Looking for a locally-made present? The 29 best holiday gift ideas from Louisville

Courier Journal staff  |  The Courier Journal

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 sweet treats to books and gifts of experience to plants, gifts from the Logan Street Market, self-care items and more. 

So settle in and look at some gifts you can buy for your loved ones this holiday. Happy shopping, everyone!

Food and bourbon gifts in Louisville

Georgia's Sweet Potato Pie Co. dessert spice blends 

Georgia's Sweet Potato Pie Co., 1559 Bardstown Road, georgiassweets.com

Black-owned Georgia's Sweet Potato Pie Co. bakery is known for its sweet potato pies in a variety of flavors. Earlier this year, the bakery launched a "dessert spice blend," the first in a line of spices from the shop. The blend features cinnamon, nutmeg and just a tad of brown sugar. Put a tablespoon in your pie mixture or cupcakes, or sprinkle it on your coffee, ice cream and popcorn. The spices are $8 per bottle and are available at the bakery at 1559 Bardstown Road or on the company's website. 

COST: $8 

Please & Thank You cookie dough mix

Please & Thank You, various locations, pleaseandthankyoulouisville.com

When it comes to chocolate chip cookies, the ones from Please & Thank You are a Louisville favorite. Sure, you can grab fresh cookies from any of the Louisville-area coffee shops, but sometimes you just really need cookies at 1 a.m. Please & Thank You sells a bake-it-yourself chocolate chip cookie mix for $18, which makes a perfect gift for that friend or family member who loves stress baking -— or eating — cookies at hard times. If you don't feel like mixing dough, Please & Thank You also sells frozen pre-made cookie dough circles for $65 a box. Order online at pleaseandthankyoulouisville.com or pick up a mix at any Please & Thank You store. 

COST: $18 

'The Southern Baking Cookbook' by Jenn Davis

Jenn Davis, a food photographer and recipe creator, moved to Louisville last year and is releasing her first cookbook, "The Southern Baking Cookbook," based on her award-winning blog, Two Cups Flour. The cookbook reimagines Southern classics and offers easy-to-follow recipes and tips for mastering pie crust, layer cakes, cookie dough and quick breads.

With recipes for sunshine pie, cozy chicken pie, hummingbird bundt cake, peanut butter and bourbon s'mores and bacon apple and cheddar waffles, this book is a great addition to any Southern cook's kitchen. It's available for pre-order wherever books are sold, including Carmichael's Bookstore. It will be released on Dec. 21.

COST: $22

Art Eatables bourbon truffles 

631 S. Fourth St.,  819 W. Main St., 9816 Linn Station Road, arteatables.com/

If you know a family member or friend is making a cake, why not garnish it with handmade bourbon truffles? Several of Art Eatables' bourbon ball sampler sets are already sold out for the season, but you can still pick up the Taste of the Trail collection, which offers sizes in eight 8 pieces ($22) 16 pieces ($44) and 32 pieces ($88).  

If you know what bourbon-and-chocolate combination you're looking for, check the single-flavor truffles section and sort by alcohol type and chocolate type. Shop online at arteatables.com/online-store or in any of its three storefront locations.

COST: prices vary

More: Need a Kentucky-inspired present? Try one of these 20 creative holiday gift ideas

Bourbon Barrel Foods sauces 

various locations, bourbonbarrelfoods.com/

Bourbon Barrel Foods has been working with bourbon-seasoned spices and sauces for years. If you haven't tried them yet, a gift package sampler is a great option. You can sort the website by most popular items, so you're sure to find something your friends and family will love, like the $15 Bourbon Barrel Foods new product miniature trial set, complete with six different spices. 

There's also the set of three sauces — Bluegrass Soy Sauce, Aged Worcestershire Sauce and Kentuckyaki sauce — for $23, or a set of four handcrafted soy sauces for $48. Shop online at bourbonbarrelfoods.com, in-store at Butchertown Market, 1201 Story Ave., or other locations that sell Kentucky Proud merchandise.

COST: prices vary

Gifts of experience in Louisville

Here are some Louisville-based experiences to gift this holiday season that create memories rather than clutter.

