Sharks! Burlesque! Tree houses! These local experience gifts will create Christmas magic, sans packaging.
So this is the year you’ve decided to stop adding useless (and expensive) plastic tchotchkes to the landfill and give the gift of experiences. Good for you! Now, uh, you need to actually get them purchased.
These local experience gifts will create memories that last long past Christmas morning, and can be snapped up online — like, right now.
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Eye-to-Eye Shark Dives ($60–$75 at pdza.org/discover/shark-dives). The daredevil and Shark Week fan in your life will appreciate this opportunity to dive with sharks in the Tacoma zoo’s 225,000-gallon salt-water aquarium. For 20 minutes they’ll observe 16 sharks from five different species, up-close and personal from the safety of a cage and accompanied by a trained diver. Dry suit provided, no experience necessary. For ages 8 and up.
Treehouse Point Tour or Stay ($25 to tour, $290 and up to stay, at treehousepoint.com). Tour the beautiful, locally built treehouses made famous on Animal Planet’s “Treehouse Masters” TV show. Traverse enchanting suspended bridges and explore artfully appointed lodgings nestled in Fall City’s lush forest. It’s only 30 minutes from Seattle, but feels a world away. A one-hour tour delights all ages. If you want to splurge on a romantic getaway, add a night’s stay, which includes a delicious homemade breakfast. Reservations required.
Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker ($45–$85 at thetripledoor.net through Dec. 30). Start a new (grown-up) holiday tradition with this retrolicious presentation of The Nutcracker as you’ve never seen it before. The ballet is replaced by burlesque — complete with glittery costumes, vaudeville humor and sexy stripteases — and the orchestra is replaced by a live band playing jazzed-up arrangements of the Tchaikovsky score. With dinner and drinks at your seat, Christmas is done! 21 and up.
iFLY Indoor Skydiving (starting at $70 at seattle.iflyworld.com). At Tukwila’s indoor skydiving facility, the whole family, ages 3 and up, can take flight. A vertical wind tunnel creates a thrilling, and safe, adventure as you are lifted into midair. Jumpsuit and training included; video and photos available to show friends and family How You Spent Your Winter Vacation.
Axe Kickers Axe Throwing (starting at $20 at axekickers.com). Looking for something new and fun for date night, male bonding, company morale or non-family-centric holiday entertainment? Try out the new trend of axe-throwing. Reserve a lane online to hurl an axe at a wooden target at the site of the Axe Squatch Throwing League in South Seattle. Don’t worry, training is included, so you will live to see the new year. E-gift cards available for a last-minute gift. 21 and up.