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10 adventures to consider for holiday gifts

Globe Staff /file/Handout

Gifts of experience are presents that live on long after the wrapped ones get worn out, used up, or, worse, discarded. And the best part? Experiences are the one thing that won’t be re-gifted. So in the spirit of memory-making, here are 10 adventures — at prices ranging from modest to grand — to consider this holiday season. Jill Radsken

Holiday Gift Guide 12/11 Style. Pictured: Flamenco class. 11giftexperienceHandout

1. Absolute Beginner Flamenco Dance Class.

Flamenco Boston, Green Street Studios, 185 Green St., Boston, www.flamencoboston.com.

This class for novices at Flamenco Boston is the studio’s most popular. Founder Lauren O’Donnell calls the instruction, which includes several palos, or flamenco rhythms, “gentle.” This set of four classes, held on sequential Thursdays at 6 p.m., are designed for adults or teens. Comfortable shoes are required, but ruffled skirts and tight pants are optional. $60 for the month of sessions. Can’t make four? Individual classes are $20.

Concord,MA. 9/26/07 Sue Merlino (cq) ,right blue shorts, takes the Pederson (cq) family from Minnesota to the Minute Man National Park as part of her bike tour of Concord,Ma. on Wednesday September 26,2007. Merlino (cq) a mother/preschool teacher in Concord has just launched a bike-tour company offering cycling tours that highlight Concord's many historical landmarks, from the Orchard House to the Old North Bridge and from the Old Manse to Walden Pond. (Bill Polo/Globe Staff) section; nwwk; slug: 07nwcyclin reporter Nancy Shohet West Library Tag 10112007Bill Polo/Globe Staff/file/Boston Globe

2. Private tour of Boston, Harvard, Lexington, and Concord.

Boston Private Tours, 707 Main St., Boston, 978-771-4471, www.bostonprivatetours.com.

Give the history buff or literary lover this dream of a six-hour journey, which is the company’s most requested tour. Even locals will learn plenty about these historic locales. Retrace parts of the Freedom Trail, visit Harvard University, and see Minuteman National Park in Concord. Or customize your travels for the bookworm who wants to reflect on Louisa May Alcott’s or Ralph Waldo Emerson’s home. Guides can adapt the itinerary to the audience’s interest and age (youngsters love Mary Sawyer’s schoolhouse in Sudbury where Sarah Hale penned “Mary Had a Little Lamb”). “We toss in something for everyone,” said BPT’s Michelle Hocking. $575 for up to five people.

Holiday Gift Guide 12/11 Style. Pictured: Services from Stilista Boston. 11giftexperienceHandout

3. “Turn It Around” styling service.

Stilista, 617-965-2500, www.stilistaboston.com.


Give the gift of a makeover from the team that knows all the fashion dos and don’ts. The Boston-based personal shopping agency has taken sisters, lovers, and friends on all sorts of buying excursions, but the unisex Turn It Around package offers real guidance. After an initial consultation, a stylist will give your wardrobe a once-over, then take you shopping with a list — and a strategy. $550 for the consultation, analysis, and 3-hour shopping trip.

Holiday Gift Guide 12/11 Style. Pictured: Diablo Glass School; 1/06-Roxbury, MA- With help from instructor Max Lefto, Everett, left, and student Ben Dubler, right, student and intern Erick Donoghue uses wet paper to shape and form the hot glass. 11giftexperiencePam Berry

4. Private glassblowing lessons.

Diablo Glass School, 123 Terrace St., Boston, 617-442-7444, www.diabloglassschool.com.

As hands-on experiences go, learning how to work with glass is an unforgettable one. Diablo has a range of options, from flame-working (shaping glass) to Stained Glass 101. Learn your way around a bench torch and kiln while you try your hand at making marbles or jewelry beads. A private class costs $220 for two people; $260 for three.


Christmas Reflections Presented by Boston College at Boston College, Robsham Theater Arts Center Kristina Wright/ Photo Credit JA Loftus 14ticketdance 18 weekdanceJA Loftus

5. Sweet & Savory South End Food Tour.

Bites of Boston Food Tours, 617-702-2483, www.bitesofbostonfoodtours.com.

