There’s something for everyone this holiday shopping season when you shop local and from the heart. And there are tons of places to find that perfect gift for someone on your list.
We’ve rounded up some of our favorite gifts that can be bought around the city of Louisville, from candy and popcorn to charcuterie board treats, gifts under $15, novelty items, gifts of experience, and more.
So settle in and look at some gifts you can buy for your loved ones this holiday. Happy shopping, everyone!
Foodie gifts in Louisville
Chocolate & Nut Kingdom, 3731 Bardstown Road, meltmunchky.com
Did you know a huge Palestinian chocolate shop opened earlier this year on Bardstown Road? Chocolate & Nut Kingdom sells two dozen varieties of roasted nuts and trail mixes, nearly 50 kinds of sweet, sticky Turkish delight, individually wrapped gourmet chocolates, dried fruits, incense, tea and coffee. You can build your own gift box easily here, or buy one of the pre-wrapped gift sets and top off your gift with a gleaming Turkish-style serving tray. Gift boxes vary in price depending on their contents.
COST: prices vary
The Black-owned coffee shop Julee’s Mocha sells more than just cafe drinks. Owner Ausha Hilliman also makes “DIY Barista kits,” perfectly packaged with the equipment you need to make the best espresso and froth milk, supplies to make your drink, coffee and syrups. All you need to add is your choice of milk and a stove, pot or microwavable container.
If that sounds like too much work, Julee’s Mocha also sells gift baskets with a bag of ground coffee, chai tea or hot chocolate, a mug or tumbler, syrup and a candle for $25 to $35.
Dan-O’s Seasoning, multiple locations, danosseasoning.com/
Spice up your dishes literally with products from Dan-O’s Seasoning, a Louisville-based spice company founded when owner Dan Oliver was a college student. The low-sodium, sugar-free, diet-friendly blends of herbs and spices went viral on TikTok and can now be found on shelves in 7,800 stores nationwide. Dan-O’s Seasoning includes “Everything Bagel,” original, spicy and chipotle blends. The website also has a section for healthy recipes to make with Dan-O’s Seasonings.
COST: $7.49 for a 3.5-ounce bottle, $13 for an 8.9-ounce bottle, or $20 for a 20-ounce bottle. Bundles of spices are available in 3.5-ounce sizes ($14-$28.50) 8.9-ounce sizes ($25-$49) and 20-ounce sizes ($39-$76).
Shack In The Back, 10706 W Manslick Road, shackinthebackbbq.com
Got a family member who’s hard to buy for? Try some products from Shack In the Back, a woman-owned and family-operated barbecue restaurant in Fairdale in operation since 2006. The restaurant is famous for its legendary turkey ribs with dipping sauce. You can buy a collection of the restaurant’s original recipe sauces ($7 each), spicy pickles ($7), homemade rub ($12), a wooden cutting board ($15), soy candles ($12), and a tumbler. The restaurant will also create custom gift baskets for any of the products and create gift cards if you ask.
Shop locally at The Popcorn Station and you can create your own tin or get a bag. Tins come in one-gallon to 6.5-gallons, and there are more than 40 flavors to choose from including seasoned, sweet, or its famous chocolate-covered popcorn. No matter what you choose, you are sure to be thrilled with its culinary delights.
The Popcorn Station also has seasonal flavors including Peppermint Pop, Reindeer Food, Snickerdoodle and more. It is also the gift that keeps on giving — bring your tin back to the store and get it refilled for half price.
COST: one-gallon tins start at $18. Price varies by product
Who doesn’t love candy? Schimpff’s Confectionery is one of the oldest, continuously operated, family-owned candy businesses in the United States. It was opened in its present location in downtown Jeffersonville, Indiana in 1891 by Gustav Schimpff Sr. and Jr.
