When you hear of 'experience gifts' you might think river rafting expeditions and balloon rides and such. Cool, yeah, but maybe a bit too expensive for some to give, or maybe not particularly appealing to everyone on your Christmas list. I'm here to tell you there are a TON of really fun and interesting experience gifts out there for every price point and they're varied enough to suit a variety interests. In this case, our interests are DIY, home improvement, crafting, cooking...you get the idea...all things Curbly.
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First, food. The Culinary Institute of America offer some amazing bootcamps 2, 3, 4, and 5 day experiences in which students learn all about things like baking, comfort foods, desserts, wine, and much more. These bootcamps are only available in three locations, which include Hyde Park, NY, St. Helena, CA, and San Antonio, TX, and they are not inexpensive, (depending on length camp, prices vary from $900 to over 2K). But before you write off the culinary camp idea because of location and price, read on....
I checked Le Cordon Bleu, and found that they offer Bleu Ribbon Kitchen Workshops in every city in which there is a Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School that start at only $99 (for a one day experience). If your pocketbook can afford more, prices can go all the way up to $1,875, but that's for a 5 day Techniques class.
Okay, but what if there is no Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School near you? Then check out these on The Epicurious Online Cooking School, which just happens to be partnered with The Culinary Institute of America. Classes are about $50 a pop. If you're unsure about committing your credit card to the site, they have some that are free, so you can get a taste of what you get for your money. (Taste, get it? Heh.)
Now for crafts. CraftArtEdu has some really fun and varied on-line classes to choose from and include things like jewelry making, beading, polymer clay, and fiber techniques (yes, that includes knitting and crocheting), among others. Prices start as little as $15 and go up to $40. Again, they offer free classes too, so you can sample ahead of time.
If the people on your Christmas list lean a little more arty than crafty, a PERFECT gift might be an online course through MoMA. Yeah, freakin' MoMa. Prices range from $110 to $139, and if you're a member, it's even less.
For those on a tighter budget who have aspiring artists on their list, udemy offers some very cool classes like pencil drawing, watercolor, and acrylic techniques. (They also offer food and beverage classes too that includes things like cake decorating and beer brewing, to name just a few.) Prices vary from $9 to $49, but I'm seeing most right now being offered for $15.
Finally, woodworking. For this interest, I started with the Minnesota Woodworkers Guild figuring I'd start local and then branch out. But, to my delight, I found that they not only have a local list of classes and schools, they ALSO have a national listing of classes and schools. The offerings are multiple day workshops, so they're not inexpensive, but they're totally immersive, and students are working side by side with artisans.
So there they are: some great experience gift ideas for the DIYers in your life! Is there anything on the list that sparks your interest? Which would you love to get??Is there one missing that you'd love to give/get?