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Unique Long Island experiences to give as gifts

Our annual rundown of good-to-gift experiences around Long Island invites your loved ones to spend some time learning something new, or gives them a chance to revisit a favorite spot over and over again all year long.

To see more holiday gift guides, visit newsday.com/giftguides .

Go VIP at the Long Island Nets

The Long Island Nets, a minor league basketball
Photo Credit: Bruce Gilbert

The Long Island Nets, a minor league basketball affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets, is now playing home games at the renovated Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale. Give the gift of basketball to a family of four with tickets to a Nets game, including extras such as a courtside upgrade and a postgame player meet and greet. 
INFO $160, available for games Jan. 2-February at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum, 844-546-3871, longislandnets.com.

Cook--for date night

Instead of a restaurant gift certificate, treat your
Photo Credit: Nancy Borowick

Instead of a restaurant gift certificate, treat your partner to a night of cooking a restaurant-level meal. At the "Date Night Amazing" class at A la Carte Cooking School in Lynbrook, you'll be coached through a five-course meal that includes bacon-wrapped shrimp with passion fruit, warm mushroom-goat-cheese salad, braised chicken with leeks and lemon cream sauce, butternut rice pilaf and chocolate-Amaretti cake. After you've enjoyed the meal, A la Carte takes care of the cleanup. Upcoming three-hour classes are at 7 p.m. Jan. 5 and there's a paella spin on date night Feb. 2.
INFO $225 per couple; 516-599-2922, alacartecs.com

Chill out in a salt cave

Salt caves are popping up across Long Island,
Photo Credit: Port Jeff Salt Cave

Salt caves are popping up across Long Island, from Nassau County to the East End. Lie back on a zero-gravity chair and breathe in the soothing Himalayan pink salt-infused air Among the options: Healing Grotto in North Bellmore, where $99 buys three 45-minute sessions (516-21-7258, healinggrotto.com) and the Port Jeff Salt Cave, pictured, where 45-minute sessions cost $45 (631-938-2102, portjeffersonsaltcave.com). 

Go to the 2018 U.S. Open

The 118th U.S. Open tees off June 11
Photo Credit: NEWSDAY STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/David L. Pokress

The 118th U.S. Open tees off June 11 at the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, a prestigious private course founded in 1891 as one of the United States Golf Association's original five members. A single ticket to the Open costs $60. If you want to splurge, the "Weekly 1895 Club" package ($2,400) includes daily tickets, meals, drinks and entree to an air-conditioned "clubhouse" pavilion near the fifth hole.
INFO June 11-17 at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, 200 Tuckahoe Rd., Southampton; 800-698-0661, usga.org

Sleep at a vineyard

An overnight stay at Shinn Estate Vineyards and
Photo Credit: Randee Daddona

An overnight stay at Shinn Estate Vineyards and Farmhouse combines the joys of wine-tasting and the creature comforts of a B&B. Sample four wines in the rustic farmhouse tasting room, then bed down for the night in a room with a view of the vineyard. Your stay also includes a happy hour with more wine -- and cheese -- and a farm country breakfast to send you on your way. 
INFO $259-$359 at 2000 Oregon Rd., Mattituck; 631-804-0367, shinnestatevineyards.com.

Take a cod fishing trip

Anglers can get the jump on the 2018
Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

Anglers can get the jump on the 2018 fishing season aboard one of the "open" fishing boats, which head out year-round for cod, pollock and other fighting sport fish. The Capt. Lou Fleet's 100-foot Starstream VIII takes overnight trips from The Nautical Mile in Freeport ($175, 516-623-5823, captloufleet.com) while The Viking Fleet's 140-foot Viking Starship hunts cod in the waters from Montauk Point to Block Island ($125, 631-668-5700, vikingfleet.com)

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