Give the Gift of an Experience in Auburn-Opelika this Holiday Season


Give the Gift of an Experience in Auburn-Opelika this Holiday Season

M. A. Hughes | Auburn-Opelika Tourism

Looking for that perfect Christmas gift for the person who says they don’t need anything? No idea what to get your in-laws? Simply trying something different with your gift-giving this holiday season? Auburn-Opelika is here for you! Check out this list of experiences offered in the area that would make perfect gifts for your loved ones this holiday season.


Food and Drink Experiences:

Dessert Date Night at Acre

Acre has been a staple of the Auburn-Opelika community since 2013. Located in the heart of Auburn just three blocks from Toomer’s Corner, this upscale southern restaurant boasts “traditional tastes of the Deep South in a totally fresh and modern way.”

Along those lines, Acre has incredible desserts—and the best part is, you don’t have to choose just one! The “dessert board” option offers guests a taste of cinnamon apple bread pudding, charred sweet corn cobbler, peanut butter pie and a gluten-free chocolate torte. The menu also includes a wide variety of dessert wines to pair with these sweet treats.

Call 334.246.3763 to purchase an Acre gift card and treat your loved ones to a night of mouth-watering desserts they’ll never forget!


Weekend Brunch at The Hound

Since its opening in 2012, The Hound has been a premier spot for those looking for a restaurant with “simple, delicious food with a focus on bacon, bourbon, community and family.” Although it offers a wonderful lunch and dinner menu, The Hound is arguably best-known for its Saturday and Sunday brunch.

The brunch menu offers guests a variety of ways to try The Hound’s famous bacon, whether in the form of a BLT, on a burger or chicken sandwich or in the gooey maple bacon “cinnabuns.” You can even get the “Bacon Sampler,” the chef’s daily selection of various styles of bacon produced in-house or sourced from craft artisans. In keeping with the restaurants’ reputation for incredible bourbon, the brunch cocktail menu also offers the “Momma Sue’s Brunch Mule,” which includes bourbon, ginger beer and pepper jelly and the “Bacon-n-Bourbon Bloody Mary,” a new take on a bloody Mary that features bourbon, bacon hot sauce, pork rinds and a house bacon garnish.

Click here to purchase a gift card and give the gift of the most unique brunch in the South!


Happy Hour at Lucy’s

Although it’s only been open since summer 2018, Lucy’s has already garnered a reputation as one of the best eateries in Auburn-Opelika. It boasts a creative menu featuring “locally-sourced food made from the heart and served from the heart.” It also has a “killer” cocktail menu, featuring everything from beer and wine to delicious libations.

In partnership with United-Johnson Brothers and Old Forester, Lucy’s is now offering happy hour every Tuesday-Friday from 5-6:30 p.m.! Happy hour guests can enjoy half-price wine on tap, $3 craft beer cans and a special bar menu featuring barman Neil’s award-winning Old Forester cocktails. This special menu also includes brisket sliders, truffle parmesan fries, deviled eggs and Lucy’s pimento cheese.

Click here to purchase a gift card and give your 21+ friends a special happy hour treat!


Customized Culinary Classes at the Auburn University Hotel

The Auburn University Hotel and Dixon Conference Center was established in downtown Auburn in 2015. Since then, it has been a valuable resource to those looking for a place to stay for the weekend, hold their business conferences or even celebrate their wedding day. It also houses Ariccia Cucina Italiana, known for its incredible authentic Italian cuisine and Piccolo, a jazz lounge bar that where guests can sit back and listen to some smooth jazz while indulging in Arricia’s extensive cocktail menu.

Known for the exquisite Ariccia menu, the hotel also offers lucky guests customized culinary classes in which they can learn their way around the professional kitchen and gain skills in everything from Italian classics to modern delicacies. These classes can be customized to fit any particular group’s wants and needs, no matter the size.

Contact Tara Harbison for more information about how to give the gift of culinary art creations this holiday season!


