I'm very much of the mindset that giving experiences are so much better than giving things. I'd often rather have a gift of going out to a restaurant I've been eyeing or taking in a show or a musical or attending a food festival or taking a trip than receiving things. I love having those memories to hold on to forever rather than a sweater that I may wear for a couple seasons. And even better when those experiences can be enjoyed with someone you love.
If you have foodies in your life and are contemplating what to get them for Christmas, here are a few foodie experiences that I would recommend:
Beer Cruise at Navy Pier
If you know someone who likes beer and if you know someone who likes beer festivals, they'll love the gift of a beer cruise. From May to September, monthly beer cruises take place out of Navy Pier on the Mystic Blue. Taste some great beers while you cruise around the lake with the beautiful skyline as a backdrop.
Dinner at The Florentine
You know how once in a while you enjoy an amazing meal in an amazing place with a fantastic setting and you know it's a meal that you'll remember for a long, long time? That's how I felt when we dined at The Florentine. It's been over a year-and-a-half since we enjoyed dinner there and I still remember the taste of those scallops and that smoked mozzarella dip and that succulent sea bass. I'd rank it in my top 10 favorite dining experiences ever.
The Florentine is located inside the JW Marriott and if you really want to score some points, go big with your gift. Book an overnight at the JW Marriott and book a spa appointment.
Afternoon Tea at Bakewell Bakery
A gift of afternoon tea is a wonderful gift experience - particularly for a mother, daughter, sister or girlfriend. We recently had afternoon tea at Bakewell Bakery in Flossmoor and it was such a fun experience. The food was phenomenal...all of it. Their sandwich, scones, desserts were so delish. And if there was one extravagance I could spoil myself with it would be to go there every day for tea. :)
This is a foodie experience that won't soon be forgotten. It's a foodie event that I look forward to all year - Baconfest. This fest has grown quite a bit over the past several years and they now have several different sessions, but at each one you have the opportunity to sample upwards of two dozen bacon inspired dishes from many of the hottest and trendiest spots in the city.
Time Out Chicago Events
I'm always excited when I have an opportunity to attend a Time Out Chicago event. They're always well organized, at unique venues and a great time. And there's always lots and lots of delicious food to be tried - whether it's at the Grilled Cheese Meltdown or Mac and Cheese Smack Down or the Time Out Chicago Donut Party.
If you're like me, you love to try out foods from different places around the world. One of my most exciting moments this year was stepping foot into Jungle Jim's International Market in Cincinnati where there were tons of foods from every corner of the planet. Universal Yums brings those International Snacks to your door in monthly packages. You can also purchase 1, 3 and 6 month gift subscriptions for the foodie in your life. There are two different size packages to choose from.