Take a cooking class in Louisville

Cooking at the Cottage, 3729 Lexington Road, cookingatthecottage.com, 502-893-6700

Making our own meals at home during the pandemic has led to a rise in the number of people interested in mixing it up in the kitchen. 

"Since last holiday season, we've had a big jump in the number of people who are signing up for our cooking classes," said Cooking at the Cottage owner Linda Kunz Bayens. "We offer a variety of different classes throughout the year but our most popular are the Date Night, Girls Night and cake decorating session."  

Healthy and allergy-free, international cooking, kids classes and more are also offered at Cooking at the Cottage, 3729 Lexington Road.

Popular classes fill up quickly but there are many sessions offered on a wide variety of culinary topics throughout the year. Gift certificates are available online or at the Cooking at the Cottage store and classroom in St. Matthews. Pair the gift certificate for a class with a kitchen utensil from the Cookbook Cottage retail store and you've got the perfect gift. 

COST: Classes starting at $55 

Paint and sip painting class in Louisville

Pinto's Palette, 291 N. Hubbards Lane, pinotspalette.com/louisville, 502-409-4572

Paint and sip experiences are a popular way to spend an evening painting, drinking, and having fun with friends and family where everyone gets to take home a masterpiece at the end.  

Pinot's Palette in St. Matthews offers gift certificates and a hefty calendar filled with a variety of step-by-step classes for adults only, kids and families. During adult classes, a full bar is available to help stimulate the imagination. 

There are separate sessions for kids (5-12 years old) and Family Days on Saturday afternoon. Virtual painting parties are also an option. Pinot's Palette will bring the painting portion of your experience to you via any internet-connected device. You'll need to provide your own booze.   

COST: varies, starting at $25 per session

A yearlong museum membership

If you're looking for an experiential gift that will last for an entire year, why not consider a museum membership? Whether it's science, art, history or crafts, celebrate a special person in your life with a full year of art, music, lectures, parties, performances, and more at one of Louisville's magnificent museums. The Louisville Zoo, Yew Dell Botanical Gardens or Waterfront Botanical Gardens are also great memberships to give and receive.

Many yearlong memberships come with additional perks like discounted parking, invitations to special member-only events, special deals in the gift shops and more.  


  • Frazier History Museum, 829 W Main St.: Individual $20, Family $50
  • Kentucky Derby Museum, 704 Central Ave.: Individual plus guest $75, Family $175
  • Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, 715 W Main St. Individual $100
  • Kentucky Science Center, 727 W Main St.: Family membership $109
  • Louisville Zoo, 1100 Trevilian Way: Individual $64, Individual plus one $94, Family $139
  • Speed Art Museum, 2035 S Third St.: Individual plus guest $84, Family $120,
  • Waterfront Botanical Gardens, 1435 Frankfort Ave.: Individual $25, Family $35
  • Yew Dell Botanical Gardens, 6220 Old Lagrange Road, Crestwood: Young professional (under 30) $35, Individual $50, Family $75
  • Clothing and self-care items from Louisville

    A Dopp kit from Clayton and Crume

    216 S. Shelby St., claytonandcrume.com

    Clayton and Crume's handmade leather Dopp kit is built to stand the test of time, like the one grandpa used for decades. It's a great gift for the traveling man in your family. The Louisville-based leather company also offers to customize your handmade Dopp kit with a complimentary monogram (up to three letters).

    COST: $245

    Scarf from Anchal Project 

    2500 Montgomery St., anchalproject.org

    This oversized scarf from Anchal Project is handmade from two layers of organic cotton and detailed hand-stitching. The neutral colors make it a great accent to any travel outfit; wear it as a shawl on a cold flight or around your face to protect from dust in the Sahara Desert. 

    Each piece from this Louisville-based company is made from eco-friendly materials and handmade by an artisan in Louisville and Ajmer, India. Every purchase of an Anchal product has an immediate impact and provides an artisan with a full-time job, health care benefits, design training and educational workshops.