 Arts and Culture Experiences:


Shows at East Alabama Arts

Founded as an amateur painting club called the Opelika Arts Association in 1965, it has evolved throughout the years into a professional presenting and arts education organization. It was renamed the Arts Association of East Alabama in 2007 to reflect this larger service area. Today, its mission is to “provide rewarding and exciting experiences for the citizens of this area by developing innovative programming that will stimulate interest in the arts, eagerness to learn through the arts, and broader participation in and support of the arts.” 

In keeping with its mission, East Alabama Arts offers a variety of performances. The 2020 lineup includes the Siberian State Symphony Orchestra, Drum Tao, The Choir of Man and many more! No matter who you’re trying to buy a gift for, East Alabama Arts offers something for everyone.

Click here to purchase tickets and give the gift of spectatorship!


Shows at the Gogue Performing Arts Center

Having just opened its doors in August of this year, the Gogue Performing Arts Center is Auburn-Opelika’s newest performance space. Its mission is to “elevate and transform the creative landscape of Auburn University, the state of Alabama, the region and far beyond with thoughtfully curated experiences that inspire, engage and enlighten.”

For the 2019-2020 season, the Gogue Performing Arts Center is offering season subscriptions that grant access to all 27 season performances. Guests can also purchase series subscriptions that include tickets to all three season performances within a genre-specific series. These series include Americana Roots, Celebrity Concerts, Dance, Global Stage, Jazz and Vocal Songbook, Chamber Arts, Family and Broadway. Single tickets for each of these performances are also offered.

Click here to purchase tickets and surprise your loved ones with a night (or multiple nights) at an incredible show!


Kid's Classes at Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center

Since 1999, the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center has existed to “better serve the artistic needs of [the] community and provide residents and visitors with cultural programming, as well art exhibitions, theatre productions, concerts, dance recitals, lectures and workshops and special events.” The center hosts classes and workshops for all ages, art exhibits in the gallery, community art programs and other special events in order to promote its mission to “enrich our community.”

In addition to this variety of cultural offerings, the Jan Dempsey Center also offers special summer camps for children. These Art Camps, taught by area artists, art educators and guest artists, provide students with engaging art education activities that expose them to different mediums and techniques while learning about artists, art forms and diverse cultures. Summers at Jan Dempsey are a fun and educational experience your child won’t want to miss!

Call 334.501.2963 to give the young people in your life the gift of the best summer art classes ever!


A Day of Jewelry Making at Perch Jewelry Studio

Since its opening in 2009, Perch Jewelry Studio has been a place where anyone and everyone can learn to make jewelry that is beautiful, simple and easy to wear. Perch owner Barbara Birdsong and her daughter, Hannah, also create their own jewelry designs that are available for purchase. These designs “honor our past and present, and the influences of the people and places that we've experienced throughout life. Designs are inspired by the unpredictable and often imperfect nature of life, which makes all things authentically beautiful.”

At Perch, guests can learn to create their own jewelry with the (free of charge) help of friendly staff. These creations include (but are not limited to) precious moments, personalized jewelry, handcrafted charms, Greek wordpress, quote jewelry, wire wrapping, thumbprint charms and more. In addition, Perch offers specialized workshops designed to “nourish creativity by diving deeper into the creative process.” The store even offers space for parties and events. There’s something for everyone at Perch!

Call 334.209.1378 to give the gift of specialized jewelry making for the special people in your life!


DIY Classes at AR Workshop

Anders and Ruff Workshop was started by designers Maureen Anders and Adria Ruff in 2010. It has quickly grown to include workshop locations all over the country—including one right here in Auburn!The AR Workshop in Auburn is owned by Kimeran Keahey. A graduate of Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design, Kimeran has always felt a strong passion to create. She opened the Auburn chapter of AR Workshop in the hopes of creating a place where the community could come together to create personalized projects with their friends, family and co-workers. It is a place where even the most "creatively-challenged” can create and connect in a town they love!

AR Workshop offers wood sign classes, framed sign classes, DIY decor, pallet sign painting, farmhouse style pillow painting, kids workshops and parties, centerpiece boxes, lazy Susan’s, round wood signs, chunky blanket classes and more! This DIY boutique has a class that will cater to even the most difficult-to-shop-for people in your life.

