave feeling like a million bucks.
- Make working out fun! For group fitness devotees, the opportunity to try out new classes is a fantastic gift. Birmingham has plenty of exciting options — aerial pilates and boxing classes, for a start.
- For the women in our lives who are short on time, a good shampoo and blowout is a godsend. Blo Blow Dry Bar in Homewood focuses exclusively on blowouts (but you can add on hair treatments for a little something extra).
- Give the gift of organization! Birmingham boasts a variety of home organization services, with varying offerings. Check out The Home Organized and Organize with Lia. Total game-changer.
- For those who love to try new things, consider alternative wellness experiences like Sound Bath therapy, available locally at wellness studios like Evolve Homewood and Birmingham Treehouse.
Give the Gift of Competition
Allow your loved ones to nurture their competitive spirit with tickets or season passes to their sport of choice or a gift certificate for a fun night of competition with friends.
- For basketball fans, consider Birmingham Squadron game tickets or season passes.
- UAB offers great ticket packages for all sports, including football season passes.
- Birmingham boasts a long list of public golf courses, but we’re told Oxmoor Valley on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is a fantastic option for gifting.
- Bowlero in Riverview is a bowling alley and then some. The space also has arcade games, billiards tables, swanky lounge seating, and a full menu of food, beer, and cocktails.
Give the Gift of the Arts
Birmingham is full of opportunities for cultural enrichment — visual arts, live music, theater, and more.
- A fabulous option for art lovers is a membership to the Birmingham Museum of Art. There are various levels of membership available, each with a unique set of member perks.
- Gift classes in ceramics, acrylics, painting, stained glass, calligraphy, creative writing, and more. Samford University’s Academy of the Arts offers the opportunity to explore new interests and learn from a wide variety of artists in the Birmingham community.
- The Alabama Ballet offers both individual performance tickets and season subscriptions.
- For the concert-goers on your holiday list, consider show tickets or a gift card to one of Birmingham’s live music venues — Alabama Theatre, Avondale Brewing, Zydeco, the BJCC, The Alys Stephens Center, and Iron City all offer a robust lineup of performers.
Give the Gifts of Dining and Drinking
Birmingham continues to make a name for itself as a Southern foodie destination. As such, there are plenty of food-and-drink experiences to be had around town, from tours and tastings to ultra-luxe dining opportunities. Some of our favorite ideas for gifting this season:
- The TBL Supper Club may just be the most buzzed-about culinary experience in Birmingham. (Read about our own experience at TBL HERE!)
- Who wouldn’t love the gift of dinner and drinks for two at fabulous date night spots like Daniel George, Chez Fonfon, and Hot and Hot Fish Club?
- Give the gift of a tasting experience! For craft beer lovers, opt for a City Brew Tour. For wine lovers, consider a gift card to The Wine Loft for wine tasting and tapas.
- Whether they’re a seasoned home chef or stick with the basics, help someone unlock their culinary skills with cooking classes at the Grand Bohemian Hotel. Options include a pasta workshop, tips on mastering the grill, and even a class that teaches you how to make international street food.
- Festival tickets also make a welcome gift for those who enjoy boozy tastings. Check out BourbanHam (Sunday, January 22, 2023).
Give the Gift of Adventure
For the adventure enthusiasts on your holiday list, consider some of Birmingham’s outdoor offerings and adrenaline-pumping activities.
- For friends and family with a serious need for speed, there’s no better gift than the Porsche Track Experience. It’s a luxe, bucket-list-level experience for car enthusiasts.
- Civil Axe Throwing offers one- and two-hour axe-throwing sessions. This is a great activity for groups.
- For indoor rock climbing adventures to be enjoyed in any season, look to Birmingham Boulders or High Point Climbing.
- And, for the outdoor enthusiasts who prefer their adventure without the adrenaline, consider tickets or memberships to the Birmingham Zoo or the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
Give the Gift of a Staycation!
Whether you’re gifting newlyweds, new parents, or old friends celebrating an anniversary, a relaxing staycation is a gift that simply cannot be beaten. (Unless you’re willing to throw in free babysitting to sweeten the deal.) Check out this list of eight Birmingham boutique hotels that are definitely worth a stay.
Happy holidays, Birmingham! Here’s to making memories!