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Making memories, encouraging others to engage in self-care, or giving the gift of learning can be so much more impactful than something tangible. Plus, let’s face it — we may have missed the window for on-time delivery in some cases. Not to worry; make this year’s gifts more memorable with these fun ideas — no long lines or gift wrap required.

MEMBERSHIPS

Frazier History Museum Membership

The Frazier Museum’s permanent collection features historically significant artifacts of Kentucky and American history, while its rotating exhibitions boast everything from experiential highlights of the Cards vs. Cats rivalry to educational adventures via the Lewis & Clark Experience. Members receive free admission, a Smithsonian affiliate membership, special discounts, and more. Prices start at $20. fraziermuseum.org

Exterior of Frazier History Museum

A Frazier History Museum membership includes free admission to the museum’s exhibits, a Smithsonian affiliate membership, special discounts, and more. Image: Facebook

Kentucky Science Center Membership

A great pick for families, memberships to the Kentucky Science Center include year-long unlimited admission to the Center’s permanent exhibits — plus free admission to more than 350 other museums and science centers around the world. Members also receive discounted parking and special pricing on major events and other programs. Options start at $109 and include benefits for two adults and up to four children or grandchildren. kentuckysciencecenter.org

Louisville Zoo Membership

Give the gift of zoo admission to the animal lover in your life. Louisville Zoo memberships start at $64 and include 12 months of free general admission during regular park hours, as well as free parking. Is your friend or family member already a Louisville Zoo member? Consider booking them a one-of-a-kind experience, such as special tours of the pygmy hippo area or the giraffe house. Private encounters at the snow leopard cub house are also available. louisvillezoo.org

Young girl looking at sea lion at Louisville Zoo — Louisville experiential gift guide

A zoo membership is the ultimate gift for animal lovers! Image: Facebook

Olmstead Parks Conservancy Membership

Help a friend celebrate their favorite hike, sunset view, or wildlife sighting with a gift to the parks. Donations help fund the planting and caring for young trees, manage the volunteer and steward program, and engage with surrounding communities. Plus, from now through December 17, new and renewing memberships will also receive an entry to win a Pedego Electric Bike, worth $1,900. Gifts start at $60. olmsteadparks.org

RELATED: 15 Louisville Events & Happenings: December 2021

SPEED Art Museum Membership

Memberships at the SPEED include a year of art, workshops, and virtual lectures, in the form of free admission to the museum and its major exhibitions, four Speed Cinema vouchers, free parking, invites to members-only parties and events, and more. If you’re a current member, gift memberships are 10% off when purchased over the phone or in person. Memberships start at $84 and include benefits for the member plus one guest. speedmuseum.org

Woman looking at art at SPEED Art Museum

Memberships to the SPEED Art Museum include a ‘plus-one’ for all member benefits. Image: Facebook

SPA EXPERIENCES

Floatation Therapy at Weightless Float Center

Help a friend or family member reduce pain, anxiety, and stress, and promote creativity and muscle recovery with some time in a float tank. Flotation therapy, or sensory deprivation, involves floating in a highly concentrated Epsom salt solution that is denser than the Dead Sea. The Center also offers massages and infrared sauna sessions. Individual float packages start at $70; memberships are also available. weightlessky.com

Floatation Therapy at Weightless Float Center — Louisville experiential gift guide

Float therapy is reported to reduce pain, anxiety, and stress, while promoting creativity and muscle recovery. Image: Instagram

Halo Therapy at Louisville Salt Cave

Know someone who needs a little detoxification and relaxation? Halotherapy, also called salt therapy, is said to benefit the immune system, life balance, and energy with a focus on the lungs, skin, and mind. Consider gifting the Welcome Winter Solstice package, crafted specifically for winter, a season of reflection, removal, and rebirth. The experience includes a bell-ringing ceremony, personal manifestation goal, halotherapy sound bath, and more. The 90-minute session is $99. louisvillesaltcave.com

Spa Day at Omni Louisville Hotel

What better way to help someone end 2021 and welcome the new year than with a full spa day? This restorative experience is meant to detoxify the body, invigorate the mind, and provide a luminous glow. It includes a 75-minute earth clay detox wrap, a 50-minute aromatherapy journey, a 50-minute liquid gold facial, and a manicure and pedicure. Various other individual options are also available, and holiday-themed gift cards can be purchased in $10 increments and used toward any service. omnihotels.com

Mokara Salon & Spa

Give the gift of a spa day! What better way to usher in a new year? Image: Facebook

TOURS AND MORE

Belle of Louisville Cruises

Gift certificates for the Belle of Louisville can be put toward any of the sightseeing, dinner, or kids’ tours, as well as themed special events held throughout the year. They can be purchased in increments of $25; gifts for specific select tours are available as well. belleoflouisville.org

Belle of Louisville — Louisville experiential gift guide

The Belle of Louisville offers a variety of tour cruise options. Image: Facebook

Cooking Classes at Cooking at Millie’s

Help someone unlock their creativity and learn the joy of cooking! From macaron-making courses to date-night classes, there are a variety of options to choose from. Gift cards are available in any amount and can be used for any class or event. cookingatmillies.com

Hermitage Farm Tours and Tastings

Historic Hermitage Farm offers a plethora of gift options, from custom horse tours and carriage rides to old-fashioned crafting classes and bourbon tasting experiences. There’s also a 1,500-foot art installation set in the woods behind Barn8, the property’s farm-to-table restaurant. Prices start at $18. hermitagefarm.com

Hermitage Farm Tours and Tastings

Carriage rides, bourbon tastings, and old-fashioned crafting classes are a few of the very special offerings at Hermitage Farm. Image: Facebook

RELATED: 5 New Louisville Restaurants to Try (Updated November 2021)

Kentucky Derby Museum Tours

From historic walking tours and interactive bourbon experiences to behind-the-scenes views of the barns and racetracks, there’s a wide range of tours to satisfy various interests. And with 14 options starting at $25, you’ll be sure to find a good fit for everyone on your list. derbymuseum.org

Horse race at Churchill Downs — Louisville experiential gift guide

Gift friends and family members an iconic Louisville experience! Image: Facebook

Kentucky Derby & Oaks Tickets

Nothing says ‘gift from the Bluegrass’ quite like a seat at the Derby. A limited number of 2022 Kentucky Derby & Oaks 2-Day package Reserved Seating tickets are still available, and general admission is $50 off when purchased before December 31. kentuckyderby.com

Louder Than Life Passes

This annual music festival is one of the few around town that has its dates set for 2022. The website even offers a downloadable holiday printout to announce your gift to the lucky recipient, so they know their concert wristbands are on the way. louderthanlifefestival.com

Louisville Mega Cavern Tours

Give your adventurous loved one the experience of touring one of the largest caverns in the U.S. Gift cards are available in any amount and can be used for ziplining, bike tours, walking tours, tram rides, and more. louisvillemegacavern.com

Louisville Mega Cavern Tours

Louisville Mega Cavern is one of the largest caverns in the country! Image: Facebook

Want to include a little something extra with one of these unique gifts? Check out our guide to this year’s holiday pop-up markets for fun, local finds. 

Happy gift-giving, Louisville! 

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