Posted: December 19, 2016
Give the gift of doing, from cooking classes to outdoor adventures
These presents may fit in a stocking but will mean more than the usual stuffer.
Written by: Leslie Bridgers
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If you haven’t heard, experiences are all the rage. Millennials, in particular, have been showing their preference for doing stuff over having stuff, so give them what they want this holiday season. Although stockings are usually reserved for more minor gifts, many good things come in small packages — including tickets to shows and classes. Here are some ideas for last-minute stocking-stuffers that will last longer than a candy cane and are more exciting than travel-size bathroom supplies. Plus, you’ll save on wrapping paper.
The Tuscan Mamas teach a cooking class at Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School in York.
Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer
Know someone who loves to cook — or should probably learn? Maine is lucky to be home to the headquarters of Stonewall Kitchen, known best for its line of spreads and other specialty foods, but the York company store also has a cooking school with classes almost every day. Some focus on a specific ingredient or a certain cuisine, while others offer guidelines for hosting an event, like a winter dinner party or a romantic lunch. Find the complete calendar and register for classes here.
A crowd waits in line at the Nickelodeon Cinemas.
Jill Brady/Staff Photographer
TAKE A SEAT
Rather than squabble over whether to see a rom-com or sci-fi flick, treat someone to the movie of their choice by getting a gift card to Portland's iconic theater, Nicklodeon Cinemas, where the money can stretch even further if they go to a show on Tuesday when all seats are $5. To purchase, go here. For the theater lovers in your life, Portland Stage Co. offers a FlexPass that eliminates the need to lock down a date, time or show, so the six tickets included can be used whenever the recipients want, as long as they reserve a seat. Find them here.
A life-size animatronic Allosaurus, left, and a Dilophosaurus on display at the dinosaur exhibit at Portland Science Center.
Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer
The Portland Science Center has been wowing visitors to its waterfront facility with its entertaining exhibits, including an interactive tour of the Titanic and, currently, a display of life-sized, moving dinosaurs. The center is open daily, and tickets, which range from $14.50 to $19.50, are available for purchase online here. If you know more history buffs than science geeks, consider a membership to the Maine Historical Society, where, for your $40, they'll get free admission to the Wadsworth-Longfellow House and museum exhibitions, as well as unlimited use of research databases and discounts on store purchases. Sign them up here .
Cross-country skiing at L.L.Bean's Outdoor Discovery School. Photo courtesy of L.L. Bean
OUT THE DOOR
L.L.Bean's Outdoor Discovery School offers lessons on everything from fly-tying to skate-skiing, as well as adventures like three-hour snowshoe tours and overnight kayaking trips. There are options for every skill level, budget and season, and they aren't limited to Maine but take place in more than a dozen states. Find the best fit for your gift-giving needs here. For those who are more down with downhill skiing, you can buy a gift card to Sugarloaf or Sunday River and, because both are owned by Boyne Resorts, it can be used at either. Go here.