Give the gift of arts and entertainment this season

Along with gift cards, the Hippodrome Theatre also offers packages designed for gifts such as its own “Hipp Triple Play,” which includes three pairs of tickets ready for giving. (File photo)

Published: Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 12:37 p.m.

The most wonderful time of the year can unfortunately include a sidetrip to the most aggravating time of the year if you still haven't found the right gift for someone special on your list. Here's where giving the gift of entertainment, or arts and entertainment if you like, can come in very handy.

A CD box set, DVDs, concert tickets are always out there, of course, and virtually every retailer of arts and entertainment offers gift cards and gift certificates — including most if not all of Gainesville's major arts and entertainment providers.

Best of all, some of the best-known entities also offer some special packages, deals or memberships that can make for perfect presents under the tree — and produce some genuine smiles upon receiving.

Here's a look at some of what's available:

GAINESVILLE ENTERTAINMENT SAMPLER: This sampler is a package of tickets offering admission to performances from five area presenters — the Hippodrome Theatre and Cinema, Gainesville Chamber Orchestra, Dance Alive National and the University of Florida's School of Theatre and Dance.

For $89, subscribers will receive seven vouchers with one each good for a performance at Dance Alive, the Hipp Theatre and Gainesville Chamber Orchestra, and two each for admission to the Hippodrome Cinema and UF's School of Theatre and Dance.

Subscribers receive a brochure with 45 different events offered by the organizations to choose from. For details and to peruse what's included, see The package can be purchased at the Hipp box office or by calling the Hipp at 375-4477.

HIPP TRIPLE PLAY: Just in time for the holidays, the Hippodome also is offering its “Holiday Triple Play” package, which includes three pairs of tickets to mainstage productions that are packaged and ready for giving.

The tickets can be used for any of the Hipp's upcoming productions, which include “Venus in Fur,” “King O' The Moon,” “Robin Hood” and “Avenue Q.” The pairs of tickets can be divided up and given to different people as gifts, and at $89 for a total of six tickets, costs less than $15 per ticket.

To purchase, call the box office at 375-4477.

HARN MUSEUM OF ART MEMBERSHIPS: A membership to the Harn Museum of Art includes admission to member pARTies offered over the next year as well as a year-round discount to the Harn store.

A host of membership packages are available starting at $25 for UF and Santa Fe students, $50 for individuals and $75 for couples. Other levels of memberships include perks from the Southeastern Reciprocal Membership Program, which provides free admission to more than 100 museums, and the North American Reciprocal Membership Program, which provides free admission to more than 500 museums.

For more information, see

FLORIDA MUSEUM HOUSEHOLD MEMBERSHIPS: Packages available for membership at the Florida Museum of Natural History include the Household level of membership, which offers free admission and perks for two adults and an unlimited number of children in the same household. For $125, the entire family receives free admission to the Butterfly Rainforest and temporary exhibits as well as sneak previews to temporary exhibitions and discounts in both gift shops as well as early registration and discounts to such fee-based programs as the School Holiday Camp program.

Single and dual memberships also are available respectively for $50 and $85. For more information, send You can also email the museum's membership coordinator at

Contact Entertainment Editor Bill Dean at 374-5039 or at, and follow on Twitter @SceneBillDean.

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