The store has its original 1950s soda fountain and original tin ceiling, old-fashioned candy jars, cases, and turn-of-the-century equipment. Schimpff’s is famous for its cinnamon Red Hots, hard candy fish, and Modjeskas, a marshmallow hand dipped into rich, creamy homemade caramel. It also sells a wide variety of sugar-free, and no-sugar-added products.
COST: varies by product
Step back in time with a Louisville tradition that dates back to 1921. While a pre-packaged holiday gift basket will likely cost more than $15, you can build a strong assortment of candy at Muth’s Candies that just about anyone will enjoy by shopping al a carte.
Bags of popcorn peanut brittle start at $4.95, and packages of milk chocolate blueberries or red velvet cherries cost $3.95. Small bags of gummy candy are available for less than $3. Packages of Muth’s famous Modjeskas start at $6.25. Boxes of assorted chocolates start at $10.95.
COST: $3 and up. Varies by item
Elizabeth Kizito is an institution in Louisville and a staple at Louisville Slugger Field. Her giant, hand-sized cookies come in a variety of flavors, and are a great gift for anyone with a sweet tooth. While locals can find them everywhere from Heine Brothers’ Coffee shops to Walgreens, this is a fun, authentic Louisville gift to bring out-of-town guests.
Kizito has a variety of flavors including shortbread, chocolate chocolate chip, snickerdoodle and peanut butter.
COST: About $2 per cookie
Charcuterie board gifts from Louisville
Board & You is known for its variety of customizable charcuterie boards people can order for an event or relaxing night at home. With two dine-in cafe locations, you can get a board to-go or stop in for small bites. The display case is always stocked with small and large boxed boards to pick up during store hours.
The small box is the perfect size for lunch while the large box is a great option for a picnic to share with a friend. The Get Together Board is sure to be a hit at your next gathering and feeds 8-10 people. The boards range from $11 to $450 depending on size.
COST: $11 for a mini-board box, up to $450 for a graze table
Engraved Production creates custom cutting boards. Owner and operator Brandon Colon can create a wide variety of boards made from wood and slate. These boards can be customized with a company logo, a simple design or even a handwritten recipe. Colon prides himself on working with the customer to craft the board of their dreams.
These boards make a great gift to display a charcuterie feast on. The boards range from $50 to $80 depending on the material and custom design.
Help your friends and family upgrade their charcuterie board game with products from Ketoarte. This Louisville-based small business makes custom wood boards and trays partially dipped in epoxy resin in an ocean wave and spray design. Products can be made from a variety of dark woods and include trays, wine holders, jewelry boxes and wall decorations in addition to charcuterie boards.
HoneyBear Farms is best known for its locally sourced Kentucky honey, with the majority of the products being produced by bees in the state. You can find classic wildflower honey or a variety of infused honey flavors including Bourbon, Spicy Bee Venom, Cinnamon Vanilla and even some seasonal flavors. Recently, the farm branched out and opened two storefront coffee shops as well in Jeffersontown and Mount Washington.
The honey, jams, and preserves would make a great sweet addition to go on a charcuterie board. They even sell 4-ounce jars perfectly fit for a board.
COST: $3.50 for a 4-ounce jar
If you’re in search of the many items to put on your at-home charcuterie board, Cultured has you covered.
The cheese shop in Butchertown sells several varieties of charcuterie, pickled items, mustards, jams, oils, vinegars and nuts. To top it off, the shop is home to more than 25 types of cheese, all of which are local brands. Most of the cheeses sold come from Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese, who also happens to be the father of Cultured’s owner Jessica Mattingly.
Several of the meats sold at Cultured come from Redhog Artisan Meat, another local supplier. The various items that help build your perfect charcuterie board range from $12 to $110.
COST: $12 to $110
Gifts under $15 from Louisville
The world is expensive, inflation is real and whether we like it or not, this vibe will be lingering on through the holidays.
