Less Stuff, More Memories: 5 Sweet Experience Gifts for Tacomans

Ready to say enough is enough with all of the stuff? Join the many who are leaning toward gifting their loved ones experiences for the holidays rather than the same old slippers, sweaters and sure-to-be-regifted crap.

Here are five fun ideas for those in the Tacoma area and a bit beyond…

1.  Puzzle and Escape Rooms

As the name Adventures by Appointment implies, you’ll need to book in advance to take on a puzzle or escape room, plus plan to work together as a team. Get ready to bond.

A Facebook review of the place from a newbie reads, “I came to the room not knowing what to expect…we were a mixed group. By the end we all were working together. Madam Dana was awesome! The puzzles were challenging but together we solved them. [I’ve] already have recommended this to several friends who also have enjoyed the room!! Bravo.”

2. Distillery Tour and Tasting

Though Tacoma’s typically all about that beer, there are other options to be had for imbibing adult beverages. Switch things up by heading to Old Soldier Distillery.

Is there anywhere else in Tacoma you can find authentic Civil War era spirits being produced? Not to the best of my knowledge — which is why a tour of the establishment that makes white whiskey, aged whiskey and cordials (complete with tasting room) is worth a stop.

Owners Andrew Fairchok and Rodney Kaeding are veterans, and proceeds from their tours benefit Fisher House.

3. Mini Team Scavenger Hunt

Gather your friends and/or family, and get ready to participate in the fun described as part scavenger hunt, part walking tour, and inspired by The Amazing Race. In the Tacoma version of Puzzling Adventures you’ll work anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours (depending on your mad skills) to learn interesting facts, see the sights, and exercise your mind at the same time.

A doodle ditty to get you excited…

4. Skydiving

There’s surprisingly little needed to sign a loved one up to be thrown off a plane. Buy a ticket from Skydive Kapowsin, book a time, show up for a (slightly unnervingly short) brief, suit up, and go!

While Skydiving solo is a process, getting an adventurer’s first jump in is easy peasy.

“Everyone has got to do this atleast once in their life,” one reviewer recently wrote. “Kapowsin was great! We were in the air just 20 minutes after arriving at the airport. They move you along at a pace that prevents you from completely succumbing to fear…I would definitely recommend skydiving at Kapowsin.”

5. Thornewood Castle

If this is the year you’re ready go big (but not too far from home), a stay at the real-deal Thornewood Castle is a must. The 27,000 square feet beauty is located on American Lake in Lakewood. Presidents Taft and Roosevelt have both rested their heads in one of the castle’s 22 bedrooms.

Naturally, this experience costs a pretty penny. Bed and Breakfast weekend rates run from $325 a night for the Gold Room, to $500 for a stay in the Grandview Suite.

More on this unique gem from CNN…

Here’s a no-strings-attached bonus bargain tip: Many of the experience gift options mentioned above regularly offer Groupon deals. Click here to see what’s currently available in our area.

Additional experiences in Tacoma to consider gifting include passes to Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, a visit to Foss Waterway Seaport, admission to the Washington State History Museum, tickets to The Grand Cinema, a Tacoma Rainiers gift certificate (good for merchandise or tickets), a visit to the Ruston ice skating rink, or a class at Tacoma Glassblowing Studio.

Have another suggestion of any activity to give as a gift? Share it with us in a comment below.

Images via Adventures By Appointment, Old Soldier Distillery, Skydive Kapowsin, Thornewood Castle

  1. The Tacoma Museum Pass is a great gift – for one discounted price it gets you a single admission into Tacoma’s six world class museums: Washington State History Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Museum of Glass, Foss Waterway Seaport, Children’s Museum of Tacoma, and LeMay- America’s car Museum. It is fun for those who live here and enjoy an occasional day at museums, and great for people who have just moved to the area to get to know culture in our town. Also fun for out of town visitors who want to cover the museum territory. Most of the museums are walkable to each other and along Pacific Avenue, so great dining experiences are also close at hand to make a day of it. Giving the pass as a gift also supports the arts and culture that make Tacoma a great place to live. Buy the pass at any of the six museums or online at http://www.tacomamuseumdistrict.org.

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