Things break. Things get stolen, they wear out, they get lost and they go out of style. Not so with experiences. Experiences create memories that will last a lifetime. Some may wish to give loved ones an experience this holiday season.

The Performing Arts

A Concert at S.P.A.C.E.

Evanston is home to one of the Chicago area’s premier new music venues. Located in the back of Union Pizzeria, S.P.A.C.E., 1245 Chicago Ave., offers a full and diverse concert lineup. The intimate setting and state-of-the-art acoustics will surely satisfy any live music-lover. The wide variety of entertainers range from local artists to world-renowned performers and the price is right. Visit for a calendar of shows and to purchase tickets.

A Subscription to Next Theatre

The often socially provocative and adventurous Next Theatre Company, 927 Noyes St., has been called the edgiest theater in the area. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this season, Next Theatre offers three-play- and two-play-subscription packages. The $100 Mainstage Flex Package includes one ticket to each of the three mainstage shows (a 15 percent savings). Another slightly pricier package includes an invitation to attend all of the three opening-night parties. Subscriptions offer flexible ticketing options so ticket holders can choose dates of attendance convenient for them. Visit for more information.

Season Tickets to the Evanston
Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1945, the Evanston Symphony Orchestra (ESO) is one of the oldest community orchestras in the Chicago area. A not-for-profit orchestra, the ESO provides high-quality and accessible classical musical entertainment to the community. The $90 subscription provides tickets to all four ESO concerts, most held at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on the Northwestern University campus. Individual concert tickets are also available in advance. Children under 12 years are admitted free, and senior discounts are available. Visit



The premier culinary center of the North Shore, Now We’re Cookin’, 1601 Payne St., offers a complete calendar of cooking classes. The hands-on lessons are taught in its state-of-the-art kitchen by a roster of skilled instructors and led by award-winning pastry chef Mary McMahon. Classes typically meet weeknights from 6:30-8:30 and range in price from $50 to $70. Classes are also available on Saturdays. Call 847-570-4140 for a gift certificate or visit to register for a specific class.

Mind, Body and Spirit

Heaven Meets Earth Family Yoga Studio, 2746 Central St., offers a full schedule of yoga and meditation classes rooted in Vinyasa and Kundalini yoga systems.  Classes start as early as 5:30 a.m. for early risers.  Passes for 10, 20 and 30 classes are available.  Visit for a schedule or call 847-475-1500 to purchase a gift card.

Jewelry Making
Stepping into Ayla’s Originals, 1511 Sherman Ave., is like walking straight into a rainbow. The walls are covered with rows of brightly colored beads, sparkling pearls and gorgeous gemstones. Just the sight of all the vibrant colors should inspire anyone to take one of the many classes offered at Ayla’s. Taught by talented and experienced local artists, students learn how to create jewelry that looks professionally designed and crafted. Visit for a list of classes and call 847-328-2952 to purchase gift certificates.


Dominic Mosca, owner of The Pot Shop, 1224 Chicago Ave., has been teaching pottery classes since he was in college and continues to teach most of the classes at The Pot Shop today. Adult pottery classes last eight weeks and meet once a week for three hours. An eight-week session costs $245 and includes unlimited use of the studio and 25 pounds of clay. To inquire about class availability, call 847-864-7778 or go to

Memberships to Local Non-Profits

Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
A membership at the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, 3001 Central St., comes with many benefits. Not only does a gift of a membership help support the museum’s mission to share a deeper understanding of and respect for American Indians, but it also includes free admission to the Mitchell and most programming, a 10% discount at the museum shop, a quarterly newsletter and invitations to exclusive members-only events. Go to to select from many membership levels.

Evanston History Center

The Evanston History Center (EHC) is located in the Charles Gates Dawes House, 225 Greenwood St. Offering a variety of annual membership levels, the EHC depends on membership support to continue to offer its programs. Benefits include free admission for Dawes House tours, the Under the Buffalo program series, and access to the Frank B. Foster Research Room, a 10 percent discount on items in the museum store, up to two discounted tickets for the annual Mother’s Day House Walk and a subscription to the EHC newsletter. To download a membership brochure, visit

Evanston Art Center

A gift membership to the Evanston Art Center (EAC), 2603 Sheridan Road, has many benefits including discounts on youth fine arts classes, adult workshops and special programs, a subscription to the Art Center’s newsletter, a 10 percent discount at Good’s of Evanston and Blick’s the Art Store and EAC library privileges. To download a membership form, visit