That time of year is fast approaching. That’s right, Mother’s Day! There are 5 more days to go and if you’re anything like me, you’re scrambling to figure out the perfect gift for your mom OR preparing to drop some major hints to your significant other. Instead of the staple lunch or dinner date along with flowers or a movie and some new jewelry or a box of chocolates, what about considering a completely different type of gift. Though not tangible, experiential gifts can be memorable and just as enjoyable as any other gift. Don’t get me wrong, a box of chocolates is welcome (I’m holding out for a box of GODIVA chocolates this year!) but perhaps a different approach might be of interest, especially now that the weather’s warming up. Below are 5 experiential gift suggestions that moms will enjoy (start dropping hints and hopefully hubby and the kids will surprise you!).
Start The Day With A Yoga Class
I personally love yoga, especially when practiced in a heated studio. The list of benefits is long, for example: increased flexibility, calmness, increased energy and strength as well as potential weight loss. Starting the day off with a yoga class will put you in a peaceful frame of mind, ready for whatever comes your way. Moksha Yoga provides a variety of classes for all levels. I should mention that they’re a hot yoga studio but they also offer reduced heat classes depending on the studio you attend. If you’re a mom-to-be, different studios also offer prenatal classes where no heat is used at all). Studios can be found in many cities across Canada so you’ll likely find one close to you. I love Moksha Yoga because of the calm atmosphere they provide (I’ve been to a few locations in the GTA and they all hold themselves to the same high standards). Plus the teachers are super knowledgeable, approachable and helpful. If you find yourself wanting more after your Mother’s Day treat, Moksha Yoga also offers an introductory package that costs $40 which allows you to practice unlimited for the first 30 days of your membership.
Niagara-On-The-Lake Wine Tour
You know spring is here where wineries start accepting bookings for wine tours. Many book tours 7 days a week but be sure to book early to avoid disappointment. Niagara-On-The-Lake is home to Ontario’s “wine country” and offers a large selection of wineries to choose from. In addition to the various wineries, many offer a variety of packages that either include dinner, cheeses or even chocolate to accompany their various wines. Most importantly, your visit would be a great opportunity to support our local wine industry..wink, wink.
Since you’ll be so close to Niagara, consider making a weekend of it (since your kids are an important part of your Mother’s Day, they’ll love this) and visit The Falls. Some hotels actually offer wine tours as part of their weekend package. A bus will pick you up at your hotel and you can just sit back and relax for a few hours.
If you’re located in the GTA, Toronto offers a plethora of walking tours into the Spring, Summer and Fall months. Tour Guys offer a free 90 min tour of Union Station, the Financial District and City Hall. During the tour you’ll receive enlightening information about the city (some of it may surprise you) from volunteer tour guides. Also included in the tour is a trip through Toronto’s famous PATH (underground city). If you’re not in the GTA don’t fret, Tour Guys also offers tours in Vancouver and Ottawa.
The Distillery District is another popular site for walking tours. For $19 (plus tax), you can enjoy a 90 min tour of the area. Afterwards, there are many restaurants nearby to relax and refuel. If the thought of a 90 min walk is a bit intimidating, you can also choose from 3 Segway tours. They differ based on tour length (they vary from 30 – 60 mins) and sites visited, one even includes a ghost tour!
Kensington Market & Chinatown are also popular when it comes to walking tours. You can join a 2 hour tour (starting at St. Patrick subway station and ending at Queens Park subway station) which includes 28 stops (ex. AGO, The Herb Depot, Chinatown Centre and Chocolate Addict). Both locations are culturally rich neighbourhoods with lots of restaurants to visit after the tour.
Couples Cooking Class
There are many companies in the GTA that offer couples cooking classes. This is a great time to reconnect with your partner (and take a break from solo cooking if you do most of the cooking at home), make a meal together in a private cooking class and learn a few new recipes and cooking tips along the way. Companies such as The Chef Upstairs and Aphrodite Cooks provide an opportunity to either cook together or interact with the chef while your meal is prepared. Most companies provide the menu in advance and offer classes weekly through the spring and summer. Just be sure to book in advance as classes may limit the number of couples per class.
Sail Around Toronto Harbour
This is a great time of year to take in a boat tour. Many offer a sail around the harbour for site-seeing, while others also offer lunch or dinner. If you’re not in Toronto, there are many tours within the GTA that provide a great tour and dinner experience. This is definitely a great change from the restaurant scene but offers a somewhat traditional Mother’s Day experience for moms who prefer dinner with the family.
Whatever your upcoming weekend holds, have a wonderful time and embrace the experience and the love your family will shower on you. You deserve it girl!