Last-minute Boston-area experiential gift ideas

Katie Spinello (left) learned to knit at the Stitch House Dorchester with the help of Valaree Hemighaus.
Victoria Abbott Riccardi
Katie Spinello (left) learned to knit at the Stitch House Dorchester with the help of Valaree Hemighaus.

Looking for last-minute gifts this holiday season? Here are a variety of experiential gift ideas that are ideal for women, men, teens, or children. Gift certificates for most can be purchased online.


How about a little circus fun for those daredevils in your life? At Trapeze School New York Beantown, options include a two-hour Flying Trapeze group class for all levels, including first-timers. After hanging on the low bar by one’s hands and then knees, participants will be fastened to safety lines to take a first swing, 23 feet above ground with a huge safety net below. High-flying knee hangs and catches can follow.

Jordan’s Furniture entertainment rotunda, 50 Walkers Brook Drive,  Reading, 781-942-7800,  $30-$60 per class (depending upon day and time)


Victoria Abbott Riccardi for the Boston Globe
Students Tristan MacPhail and Sam Westenberg at Diablo Glass School, Boston.

At a two-hour Glassblowing Sampler at the Diablo Glass School, students gather glass from the furnace and then learn to control and shape the molten material in order to create a small paperweight souvenir. 123 Terrace St., Boston, 617-442-7444,, $75  



Children will love creating their own bear at Build-A-Bear Workshop US. After they pick out the size, color, and style of bear, it receives stuffing along with a plush heart and the child is asked to make a wish. A birth certificate is drawn up with the bear’s name and the child receives the bear, along with a white cardboard “cub condo” with windows and a door. Optional add-ons include clothes, accessories, and sounds (such as a recorded message from a parent added during the stuffing process). Natick Mall, 1245 Worcester St., Suite 2126,  Natick, 508-651-0241, $10-$25 (basic bear)  


Victoria Abbott Riccardi for the Boston Globe
Studio Boston store manager Tania Shabazz displaying fabric and bag styles.

Get The Weekender in your inbox:
The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Crafters and fashionistas will enjoy imagining a bag to hold cosmetics, a wallet, baby diapers, and more at LILL Studio. After choosing from over 40 styles, participants select fabric from 130 plus selections. The bag is produced in Chicago and mailed within four weeks. 220 Newbury St., Boston, 617-247-1154,, $18 and up  


With typical themes, such as Everyday Italian, Sushi, and Crazy Cupcakes, each two-hour Adult and Child Workshop at Create a Cook is designed for one child (from 5 to tween) and one adult partner, whether it’s a caregiver, grandparent, or parent. Workshops occur mainly on weekends. 53 Winchester St., Newton, 617-795-2223,  $80 (per adult-child team)


At Neil Morris Fragrances men and women are able to create a perfume. Morris taps into the client’s favorite memories, colors, emotions, and aromas to build the perfume drip-by-drip on the client’s arm from a collection of over 700 essences derived from flowers, spices, mosses, roots, herbs, and other botanicals. 221 Massachusetts
 Suite 501, Boston, 617-267-2315,, $475 and up  


Ignite someone’s inner Matisse at The Paint Bar, where an instructor leads a group of aspiring artists, step by step, through the session’s featured painting (an on-line calendar shows the day’s featured painting and the number of places left in each 2½-hour afternoon or evening class) with wine and beer available for purchase by the glass. Included materials consist of a canvas, acrylic paints, brushes, and aprons. 823 Washington, St., Newton, 617-467-5777,, $25-$45 (depending upon day and time)  



Whether it’s a sleek sushi plate or pudgy piggy bank, young and old will delight in painting their own pottery at Made By Me. After picking out a desired item, guests figure out the design and colors before painting the pottery (staff artists are available to help). The store then glazes and fires the creation (dishwasher, oven, and microwave safe), ready for pickup in six days. 1685 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-354-8111,,$3-$40 for each piece, plus $4 per half-hour studio time per person  


For those who’ve dreamed of chucking it all and moving to Napa, creating their own wine at Boston Winery will give them a taste of that life without the commitment. Around June, would-be-winemakers pick out the red or white grapes for their desired varietal. Come September, they crush and destem the grapes, then press the crush and transfer it to oak barrels after fermentation. Around January the wine needs to be racked (removing the sediment, cleaning the barrels, topping them off). Come July, it’s time to filter, bottle, and cork the wine. 26 Ericsson St., Boston, 617-265-9463,, $1,850 per half barrel (144 bottles), $3,500 for a full barrel (288 bottles)  


It’s hip to knit and guys as well as gals can savor the meditative aspect of this age-old craft at Stitch House Dorchester in Knitting 101 (Intro to Knitting). In this four-week class (four days and times available), students will learn the basics of knitting, including casting on and doing basic stitches to create a small keepsake. 846 Dor-
chester Ave., Dorchester, 617-265-8013,, $75 (excluding materials)

Victoria Abbott Riccardi can be reached at