10 Perfect Gifts for the Adventurous Foodie in Your Life

Elizabeth Donald and Emily Standlee

If you know someone who enjoys cooking over an open flame in the middle of the woods, chances are they enjoy both food and the great outdoors. This holiday season, we’ve compiled a gift guide for the person who is half nature lover, half foodie. After all, good food comes from nature and we could all spend more time outdoors.

Since Missouri has so many great hikes – including Hawn State Park in New Offenburg, Missouri, just an hour’s drive from St. Louis – why not donate gear? Alpine Shop has what you need: With locations in Kirkwood and Chesterfield, the independently owned and operated wilderness store sells hiking and paddling gear, as well as accessories for the perfect outdoor kitchen setup. This season, make sure your backpacking partner has an affordable, ultralight camping stove, packable meals that are actually delicious, and collapsible dinnerware.

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Alpine Shop, multiple locations, alpineshop.com

Big muddy adventures.

Charlotte Renner

The folks at Big Muddy Adventures have been paddling the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers since 2002. Trips vary from a St. Louis River adventure to a “full moon float,” but for the foodies among us, consider the Rivertime Supper Club Trip. After a late afternoon of paddling on one of the rivers, enjoy a gourmet meal around a campfire in a natural setting. No prior experience is required.

Big muddy adventures, 2muddy.com

The butterfly grass and English ivy that enter Bowood Farms’ Central West End are grown by the store’s fourth-generation family farm in Clarksville, Missouri. Not only does the industrial space offer classes – like planting carnivorous terrariums and batik dyeing workshops – but it also houses Bowood by Niche, where you can dine surrounded by lush vegetation. After treating your friend to brunch, browse the selection of containers, houseplants, trees and shrubs.

Bowood Farms, 4065 Olive St., Central West End, St. Louis, MO, 314-454-6868, bowoodfarms.com

Ozark Forest Mushroom Shiitakes

A box of shiitake mushrooms from the Ozark Forest.

Tessa Cooper

The people at Mushrooms of the Ozark Forest supplying wild mushrooms to a number of St. Louis restaurants, including Juniper and Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. They’re also on sale through scheduled porch pickup and at farmers markets in Tower Grove, University City and more. But if your friend or loved one really loves mushrooms, book them a stay at the farm’s AirBnB, beaver lake houseand take a free shiitake mushroom farm tour in the Big Springs area of ​​the Missouri Ozarks, with a free bag of mushrooms for all guests.

Mushrooms of the Ozark Forest, 314-531-9935, ozarkforest.com

Perennial Community Workshop + Store

Why buy a flimsy plastic cutting board for your foodie friend when he can make his own in a carpentry class? Perennial Community Workshop is a St. Louis nonprofit that teaches people how to use otherwise intimidating machines like table saws and lathes. And if woodworking isn’t for you, Perennial also offers courses in soap making, quilting, and herbal ointments. Plus, most of the materials used are salvaged, keeping 10,000 pounds a year out of the landfill.

Perennial Community Workshop + Store, 3762 S. Broadway, St. Louis, Mo., 314-832-2288, perennialstl.org

The Boathouse at Forest Park

boathouse at forest park

The Boathouse at Forest Park

Mabel Suen

Combine an exploration of St. Louis’ largest park with a meal at the boathouse at Forest Park. Menus change daily, with updates posted on his facebook page, and range from pulled pork with brisket chili and a meatloaf sandwich slathered in cheddar cheese and barbecue sauce. You can dine on the terrace and possibly listen to live music while looking at the lake, or take advantage of the 11 picnic areas allowed in the park and bring your food! Follow your meal with an adventure on the popular pedal boats: $25 for one hour or $40 for two hours. You can also rent a canoe, kayak, pedal boat or bicycle to explore the park even further.

Boathouse at Forest Park, 6101 Government Dr., St. Louis, Missouri, 314-366-1555, boathousestl.com

Missouri Botanical Gardens

A membership to Missouri Botanical Gardens is a year-round gift, giving you access to the oldest botanical garden in the country as well as other benefits. The 79-acre garden includes a number of foodie-friendly features, including a demonstration herb garden next to the historic residence of garden founder Henry Shaw; the Center for Home Gardening, where examples of vegetable and herb gardening complement advice and lessons from gardening experts; and on-site beehives housing a variety of bees and their honey. The newly built visitor center includes a new Sassafras cafe, offering its classic sandwiches and salads with a few unusual twists: an Ozark forest mushroom and leek frittata, for example, or a “Climilron salad” honoring the tropical atmosphere from the garden’s geodesic dome with mesclun, mango, avocado, toasted coconut and spiced macadamia nuts tossed with a passion fruit vinaigrette. Throughout the year, discover the many food-related events that accompany the garden’s programs, including the Chinese Festival, Japanese Festival, Missouri’s Best Market, Beer Festival, Grapes in the Garden, and even more.

Missouri Botanical Gardens, 4344 Shaw Blvd., Shaw, St. Louis, Missouri, 314-577-5100, missouribotanicalgarden.org

If you prefer to give experiences rather than material objects, consider organizing a trip for someone to the Hermann wine country. The Hermann Wine Trail offers events every two months, from the Chocolate Wine Trail the third weekend in February to Berries and BBQ in July to Say Cheese in December. You can purchase a wine ticket for these special events that gives you tasting privileges at seven wineries in Hermann alone, and you can choose to stay overnight at some of the bed and breakfasts and small inns along the trail.

Hermann Wine Route, hermannwinetrail.com

STL lavender herbs

STL Herbs and Aromatics.

Emilie Standlee

Located in Maplewood, STL Herbes et Aromatiques sells sustainably harvested produce, as well as those grown in its own garden. If you know someone who frequently uses dried herbs and spices for cooking, the shop offers common herbs like sweet basil and clove, as well as unusual varieties of hyssop, Irish sea moss and milk thistle. Additionally, you will find many books for sale that detail herbal remedies and recipes.

STL Herbs and Aromatics, 7290 Manchester Road, Maplewood, MO, 314-282-0980, stlherbsandaromatics.com

If you’re looking for an adrenaline junkie, head to Grafton, Illinois. The Grafton Sky Tower will show you breathtaking views of the natural beauty along the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers and the cliffs along the Great River Road. For $10 for a day pass, you can ride from the river route to the top of Aerie’s Hill in an enclosed gondola or – for the more adventurous – an open bench-style ski lift. At the top, enjoy the Cellar at Aerie’s Resort, with flatbread pizzas and a variety of sandwiches plus entrees like a one-pound pork steak grilled with house seasoning and glazed in bourbon sauce. There are also seven different zip lines and two suspension bridges with walking paths for the more adventurous, and you can stay overnight at the resort, which has 50 rooms spread across several buildings. Then, descend with the Skytour.

Grafton SkyTour, 2 W. Clinton, Grafton, IL, 618-786-8439, aeriesresort.com/skytour

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