At Vancouver Foodie Tours, we’re proud ambassadors of the city we work and play in. Which means when we’re looking for gifts, we choose Vancouver experiences over “things”. If you’re looking for a Vancouver Experience Gift, you’ve come to the right place.
Why should you give an experience instead of a physical gift? When you gift an experience, you are creating memories that can last a lifetime. And if you join them in the experience, that means more time for you to connect.
Vancouver’s diverse cultural & physical landscape make it the ideal place to get out and explore! In this list, we’ve included some great insider tips, popular attractions, and unknown experiences. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, you’ll find something in Vancouver that will capture the occasion. Even if you’re not looking for a gift, this list gives you a lot of inventive ideas on things to do in Vancouver.
Without further ado, here are our Top 20 Vancouver Experiences That Make Awesome Gifts (in no particular order):
18. Seaplane Tours by Harbour Air Seaplanes
For the hard-to-impress people in your life, give a one-of-a-kind experience flying over Vancouver’s iconic skyline and landmarks. Their classic Panorama tour is a guest favourite including spectacular views of Stanley Park, English Bay, the Lions Gate Bridge, and the North Shore mountains. They even offer day tours to the Gulf Islands, Victoria, Bowen Island and more!
17. Spring Foraging Trip by Swallow Tail Canada
With several dates between March 26th and April 23rd, the Spring Foraging trip is a perfect Vancouver experience gift for the outdoorsy type on your list. They’ll learn how to identify BC coastal wild foods; berries, edible trees, shoots and leaves, great for food nerds and hikers. They also offer more seasonal foraging trips and online courses for those interested.
16. Tickets to HMS Pinafore at Vancouver Opera
Vancouver Opera’s wildly popular HMS Pinafore, performed live at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre this spring is a great gift option and a must-experience for locals and visitors alike in the Vancouver area. Make sure to visit one of the nearby restaurants for dinner before or drinks after to complete your evening. This joyful and comedic production is something you won’t want to miss. Buy your tickets today!
15. Taittinger Champagne Gift Box from Marquis Wines
If you’re looking for the perfect celebration gift, look no further. For milestone birthdays/anniversaries, promotions, weddings, or any other celebration, a bottle of champagne is classic. This gift box is extra special as it includes Taittinger’s Brut Réserve Champagne in a fancy gift box with two gorgeous glasses. They’ll get the true champagne experience fitting of the occasion.
14. Bowen Island Dinner Tour from Vancouver Water Adventures
Vancouver Water Adventures is run by a brother-sister team who set out to share their love of the outdoors. They offer a plethora of water experiences, but if you’re looking to get out of Vancouver for a day, why not take a daytrip to Bowen Island on a dinner cruise? This 3-hour round trip tour starts on Granville Island, cruises by Stanley Park, the Seal Colony, Lighthouse Park, and more. Once on Bowen Island, enjoy dinner at one of their amazing restaurants. If you’re feeling more adventurous, this tour is also offered on Seadoo!
13. Y2Play Pass by Grouse Mountain
Vancouver’s best value snow pass is back! For the outdoor enthusiast, Y2Play gives them unlimited skiing and riding for the rest of this season, as well as all of next season (2023). And that’s just the beginning. They’ll get added benefits such as a free pass to Revelstoke, discounts off hotels, food, beverages, and much more! Buy before March 15th for the guaranteed lowest prices of the year. After the 15th it’s still a great deal; get them before they sell out.
12. Authentic Asian Eats Tour by Vancouver Foodie Tours
Of course we had to toot our own horn, and we’re so excited to announce our Authentic Asian Eats Tour! Launching in Spring of 2022, this Richmond-based tour features the best Chinese food outside of China. This gift is perfect for the foodie in your life, or anyone who’s up for a new tasting adventure! Get VIP access to local gems and immerse yourself in Chinese-Canadian culture, all while enjoying amazing food. It’s the perfect Vancouver experience gift for those who’ve never explored what Richmond has to offer.
11. Aquarium Membership to Vancouver Aquarium
Vancouver Aquarium was Canada’s first public aquarium (est. 1956), and continues to be a top Canadian destination for visitors and locals alike. Home to thousands of incredible ocean species and amazing aquatic life, the Aquarium also does important work in marine research, education, conservation, and rehabilitation. When you give an Aquarium membership as a gift, your recipient will receive free entry for the year, invitations to exclusive events, discounts, and more!
