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Long Island experience gifts

Cloud Nine Exotics in Farmingdale offers luxury car

Cloud Nine Exotics in Farmingdale offers luxury car rentals. Credit: Cloud 9 Exotics

Drive a Lamborghini — if but for a day. Learn to make wine from scratch. Take laps in a real NASCAR race car. Or reap the benefits of unlimited admission with a membership or season pass to a museum or family-friendly attraction. Good-to-gift experiences around Long Island allow your loved ones to spend some time learning something new or to check a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity off their bucket list.


SPLISH SPLASH The Calverton water park offers 2020 season VIP passes for $139.99 that include perks like free parking, 10 percent retail and food discounts and 20 percent off cabanas, or the basic $77.99 pass covering unlimited admission. Park opens Memorial Day weekend. (631-727-3600,

ADVENTURELAND Can’t wait to get on the Turbulence or hit the haunted mansion?  A 2020 season pass at Adventureland in Farmingdale grants yearlong access to the park with unlimited rides until the end of October for $144.99 (purchase online before Jan. 1, 2020 and pay $134.99). (631-694-6868,


LONG ISLAND AQUARIUM The Riverhead attraction offers a range of memberships tailored to students and seniors ($40), adults ($47), couples ($90) and families (two children: $145). The base pass grants access to the aquarium only, unless you opt for the higher-priced combination pass that includes the butterfly habitat. Either way, it's best to gift your recipient a gift card to activate on their first visit — membership runs 12 months from the date of purchase.  (631-208-9200,

LONG ISLAND CHILDREN’S MUSEUM A range of permanent, temporary and seasonal exhibits and activities practically guarantees something different to experience each visit. Basic $85 memberships cover unlimited admission for two designated people for the year — or $160 for a family of four. Bonus: Your membership includes free admission to dozens of other science and children's museums across the country (516-224-5800,

CRADLE OF AVIATION MUSEUM Roam galleries that cover the history of flight, space exploration and astronomy with a membership to the Garden City museum situated among the country's earliest airfields and aircraft manufacturers. Memberships--$50 individual, $75 for two people, $125 family--include unlimited admission and member appreciation events besides discounted tickets to the on-site planetarium and spins on the restored Nunley's Carousel (516-572-4111, 

OLD WESTBURY GARDENS Members roam the grounds of the Gold Coast estate as often as they’d like and get first dibs on registration for programs, annual plant sales and reciprocal admission to several other gardens and arboretums. Memberships cost $50 individually or $80 for two adults and children. (516-333-0048, ext. 308,

ART MUSEUMS The Nassau County Museum of Art offers memberships that include unlimited visits and exhibition previews, $60 individual or $85 for a family (516-484-9338, ext. 23, Further east, the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill rewards members with new exhibition receptions, $5 guest passes and exclusive events —$65, $110 for dual membership; discounted options available for students, seniors, artists and educators. (631-283-2118, ext. 149, Stony Brook's Long Island Museum memberships start at $40 and include a pair of single visit guest passes (631-751-0066,

CINEMA ARTS CENTRE Movie buffs will appreciate the indie film house’s range of programming. Individual memberships ($60) include perks such as a free ticket, discounts on regular ticket prices and members-only film previews. A young film lovers’ membership for those under 25 ($35) includes a monthly free screening and periodic bring-a-friend-for-free invitations. (631-423-7610,


DRIVE A RACE CAR Speedsters can get behind the wheel of a late-model NASCAR race car and take laps around the track at Riverhead Raceway, which is hosting sessions of retired driver Rusty Wallace’s driving school. The course begins with 45 minutes of training before drivers are unleashed on the quarter-mile asphalt course. Caveat: Drivers must be able to operate a manual transmission vehicle. Rates from $269; available in 2020 on May 17, Aug. 16, Sept. 13 (855-227-8789,

MAKE YOUR OWN WINE From choosing (and crushing) the grapes to corking the final blend, WineUDesign’s 11-month program takes burgeoning winemakers through the entire process at a warehouse in Hicksville. The course is split into four sessions, including a midseason barrel-tasting and time spent designing a custom label. From $275 for 12 bottles; 2020 program slated to start in April-May (516-939-9463,

COMEDY COLLEGE Get behind the mic and deliver a set of stand-up after studying with comedy veteran John Trueson (of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing”) during an eight-week course at Governor’s Comedy Club in Levittown. Students learn how to incorporate their personality into a routine that evolves with professional assistance. The course culminates with an 8-minute spot at a comedy club in front of a live audience ($275, 516-731-3358,

EXOTIC CAR RENTAL Drive off in a luxury vehicle for a month, week or day—or as little as four hours—without the burden of monthly payments. The Farmingdale-based company has a fleet of high-end vehicles for rental — each comes with a 30-minute tutorial and a full tank of gas. Drivers must be at least 21 years old, insured and, naturally, willing to leave a security deposit. Rates start at $99 and then go up depending on car and duration of use (800-673-9900 ,

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