Wondering what to give friends and family for the holidays this year? How about the gift that’ll keep on giving — in the form of laughter, new perspectives, happy memories and mantel-worthy photos? We’re talking about the gift of a Colorado experience, of course.
The Centennial State is overflowing with exciting things to see and do — and unique ways to see and do them! Here are some awesome Colorado experiences that would make great gifts for others or holiday treats for yourself.
Find the perfect present for your most creative people with this array of virtual classes for all experience levels. Whether they’re interested in learning contemporary ceramics or coding for artists and creative writers, Innovations Studios offers numerous inventive and inspirational options.
What better gift than a treasure chest filled with thoughtfully themed, self-guided tours that highlight local attractions and products? Take the fall 2020 Autumn Treasures — Gods to Gold package for example: Treasure hunters wove along a scenic, leaf-peeping drive from Garden of the Gods to the charming former mining town of Victor. The accompanying treasure box was packed with booty like a leaf-pressing notebook, postcards and sweet and savory snacks. Personalized experiences are also available.
Breathtaker Alpine Coaster tickets, Snowmass
Thrill non-skiers off the slopes of Aspen Snowmass with an exhilarating ride through more than a mile of snow-blanketed forests. Speeds reach almost 30 mph and rides are offered during the day and during special Ullr Nights that honor the Norse god of snow throughout winter. Choose from a variety of packages, some of which include gondola access and tubing.
DIY Distilling Courses, Marble Distilling Co., Carbondale
Treat yourself and several friends to a gift that that’ll have you in the holiday spirits for years: a six-day DIY distilling course that results in 250-plus bottles of your own whiskey or bourbon. Stay at the only inn in the world housed in a working distillery and explore the Roaring Fork Valley in between days learning about the distilling process as you craft your own specialty batch.
Pamper the love of your life or your favorite couple with a romantic hot-springs retreat. L’Amour Package includes a 90-minute private soak for two, wine and a decadent dinner with entrée options like braised short ribs and confit duck.
Give amateur zoologists of all ages lifelong memories with this 3-hour behind-the-scenes tour. The experience welcomes up to five people, who will get access to exclusive meet and greets with their pick of three zoo stars, including African lions, okapi, zebra, tapirs, otters, reptiles, rhinos, elephants and more.
Set the bar sky high for future gifts with this unparalleled excursion. Soar over the powder-dusted peaks of the Rockies, where you’ll have a bird’s-eye view of pronghorn, moose, elk and more. As you float over the Continental Divide and turquoise-blue alpine lakes, Captain Jack, your knowledgeable pilot, will point out areas of historical interest and intrigue. When you come back down to terra firma, a champagne toast awaits, in keeping with centuries-old ballooning tradition.
Virtual wine tasting with Blanchard Family Wines, Denver
Friends and family will raise a glass of holiday cheer to you when you present them with a gift certificate to a virtual wine tasting. The wines (enough for two people) will be shipped directly to participants’ homes in time to join others via Zoom for a guided tasting and discussion. Your favorite oenophiles will have plenty of tasting options to choose from: Some benefit local non-profits while others pit Colorado and California vintages against each other in a blind taste test. (Our money’s on Colorado wines.)
Colorado Cross Country Ski Association season punch pass, Multiple locations
Have someone on your gift list that loves hitting the corduroy while exploring the state? (It’s OK if that person is you.) This punch pass is sure to make their snow days merry and bright. They’ll get more than 18 passes to 10 Nordic centers across Colorado, including those in Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Vail and Frisco. And if that wasn’t enough, the punch pass also comes with sweet discounts on lodging, tours and rentals.