Recommendation for gift classes/experiences in Tucson?
October 27, 2015 11:28 AM   Subscribe

My parents spend the month of January in Tucson. Can you recommend a Christmas gift idea for a class or experience? Caveats within...

I'm looking ideally for a class they can both do, but in a pinch I'd be okay with something for my mom and will find another gift for my dad.

General requirements:
- Must be something they can schedule/redeem in the month of January
- I'd strongly prefer a one-off class or experience vs. a series, since they aren't really in town for all that long to be committing to a class series.
- I'm not looking so much for things like a paint-your-own mug studio or one of those painting/cocktail night things everyone seems to do.

- I'd be fine spending up to a few hundred dollars, but less is fine too - I'd only want to go super high if it's really an amazing kind of thing

Content areas:

- my top choice would be to find some kind of painting or drawing class for both my mom and dad. Neither have artistic hobbies, but my dad has a natural drawing/painting ability that comes out at odd times and I'd love to see him try this.
- another idea might be clay/ceramics?

- my mom is an excellent, self-taught home cook and has taken cooking classes in the past. Knife skills or any kind of southwest cuisine would be really cool for her to learn.
- my dad wouldn't do this, but I can find another option for him.

- tours? balloon ride? A really good restaurant?

I've done a bit of googling but I have a really hard time discerning how good some of the options are. Any personal experiences/recommendations would be wonderful
posted by handful of rain to Travel & Transportation around Tucson, AZ (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Mod note: A few comments deleted; mix-up about Tucson AZ vs Tuscany averted.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:03 PM on October 27, 2015

A membership to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and perhaps a gift certificate or enrollment in one of their art classes? This was something I always wanted to do when I lived in Tucson, but could never find the time. They do have weekend workshops, too.
posted by honeybee413 at 12:11 PM on October 27, 2015

Creative Juice Bar has one-night adult painting classes (paint your own canvas and have a glass of wine).
posted by MyTwoCentsToo at 12:53 PM on October 27, 2015

Also, this thread on Yelp has several ideas for one-time adult classes.
posted by MyTwoCentsToo at 12:56 PM on October 27, 2015

You could buy them a month's worth of shares from one of the CSA's in town, so they have fresh fruits and veggies while they're here. The Tucson CSA is $20/week for a good quantity of local stuff, and the membership is pretty modular so it can just be for one month.
posted by permiechickie at 1:31 PM on October 27, 2015

The Tucson Botanical Gardens are lovely. They don't have their class schedule up for January, but they might have something interesting. The seasonal butterfly exhibit is nice, too.

I've taken classes at the Sonoran Glass School and had a great time. They don't have much on the January schedule yet, but I did a hot shop class to blow a Christmas ornament, and one on making kiln-fired pieces. No prior knowledge required.

Santa Theresa Tileworks has classes for putting together mosaics. Not much on the schedule for Janaury yet, but maybe they'll add more classes?

Beading classes at Design and Adorn.
posted by Squeak Attack at 1:53 PM on October 27, 2015

Tohono Chul is another nice garden with classes, lectures, and concerts.

Sonoran Permaculture has classes on gardening and beekeeping.

Tucson food walking tours.

Old Pueblo tours of Tucson and nearby attractions.

Sonoita wine tours.
posted by Squeak Attack at 2:12 PM on October 27, 2015

Karchner Caverns is an amazingly beautiful cave about 50 miles from Tucson, well worth the drive if they have not yet visited it. You could combine the cave tour with a stay at a nearby bed and breakfast that gets great reviews.
posted by zoel at 5:12 PM on October 27, 2015

For an experience, you might consider getting them a National Parks pass. There are two branches of Saguaro National Park near Tucson, both with lovely features and trails to explore.
posted by thewestinggame at 8:34 PM on October 27, 2015

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