By Stephanie Fermin

Research shows that experiences make us happier than things do. We have compiled a short list of local experience to gift any friend or family member. Some you can enjoy all year long. Create lifelong memories this holiday season with these experiences.

1.) Harley Farms Tour - Harley Farms is open year-round for farm and dairy tours, retreats, and events in its atmospheric hayloft.  See a working farm, and watch the milk move from goat to dairy, from curd to cheese. Their winter hours are Friday to Sunday 11am to 4pm, until kidding season begins in late February.

2.) Tower Tours – One of most popular touring companies, they take pride in personalized service, modern and luxurious vehicles and professional guides and drivers. You may book a holiday tour around San Mateo County/Silicon Valley or in San Francisco. They have plenty of options for all sightseeing tastes.

3.) California’s Great America – While Great America is fun all year long, it’s extra special during the holidays. Great America decks the park with boughs of holly with WinterFest all holiday season! Ice skate in front of the iconic Carousel Columbia, admire magnificent displays of lights and décor, view spectacular live holiday shows, experience 20 rides, see Santa’s workshop and Mrs. Claus’ kitchen, and enjoy scrumptious holiday food at numerous locations.

4.) FOODIE ADVENTURES – Lead by founder Chris Milano, you may gift three different walking food tours of San Francisco: The Mission, North Beach-Chinatown, or Chinatown. FOODIE ADVENTURES’ walking food tours are three-action packed hours of local food, local culture and serious flavor. Come hungry and leave cultured and stuffed.

5.) SF Bay Adventures - They offer local boating, events and adventure in the Bay Area. Purchase a shark and whale watching tour, an Eco Tour, or a sunset cruise for friends and family to create lasting memories.

6.) Bay Aerial Helicopter Tours – The ultimate experience present this holiday season!  View our area from high above on your own private helicopter tour. Take one of kind photos and leave with a truly amazing experience.  

7.) Museum Memberships  - San Mateo County/Silicon Valley is full of affordable museums for all ages. Whether you are in need of a present for an individual or an entire family, here are few places that offer annual memberships:  California Academy of Sciences, dedicated to exploring and explaining the  natural world; Computer History Museum, the world’s largest museum for preserving the computing revolution; CuriOdyssey gives visitors first-hand science experiences; and Hiller Aviation Museum showcases the past, present and future of aviation.