Unique Gifts They'll Cherish Throughout the Year
If you’re like me, you’re all about giving extra special gifts and are always on the look out for unique gift ideas. The kind no one else thinks about and no one sees coming. The Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet has some gift ideas for shoppers during this holiday season and they fit the bill beautifully.
Best of all, they all have “Kentucky” themes!
“Our agencies have some wonderful ideas ranging from state park gift cards to artwork and history,” said Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Marcheta Sparrow. “These gifts all say Kentucky and are a great way to celebrate the holidays.”
Here is a listing of agencies and gift ideas for the holiday season:
Kentucky Historical Society
Is there a history lover on your gift list? If so, make plans to visit the Kentucky Historical Society’s 1792 Store, located in the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in downtown Frankfort. The 1792 Store has a wide selection of books, Kentucky crafts and other specialty items. You also may want to consider giving a gift membership to the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS). Members receive free admission to the KHS history campus, special prices on research services and members-only discounts on special events. Call 502-564-1792 or visit www.history.ky.gov for details.
Kentucky Exposition Center
The Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville is bustling with plenty of action to satisfy anyone on your holiday wish list. The Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam roars into Freedom Hall in January with special tickets available for private pit party. For the sports lover, Kentucky Xtreme Arena Football begins its inaugural season in Freedom Hall, and the Kentucky Stickhorse indoor professional lacrosse team returns for its second season beginning Jan. 1. For kids of all ages, Kosair Shrine Circus brings magic to Broadbent Arena in February and LEGO KidFest brings its giant LEGO expo in April. Tickets and more information are available at www.kyexpo.org or at www.ticketmaster.com.
Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts
Give the gift of the arts! Make memories with family and friends by sharing a gift of LIVING, BREATHING ENTERTAINMENT! Upcoming performances include “FLASHDANCE The Musical,” the Russian National Orchestra, Buddy Guy and Jonny Lang, and Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Kentucky Center gift certificates are available in any amount and good for any performance on our stages! Visit www.kentuckycenter.org to view our performance calendar. Call (502.584.7777, 800.775.7777) or visit The Kentucky Center box office to purchase.
Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts memberships are also available. When you treat someone to a yearlong membership, the recipient will always be the first in line! Our members pay no handling fees, and can purchase tickets to Broadway shows (and more) before the general public through a dedicated hotline just for members. Priority seats and ticket discounts apply to Kentucky Center Presents shows, and they’ll also receive invitations to members-only events, plus a subscription to Louisville Magazine and area restaurant discounts. To purchase a gift membership, call our CenterCircle Hotline at (502.562.0195).
Kentucky Horse Park
The Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop Open House is Dec. 7-8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Enjoy free parking, refreshments and samples, door prizes, storewide discounts and park admission discounts both days to customers who show their gift shop receipts. The gift shop carries a unique selection of equine gifts and Kentucky-made products from crafts to Kentucky Proud, and enough holiday decorations to decorate the North Pole. The gift shop is also open during the Southern Lights display Nov. 16-Dec. 31 from 6 to10 p.m. In addition, the Kentucky Horse Park Visitor Center is offering discounts on 2013 park admission tickets and Unique Horse Farm Tour certificates for stocking stuffers. Call 859-259-4200 for more information.
Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
Holiday giving is especially enjoyable when you are able to find the perfect gift, and there is no better place to discover that than at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea. Shoppers will find an amazing array of distinctive Kentucky handmade treasures created by over 650 artisans.
The center has amazing ornaments, paintings, prints and photographs; sculpture; furniture and quilts; handcrafted glass; beautifully designed scarves, hats, shawls and purses; as well as an array of soaps and lotions, candles and jewelry. For the cooks on your list, there are specialty Kentucky Proud foods for the holidays, wonderful cookbooks and a wide array of pottery and wooden items for presenting your holiday feast. Great books for children and adults abound, along with a fine selection of music – all by Kentucky artisans. The “Unbridled Spirit Gift Card” is also available, if you’re shopping for those “hard to buy for” people on your list. While shopping you can relax and enjoy a meal at the Artisan Cafe serving fresh cuisine daily.
Visit the Kentucky Artisan Center any time of year to “Give a Gift Made in Kentucky!” The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the cafe is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information call 859-985-5448 or visit the Center’s website at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov
The Kentucky Arts Council has partnered with organizations across the state to promote Kentucky artists and support local businesses. Subscribers to Kentucky Monthly magazine will receive a special Holiday Gift Guide featuring items produced by artists who have been selected for Kentucky Arts Council programs. Work by these artists and hundreds of others can also be viewed from the agency’s artist directories at http://bit.ly/KACartistdirectories.
The arts council is promoting the purchase of Kentucky artisan items throughout the holiday season as well as “Small Business Saturday” on Nov. 24. Shop a Kentucky Crafted Retailer near you. Find a complete list online at http://artscouncil.ky.gov/KentuckyArt/retailers.htm. The arts council will also launch a Twitter campaign to promote gift ideas, holiday open houses and open studio events, and retailers carrying merchandise made by Kentucky artists. Search #giveagiftfromky for tweets through Dec. 21.
Kentucky State Parks
Kentucky State Parks are a great place to visit during the winter months, with lodge room rates starting at $49.95 a night. Special events such as holiday gatherings, light displays, New Year’s Eve parties and wildlife viewing weekends are among the favorites. State parks have lodge rooms, cottages and even a few campgrounds open for those who enjoy winter camping. Visit www.parks.ky.gov for information and reservations.
All 18 Kentucky State Park golf courses will continue to be open during the winter, weather permitting. Daily winter rate greens fees range from $11 to $17 weekdays and $11 to $22 weekends (golf cart not included) through March 31, 2013. Another great gift idea for golfers is the Kentucky State Park Golf Discount Card for $20-$25 that provides four discounted rounds of golf and a fifth round for free. Annual golf passes are also available. For more information on gift cards, annual passes, daily rates and golf packages visit http://www.parks.ky.gov/golf/
Kentucky Unbridled Spirit Gift Card
The Kentucky Unbridled Spirit Gift Card is good at all Kentucky State Parks, the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, the Kentucky Horse Park and the Kentucky Historical Society museum and gift shop in Frankfort. Unbridled Spirit Gift Cards can be purchased at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, the Kentucky Horse Park, the Kentucky Historical Society museum and gift shop as well as at Kentucky State Parks. Cards also may be purchased by calling 1-800-255-PARK (select option 5) or online at http://www.parks.ky.gov/gift-cards/.
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources now offers gift certificates which can be used to buy licenses, permits and magazine subscriptions for that hard-to-buy-for hunter or angler on your list. A special software program guides you through the cost of various items to help you decide how much to spend. Gift certificates are available online only at fw.ky.gov.
All anglers and wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy their own copy of the popular Kentucky Afield Outdoors Calendar. Normally available only to subscribers to Kentucky Afield, the department’s magazine, the 2013 calendar is available while supplies last for $7.50 apiece. In addition to outstanding photography, the calendar provides season dates, outdoor tips and nature notes for each month. Available online only at fw.ky.gov.
For the art collector on your list, the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation offers a dwindling selection of limited edition prints by nationally recognized wildlife artist Rick Hill. Several of these were originally painted for the cover of the department’s magazine and are not available anywhere else. The Foundation is a nonprofit organization which supports the Salato Wildlife Education Center and conservation education programs for Kentucky youth.
The Foundation also offers a camper sponsor program. This allows people to donate toward the cost of sending a fourth-, fifth- or sixth-grader to a weeklong stay at one of the department’s three summer conservation camps. Visit the Foundation’s website at www.kentuckywildlife.com for more information.