    COST: $72 

    Moss Hill aromatherapy on the go

    1201 Story Ave., mosshill.net

    This Moss Hill travel aromatherapy spray is perfect for relaxing in traffic, on a flight, in the car-pool line, or just tossing in your purse for any time you need a quick breather. 

    COST: $16

    More: Want an official Santa Claus postmark on your holiday mail? This small post office can help

    Supply chain-induced shipping delays may make ordering gifts online for loved ones a little more difficult this season.

    Instead of stressing about if an order will arrive on time, Louisville shoppers can go to Logan Street Market, Louisville's first urban marketplace at 1001 Logan St., to find a wide variety of presents.

    Here are five gift suggestions from a fascinating Louisville marketplace.

    Picnic Party Cheese Board from Harvey's Cheese

    1001 Logan St., harveyscheese.com/

    Remember being able to go outside for picnics?

    Sure, the weather might be a tad too chilly to break out the blanket and basket in an open field. But this holiday season, how about you bring a picnic-style snack to your own dwelling?

    For under $65, Harvey's Cheese is selling a Picnic Party Cheese Board that includes cheese as well as fruits, like grapes and tomatoes, and some nuts to help keep you warm indoors this winter.

    COST: $65

    A gift card from Breeze Wine Bar

    1001 Logan St., thebreezewinebar.com/

    Just like the year prior, 2021 has been a difficult time for many. It has never been more important to treat yourself.

    At the Breeze Wine Bar, your loved ones can enjoy a voluminous selection of white and red wines as well as a variety of chocolates and other sweet treats. While it might not be able to erase the pain of the pandemic, it may help.

    Gift cards can be bought at the shop or online at thebreezewinebar.com. And from Thanksgiving through Dec. 31, any gift card purchased over $25 comes with a free Whelpdale Chocolate bar.

    COST: $10, $25, $50, $75, $100, $200

    Muttcracker dog toy from Bourbon City Barkery

    1001 Logan St., bourboncitybarkery.com/

    If your pet is reading this, yes — they too will get to partake in some holiday joy.

    Bourbon City Barkery offers a variety of dog toys and treats. One in particular that you can buy for your best friend this year is the Muttcracker, a dog-sized chewable version of the iconic feature of the famous ballet. And it's only $10 if you're looking to shop on a budget.

    COST: $10

    Fresh vegetables from The Bodgea

    1001 Logan St., loganstmarket.com/

    The holidays are certainly known as a time for cooking. So to help your loved ones prepare and cook up a holiday feast, try getting a haul of fresh vegetables or other fun kitchen cooking items from The Bodega, which sells everything from broccoli and radishes to other yummy treats, sauces, dips, and more.

    And if your gift recipient isn't much of a cook, then The Bodega also offers quick-prep meal items. 

    COST: Varies by product

    A cheesecake from LeAnn's Homemade Cheesecakes

    1001 Logan St., leannhomemadecheesecakes.com/

    Sometimes, sweet is the best way to go for a holiday gift.

    LeAnn's Homemade Cheesecakes offers both whole cheesecakes as well as individual slices and cupcake samplers — and they are made with a lot of love, as owner Leroy Singleton makes them using his grandmother's recipes.

    Whether you want a bourbon cheesecake or a pecan caramel cheesecake, this place has you covered.

    COST: $45 for a whole plain cheesecake; slice and cupcake prices vary.

    Gifts for kids, teens from Louisville

    A set of scrunchies from Anchal Project

    This hair accessory that was a staple of the 80s and 90s has made a triumphant return. These little trinkets from Anchal Project, sold in sets of threes, make great stocking stuffers for a hair emergency, or the young fashionistas or athletes in your life. 

    The linen hairbands are handcrafted here in Louisville by Lupe, a woman who immigrated here from Lima, Peru. She uses dyes from plants grown in an urban garden to give these products their bright colors. 

    COST: $28

    Coloring book from A Taste of Kentucky 

    No one is ever too old — or too young — to color and the kid in your life might like sitting down with a Kentucky-themed coloring book from author Robert A. Powell. Color books offer a creative outlet and can provide endless hours of peaceful enjoyment.

    You can find them at A Taste of Kentucky, 11800 Shelbyville Road, in Louisville. 