10. The Epic Electric Tour by Cycle City Vancouver
Cycle City is Vancouver’s one-stop destination for all things cycling- sales, service, rentals and tours. They’ve recently released their Epic Electric Bike tour, and it’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon. They’ll experience Vancouver’s best downtown sites including Stanley Park, English Bay, False Creek, Chinatown, and Gastown on an electric bike that lets them work as hard as they please (or not). Locals will enjoy insider tidbits & history about our beautiful city. Alternatively, you could choose to rent an e-bike instead to take your own adventure!
9. Macaron Making Workshop at Bon Macaron
Bon Macaron is well known on Granville Island as THE macaron shop to visit, with their colourful displays and inventive flavours. Now you can make your very own macarons in their workshops! Choose your favourite flavour, and they’ll show you everything from how to make the shells and fillings, to different filling techniques. Everyone will get to leave with 30-40 macarons in different flavours, perfect for freezing and enjoying at your leisure!
8. Lost Souls of Gastown Tour from Forbidden Vancouver
For the history buff on your list, this tour is a fun and unique experience! Follow the lamplight of your guide into Vancouver’s earliest and most gruesome history. You’ll step inside a world of murder, revenge, and true grit in a dramatic retelling of Victorian Gastown’s earliest stories. This isn’t your average walking tour. It’s a performance-theatre experience they’re sure to love.
7. Intro to Bouldering Class at The Hive
Vancouver has an avid rock climbing community, and this introductory course is a great gift for anyone who’s interested. It covers all the basics including risk reducing climbing, basic balance, hand and foot techniques, strategy, and more. If they love it, there’s great membership options to keep them climbing.
6. Dumpling Masterclass by Judy Lam Maxwell
Vancouver’s Chinatown is home to a plethora of foodie delights and experiences, but we have the ultimate insider tip for you! Judy Lam Maxwell’s Dumpling Masterclass is the best Chinatown experience. Learn to make authentic Chinese dumplings with the “Dumpling Diva” herself, then take a bite out of your hard work.
5. Pottery Lesson at Hide Ceramic Works
For a truly tactile creative experience, give a pottery lesson from Hide Ceramic works. There’s nothing better than creating something with your bare hands. In Hide’s casual 80 minute course, you’ll experience pottery without the pressure and make up to two pieces to take home after firing. It’s perfect for date night or an activity with friends.
4. Enthusiast Cooking Classes from Northwest Culinary Academy
Northwest Culinary Academy is a professional culinary arts school offering great enthusiast courses to level up your kitchen skills. All content is derived from their professional curriculum, and taught in a kitchen-dining studio setting for a hands-on and learning experience. Their courses range from basics to pastry, including a “Best of” series highlighting different ethnic cuisines. They even have a Plant-Based Cheese class!
3. A Night of Comedy & Entertainment at The Improv Centre
Laughter is the best medicine! Give the gift of laughter with a night of Improv or Stand Up at The Improv Centre on Granville Island. With features such as Drag Improv, TheatreSports, Matinees and more, there’s sure to be a show you’ll love. They also offer workshops for improv beginners. Check out their website for more information.
2. A Spa Package from Spa Utopia
With four locations across Greater Vancouver, Spa Utopia is well known for serious pampering and relaxation. They offer a wide range of massage, esthetic, and salon services. Make sure to check out the spa’s amazing amenities including a relaxation room, steam room, sauna and more (see location details online.) This isn’t just a spa day, it’s a luxurious Vancouver experience.
1. Membership to Van Dusen Botanical Garden
Vancouver’s incredible Van Dusen Botanical Garden covers 55 acres of incredible plant displays, water features, totem poles, stone sculptures, and much more. With this much ground to cover (and new exhibits to see each season) the best way to see Van Dusen Garden is in multiple trips throughout the year. Members get great perks, such as gift shop discounts, priority registration to summer camps, discounts at nurseries, and more.
Bookmark this article to come back to the next time you’re looking for an experience gift in Vancouver (or looking for ideas for things to do in Vancouver). Each of these experiences are as unique as Vancouver is, and offer a wide range of interests for all ages and abilities.
Don’t forget to tell them Foodie Tours sent you! Thanks for supporting local businesses in Greater Vancouver.