As I ready my schedule, home and family for the always-anticipated Christmas season, I find myself looking for ways to make gift giving more thoughtful and less stressful.

I love buying gifts, wrapping them just so and anxiously awaiting the moment they're unwrapped by their recipient. But more and more these days I find myself appreciating experiences over material things, and I know I'm not the only one. Read on to find some of our top suggestions for the perfect way to give the gift of sweet memories.

For Your Favorite Adventurer

If action is the way to their heart, Hendricks County Indiana, offers a great variety of fun for all ages.

1. Horseback Riding at Natural Valley Ranch

Saddle up at Natural Valley Ranch

Natural Valley Ranch is an unexpected gem just minutes from Brownsburg's town limits. Not only does it offer gorgeous scenery and overnight accommodations, but here you'll also find guided horseback riding for any experience level.

Book a trail ride for that special loved one or a group of friends.

Rides are offered in 30 or 60-minute trips and are reasonably priced at $30 a person for the shorter excursion or $45 for an hour-long experience.

Private lessons would also be a wonderful gift for someone you love, and are $40 an hour or $185 when you prepay for five sessions.

2. Defy gravity at Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park

Jumping Their Cares Away

Sky Zone Trampoline Park will make being stuck inside during the cold winter months nothing less than a treat for young ones. 

The Plainfield facility boasts a Ninja Warrior course, vaults, dodgeball, warped wall, sky ball and much more in the safety of a padded facility.

Athletes, gamers and any parkour follower can run through these attractions nonstop until their time expires.

For pricing, hours and information to help you gift this experience, click here.

For the Inner Artist

If they prefer to DIY, there are some excellent places to get crafty in Hendricks County. 

3. Stir it up at The Tie Dye Lab

Create something one-of-a-kind at Tie Dye Lab

Offering a variety of items to choose from and colors to dye them in, The Tie Dye Lab in Avon is just plain fun.

Their awesome staff will walk you through the entire process -- from preparation, selection, coloring and cleanup. Rather than hunting for the perfect shirt or hat, send your loved one to The Tie Dye Lab to create their own -- or join them for an excuse to treat yourself.

You can get more information, check their calendar and purchase this experience here. Take a look at the variety of items available to purchase and dye here.

4. Create a Work of Art at uPaint Pottery Studio

They'll love the Paint Shed at UPaint Pottery Studio

While obviously an excellent experience to give as a gift to kids and teens, uPaint Pottery Studio in Plainfield offers fun for all ages.

The pottery pieces and assistance they offer make this studio an excellent choice for all interests and styles. Additionally, there are a variety of price points. 

Christmas, farmhouse, characters, classics and so much more can be found there to match any personality, age or interest.

Learn more about the studio, events and how to purchase a gift card here.

5. Refine their Skills at Gallery on the Square

Gallery on the Square group class

This unique space in Danville is home to many local artists, and is staffed by the artists themselves. They offer their time to welcome visitors to both purchase and create their own works of art.

Classes are available throughout the year in several mediums, meaning that whatever the interest, your recipient will have the opportunity to hone their skills with an expert in that chosen field. From Paint and Sip to jewelry making to silk painting, the options are many and sure to interest even the hardest to please on your list.

Learn more about their class options here. Gift cards can be purchased in-store, and I highly recommend taking a stroll through the gallery while you're there -- it is always full of surprises.

Splash Island Family Waterpark tube slide

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For the Foodie in Your LifeHit the Trail with Indiana Foodways

6. Favorite stops on Indiana Foodways Culinary Trails

Did you know there is a list of carefully curated culinary trails that feature some of the best food and drink Indiana has to offer?

How about hitting the Hoosier Brews Trail? Or take the Tenderloin Lovers Trail? Why not cruise I Scream for Ice Cream or eat your way through the Hoosier Pie Trail.

All of these and more are featured on Indiana Foodways Culinary Trails, and many of the stops are Hendricks County faves. Find a trail to suit your foodie, and purchase a few gift cards for these local finds to go along with your chosen treasure map.

Shopping small never tasted so good!

For a Night on the Town 

For anyone who appreciates architecture, Hendricks County boasts two historic theaters that have been granted new life.

7. See a Show at The Royal Theater

The Royal Theater in Danville is full of history

The Royal Theater in Danville recently underwent a massive restoration and has been lovingly restored to its early 1900s glory. History buffs will be pleased to find relics of the past discovered during the renovation on display in the lobby

It’s a step back in time to see the marquee light up the night as you enjoy new releases in a beautiful setting. All movies are only $5, and the popcorn is divine.

The gift of entertainment with a twist of nostalgia, gift cards for a show and of course essential snacks can be purchased in-house.

See what The Royal has to offer here.

8. Make a Night of it at The Prewitt

Fine dining and a bite of history

Newly opened, The Prewitt in Plainfield is a different take on a historic theater – both fine dining and speakeasy with live performance space.

This unique spot is the perfect place to enjoy a bit of nightlife and part of Central Indiana history.

The menu is lush, the drinks intriguing, and the experience is sure to please anyone on your list who appreciates the finer things in life.

Now that I think of it, a night at The Prewitt is going straight to the top of my personal Christmas list. (Hint, hint to my husband) gift cards can be purchased here.