5 Exciting experiences in Chicago you can give as a Christmas gift

5 Exciting experiences in Chicago you can give as a Christmas gift

By: Ula Van Zyl

Christmas is around the corner, and, thanks to COVID-19, this Christmas is going to be a … unique one, to say the least. Whether you are planning to spend the festive season with loved ones or not, some creative gift giving is the perfect way to bid 2020 farewell. Everyone in Chicago is tired of lockdown, so why not give the gift of an amazing experience to shake off lockdown-induced cabin fever? Great news! We’ve compiled a list of 5 great gifts for Chicago locals in need of some excitement:

Are you looking for a gift for an aviation enthusiast? Give them the unforgettable experience of learning to pilot a Cessna! Not only does this epic gift include gorgeous aerial vistas of Chicago, the recipient will get one-on-one instruction with an FAA Certified Instructor – they will do everything a pilot does throughout the flight, except the takeoff and landing. How exciting! The lucky recipient will also  receive a Certificate of Completion with the logged hours signed by their flight instructor.

What’s great about gifting this experience to someone is that they can choose the date they want to fly, and it has no expiration date!

Prices start at $219 – click here for more information.

Do you know someone who loves puzzles, riddles and solving mysteries? Give them an Escape Room experience for a fun and exciting cognitive workout. Located in the River North area of Chicago, there are four different escape rooms to choose from: The Heist, Prison Break, Gold Rush and Special Ops: Mysterious Market. All the rooms offer themed puzzles to solve and secrets to uncover – can your gift recipient solve the mystery before the 60 minutes are up? There’s only one way to find out! Give them this intriguing experience as a gift.

Prices start from $40 – click here for more information.

The quintessential 90s TV sensation, FRIENDS, is still beloved today. And, if you’re in Chicago, you can actually immerse yourself in the iconic sitcom in 12 rooms including set recreations. You can explore your favorite FRIENDS spots and recreate your most beloved moments from the show. Do you have a FRIENDS fanatic in your life? This is the perfect gift for them. The exhibit reopens in March 2021, so give them an IOU for an unforgettable trip down 90s nostalgia.

Tickets are $35 each, plus taxes and fees – click here for more information.

Perfect for all winter lovers, this gift combines adventure and food in a fun day-trip getaway. The Snow Tubing and Brewery Adventure takes you out of the city to the picturesque, snow-covered Wilmot Mountain. The recipient will board a luxury coach bus in Chicago for the 2-hour trip, then spend two hours tubing down the mountainside. Finally, the day’s activities will be capped by a delicious meal, after which the return trip to Chicago starts. What a great experience to gift someone with! The Snow Tubing and Brewery Adventure is available from January to mid-March 2021.


Prices start at $115 – click here for more information

If you’ve watched Emily in Paris on Netflix, you’ve caught a glimpse of the jaw-dropping experience that is Immersive Van Gogh. And now you can actually experience it! The exhibit, by the creators of the blockbuster show at Atelier des Lumières (as seen in Emily in Paris), has been a smashit in Toronto, and will make its US premiere in Chicago in February 2021. Immersive Van Gogh Chicago will bring the works of Vincent Van Gogh to life through the use of projectors – set to a soaring soundtrack. This is a whole new way of experiencing art. Whether you’re a connoisseur or novice when it comes to the world of art, this experience will take your breath away, which makes it a great gift for anyone.

Prices start $39.99 for adults and $24.99 for children – click here for more information

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