Yes, you’re right, everyone and their sister are publishing their gift guides right now. BUT. Ours are different. We’re posting one gift guide every day this week, and they are all featuring local businesses you can support. There are zero affiliate links, so we’re not trying to sell anything – except shopping small this season.

To kick off the week, here is our list of experiences you can gift. Because we all have to buy for that person who already has everything. Gifting an experience creates a memory, and – bonus – it’s kind of a gift for you, too, if you’re planning on attending with them!

Cooking Classes

pittsburgh local gift guide experiences cooking classes
Image via: @macaronbarpgh, Instagram

Pittsburgh offers a surprising number of cooking classes. We love giving these as a gift because you get to learn something new, make some new friends, and eat whatever you made at the end of the class! A few of our favorites include Gaynor’s School of Cooking, Macaron Bar, Food Glorious Food, and Enrico Biscotti.


pittsburgh local gift guide experiences lumaze
Image via: @lumaze_pittsburgh, Instagram

Gift tickets to Lumaze for a one-of-a-kind holiday experience that has something for everyone. There are light gardens, illuminated structures, food, beverages of all kinds, live music, a vendor market, and even playgrounds for kids. Just be sure to get your tickets soon because many time slots are getting limited or selling out.

A Membership

pittsburgh local gift guide experiences membership
Image via: @carnegiemuseum, Instagram

Need to buy for an art or archaeology buff? Maybe an avid bird watcher? Gift a membership to one of the many museums or attractions around the city! The Carnegie Museums and Science Center, Aviary, and Pittsburgh Zoo all offer memberships. Or consider The Children’s Museum for the families you need to buy for!

Brewery / Distillery Tour

pittsburgh local gift guide experiences brewery tour
Image via: @eastendbrewing, Instagram

Maybe you’re searching for the perfect gift for a craft beer or spirit lover…in which case you should definitely consider a brewery or distillery tour. We’ve personally attended a number in the area, including East End Brewery and Wigle Whiskey, and they were so much fun. You learn a lot, you get some samples – there’s no better way to spend a couple hours.


Pittsburgh Pedal Boats
Photo Credit: Paige Creo

We love the idea of a staycation! Especially if there are areas of the city you’ve always wanted to explore with someone but never seem to make the time for. Book a hotel room and be a tourist in your own back yard!

Sporting Event Tickets

pittsburgh local gift guide experiences sports events
Image via: @riverhoundssc, Instagram

And we don’t just mean football…although who doesn’t love going to a Steelers game? It’s always fun to have something to look forward to later in the year, like a Pirates game on a beautiful summer afternoon. Or how about going to a Riverhounds game? We’ll be there cheering next to you.

Creative Classes

pittsburgh local gift guide experiences workshop pgh
Image via: @workshoppgh, Instagram

We always feel so accomplished after we create something, but it’s something we don’t do nearly enough. Which makes it the perfect gift idea! Hit up somewhere like Workshop PGH or AR Workshop and build your own shelf, learn to knit, or get your hands dirty with another craft. If you’re not sure what your giftee would be into, you can always opt for a gift certificate to let them pick their own class!

Cultural Tickets

pittsburgh local gift guide experiences CLO
Image via: @pittsburghclo, Instagram

The Pittsburgh CLO has a great deal at the holidays where you pay a set price and give the gift of two tickets to any show during the season. Whoever you gift it to picks the show, date, and time, and they get the best seats available. And don’t forget about the Symphony, Opera, Ballet, Cabaret…there’s even a Children’s Theater program.

Food Tour

Image via: @burghbitsandbites, Instagram

Another great way to explore the city with someone is by booking a food tour. You get to learn more about a specific area while tasting treats they’re famous for…which sounds like a perfect afternoon to us! Definitely make sure you plan on attending this one with whoever you gift it to, and save us a seat, too!

Did we miss your favorite experience to gift? Let us know in the comments so we can all add it to our shopping list!

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Lauren Roberts

Lauren loves all things Pittsburgh and all things food! When she's not checking out a new restaurant, you can find her in the kitchen trying a new recipe, working on her photography, or out on a bike ride exploring the city.

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