I hope your Thanksgiving went (or is going) well, and I hope this season is a fun one for you! In the spirit of togetherness, when you think about gift-giving this year, think about being with people this year, of celebrating your relationships and enjoying experiences together.
Take time to enjoy shopping with someone. Go for the experience as much as the end result. And when you go, visit local shops in districts like the Short North, Clintonville, Old Worthington, Uptown Westerville, Easton, or German Village:
- Cards, crafts, shirts, and classes at Swoonful Gifts at Igloo Lettepress
- All Ohio goods at Celebrate Local
- Room after room of books from The Book Loft
- Prep for parties at Surprise! Modern Party & Cocktail Goods
- Local crafters and artisans at Wholly Craft
- Candies, sodas, and toys at Rocket Fizz
- Vintage toys (Star Wars!) at Big Fun
- Hit up the local craft shows and sales: the Old Worthington Holiday Open House (Nov. 27), Holiday Hop in Short North (Dec. 3), Craftin’ Outlaws Holiday Fair (Dec. 10), Festivus at 400 W. Rich (Dec. 9-11), Cheers! Art + Music Market by Creative Babes (Dec. 11), Illuminated Shopping every Thursday in Old Worthington
There are all sorts of classes and experiences where you can learn and grow together. Give the gift of tickets, learn a skill, buy a membership, take them to a show:
- Book them seats on a Columbus Food Adventures tour (including, you know, breakfast or brunch tours with yours truly)
- Take them to classes and events at maker spaces like The Commissary, Glass Axis, the Seasoned Farmhouse, the Columbus Idea Foundry, or the Cultural Arts Center
- Give them passes or memberships, or donate on their behalf, to our many cultural institutions like Wild Goose Creative, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus Museum of Art, COSI, the Columbus Zoo
- Buy individual or season tickets to BalletMet, Actors Theatre, the Columbus Symphony, ProMusica
- Parents with kids: take them to kid-friendly arts events like performances from CATCO and Columbus Children’s Theatre, or look for Jazz Arts Group‘s PBJ & Jazz series
- Give them movie tickets to spots like Studio 35, the Drexel, Gateway Film Center, or Grandview Theatre
- Get your kids their first library card; spend an afternoon browsing the renovated Main Library (and catch the Huntington Holiday train)
GROW AND SHARE FOOD TOGETHER
Share a gift of food that keeps on giving, like local ingredients, markets, and coffee shops!
- Introduce them to great local ingredients for cooking, like eggs and sausage from Copia Farm, Saddleberk pork, Brier Hill Sausage, North Country Charcuterie, milk from Hartzler Dairy or Snowville Creamery, and mushrooms from Tiger Mushroom Farms. Or set them up with a CSA for regular deliveries!
- Give giftcards for spots where you can buy ingredients, like bakeries, creameries, or butcher shops: The Butcher & Grocer, Hills Market, Weiland’s, Dough Mama, Sassafras, Laughlin’s, Omega, Dan the Baker, North Market
- Columbus has so much great coffee! Give a pound or two of local roasts from Brioso, Crimson Cup, Ramble Coffee, Thunderkiss, One Line, Luck Bros, Stauf’s, Mission
SHARE A MEAL TOGETHER
I know I’m guilty of letting meals become times that are rushed or all about Instagram or simply getting fed and getting on our way. Remember that food – while a necessity – can also be an experience, a chance to gather and connect.
- Join a participatory dinner at The Kitchen
- Give them gift cards to try new restaurants! Many restaurants are offering special deals on giftcards for the holidays, like Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, Dine Originals gift certificates or decks, and every place from casual cafes to diners to upscale restaurants. Help them discover everything from tacos to donuts to fried chicken to ethnic eats and beyond.
- Buy them a cookbook, like Cara Mangini’s Vegetable Butcher
- Get giftcards or treat some to a visit at shops that support others as their mission: Roosevelt Coffeehouse, Bottoms Up Coffee Co-op, Double Comfort, Hot Chicken Takeover, Roots Cafe
ENJOY A DRINK TOGETHER
Give the gift of Columbus beer, wine, and spirits, or book a tour to see the makers themselves!
- Buy someone a pint or a growler fill at a local brewery or growling filling spots like Growl, The Daily Growler, The Ohio Taproom, or Savor Growl
- Share cans or bottles of local beers or ciders: Elevator, North High, Land-Grant, Zaftig, Four String, Mad Moon Cider, Wild Ohio Brewing, Columbus Brewing Company, Seventh Son, Sideswipe, Rockmill
- Don’t forget bottles of spirits from distilleries like Watershed, Middle West Spirits, 451 Spirits, Mill St. Distillery
- Local wineries bottle their wares, too: Signature Wines, Camelot Cellars, Quail Crossing, Wyandotte Winery, and more
- Again, take them on a tour! Schedule one through Columbus Brew Adventures, look for regular tours like those at Land-Grant Brewing, or book spots on tours at Middle West or Watershed. Both distilleries are upgrading their equipment and spaces to add more spirits and – coming soon – full service restaurants!