By Savanne Giroire, Marketing Assistant
Looking for low-waste and eco-conscious gifts this holiday season? Here in Downtown, we have quite a few gifts up our sleeves that don’t require any wrapping! Share an experience with your loved ones and keep the memories forever (unlike that $5 shirt you’re not sure they’ll wear) while contributing to your local economy. Scroll on for a lovely and local list of fun times to be had, curated by the DVI Team!
Emily’s Pick: Volstead Cocktail Class + Show at the Ritz Theatre
Emily recommends gifting some new skills this year with the Volstead’s Master Cocktail Class! The speakeasy’s bartenders will teach you how to make classic cocktails while learning the history behind them. You’ll be able to enjoy your creations and show off your talents next time you host loved ones in your home. Emily’s advice: before the cocktail class, grab some tickets to a show or workshop at The Ritz Theatre and Museum and enjoy your day together!
Kady’s Pick: Explore Jax Core and St Johns River Taxi Sunset Cruise
Among Kady’s brilliant ideas, she recommends gifting the experience of an Explore Jax Core tour! They offer tour options including the Black Heritage Tour, Jacksonville’s First Coast history tour, Seasonal Specialty Crawls and more. For a rather romantic option, Kady recommends a Sunset Cruise with St Johns River Taxi– where you’ll enjoy a beautiful sunset, a relaxing cruise and great music on board their large passenger boat. The cruise will either go north past the sports complex towards Exchange Island or south towards Riverside, Avondale and San Marco. They have many specialty cruises to choose from, and you can find the list here.
Laken’s Pick: Art Bikes Jax and a Picnic in the Park
According to Laken, Art Bikes Jax is the ideal gift experience for the chill, sporty outdoor lover in your life. On an electric Art Bike tour, you’ll go on an adventure full of public art, architecture and parks! Either bring your own bike or rent one of their jazzy electric art bikes for the full experience, choose your own adventure and explore in and around Downtown Jacksonville. Guided tours are available daily at 10 a.m, and self-guided tours are available all day.
Once you’ve got your bearings and your favorite park in mind, Laken recommends packing a to-go lunch from Bread and Board Provisions and enjoying it in a park of your choice- like James Weldon Johnson Park, Riverfront Plaza or ‘Treaty Oak’, to name a few!
Kat’s Picks: Manifest’s Distiller’s Tour and Tickets to the Florida Theatre
For Kat, the Manifest’s Distiller’s Tour is at the top of her gift-giving list this year! This experience includes an in-depth tour of the production processes (mashing, fermentation, distillation, aging and packaging of spirits), and dives into the science of distillation and what goes into making the spirits you love to drink. The tour concludes with a tasting designed to teach you how to approach and appreciate spirits. This experience will show you how to drink like a professional! Distiller’s tours are by appointment only, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., and last around 2 hours. Kat also recommends gifting a pair of Florida Theatre tickets to a show or concert to spread some cheer!
Her ultimate pro-tip: enter the Florida Theatre’s New Years Eve raffle for a chance to win two tickets to each and every show at the Theatre in 2023- an estimated ticket value of $15k. The winning ticket will be drawn at the Florida Theatre on New Year’s Eve.
Jake’s Pick: A Visit to The Florida Theatre’s Renovated Member Lounge
Jake is excited for the opening of the new renovated member lounge at the historic Florida Theatre: it’s a brand new space on the 2nd floor overlooking Forsyth street, featuring a gorgeous lit up onyx bar in the works. Prepare your show picks to check this out early 2023! Another of Jake’s recommendations is a run or bike ride on the St. John’s Riverwalk. Get the blood flowing before grabbing some brunch at a nearby spot, like D&G Deli, Arepa Please or First Watch. Check out our map for the full list!
Haley’s Pick: Pedal Pub Jax
Our fun-curator, Haley, recommends Pedal Pub Jax as a great group gift. Dubbed The Original Party Bike, Pedal Pub Jax delivers just that. Their Pilots steer you to the coolest breweries, bars and restaurants around town and all you’ve gotta do is put some power to the peddle. There are four different routes to choose from which are constantly updated to reflect the many new and unique locations and sightseeing destinations popping up in the area!
Phoebe’s Pick: Membership to a Museum
Phoebe’s great taste leads us to her recommendation of a membership to any of our local museums- the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville (MOCA), the Museum of Science and History (MOSH), The Ritz Theatre and Museum or the Cummer Museum and Gardens, just a little way out of the core. These cultural institutions are constantly creating unique exhibits alongside hosting rotating ones from all over the U.S., so there’s also something new to see! With this experience, you’ll give the gift of art, creativity and of never-ending learning!
Eduardo’s Pick: Sports Game Tickets + Brewery Gift Card
For the sports lover in your life, Eduardo recommends gifting them tickets to their favorite sports game along with a gift card to a brewery in the sports district, like Intuition Ale Works! Jacksonville’s sports games all take place within Downtown, and your options include Jumbo Shrimp Baseball, Icemen Hockey, and of course the Jacksonville Jaguars Football. Intuition even offers contactless e-gift cards that can be purchased at the link here and sent virtually to loved ones.
Sav’s Pick: Jacksonville Symphony + Restaurant Gift Card
For the elegant music-appreciator pal, Savanne recommends tickets to a show of the 73rd season of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra! The upcoming season is sure to take viewers on a musical journey to places you’ve never been. Before the big show, consider grabbing them a gift card to one of Downtown’s delicious restaurants- like Bellwether, Cowford Chophouse, bb’s restaurant and bar, or Estrella Cocina, to name a few!
Eric’s Pick: Sweet Pete’s Classes
Eric’s sweet tooth recommends Sweet Pete’s Candy Co. for the adult-candy-making-workshops of your dreams! Choose the workshop (options include Candy & Cocktails, Bourbon Derby Balls and Boozy Truffles, to name a few) and a date for you and your gift-receiver to book the class. We think you’ll love this interactive and delicious experience- plus, you’ll take home some delectable souvenirs!
Extra Pick: Go Tuk’n Tours
For fun for the whole family, Go Tuk’n Tours is the way to go! They offer tours all over Jacksonville for special occasions or just for weekend fun. For a fun and adult time, they have combo tours like the Art + Drinking Experience, the Downtown City + Drinking Experience, and the Brewery + Scavenger Hunt Combo. Give the gift of knowledge (and a good time) about public art in the Downtown area this holiday season!
Still not sure what to get them? Our #DTJax E-Gift Card is a simple fix- with over 40 participating locations in Downtown, there’s something for everybody! Don’t forget to tag us at #DTJax and show us your experiences in Downtown!