It’s the same story every year. One minute you think you have lots of time to buy gifts, the next it seems like it’s Christmas eve and you’ve barely even started shopping.  That’s just one of the reasons I love giving the gift of experiences for Christmas. True, it’s cause they’ll never know you waited until the last minute, but also giving the gift of a truly amazing experience means creating memories that could last a lifetime.

Today, I was on Breakfast Television sharing some of my ideas for great gift experiences, from hunting for dinosaur fossils to star-gazing atop a mountain, check out the clip for some of my suggestions with info about them below!

A late night trip on the Banff Gondola

For the next couple of Fridays, Banff’s famous gondola’s will be offering a unique experience to those brave enough to spend a few hours atop of a mountain in the winter. Just outside of their main building, they’ll setting up telescopes and with the help of some astronomers, you’ll be able to star-gaze from one of the most beautiful places in the world. They’ll also have photography experts there to help you master night photography, which if you’ve ever tried it, is no easy task! And don’t forget, Albertans save 25% on the gondola until February 25th. While you’re up there, be sure to check out the always delicious Sky Bistro. You haven’t dined until you’ve dined on top of Sulphur Mountain!

Solve a Christmas Caper

If you’ve never experienced an Escape Room, there’s a reason that they became so popular, it’s because it’s sorta like playing a board game, but you are the game. I guess it’s sorta like a real-life Jumanji. Escape Capers is one of the more popular escape rooms in Calgary and this holiday season they’ve set up a special holiday-themed escape room called The Christmas Caper. An escape room is the perfect holiday activity if you’re stuck with those cousins that you know nothing about, or maybe you and you’re family need a really good laugh after a tense Christmas dinner. Plus, you can use promo code ‘Bloggity’ to save 15%.

Calgary Craft Beer Tour

It’s no secret that the craft brewery industry in Alberta is taking off, especially here in Calgary, where many of us of simply lost count of how many breweries there are. Enter: Calgary Brewery Tours will take you around to some of the city’s most popular breweries (Village Brewery, Last Best Brewing and Distilling, The Dandy Brewing Company, Tool Shed Brewing Company and The CRAFT Beer Market) for tastings and tours. This is a great gift for a beer connosieur on your list, or perhaps a great gift for the family to do together. I’m a big fan of any gift that allows you to explore the city and enjoy beer, all while someone else is driving.

Explore the rockies on two (fat) wheels

If you have an adventurous person on your list, this is the perfect gift! Kananaskis Outfitters offers a fat bike frozen waterfall tour, which I guarantee is an adventure that no one will expect under the Christmas tree! This tour requires biking experience but you don’t need to be an expert. The bikes are geared low to make it easy to pedal on the snow. The two-hour tour looks like it’s a total blast and if you want to get it for me for Christmas, I will definitely not be asking for a gift receipt!

A walk 65 million years in the making

If you ask me for something fun to do in Alberta, I will always suggest Dinosaur Provincial Park, which is something completely different than Drumheller, which is really cool too. But Dinosaur Provincial Park is located near Brooks and in the summer time, offers the opportunity to go on a dino dig with a real palaeontologist. In the winter, you can gon a Dinosaur Preserve Walk with a guide and gives you the chance to see this stunning park, all while learning of about the history of the area and seeing fossils. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site not far from Calgary and should not be missed.

Mike Morrison