Stumped on what to get Dad for Christmas? Our holiday guide is full of plenty of smart gift ideas, plus a few other deal-with-December tips. Skip the holiday hooplah with a little help from Centerstage.
It may be the season for dashing through the snow, but most of us are dashing through crowded malls in futile pursuit of the perfect present. Here's your chance to step away from the piles of sweaters and stacks of DVDs and give something more memorable than anything that could be wrapped inside a box: a date with you. We've rounded up a few ways to give the gift of your time along with your present, catered to the taste of every character on your shopping list.
Indulge your pal with time in the float tank at SpaceTime Tanks
Let the holiday stress drift away along with your awareness of the outside world. The tanks, filled with ten inches of water and 800 pounds of Epsom salt (the “magic” ingredient allowing you to effortlessly float), are designed for complete relaxation—a two-hour session is equal to eight hours of sleep! Other benefits include increased concentration and creativity. Considering the perks, this $40 hour-long session offers serious bang for you buck.
Romance the object of your affection with a night on the Odyssey dinner cruise
Sail the Chicago seas (better known as Lake Michigan) while you sip fine wine and dine on appetizers, entrees and desserts. The cruise features three decks of quality time, from cheek-to-cheek dancing to table-for-two dining with a picture-perfect backdrop. The standard dinner cruise costs between $86 and $103 per person, but with the purchase of a celebration package (an additional $45-$200), you can amp up the special service with guaranteed window-seating, a bottle of champagne, festive decorations and more.
Surprise your drama queen or king with League of Chicago Theatres' tickets for two
The tickets, which range from $20-$40 a piece, gain you admittance to a Thursday night show (upcoming titles include Seasonal Disorder and The Mikado), pre- or post-performance cocktails and appetizers held in the host theater’s lobby or nearby restaurant. Plus you'll have the opportunity to schmooze with the cast members and directors or go behind-the-scenes. In addition to the main event, other area theaters also offer special Thursday deals such as two for one tickets.
Inspire your favorite artist with a membership to the Museum of Contemporary Art
For $50, you (the membership includes two guest passes) and your lucky gift recipient can enjoy unlimited access to the world of contemporary art wonders at the MCA. Better yet, this gift keeps on giving; discounts apply to MCA classes, performances, First Fridays, store purchases and museum dining (double discounts during Member Appreciation Days). Not to mention sneak peek invitations to Members’ Opening Night Parties.
Sign your sports nut up for a class with Kayak Chicago
For $40-per-person, this active endeavor will have you and your pal practicing basic kayaking techniques, such as turning, stopping, spinning, from the comfort of UIC’s Olympic-size indoor pool. Kayak Chicago's class includes all the equipment you'll need, plus one free kayak rental during an open pool session, where you can show off your new techniques, play kayak polo or just hang out with other kayaking enthusiasts. After mastering the skills this winter, make plans for a summer rendezvous, taking a tour down the Chicago River.
Enroll your best booze hound in school at the Map Room
Beer-lovers will can appreciate the chance to learn about their beverage of choice at the Map Room's beer school. Hosted once a month (usually the third Saturday) by brewmaster Greg Browne, the $15-per-person course instructs students on the history, process, style and flavor profile of each of the nine or ten beers being tasted. A selection of cheese and bread are also on hand to help keep you on your toes mid-tasting. When school lets out, you're free to hang around with the cool kids and sample the bar’s amazing selection of beers on tap such as Unibroue Maudite and Delirium Tremens.