    COST: $15

    Horseback riding lessons at Spring Run Farm

    Maybe your child has a love for animals or dreams of going to the Kentucky Derby one day. If so, treat them to horseback riding lessons.

    The Spring Run Farm, 10200 Covered Bridge Road in Prospect, gives horseback riding and another lesson to people with different levels of skills on a case-by-case basis. 

    They offer a variety of classes and prices vary slightly depending on the instructor. Half-hour lessons are $55 to $60. Hourlong group lessons are $50 to $55 and hourlong private lessons are $75 to $85. For a full list of prices, visit springrunfarm.org/horseback-riding-lessons.html

    COST: varies by class

    More: Light Up Louisville is back. Here's everything to know about the 2021 holiday event

    Books with a Kentucky theme, author

    If you've got a bookworm on your holiday shopping list, consider treating them to a story with a Kentucky tie. Here's a look at some semi-recent releases with Kentucky themes or written by Kentucky authors to fill out your holiday shopping list. 

    'Brainstorm,' by Joe Kremer

    This action-packed romance thriller touches on the paranormal. The story centers on Paxton Gahl, who after five years of riding and driving an ambulance with the Louisville, Kentucky EMS, aims to become a paramedic. Dramatic life changes, though, put him in psychiatric care. Doctors use electroconvulsive therapy to treat him, and Paxton's first and only treatment endows him with a freakish sixth sense that leads to uncommon, truly heroic experiences on the job. The author, Kremer, and his wife live in Louisville. "Brainstorm" is available at Carmichael's Bookstore, 1295 Bardstown Road, or 2720 Frankfort Ave.

    COST: $16.95

    'A Dark Room in Glitter Ball City,' by David Dominé

    This true-crime saga tells the story of a murder in a crumbling Louisville mansion, and it unravels decades of secrets that linger within the old house's walls. Police discovered a body buried in the wine cellar of a Victorian home in Old Louisville on June 18, 2010.  Jeffrey Mundt, who owned the home, and his boyfriend, Joseph Banis, pointed the finger at each other in what appeared to be a love triangle and an evening of sex, drugs and alcohol gone wrong. Author David Domine, who sat in on the trials, sets out to uncover the many past lives of the mansion itself in his book. "A Dark Room in Glitter Ball City" is available at Carmichael's Bookstore, 1295 Bardstown Road, or 2720 Frankfort Ave.

    COST: $27.95

    'Grendel, Kentucky,' written by Jeff McComsey, illustrated by Tommy Lee Edwards

    Got a graphic novel fan on your list? This year usher them into the fictional world of Grendel, Kentucky, where townspeople have been bargaining with a monster living in an abandoned coal mine for two generations. Each season they trade a human sacrifice for agrarian prosperity, but then one town elder breaks the pact. A female heroine considers returning to her hometown with her all-women biker gang to face the creature of her nightmares. Two issues of "Grendel, Kentucky," are already available and a third is slated for release this month. "Grendel, Kentucky" is on the "staff pick" list at Carmichael's Bookstore location at 1295 Bardstown Road.

    COST: $9.99

    'Ring Around the Moon, ' written by Mike Norris with carved illustrations by folk artist Minnie Adkins

    Looking for a Kentucky classic for the youngest people on your shopping list? This collection of nursery rhymes evokes innocence, discovery and joy for children of all ages while educating on and celebrating Eastern Kentucky traditions. "Ring Around the Moon" features original, Appalachian style while introducing readers to the enchanting world of Mommy Goose. "Ring Around the Moon" is the latest of four books by Mike Norris and Minnie Adkins. A fifth, yet to be formally named, has been sent to the publisher, and they've committed to publishing a sixth and a seventh. "Ring Around the Moon" is available at Carmichael's Kids, 1313 Bardstown Road and the Carmichael's location at 2720 Frankfort Ave. 

