Just as in previous years, it’s incredibly important to shop local for the holidays in 2021! We’ve compiled some of our favorite items, gifts, places to shop, and experiences this year.
Gift Boxes & Sauces
Many businesses make it really easy to purchase gift boxes already pre-loaded with local goodies.
- North Country Charcuterie has a variety of holiday kits and collections featuring their meats plus local cheeses and jams. northcountrycharcuterie.com/holiday-gifts/
- Columbus Food Adventures makes it easy to support local while mailing gifts around the country. They’re featuring two boxes: Columbus Classics and Farmers Market. columbusfoodadventures.com/gift-boxes
- Quinci Emporium offers a variety of gift boxes themed around pasta, risotto, cookies, and many more: quinciemporium.com/collections/boxes
- Chef Jack Moore’s BlackCap Hot Sauce: facebook.com/BlackCapHotSauce
Try to do your shopping at local stores this year! They carry a full range of products and feature loads of local vendors or artists.
- Ohio Designer Craftsmen
- Cub Shrub
- Wild Cat Gift & Party
- Glass Axis (for gifts or classes!)
- Serendipity Threads in Center Street Market
- Pizazz Gift Shop in the Worthington Mall
Lots of options in books, including plenty from local authors!
- Poet Maggie Smith released a new book of poetry, Goldenrod, as well as a journal companion to her book of inspirational observations Keep Moving
- Learn how Columbus does pizza in Jim Ellison’s Columbus Pizza: A Slice of History
- Donte Woods-Spikes released So Long: Unfinished Goodbyes with the Children of COVID-19. It’s available at local shops like Prologue, Two Dollar Radio, and the Columbus Museum of Art.
- Get to know Hanif Abdurraqib’s poetry collections or his latest book A Little Devil in America
- Columbus native Wil Haygood just released the much-lauded look at Black film history, Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films
- Nathan Pyle, the author of the Strange Planet comics, published a kid’s picture book called The Sneaking, Hiding, Vibrating Creature plus a companion activity book. Our 10yo devoured the activity book when we got a copy.
And certainly buy your books from small publishers or local bookstores: Prologue Bookshop in Short North, Two Dollar Radio HQ on Parsons Ave., Gramercy Books in Bexley, Cover to Cover Books in Upper Arlington, The Book Loft in German Village.
Many shops are offering incredible and unique gifts that help you (and your giftee) develop and encourage sustainable practices!
- Koko is an online retailer with shops in Clintonville and the Hilltop. They feature a wide variety of products, from reusable sandwich bags and coffee filters to silicone bowl covers and reusable bag drying stands. kokotheshop.com
- Rewash Refillery is a mobile soap refilling station based in Clintonville, also offering gift boxes with loads of local goodies. facebook.com/rewashrefillery
- Evolverie is a new storefront in Old Worthington that features stunning ethically designed and created clothing for women. evolverieclothing.com
- Reuse Revolution inside North Market Bridge Park focuses on a wide variety of products, from soaps and bags to toothbrushes, makeup, dishcloths, razor blades, and much more. reuserevolution.com
Beers + Booze
I say this every year, but interesting beers and local spirits are always on my gift list. They’re fun to try and even more fun to share.
- Wolf’s Ridge Brewing comes up with all sorts of great holiday beers, and they pair them with homemade cookies. Try the Santa Was Here imperial pastry stout paired with dark chocolate chip cookies: store.wolfsridgebrewing.com/collections/seasonal-beer
- Pick up wines from local experts like Coast Wine House, House Wine, or The Twisted Vine
- Warm up with anything from local distilleries, like Middle West Spirits‘ bourbon cream, Watershed’s barrel-strength bourbon, Echo Spirits‘ new Queen’s Share Rum
- Impress someone with canned or bottled offerings from expert breweries like Columbus Brewing Company, Nocterra, Ill Mannered, Land-Grant, and many others. Get a full list by searching the Columbus Ale Trail: cbusaletrail.com/trail
- Give someone a membership to High Bank Distillery’s Whiskey Society, which gets them tours, tastings, a bottle of whiskey, and more perks: highbankco.com/whiskeysociety
- Seventh Son Brewing, Antiques on High, and Getaway have brought back their beer bonds, where you can spend a set amount now and get more in return later.
Coffee + Cans
I love coffee, so just like beer, new roasts are always on my list. Columbus has so many terrific coffee roasters to choose from! A few of my favorites:
- Espresso and honey process coffees from Brioso
- Canned lattes and cold brew from Jennings Java
- Holiday roasts and cold brew from Thunderkiss
- Sumatra Mandheling and gift cards to Crimson Cup
- The Ranger blend and swag from Florin Coffee
- Kodiak espresso from Mission
- Mexican roasts from Ramble Coffee
Treat Yo Self
Everyone loves the gift of a little pampering! I love getting haircuts and beard trims at Royal Rhino Club. Or try The Mug & Brush, Goodfellow’s, Holy Moses, Longview. Or gift cards to places that do facials, massage, and other therapeutic services: Oasis Face Bar, Balance Beauty Spa + Wellness, Body For Life Massage & Spa, Open Sky Day Spa, Ebb & Float, Papillon Day Spa.
Give someone the gift of a quiet overnight in the woods! Curl up, read books, watch movies, make dinner together. There are so many options within an easy drive from Columbus. Read about our stays in a in a treehouse or in a cabin at The Mohicans, which is offering 30% off stays through December 17. Or sneak away at Cherry Valley Hotel in Newark, at Gervasi Vineyard in Canton, or a yurt at The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls.
A Bite to Eat
I love giving restaurant gift cards, especially if you can create an experience out of them: trying a new place for dinner, getting drinks, meeting up for breakfast. A few places we’ve been loving these days:
- Little Ladies Soft Serve (opening their new storefront this week!)
- Wario’s Beef & Pork
- The Hungarian Butcher (a brand new butcher shop)
- Cravings Cafe
- Preston’s Burgers
- Boxwood Biscuit Co.
- Chapman’s Eat Market
- Watershed Kitchen & Bar
- Olive & Thyme Cafe
- Ray Ray’s Meat + Three
Book classes or just schedule an afternoon at an indoor play park!
- Play: CBUS, an indoor play park with 52,000 square feet of ropes courses, climbing walls, and more. playadventureparks.com/location/columbus
- Movement Lab Ohio, where you can take classes and explore ninja warrior course, parkour, and more: mlabohio.com
- Airhouse Adventure Park at Polaris has an arcade, trampolines, ropes courses, obstacles, and lots of fun games: columbus.theairhouse.com
- Vertical Adventures offers 16,000 square feet of rock climbing and classes: 5.life/va
Bring the Park Inside
This year we’ve been given some lovely greenery for our yard or home. They’re really thoughtful gifts that we get to enjoy for many years to come.
- Give someone a tree or shrub from Oakland Nursery or indoor greenery from Oakland Green Interiors
- Get all manner of plants from Stump
- Get all sorts of cool stuff from the Groovy Plants Ranch in Marengo
Looking for more gift ideas, or suggestions for places to eat, drinks to sip, arts experiences, parks, and more? Join my e-mail list and get my weekly newsletter and season guides.