Hess’ Landscaping and Nursery, 1136 Logan St., hesslandscapeky.com
Hess’ Landscaping and Nursery opened on Logan Street earlier this year, and while the business is most well-known for landscaping design and installation services, tree care and paver patios, they’ve got a few smaller plants on the market that make wonderful gifts. The Sansevieria Star Power is a miniature snake plant that’s relatively easy to take care of for $9.50.
The shop also has a hearty assortment of succulents available for $7. Small coffee arabica plants ― yes, this is the plant where coffee the beverage comes from ― is a flowering plant that is priced at $6.50. Want to dress your gift up a bit? There’s a small assortment of pinch pots on the back shelf for about $7.
COST: $6.50 and up. Varies by item
Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville’s oldest indie bookstore, is well-known for filling out bookshelves, but it’s also a great place to find novelty gifts at an affordable price point.
The shop stocks a wide selection of socks priced from $12.95-$14.95. So, whether you’re on the hunt for a cheese enthusiast, a horse fan, a Sherlock Holmes enthusiast or the “Kentucky girl” or “Best mom ever” in your life, the locally-owned shop has fun, personal options to explore.
It also has a stock of game and trivia sets for about $12 and a whole cast of iconic magnetic finger puppets ― Jane Austen, Bob Ross, Nikola Tesla ― for $7.95.
COST: $7.95 and up. Varies by item
Revelry Boutique Gallery, 742 E. Market St., revelrygallery.com
Revelry Boutique Gallery is known for its “all for art, art for all” attitude, and that means this carefully curated boutique and gallery that showcases upward of 150 artists at any given time has quite a few options available for under $15.
Mini portraits from Bri Bowers and Maya Joy are available for $5 and $4, respectively. Revelry’s own jewelry line has some necklaces priced at $15. Handmade soap bars from Granola Girl ― in scents such as green tea and mint, beer and oatmeal, and goat’s milk and honey ― are available for $7 each.
Beginner embroidery kits from “Awesome by Jenna” with fun sayings like “I need an adultier adult” and “I work hard so my cat can have a better life” are available for $15, too.
COST: $4-$15. Varies by item.
Sports energy gels as a stocking stuffer
Your outdoor enthusiast will appreciate a healthier option to the traditional Christmas stocking stuffers like candy canes and candy bars. Sports energy gels are used by runners, cyclists, hikers, and anyone involved in endurance sports.
Most seasoned athletes have their favorite brand and flavor of these portable carbohydrate/energy boosters but it can be fun to try something new, especially when it’s given as a gift. Most local sports stores carry these gel packets and you can grab a handful for about $5-$6.
COST: $1 -$2 per packet. Various running/cycling shops across Louisville
Gifts for the active lifestyle in Louisville
If it seems like everyone is playing pickleball, you’re not wrong. An estimated 4.8 million people now play the trendy sport, which is a hybrid of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. With an ever-expanding number of public and private pickleball courts in the Louisville area, now may be the time to pick up a paddle and learn to play.
Chuck and Mike’s Tennis wants to help customers help find the perfect pickleball paddle. The Westport Village racquet store offers a demo program to try the latest paddles on the market to see if it’s the right fit. The two-month program lets customers try a different paddle each week.
The cost of the program is $32 which is applied to the cost of the racquet when it’s purchased in-store.
Mike Carroll, owner of Grit Cycling, says helmets should be safety rated and replaced every three to five years because the protective foam breaks down over time and may become less protective. So now might be the time to get a new helmet for the cyclist in your life.
“Inexpensive helmets ($50 range) are safety rated but manufactures will skimp on materials and comfort,” Carroll told the Courier Journal. “Spend a bit more and your helmet will be lighter, which is much more comfortable and the components like buckles and straps are better made and more durable.”
The Abus 3.0 helmet model is an affordable lightweight, highly protective helmet which includes a built-in rear light. It’s a gift that says “I care about your well-being while you are out there having fun.”
ODU Oak, oduoak.com; Can be found in Louisville at the following locations: Frazier History Museum, Taste of Kentucky, Dot Fox, Revelry, Kentucky Derby Museum and Never Say Die.