    COST: $19.95

    'Which Fork Do I Use with My Bourbon?: Setting the Table for Tastings, Food Pairings, Dinners, and Cocktail Parties,' by Peggy Noe Stevens and Susan Reigler

    This is a step-by-step guide to hosting a successful bourbon-tasting party. In these pages, bourbon experts Peggy Noe Stevens and Susan Reigler offer up recipes, photos, and tips for beginners and experienced aficionados alike. The authors offer their favorite snacks, entree, dessert and cocktail recipes as well as industry tricks on how to set up a bar, arrange tables and pair food recipes with specific bourbons. Noe Stevens is the first female master bourbon taster in the world, and Reigler has published several books about bourbon. "Which Fork Do I Use with my Bourbon" is available at Carmichael's Bookstore, the Kentucky Derby Museum Store and the Frazier History Museum Store as well as at several distille ries in the region.  

    COST: $29.95

    More: Here's everything to know about the 2021 Winter Woods Spectacular in Louisville

    Plant gift ideas in Louisville

    Plants are the perfect Christmas gift to bring a little bit of greenery inside this time of year. Add a gardening tool or a water pail, a bow, and you are set! Here are five plant gift ideas for the Christmas season: 

    Lovely Poinsettias

    The most popular Christmas plant, they come in a wide range of colors from salmon and apricot to yellow, cream, white and, of course, the iconic red color. With proper care, the plant can bloom again the following year. You can find these plants at any area florist, nursery, grocery stores and big-box stores like Lowe's in a variety of sizes. 

    COST: price varies by size 

    Cheery Christmas Cactus

    A Christmas Cactus traditionally blooms during the late fall or early winter season and produces colorful, tubular blooms in pink, red or white. Of course, during the holiday season, red is the most popular. This holiday cactus can be kept indoors as a houseplant and can be replanted outdoors in the spring and summer. It needs minimal care, so this might be a good gift for someone who isn't sure about their green thumb just yet. Florists often order many for the Christmas holiday so check with local florists like Nanz & Kraft Florists, 4450 Dixie Highway, Victor Mathis Florist, 2531 Bank St., Petals Boutique, 3905 Chenoweth Square and Wallitsch Garden Center, 2608 Hikes Lane.

    COST: varies by size, color and store

    Easy to care for Pothos

    Pothos come in a variety of types that are the perfect gift for anyone, really. The Golden Pothos is a climbing vine with yellow-streaked heart-shaped leaves. Jade Pothos is a climbing vine with heart-shaped leaves in shades of green. The Marble Queen Golden Pothos is a climbing green and white streaked, heart-shaped leaves. All of these house plants are good to use in hanging planters and are an easy way to add some green to your home. These are easy to care for, too, even if you forget to water from time to time. Check with local florists like Nanz & Kraft Florists, 4450 Dixie Highway, Victor Mathis Florist, 2531 Bank St., Petals Boutique, 3905 Chenoweth Square and Wallitsch Garden Center, 2608 Hikes Lane.

    COST: varies by size, color and store

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    Zee Zee

    Known for its indestructibility and adaptability, this plant, also spelled Zz, Zamioculcas Zamiifoli, is often mistaken for an artificial plant because of its long, thick stems, which are lined on each side with waxy, oval-shaped leaves. It prefers drier soil and bright, indirect sunlight, but can easily survive in low light. It's also easy to care for, is low maintenance and is good for people on the go. Check with local florists like Nanz & Kraft Florists, 4450 Dixie Highway, Victor Mathis Florist, 2531 Bank St., Petals Boutique, 3905 Chenoweth Square and Wallitsch Garden Center, 2608 Hikes Lane.

    COST: varies by size, color and store

    Kitchen friendly herbs

    Herbs are wonderful for the cook who loves to cook with fresh ingredients. Basil is one of the most popular and easy to grow. Simply pot them and keep it by an inside window and you'll have fresh herbs all year long in the kitchen. Basil can be used fresh or dried and comes in a variety of species. Buy a nice pot, a small bag of dirt, plant food and seeds and you've got a perfect holiday gift.

    Most big box local stores, like Lowe's and Home Depot, should have everything you need to build your own herb garden this holiday season.

    COST: Varies

    Reporters Kirby Adams, Ayana Archie, Dahlia Ghabour, Maggie Menderski, Gege Reed, Ben Tobin and Kathryn Gregory contributed to this report.

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