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    18 Louisville Experiences That Make Great Gifts
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    None of your friends or family members needs any more crap. Yes, I mean you. With all the pressure to buy, buy, buy gifts and treats this time of year, it can be extremely hard to resist, but you know it’s true. Now, I know it can be hard to kick the gifting habit, or to get your family to do so, but I have a tip. Give the gift of a special experience. It’ll ease you and your loved ones out of the cycle of buying and throwing out all that junk, and enrich your lives. Make some memories with these Louisville experiences now and throughout the coming year. Your gift recipients will think you are brilliant.

    For the Outdoorsy Types

    In a very short time, The Parklands of Floyds Fork public-private partnership has implemented a huge array of offerings, from winter snow walks to art projects to Farm to Fork dinners to a dog park. Starting at $35, you can give a membership that includes member-only activities and discounts. Members also get discounts at businesses around town.

    For Music Lovers, News Hounds, Concert Goers

    Can you imagine living in Louisville without WFPK, WFPL and WUOL? Louisville Public Media’s commercial-free programming is a treasure that even regular listeners sometimes forget to support financially. I’m a long-time member and I truly have never felt that I’ve paid all that much for the enjoyment that I get, even as I’ve increased my membership level over the years. You can give a membership at any dollar amount; to receive donor gifts, you’ll need to meet certain levels. Members get special discounts and perks around town, too.

    For Dog People, Cat People, Kind People

    The organizations in town that care for the health and well-being of animals, and promote their safe adoptions, are pretty much overwhelmed with the job every single day. But they keep doing it, every single day. Give the animal lover a membership to the Kentucky Humane Society. Whenever we make a donation, we get to play with the puppies, kittens, and the adult dogs and cats. They’ll let you do it for free, too. Whenever you want. It’s incredible. But I digress. The Humane Society is grateful for any size of donation, but at certain levels, donors receive perks, as well, as part of the Society’s big thank you for helping Louisville’s animals in need.

    For Walkers, Hikers, Nature Lovers, Ramblers

    If you’ve recently spent an afternoon at Bernheim Forest and thought, I really should get out here more, you’re not alone. Give your friends their own Bernheim membership (starting at $35) and they’ll be all set to visit as often as they like, all year long, without worrying about the cost. Members also receive discounts at several nurseries and even perks at gardens in other cities through the Reciprocal Gardens Program.

    And Here’s More for Everyone to Explore …

    You can get the family up and off the couch and into some staycation activities with these gifts. If your family loves The Actors Theatre, the Louisville Ballet, and the Louisville Orchestra, you can give tickets and/or donations in their name to support operating costs. The Louisville Mega Cavern has become a huge tourist attraction, with zip lines, the Quest, the Mega Tram, Lights Under Louisville and the soon-to-open bike trails attraction. Know any locals who haven’t gotten to check it out? Mega Cavern tickets start at $13.50 for adults.

    The Frazier Museum, The Kentucky Science Center, The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, The Muhammad Ali Center, The Historic Homes Foundation, The Speed Art Museum, The Filson Historical Society, The Kentucky Derby Museum and the Louisville Zoo all offer memberships full of year-round activities and special events.

    How about making someone a Kentucky Derby VIP? Membership in the Thorobreds starts at $50, and includes a huge list of perks: free admissions to events, discounts, Derby poster, special ticket ordering, and the chance to network with some of Louisville’s leaders.

    Don’t forget to set yourself up for new Louisville experiences in the next year, too.

    Photo: Shutterstock Copyright: Subbotina  Anna and SNVV

    Kachina Shaw's picture

    About Kachina Shaw

    A transplanted Hawkeye, I've now lived in Louisville longer than any other city. Can't live without: my husband and fur babies, coal-black coffee, peanut M&Ms, sunflowers, monthly vacations, books, walking paths, massage and a big purse.

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