Dirt, sweat, beer, foie gras – you’ll get covered in a lot of things in Valencia Group’s six cities during these one-day immersive tours and hands-on experiences that’ll put your standard “things-to-do” list to shame.

Gourmet Chef for a Day at Le Mistral [Houston, TX]

It doesn’t matter if you’re a foodie with dreams of hosting your own Food Network cooking show or if the only dish you can master is a microwave dinner – Le Mistral’s fully customizable Chef for a Day program will teach you how to cook like a gourmet chef and wow your friends with the finished product.

For $1,300, the daylong, hands-on experience starts with just you and Le Mistral’s executive chef, who will teach you how to cook any style or dish of your choosing. That’s just the amuse bouche. After your lesson, you’ll enjoy a private three-course lunch with the chef. Then, following a short afternoon break, students are invited back along with up to seven friends for a special five-course dinner prepared by the chef. One of those courses will be the very dish you created during your one-on-one lesson, letting your newfound skills take center stage during a night you and your friends won’t forget.

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PubCrawler Bicycle Tour [Austin, TX]

Part massive tandem bike, part duck boat, the pedal-powered 15-person PubCrawler tour “bus” gives visitors a unique way to explore some of nightlife-heavy Austin’s best bar neighborhoods, like the Warehouse and Market districts. That’s because the phrase “hop aboard” has two meanings: You and up to 14 friends co-pedal the PubCrawler from stop to stop while sipping some of the best libations the city has to offer.

Each of PubCrawler’s routes run through areas of Austin where open containers are allowed in public, turning the traditional pub crawl into a more active and immersive experience than you’d find in other destinations. All steering of the PubCrawler is handled by your tour guide, too, so it’s OK if you’re more invested in your pint than your pedals.

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Become a Farmer at Veggielution [San Jose, CA]

You don’t have to leave the heart of Silicon Valley to get an interactive taste of farm life. Every Saturday, Veggielution, a six-acre nonprofit community farm eight miles east of Hotel Valencia Santana Row, hosts a drop-in workday that allows visitors a myriad of things to do.

From tending to planting to harvesting, volunteers participate in every activity involved in running an organic farm. The sweat and hard work all goes to a good cause, too, as Veggielution’s sustainable food system is used to provide fresh produce for free or below-market costs to South Bay families in need.

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Learn to Brew Beer with San Antonio Brewery Tours [San Antonio, TX]

The art of brewing beer has flowed throughout San Antonio’s history, from the legendary Pearl Brewery to the influx of modern craft breweries, like The Granary, carrying forward that legacy. The $65 “This is How We Brew It” package from San Antonio Brewery Tours allows craft beer newcomers and veterans alike a hands-on and interactive look at how its done, South Central Texas style.

Over the course of two hours, you’ll get your hands hop-deep into how to brew your own beer, all the while learning (and tasting) the different techniques San Antonio brewers use to ply their trades. After the course concludes, students put their knowledge to good use during an all-access tour of Branchline Brewing Company’s process, which heavily incorporates local and regional ingredients, like honey.

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Messina Hof Wine Stomping [College Station, TX]

Deep in the agricultural heart of Texas’ corn and cattle fields lies this rolling 100-acre vineyard, which feels more akin to the European countryside than an area on the outskirts of a university town, like College Station.

Messina Hof’s wines are among the best the Lone Star State has to offer, and its vineyard is also home to one of the top things to do in Bryan away from the university. During harvest time, guests can stomp Messina Hof’s grapes and get directly involved in the processes used to create their award-winning cabernets and other varietals, all before enjoying special dinners made using produce grown right on the property.

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