Click here to purchase a gift card and give that “creatively-challenged” someone in your life the chance to create their own beautiful work of art!


Painting Classes at Spirited Art

Located in Opelika, Spirited Art is a studio where participants can “make memories, not just paintings!” Classes are accessible to people of all ages and from all walks of life, from those who are experienced painters to those who have never picked up a paintbrush in their life. The studio offers both public classes and private events.

Spirited Art offers a wide array of painting classes, from regular acrylic “Paint and Sip” to pet portrait workshops. They even offer guests the opportunity to register for an “Open Studio” option where interested artists can choose a painting from the studio’s collection that isn’t currently on the calendar and show up on the day of the class to paint their masterpiece. There is also a detailed calendar of classes listed on the website. No matter the person, Spirited Art offers something for everyone!

Click here to purchase a gift card and give the aspiring artist in your life a wonderful painting workshop experience!


Sweetheart Spa Day at Grand National

Blending modern techniques with the natural elements of Alabama, the Spa at Grand National is "a serene oasis tucked beneath lush fauna of Auburn." The spa's services include body scrubs, facials, manicures and pedicures, individual massages, waxing and so much more!

The Spa at Grand National also offers couple's massages perfect for you and that special someone in your life. These massages can be booked for either 50 or 80 minutes. The massage, called the Secret Garden Signature Poultice, was created specially for Grand National guests and promotes relaxation by using a warm, herbal poultice to "help ease muscle aches and pains, stimulate circulation and detoxify stagnant energy in the body." 

Click here to book a couple's massage and give your signicant other the gift of relaxation this holiday season!


Recreational Experiences:

 Bowling Night at Good Times

An Auburn commodity since 2018, Good Times is not your average bowling alley. Rather, it’s “an immersive lane-side experience that takes the game to a whole new level and transforms America’s favorite recreational pastime into something worthy of the 21st century!”

In addition to bowling lanes, Good Times also offers 30+ arcade games, two escape rooms, two rooms reserved for private parties and a menu featuring pizza, burgers, wings and more. There is also a full-service bar for those 21 and up. Good Times is the perfect gift for someone who’s looking for a night of friendly bowling competition, good food and arcade games!

Click here to reserve a night for the fun-loving people in your life!


Game Night at CyberZone

Located in Opelika, CyberZone is full to the brim with fun for the whole family. From laser tag to retro arcade games to a menu featuring delicious flatbreads and appetizers, CyberZone has something for everyone to enjoy!

CyberZone also offers an eSports Zone and a new high-intensity arcade-style attraction called Atomic Rush. They are able to accommodate birthday parties, private events and large groups for any occasion. With customizable party packages ranging from family gatherings, traditional parties, tweens/teens and adult milestones, you can create a night anyone in your life will enjoy!

Click here to book your party and give the gift of laser tag and arcade game fun! 


A Day at Surge Adventure Park

Since 2017, kids and adults alike have enjoyed spending their day at Surge Adventure Park in Opelika. After all, there’s no better way to spend your day than jumping on a giant trampoline (and it’s a good way to get some exercise, too!)

Surge offers single jumper options for up to three hours. Kids under 2 jump free; on weekdays, kids 6 and under also receive a special discount. Thursdays from 5-9 p.m. are College Night and give university students the chance to jump for an hour at a discounted price. And as if that wasn’t enough, the park offers group discounts, field trips and even overnight slumber parties! Surge offers a diverse range of activities that will cater from the youngest to the oldest person in your group.

Click here to purchase a day of trampoline activities for your whole family!


A Day Outdoors at Chewacla

Located just off Shell Toomer Parkway, Chewacla State Park houses over 600 scenic acres in which visitors can hike, run, bike or relax to their hearts’ desire. The facilities include a 26-acre lake, swimming area, playground, a modern campground, picnic areas with tables, grills and shelters, cabins for overnight camping and plenty of trails.

Chewacla is the perfect place for someone looking to spend some quality time in nature—and the good news is, you can buy gift cards to cover the cost of admission to the park!

Call 334.887.5621 to learn how to purchase a gift card and give the nature enthusiast in your life the best gift they’ll ever receive!


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