There is no reason to smell like an old tree stump just because you spend time in the great outdoors. Louisville’s Jackie Zykan is an outdoor enthusiast and a professional whiskey blender who worked for years with Brown Forman’s Old Forrester brand and now as an independent bourbon blender. She’s also studied perfumery and today has combined her two passions.
“I always smelled like bourbon at the end of a work day and I realized that was a scent I really enjoyed,” she said. Her locally made ODU Oak fragrances are built upon the already aromatic profile bourbon whiskey derived from the barrel expertly combined with bespoke Eau de perfume formulations.
Zykan has created multiple yummy scent profiles with names that defy what’s inside the bottle. Choose from Hiker Trash, Basecamp, Mile High, Walk of Shame, Mint Julep, Wild Fire, and more.
COST: $38 for one-half fluid ounces
Louisvillians feel like we are heads above the rest and you can show that off in one of these lightweight ball caps by Sprint. Designed by Erin Bailey Getz, operating partner at Fleet Feet Louisville, the Louisville designs include Churchill Downs, The Belle of Louisville, Thunder Over Louisville, Muhammad Ali’s boxing gloves, The Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Derby Festival Great BalloonFest, and of course, the miniMarathon and Marathon. These caps will show your city pride wherever you go and whichever sport you play.
Popular with both men and women, these ballcaps are perfect for running, walking, hiking and a quick trip to the grocery store.
Gifts of experience in Louisville
Here are some Louisville-based experiences to gift this holiday season that create memories rather than clutter.
This holiday staple from the Louisville Ballet is back to enchant spectators of all ages. Travel to the kingdom of the Sugar Plum Fairy with Marie and her Nutcracker Prince. “The Brown-Forman Nutcracker” brings the spirit of the holiday season to life with its enchanting music, breathtaking sets, and dazzling costumes. It features live music from the Louisville Orchestra of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s iconic score and choreography by Val Caniparoli.
“The Brown-Forman Nutcracker” runs from Dec. 9-23 at Whitney Hall in the Kentucky Center for the Arts. For scheduling and tickets, visit louisvilleballet.org.
COST: Tickets start at $35, plus fees.
Louisville Zoo, 1100 Trevilian Way, louisvillezoo.org
The animal lover in your life will adore this gift of experience. A membership to the Louisville Zoo includes free parking and general admission for an entire year. Annual memberships can be bought for individuals, for two people, or for a family of four. The family experience membership includes six one-time use guest passes, two giraffe feedings, two lorikeet feedings, and one entry into an exclusive member event, where you can interact with zookeepers and animals, as well as take advantage of themed entertainment, special deals, and offers.
Membership perks include 10% off purchases from concession stands and gift shops. Last but not least, $1 from each membership goes toward programs to protect endangered species.
COST: Individual, $64; two people, $94; family pack $139; family experience package, $229.
Movie passes to a local theater
Let’s go to the movies! Nothing says “enjoy” quite like tickets to a local movie theater. And the holiday season is always full of Blockbuster movie releases. Tickets can be brought at local movie theaters or online. Plus, don’t forget you can also purchase movie passes for shows at The Kentucky Science Center and The Speed Art Museum, which can add a nice twist to this gift idea.
Here are a few theater locations in the Louisville area:
- AMC Stonybrook 20, 2745 S. Hurstbourne Parkway
- Baxter Avenue Filmworks, 1250 Bardstown Road
- Cinemark Mall St. Matthews XD10, 5000 Shelbyville Road
- Cinemark Tinseltown USA and XD, 4400 Towne Center Drive
- Preston Crossing 16, 9700 Preston Crossing Blvd.
- Regal New Albany, 300 Professional Court, New Albany, Indiana
- Xscape Theaters Blankenbaker 16, 12450 Sycamore Station Place
COST: varies by location and showtime. Visit fandango.com or individual move websites for movie times, ticket prices and more.
