Give the gift of experiences

In the past few years, we’ve kept it to ourselves, ordered quite a few things from Amazon, and had a much more desirable quality time to ourselves in our own homes. For most of us, the pandemic has been on our minds these days, and this holiday season will be a great year to give, share, and get more experiences. Happiness, memories, exploration, bonding, togetherness — and most likely a few Instagram posts.

For the family, let the fun explore the island’s history at the MV Museum. A one-year family membership is a great bang for the buck—$75, and $40 if you want to give an individual membership a go. It includes unlimited free admission to the Museum, Cooke House Gardens, Edgartown Lighthouses and East Chop. Members can go to the museum’s exhibits, events, and programs, and for children it includes the summer Discovery Days. Additional free guest passes are an added bonus. Pretty cool if you ask me. The museum is a great place to visit at any time of the year – as a group or on your own, rain or shine. New exhibitions are constantly being staged in addition to the permanent collection, so it will never get old. Check it out and buy online at mvmuseum.org.

For the outdoors type, the best version of a pocket-sized guidebook entitled “Walking Trails of Martha’s Vineyard” by William Flender. You can find them at the Bookstore Bunch of Grapes, Cronig’s Market, Edgartown Books, Alley’s General Store, or Morning Glory Farm. They will have this proof for years. Give a gas card next to them to put a little gas in their tank to drive to all the great hiking spots up on the island.

Any time you spend with horses is always a gift. Riding lessons in a fun, beautiful and welcoming barn in West Tisbury are perfect for any animal lover. It’s a great activity for any age or experience level. The White Stone Equestrian has friendly, helpful and professional staff who offer everything from beginner/pony rides to a comprehensive lesson package. You can book via email or call them. More info at whitestonemv.com.

Surprise someone with classes at the Featherstone Center for the Arts. With plenty of classes and workshop options throughout the year, Featherstone allows the recipient to experiment in a new medium or develop a favorite craft. Classes and workshops provide an opportunity to learn from talented instructors and network with other artists. Ceramics, painting, fiber arts, jewelry making, painting, mixed media, and glasswork are some of the class offerings. Featherstone also offers Art Nights, which have a social and relaxed approach, geared toward someone looking for a fun night out — plus they can BYOB to those, which is always nice. To purchase a gift card, visit featherstoneart.org, or visit the beautiful campus.

Have you thought henna to relax? Let them sit back and enjoy the magic of getting a henna tattoo in the comfort of their own home. The body art was designed and applied by Oak Bluffs-based Giocchina Kuester with her on-site mobile henna business called Island Henna MV. She is professional and has a warm and welcoming aura. The natural henna paste/dye (which smells divine) is applied to the skin in an intricate pattern, and lasts about 2 weeks – that’s longer than a mani/pedicure! Your henna recipients will enjoy the creative body art, and you’ll definitely make them feel spoiled. The price of sessions varies according to their complexity, size and location. To purchase a gift card and check package options and pricing, visit islandhennamv.com/services.

Who doesn’t love Martha’s Vineyard? For the person who doesn’t live here, give them a leave of absence to come visit. Help with their travel costs by giving them a Steamship Authority Gift Card. The card can be used to buy ferry tickets, make online reservations, and if you add a little extra, they can use it to buy a snack or drink on the boat, or help pay to park their car. You can purchase them at the ferry terminal or online at steamshipauthority.com. Depending on how dignified you are, you may even offer to let them stay with you.

You can get creative with how you wrap these special gifts—decorate the gift tag with a little bow, present the gift in a bag with a handmade card, or give it perfectly with a hug. Things are great, but this year, they’re wrapping up memories they’ll cherish for years. Give stories instead of stuff.

Other Experimental Medium Voltage Holiday Gift Ideas:

  • Membership in a YMCA or Mansion House.
    Spa treatment or massage.
  • Book them a private chef: The Food Minded Fellow is highly recommended.
  • Visit Alpaca Island.
  • Straight-edged beard at Benitos in Oak Bluffs.
    Yoga class punch card to Yoga Barn.
  • Gray Barn special cheese tasting (seasonal).
  • Lunch at Waterside Market, Mo’s, or Little House, a treat!
    Bowling at Barn, Bowl and Bistro.
  • Take the kids open skating at the Ice Arena.
    Tickets to a movie at the MV Film Center with a gift card to Salvatore’s, or to Entertainment Cinemas, with a gift card to Alchemy.
  • Acupuncture at the Vineyard of Complementary Medicine.
  • Weed Eaters – Now that’s an experiment!

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