This afternoon tour is designed for the foodie in your life. Among the stops along the way: Orinoco, Flour bakery, Morse Fish, Parish Cafe, South End Formaggio, and Estelle’s Southern cuisine. By the end of the 3½-hour tour, you’ll have eaten at least a lunch-worth of
delectables including local fried clams and a chef-inspired sandwich. Along the way, a guide will dispense cultural and architectural history of the neighborhood as well. Tickets are $52 (which includes bites served along the tour). Sweet & Savory tours run April through November, but founder Alyssa Daigle is already booking into

Holiday Gift Guide 12/11 Style. Pictured: Snow Day at Wells Reserve. 11giftexperience

6. Mid-winter Maine getaway.

Wells Reserve, 342 Laudholm Farm Road, 207-646-1555, www.wellsreserve.org and Kennebunkport Inn, One Dock Square, 800-248-2621, www.kennebunkportinn.com.

The sledding and seven miles of trails are always great at Wells Reserve, which is only 90 minutes from Boston. But Feb. 28 is Snow Day, a day of free, friendly cold-weather competition. Think snowshoe races and snowman-building contests. There’s also hot cocoa and a bonfire to warm up. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Afterward, check into the Kennebunkport Inn. It’s just steps from the downtown art galleries and shopping. Starting at $139 per night.


Holiday Gift Guide 12/11 Style. Pictured: Ice Skating at Boston Harbor Hotel. 11giftexperience

7. Sip & Skate.

Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf, 617-439-7000, www.winteronthewharf.com or www.bhh.com.

This package lets you embrace the winter chill, then warm up in luxury. The Boston Harbor Hotel’s ice skating rink, nestled under the rotunda, boasts picturesque views of the waterfront. Then slip off your skates and head inside for Frost Tea 2:30-4 p.m. in Rowes Wharf Sea Grille. Along with the Earl Grey or Lung Ching (or something stronger), guests can nibble on scones and tea sandwiches. And there’s hot chocolate for tiny diners. Skating is $10 ($5 for children), rentals are $10 and $8, respectively; Frost Tea is $49 for adults, $25 for children.

Holiday Gift Guide 12/11 Style. Pictured: G2O Spa's Bali Paradise Experience. 11giftexperience

8. Bali Paradise Experience.

G2O Spa and Salon, 278 Newbury St., Boston, 617-262-2220, www.g2ospasalon.com.

If an exotic vacation isn’t in the gift budget, this is the next best thing. The 40-minute signature body service, which aims to clear the mind and body, starts with a hydrating fruit extract creme. An herbal salt exfoliation follows during a therapeutic steam-slash-tropical-shower treatment in the exclusive Experience Room. Guests can even come early and enjoy the steam room free of charge. $75 per person, $65 per person for 2 or more.

09/23/14: Boston, MA: Red Sox DH David Ortiz walked with two outs in the bottom of the 8th inning. After he did, the Rays made a pitching change, and Ortiz walked over and bided his time leaning against the railing outside the Boston dugout as he waited for the action to resume. It soon did, and he was then stranded on first when Yoenis Cespedes was called out on strikes to end the inning, while getting ejected from the game for complaining to the home plate umpire after the call. The Boston Red Sox hosted the Tampa Bay Rays in a regular season MLB game at Fenway Park. (Globe Staff Photo/Jim Davis) section: sports topic: Red Sox-Rays (1)Jim Davis/Globe Staff

9. “Bucket List” baseball package.

Hotel Commonwealth, 500 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 866-784-4000, www.hotelcommonwealth.com.

Given that the Red Sox have been in the mood to splurge (hello, Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez), consider doing the same in the name of the Olde Towne Team once the season rolls around. Check into the Hotel Commonwealth’s luxury Baseball Suite (valet parking, of course). The VIP package includes two premier, front-row tickets to a Red Sox game, on-the-field access to batting practice, a signed baseball from a Sox legend, and a personalized message on the scoreboard during the game. $2,495 per night ($2,995 for Yankees games).


Holiday Gift Guide 12/11 Style. Pictured: Blue Man Group. 11giftexperience

10. Behind the Blue Man Group.

Charles Playhouse, 74 Warrenton St., Boston, Tickets through Boston Center for Adult Education, 617-267-4430, www.bcae.org, deadline to reserve is Jan. 16.

This one-night-only event, held Jan. 29, gives a behind-the-scenes look as the Blue Men prepare for a show. Arrive at 6 p.m. for a guided tour (by a Blue Man) and sound check. Experience the actors’ and musicians’ backstage rituals, then take in the evening’s performance. Following the show, enjoy a private meet-and-greet with the Blue Men (make sure your phone is charged for photo ops). $75 (includes a $10 gift card to nearby Abby Lane restaurant).

Jill Radsken can be reached at jill.radsken@gmail.com

Correction: Because of a reporting error, an earlier version incorrectly stated the date of Wells Reserve’s Snow Day. It is Feb. 28.