Get fit and have fun in one space. This year, consider giving a family membership or gift certificate to The YMCA. The Y offers group fitness classes, year-round swimming, a supportive community, and healthy living coaching.
The Y also offers youth sports, teen programs, summer day camp, resident overnight summer camp, and teen leaders club. You can purchase gift certificates for membership and programs such as swim lessons, day camps, preschool, youth sports and personal training.
Visit any of the Lousiville area’s 10 locations and speak with a Membership Experience Specialist or find more details at ymcalouisville.org.
COST: Varies. Ask about the YMCA’s income-based rates.
Louisville Mega Cavern, 1841 Taylor Ave., louisvillemegacavern.com
The massive Louisville Mega Cavern, which is approximately 100 acres large, offers a variety of underground activities for the thrill seeker in your life. Purchase tickets for the Mega Quest Ropes Course, an underground aerial ropes challenge course, or Mega Zips, which features six underground zip lines.
Additionally, for some holiday cheer, you can purchase tickets for “Lights Under Louisville”, an underground light show that features 40-themed displays, multiple projection areas and light tunnels, holiday music and more than 6 million points of light.
Children 5 and older can participate in the Mega Quest Ropes Course but keep in mind that guests between the ages of 7 and 14 must be accompanied by a person at least 15 years or older when ziplining. Visit louisvillemegacavern.com for more information.
COST: varies by activity
Pop culture enthusiast gifts from Louisville
What is more fun than playing games or doing a puzzle with the family? Local boutique Work the Metal has a large variety of games and puzzles good for the whole family. Try “Love Lives Here,” Anne Bentley’s 1000-piece puzzle that features inspiring artwork and quotes, such as “Be Kind Rain or Shine”, “We Go High”, “Love Lives Here”, and more. The assembled puzzle size is 20-by-27-inches. Or try the puzzle “Dog Meets Dog New Yorker.” This 1000-piece puzzle features two people on a stroll next to one another noticing that their dogs have a striking resemblance to their walkers. This is a “New Yorker” cover by John Cuneo, originally published on June 27, 2011. The assembled puzzle size is 19.25-inches-by-26.25-inches.
COST: $16.99 and up
Support local artists and show off your appreciation for your favorite pop culture icon, from David Bowie to Lizzo to Taylor Swift to Kentucky’s own Loretta Lynn, with a stop at Revelry Boutique + Gallery in NuLu. The business showcases work from more than 100 artists, including stickers, prints and other merchandise featuring famed singers and celebrities by artists including Bri Bowers and Maya Joy.
Shop online at revelrygallery.com.
COST: Stickers, $4
Louabull, 638 E. Market St., louabull.com
This East Market Street storefront offers a slew of locally made, Louisville-focused t-shirts with a pop-culture twist.
Take, for example, its Cherokee Park shirt with a playful nod to the “Jurassic Park” logo and the park’s Christensen Fountain. Or shop ahead of Kentucky Derby season for a “Jaws” movie poster parody T-shirt swapping the title shark for, you guessed it, a horse. And for the friend who can quote “Friends” by heart, there’s a shirt with “Louisville” in the style of the show’s iconic logo.
Shop online at louabull.com
Kentucky Center for the Arts, 501 W. Main St., louisville.broadway.com
For those looking for the razzle-dazzle of The Great White Way without hopping on a plane, PNC Broadway In Louisville has another lineup of classic favorites and new hits in its 2022-23 season, including: “Annie” (Feb 14-19), “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations” (April 11-16), “Hadestown” (May 16-21) and “To Kill a Mockingbird” (June 20-25). Give the gift of experience and a night (or afternoon) in downtown Louisville.
COST: Four-show subscriptions start at $190
Reporters Kirby Adams, Dahlia Ghabour, Olivia Evans, Matt Glowicki, Jason Gonzalez, Maggie Mendersk and Gege Reed, contributed to this report.