I am certainly not an advocate of giving a gift card as a gift. I feel like typically it is a cop-out and says, "Here is a gift that I spent little to no time considering." However, there are some instances where a gift card can actually be a thoughtful gift. Here are a few Chicago-specific ideas for those hard-to-shop-for people in your life.
For the bride-to-be, I almost always recommend that you stick to the registry, but sometimes a cooking utensil just isn't appropriate. A spatula might be a bit of an odd gift to give for her bachelorette party or a lingerie shower. In the event that you are not comfortable picking out intimate apparel for the bride-to-be, a great alternative would be to give her a gift certificate for a few classes at The Bar Method or another unique workout facility. What bride doesn't want to look her best for her big day? This Chicago studio offers a unique workout that focuses on sculpting the female body, toning muscles and improving posture. She is sure to say, "What a thoughtful gift! This is great!" (This exclamation will more than likely follow a joking "What, you think I am fat?" statement.)
For the new to the neighborhood friend, it can be difficult for them to know where to go since the options are basically endless in the Windy City. A great idea would be to put together basket with several gift certificates to some of your local favorites. Attached to each certificate, write a little note with details on where it is, why you like it, when is the best time to give it a try and what you'd recommend ordering.If someone were moving to Chicago, specifically the Lakeview area, here are a few places I'd recommend:
-Pequod's Pizza: Chicago is know for its deep dish pizza, and this is some of the best. Located on Cylbourne, just north of Webster, enjoy some of the most delicious pizza in the city and then walk across the street to catch a movie at the Webster Place.
-Nookies Diner: Do you love a good greasy spoon? Especially after an evening of libations? Nookies has three locations, one in Old Town, another in Lincoln Park and then the third in Lakeview. While most patrons are breakfast lovers, this 24-hour joint has an extensive menu sure toplease everyone in the group. My personal favorites are the omelets and chocolate chip pancakes...mmm!
-Second City: Don't know what to do this weekend? Tired of going to the bars? Have a good laugh at Second City, the improve comedy club where tons of famous comedians got their start.My stomach hurts after every show it is so funny!
Need some more great gift card ideas for the Chicago-are and beyond? Find me on Twitter - @ekeefe.