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The most wonderful time of the year is upon us, but the pandemic is still lurking around, too.
The open, fresh air has been a staple for social activity for the past few months, and that’s about to change as the weather chills. Planning a gift to keep you and your loved ones busy indoors could help ward off boredom in the winter months.
So rather than go back to baking bread or pulling out those puzzles that were so popular in April, here are a few new ideas to keep you and your loved ones busy indoors. Whether you’re a household of 10 or two, a big family, a young couple or a pod of roommates, our local retailers have great indoor gift ideas for you.
Build a gingerbread house
A gingerbread house building kit available from Annie May’s Sweet Cafe. (Photo: Courtesy Annie May’s Sweet Cafe)
Put a creative spin on your sweet tooth this year. Annie May’s Sweet Cafe, 3110 Frankfort Ave, Louisville’s gluten-free and allergy-friendly bakery, is getting in the holiday spirit with gingerbread house kits and cookie decorating kits. Instead of decking the halls, spend an afternoon decking out a giant cookie with icing and sprinkles for $30 or building your own gingerbread house complete with candy posts and icing shingles for $42. Visit anniemayssweetcafe.com for details.
COST: starting at $30
Celebrate the Kentucky Derby in December
A silver plated mint julep cup available for purchase at the Kentucky Derby Museum. (Photo: Courtesy Kentucky Derby Museum)
The first Saturday in May was a bit lackluster this year in Louisville, but if you’re in the mood to get into the Kentucky Derby spirit, it’s Derby Day every day at the Kentucky Derby Museum at 704 Central Ave. Now it can feel like Derby Day around your kitchen table, too. Treat your adult loved ones to an authentic mint julep with the museum’s Mint Julep Syrup $9.95 and a bottle of Old Forester Whiskey Row 1910 for $65. Shake it all up and pout it into a silver-plated, official Kentucky Derby 146 etched mint julep cup for $65.
Need more than a drink to get into the spirit? In true 2020 form, pair that cocktail with a Churchill Downs grandstand puzzle for $18.99.
Shop local: Here are 6 Kentucky-made gift ideas for the holiday shopping season
Test your pottery skills
A paint your own ceramics kit from AA Clay Studio in Louisville. (Photo: Courtesy Alex Adams)
Whether you’re looking to make a personal gift for a loved one or you want to give someone the gifts of arts and crafts, AA Clay Studio at 2829 S. Fourth St. has you covered. This local hotspot for pottery classes is also offering paint your own pottery at-home kits for $39. You can muster a little holiday cheer by painting a clay Santa Claus or you can paint your own soup mug for grandma and grandpa.
The studio also offers more whimsical items to paint such as gnomes, piggy banks, wine glasses and turtles. The kit includes one bisque figure of your choice, ceramics paint with six colors, a paintbrush, instructions and a kiln firing once the figure is returned to AA Clay Studios.
CROSSLINK WHEN LIVE (6060480002)
Enjoy dinner and a show at home
The 2020-21 Actors Theatre of Louisville season features “Fifth Third Bank’s A Christmas Carol.” (Photo: Courtesy of Actors Theatre of Louisville)
Date nights look different this year for many folks, but that’s no excuse not to treat yourself. Put a log on the fire, and find a few local ways to spoil you and the person you love most. New Albany’s Board & You can build you a decadent and beautiful charcuterie board for two for about $20. Top that off with a fine cut meat, price upon request, from Kingsley Meats & Catering at 2701 Taylorsville Road, the wine of your choice from The Wine Rack, starting at $9.99, at 2632 Frankfort Ave. and then a nice slice of turtle cheesecake, $5 each, from Wiltshire Pantry 901 Barret Ave.
End the evening with Actors Theatre of Louisville’s radio production of “A Christmas Carol.” The theater is inviting guests to “pay what you can” to hear the performance in your own home.
Learn a new game
In Azul players draft mosaic tiles to decorate a palace, and they score points for completing columns, rows and filling in their grid. Timing is important in this game as well as choosing the correct color tiles. Azul is a good game for families and younger kids. It’s easy to learn and teach, but the depth is in mastering the strategy. (Photo: Courtesy Nathan McRea)
Forget the crumbling staples like Sorry and Monopoly, and this shopping season, take a trip across the river to Empire Comics and Games, 1636 Slate Run Road in New Albany. The cozy shop has a wide selection of strategy games you may have heard of like Catan, where players collect resources and use them to build roads, and ones you may not have like Splendor, a game that’s easy to learn and quick to teach where players building mining operations and storefronts.
The store’s gaming enthusiasts also recommend Azul, a game where players decorate a palace by drafting tiles, or Cartographers, where participants design their own map of a newly discovered territory. Dungeon Mayhem, too, is a spin-off of the increasingly popular and complex Dungeons and Dragons, but the rules are easy to follow for new players, too.
Features columnist Maggie Menderski writes about what makes Louisville, Southern Indiana and Kentucky unique, wonderful, and occasionally, a little weird. If you’ve got something in your family, your town or even your closet that fits that description — she wants to hear from you. Say hello at [email protected] or 502-582-7137. Follow along on Instagram and Twitter @MaggieMenderski.
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