Louisville Experiences to Gift this Year {2021}

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We are so thankful to the featured sponsors in this post that helped make this year's guide possible!

My kids are the only grandchildren on both sides of our family. That fact, combined with the fact that our family lived in a pretty small space for a homeschooling family of five meant that holiday and birthday gifts could become overwhelming really fast. I’m far from a type A person, but even I was getting lost in the mess. We would donate every time the kids got new toys and gadgets, but we still found their tiny bedrooms cluttered and toys broken all the time.

I am happy to say that we have finally found a solution. Each year, we send our family a list of experiences that our kids would enjoy or have requested as an alternative to toys or gadgets. They often pair these with some small trinkets so the kids have something fun to unwrap, but they are things that are cheap or consumable (like coloring books and candy) that are not going to fill our home with more stuff.

If you are like us, and are longing for a way to give your loved ones an exciting birthday, Christmas, or any gift-receiving opportunity, here are some of the great options for the big and small people in your life that explore Louisville and its surrounding area:

Aqua-Tots Louisville

aqua-tots louisville

At Aqua-Tots Louisville, children of all abilities from 4 months – 12 years old become safe and confident swimmers in their indoor, 90-degree pool. This holiday season, give the special child in your life the gift of swim lessons! Their Holiday Swim Bundles provide your family peace of mind for the years of water adventures to come. Reserve yours today by calling Aqua-Tots Louisville at 502-242-6388.

For the family:

Blackacre Nature Preserve

This historic farm and homestead offers classes and camps for nature lovers of all ages. Their “Christmas folklore and natural history hike” and “Old Time Country Christmas” event are some of our family’s favorite ways to spend time together during the winter holidays.

Louisville Orchestra’s Family Series

Youtube and video performances are wonderful, but there is something special about seeing and hearing exciting pieces played right before one’s eyes. The Louisville Orchestra’s Family Series is a great way for music lovers young and old to feel the magic of live classical music. This three concert series provides affordable and kid-friendly classical performances along with familiar popular music that the whole family can enjoy. 

Belle of Louisville

We studied shipbuilding, boats, and pirates in our homeschool this year, so something my family is looking forward to this year is a trip on the Belle of Louisville. We are going to enjoy a nice cruise along the Ohio river and fun exploration of the boat with an Adventure Passport. 

For kids: 

Schimpff’s Confectionary

Want the kiddos to feel like kids in a candy store? Why not take them to a candy store. Schimpff’s Confectionary is just across the river in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Open since 1891, this adorable antique shop is any child’s dream trip. Marvel at the giant gummy bear, fill your pockets with just about any sweet you can think of, or have the unique experience of tasting a red hot cinnamon drop still warm after being made right in front of you. 

Kentucky Railway Museum

One of my son’s most memorable experience gifts was a birthday trip to the Kentucky Railway Museum. We attended the Day out with Thomas, and it was so much fun! There are also railroad adventures for kids who have outgrown their love of the blue tank engine. Wear your pajamas and take a ride on the North Pole Express or grab your cowboy hat and prepare for a Western style train robbery experience. Don’t forget the museum itself, too! Kentucky is home to lots of interesting history, and the railroads were a big part of all of it. 

For grown-ups: 

Restaurants around Louisville

Louisville is a foodie’s paradise.  Whether they are into raw vegan food, coffee, big juicy steaks, or local farm fare, there is a restaurant (or four) for them to enjoy. The LMC team has made a list of some of our favorite spots. 

After Hours at the Speed

If you are looking for something a little less typical for a date night gift, check out After Hours at the Speed. You’ve probably taken advantage of the free admission during Owsley Sundays (If not, you should!), but this is something different. Every third Friday, this local art museum stays awake until 10pm with exciting musical performances, live shows, and other exciting programming. Grab a drink from the Wiltshire, and enjoy after-hours at this Louisville treasure.   

For more ideas, also check out the following guides on the LMC blog. Our city has something for everyone:

Louisville Area Guide to Kids Activities

Guide to Coffee Shops in Louisville

Date Night Roundup in Louisville

Summer Camps {2021}

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