20 local experience gifts that will make everyone on your holiday shopping list smile

Topgolf experience
Give the gift of experiences this holiday season. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

The best gift is the gift of experience. Lucky for us, we live in a city that has so many experiences to offer that everyone on your holiday shopping list will love: the adrenaline junkie, the pamperer, the fun-seeker and more. So, move over holiday shopping stress because we’ve got you covered with the ultimate local experience gift guide. Be warned: after reading this list of ideas, you may want to gift yourself, too.

For the adrenaline junkie

Porsche Driving Experience
Zoomin’ through Barber Motorsports—an experience like no other. Photo via Porsche Driving Experience

1. Race around Barber Motorsports in a Porsche

For the friend who loves chasing the adrenaline rush. With Porsche Driving Experience, they’ll feel like a Formula 1 driver in the Monaco Grand Prix.

2. Axe throwing

2 Hours of Private Axe Throwing image 1 20 local experience gifts that will make everyone on your holiday shopping list smile

Ever channeled your inner lumberjack? Head on over to Civil Axe Throwing.

3. Smash stuff at the “Rage Room”

Birmingham Rage Room
Birmingham Rage Room in Lakeview. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Yes, the Birmingham Rage Room is exactly what you think: a place to smash objects, let off some steam and have lots of fun. Know someone who’d enjoy this?

For the pamperer

Spa experience
Relaxation: on, distractions: off. Photo via The Retreat Day Spa

4. Spa day at The Retreat Spa

The perfect way to relax: spend a day at the spa. There’s a menu full of rejuvenating services at The Retreat Spa.

5. DIY candle-pouring experience

DIY in Birmingham Paddywax
Paddywax Candle Bar provides all the materials you need to create your signature scent. Photo via Paddywax Candle Bar on Instagram

Why shop for the perfect candle scent when you can make your own? Paddywax Candle Bar offers a DIY candle-pouring experience that your spa-loving friends will adore.

6. Get pampered from head-to-toe

Spa Cahaba
Amazing skin is just an appointment away. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

Give the gift of relaxation. At Spa Cahaba, you’ll be pampered all over with the ultimate spa experience.

For the fun-seeker

7. Play all night long at Dave and Busters

104 20 local experience gifts that will make everyone on your holiday shopping list smile
Dave and Buster’s came to Birmingham in 2018!

Take the whole family for some energy relief or just to exercise the inner child in you.

8. Experience the World Games

The World Games 2022
The excitement of international sporting events will be in your backyard, Birmingham. Photo via The World Games 2022

It’s almost 200 days until the world comes to Birmingham. Witness history in our city and watch sports games all around Birmingham at The World Games.

  • What to Gift: Tickets
  • Location: Birmingham, AL | All over the city
  • Website

9. Basketball season tickets

Birmingham Squadron
Birmingham Squadron’s first home game at the newly-renovated Legacy Arena. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

No need to turn on ESPN for your basketball fix, because basketball is in Bham. Spend a season cheering on Birmingham Squadron at the newly renovated Legacy Arena.

10. Take some swings at Top Golf

For the friend who wants some practice on the tee or just the fun, food and hangs. Their shot might even get better after their 2nd drink.

11. Watch some Bham Legion FC soccer

GOAL! Ready for all of the soccer fun next season? Get your soccer fan friends season tickets to Birmingham’s prime soccer team (who’ll be playing at Protective Stadium in 2022).

For the food, beer and wine connoisseur

Brew tour experience
Experiencing Bham through a brew tour? There’s nothing quite like it. Photo via Jacob Blakenship

12. Bham brew tour

The best way to see Birmingham? Through its many breweries. Get a taste of the Birmingham brewery scene with City Brew Tours (plus, we’ve got a deal for y’all!).

  • Deals: 10% off a tour I Code: BHAMNOWBF
  • What to Gift: Tickets
  • Website

13. Whiskey tour + tasting

We all know the friend whose palate is in need of something strong…whiskey strong. Bless their taste buds with a tour + tasting at Dread River Distilling Company.

14. Cooking classes with Birmingham’s best

Whether you’re a chef or can only cook a good ‘ol grilled cheese, you’ll love all of the cooking classes at the Grand Bohemian Hotel. Plus, you’ll bring home some yummy leftovers.

For the outdoor enthusiast

Oak Mountain
Canoe, paddleboard, hike and bike all year long. Photo via Oak Mountain State Park

15. A year of Oak Mountain State Park

Oak Mountain State Park has it all. From hiking to canoeing to biking, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Did you know that you can get an annual pass to this state park? Give the gift adventure this holiday season.

16. High Point climbing

Get your climb on at High Point gym. Whether you’re a seasoned climber, dabble in bouldering, or want to start your climbing journey, High Point’s Birmingham’s number one climbing gym to do so.

17. Rent a van in Bham + go on an adventure

In need of a getaway full of wanderlust, but want to start in The Magic City? Rent a Storyteller Overland adventure van from GoCamp. All of your van-life dreams will come true.

For the art lover

Ultimate art experience
Experience the best art in Birmingham this holiday season. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

18. Visit Beyond Van Gough

For a limited time, the Beyond Van Gough Immersive Experience is in Birmingham. Step inside (literally) Van Gough’s widely-acclaimed paintings with your favorite art history friend.

19. Take an art class at Samford School of the Arts

Give a class for two at Samford School of the Arts. Not only do they offer traditional art classes, but photography, pottery and more.

20. Participate in an iron pouring and casting classes

A mix of industrial and creativity—experience an iron casting class at Sloss Furnaces.

This holiday season, remember to support local. It’s a fun and easy way to uplift our city and its growing businesses. Check out our small biz database for more Birmingham experience gift ideas.

What local experience gift will you be giving this holiday season? Let us know on Instagram.

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Sonia Kerrigan
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