Give the gift of an experience this Christmas

From brunch cruises to animal encounters, give an extraordinary experience to friends and family this festive season. We’ve found some of Melbourne’s best gifts that will keep on giving, through photos and memories.

Melbourne Zoo – Close-Up Encounters

Do you know someone who would love to get close to a kangaroo or sidle up to a seal? Melbourne Zoo – Close-Up Encounters make these and other experiences possible, including meet and greets with lemurs, meerkats, giraffes and giant tortoises. Bring a phone or camera for photos that will make this gift last forever.

A small furry animal poking its tongue out

Meet Melbourne’s lemur community

Zoo Twilights

Rufus Wainwright, Archie Roach and Sampa the Great are among the amazing musos lined up for this summer’s Zoo Twilights program. Who would your friends or family enjoy best while grazing on a picnic as the sun goes down? Hurry though, because tickets are selling fast. Make sure you arrive early to say goodnight to the animals and stake your claim on the lawn’s prime real estate.

An aerial shot over a large crowd in an outdoor venue as the sun sets

Zoo Twilights

Melbourne Star Observation Wheel

Get a fresh, 360-degree perspective of the city and toast someone special with Melbourne Star Observation Wheel’s Sparkling Flight drinks package. It’s available 1-9pm every day, so you can enjoy beers in the afternoon, cider at sunset or bubbles with glittering night-time views. Cheers!

Between Two Worlds | Escher X nendo

For art lovers and the art curious alike, a ticket to NGV International’s major summer exhibition will blow their mind. Between Two Worlds | Escher X nendo reveals 160-plus prints and drawings by picture-puzzle master M. C. Escher. It’s far from your usual gallery experience, because Japanese design studio nendo has created an immersive experience that makes these images even more surprising and intriguing.

Artvo

Take your kids, your bestie or your mum, and take tons of photos at Artvo, Australia’s first ‘trick art’ gallery. A small army of clever artists have created 11 themed spaces that are all about interacting, having a giggle and getting social. From walking through a magical garden to conquering a big croc, the photos will get lots of likes well beyond Christmas.

Rooftop Cinema

You could get them a cinema voucher, or take it to the next level with a night up at Rooftop Cinema. There are stunning city skyline views, a bar, burger shack, deckchairs for everyone and another hot summer of art-house, classic and new films. If you’re not sure which movie they’ll like, e vouchers are available online and they’re good for any session.

An outdoor cinema on the rooftop of a bar

Rooftop Cinema

Trapt Bar & Escape Rooms

Treat your mates to some brainy fun at Trapt Bar & Escape Rooms – or just let someone loose with a gift voucher. Choose from the Alchemy, Espionage, Prohibition or Wizard of Oz rooms, and keep your eyes and minds open. Once your team’s found the clues and solved the puzzles, celebrate at the bar with a festive round or two.

Champagne and Seafood Brunch Cruise

For good times out on the water, get on board the Lady Cutler’s Champagne and Seafood Brunch Cruise. Bubbles and canapes on arrival are just the start of this relaxing three-hour jaunt that’s the perfect antidote to the silly season. Enjoy evolving views of the city and bay while sipping and supping with someone special, or make it a festive family affair.

Progressive Degustation Tour

Three unique venues, nine yummy bites and nine matched wine tastings. Sounds like the perfect gift for that foodie in your life, or anyone who wants to have fun and explore Melbourne. And who doesn’t? Hidden Secrets’ Progressive Degustation Tour could be the indulgent answer for that person who’s impossible to buy for.

Queen Victoria Market’s Ultimate Foodie Tour

Ultimate Foodie Tour gift voucher recipients will think of you with every beautiful bite during this Queen Victoria Market walking tour. They will taste fresh produce and exotic ingredients, get shopping and cooking tips, meet some traders and learn a little history. If you’re already feeling jealous, make a booking for you and a friend or two and have a delicious experience together.

A display of different cheeses

Cheeses at the Queen Vic