Smart cookies know that giving experience gifts is the way to go. Loved one hard to buy for? Send them off to a show that they wouldn’t splurge on for themselves. Don’t know anyone’s sizes? Not a worry. Can’t wrap? No problem. Need a gift for a whole family? Done. Tired of giving gifts that are forgotten ten minutes later? Many of these last all year – and get used all year. Oh, you’re a huge procrastinator? Join the club – and get on these Louisville experience gifts.
I’m a big fan and a member of The Parklands of Floyds Fork . In a very short time, this organization has implemented a huge array of offerings, from winter snow walks to art projects at the park. Starting at $35, you can give a membership that includes member-only activities and discounts . Members also get discounts at businesses around town.
Perfect for: Outdoorsy types
Louisville Public Media  is another favorite of mine. I’m a long-time member because I couldn’t imagine living in Louisville without WFPK, WFPL and WUOL. 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.
Perfect for: Music lovers, news hounds, concert goers
Okay, I’m loading the list with my favorites, so check out 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.
Perfect for: Dog people, cat people, kind people
Who hasn’t spent an afternoon at Bernheim Forest  and thought, I really should get out here more? 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.
Perfect for: Walkers, hikers, nature lovers, ramblers
And here’s more…
If your family loves The Actors Theatre  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. 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  and the Louisville Zoo  all offer memberships full of year-round activities and special events.
Don’t forget to set yourself up for new Louisville experiences in the next year, too.
Photo: Shutterstock Copyright: Jeanette Dietl