Scottsdale's Experiential Gift Guide

By local contributor
Christina La Porte

If you’re like us, you don’t crave new things as much as much as you do new experiences. New toys, books, clothes and gadgets may bring a moment of excitement as they are unwrapped over the holidays, but memories made with family and friends last a lifetime.

This year, give the gift of memories (made in Scottsdale) for the loved ones in your life.
The best part: No gift wrapping required!

Don’t forget to share the photos of your experiences and tag us using @scottsdaleariz on Instagram.



Forget a new kitchen or grill gadget, give the gift of flavor with tickets to a special dinner at the Chef’s Kitchen and Herb Garden at Omni Resort & Spa at Montelucia. Each month, the resort hosts uniquely themed dinner parties where guests can indulge in the best and most flavorful, locally grown ingredients cooked in a live demonstration format by Executive Chef Marcos Seville. Each four-course meal is then artfully paired with the perfect wine or spirit for a fantastic feast. Available monthly. $110-$120 per person.



It’s not a coffee table book this year! Ultimate Art & Cultural Tours specializes not only in knowing intriguing details about midcentury modern architecture throughout the Phoenix and Scottsdale area, but also leads tours of artist galleries, studios and art museums. The design geek in your life will thank you.



Make a day of it at OdySea in the Desert. The campus is home to the OdySea Aquarium, Butterfly Wonderland, and Pangaea Land of the Dinosaurs, as well as Polar Play Ice Bar, Laser + Mirror Maze and more. The campus also hosts events that include arts and crafts, demonstrations, and other activities. Combo tickets permit you into multiple attractions at a savings, so you and the family can make a day of it!



Hiking boots and outerwear are great, but the outdoorsy folks in your life won’t forget a trip to Havasu Falls with Arizona Outback Adventures (AOA). Located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, this remote oasis is best known for its unexpected, striking blue waterfalls. The hike into Havasupai takes adventurers on a one-of-a-kind, 30-mile journey across the crags and crannies of the canyon. AOA offers three-day and four-day Guided Escape to Havasupai trips for the moderately experienced hiker and camper.  $995 per person (three-day) and $1,115 per person (four-day).



Treat mom to a Scottsdale night out at the theater with tickets to a live concert at The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) Music Theater or an engaging performance at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts (SCPA). Acts coming to the MIM in 2019 include singer-songwriter, John Sebastian; “Passion for Bach and Coltrane,” presented by MIM and the Phoenix Chamber Music Society; MusicNova Orchestra: The Forgotten Symphonies – Unveiling the Romantics; and more. Highlights on the 2019 calendar at SCPA include Soft Machine and the Levin Brothers, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet: An Evening with Pianist Joyce Yang, David Sedaris, Keb’ Mo’ and other can’t-miss performances.



Give dads with a need for speed what they really want: a live race! Octane Raceway’s 1/3-mile go-kart track is the perfect way to blow off some steam with family or friends – with a little friendly competition. Adult beverages are available at the Brickyard Grill following dad’s victory lap and there’s even games and mini bowling to indulge his inner child at the on-site arcade and mini alley. Score a package of three kart races for dad as low as $50 or check out an annual membership for the repeat visitor.


To plan your Scottsdale holiday getaway, click here!