I say it every year, but it’s incredibly important to shop local for the holidays in 2022! We’ve compiled some of our favorite items, gifts, places to shop, and experiences this year.
Spirits & Mixers
Local spirits are always on my gift list. We’re fortunate to have seven terrific distilleries in central Ohio. They’re fun to try and even more fun to share.
- Watershed Distillery brought back its Holiday Bourbon Bundle, which includes one 375 ml bottle each of Watershed Old Fashioned, Watershed Bourbon, and Watershed Apple Brandy Finished Bourbon. Find it at the distillery or select Ohio state liquor stores. Their Bottled Old Fashioned also makes a great host gift or stocking stuffer. watersheddistillery.com/holiday-bourbon-bundle
- Noble Cut Distillery features a collection of unique spirits like limoncello and limecello, as well as a line of flavored whiskeys like Salted Caramel and Dark Cherry, both of which are interesting to sip on their own but even more fun mixing in drinks. noblecutdistillery.com/pages/flavored-whiskey
- Middle West Spirits has put together an Old Fashioned Kit that combines their barrel-aged maple syrup, Angostura aromatic and orange bitters, and rocks glass. When you stop in for your kit, make sure to ask for their secret Service Bar Barrel Aged Old Fashioned recipe! middlewestspirits.com/spirits
- Warm up with anything from local distilleries, like Echo Spirits‘ Queen’s Share Rum, High Bank Distillery’s award-winning whiskeys, or Endeavor Brewing & Spirits‘ gins, rums, whiskeys, or infusion jars.
- Then use Simple Times Mixers to craft drinks using the spirits you’ve shared!
- XXI Martinis, new local beverage company, bottles pre-made espresso, chocolate and chocolate peppermint martinis
Wine & Beer
In addition to spirits, I love getting unique beers as gifts, especially holiday offerings.
- Columbus Brewing Company brought back their hoppy holiday ale, Citra Noel, and their Tracksuit Santa holiday brew also made it into cans for the first time! The seasonal beers make a perfect gift, alongside swag like beer koozies, shirts, and frosted glasses. Look for the beers in local stores, or swing by their taproom to pick them up: store.columbusbrewing.com
- Available the first week of December, Wolf’s Ridge Brewing’s Cookie & Beer bundles pair great holiday beers with homemade cookies. Try the Santa Was Here imperial pastry stout paired with dark chocolate chip cookies: store.wolfsridgebrewing.com/collections/seasonal-beer
- Land-Grant Brewing is featuring a festive 12 Beers of Christmas pack that contains 12 different beers with a tasting sheet that includes the brewers’ inspiration for each recipe. You can pre-order through Nov. 20 and pickup at the taproom (or grab extras that haven’t sold after the ordering date): landgrantbrewing.com/product/12beers-22preorder/
- 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. seventhsonbrewing.com/shop/beer-bonds
- The Bottle Shop features a collection of Curated Holiday Wine Boxes designed to fit a variety of budgets. Customers can leave a note at checkout with their specific tastes, and the staff will curate a custom box: bottleshopcolumbus.com/curated-wine-boxes
- Schedule a class and tasting as a group with MySOMM: mysommwine.com
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/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
- Winans features their Celebrate Ohio! Basket with pretzels, buckeyes, kisses, chocolates, and more. You also can’t miss their Bourbon Cherry Cordials made with Watershed bourbon-soaked maraschino cherries. winanscandies.com/product/celebrate-ohio-basket/485
- Quinci Emporium offers a variety of gift boxes themed around pasta, risotto, cookies, and many more: quinciemporium.com/collections/boxes
- Love some spice? Try Jack Moore’s BlackCap Hot Sauce: facebook.com/BlackCapHotSauce
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:
- Give the gift of a mug or tumbler from Winston’s Coffee & Waffles. You can then receive free drip coffee on Wednesdays and $1 off any drink when using the mug or tumbler.
- Tommy’s Diner
- The new FYR in the Hilton Tower
- Wario’s Beef & Pork
- Worthington Tavern
- The Hungarian Butcher
- Zacatecas Mexican Grill
- Subourbon Southern Kitchen & Spirits
- New India Restaurant
- Chapman’s Eat Market and Ginger Rabbit Jazz Lounge
- Watershed Kitchen & Bar
- Law Bird & Law Bird Supply House
- The revamped Chophouse 614
- Icarus Sandwich Shop
- Gemut Biergarten
- Give the gift of cheese! Discover Ohio-made selections easily by searching ShopOhioCheese.com.
Cold Brew & Coffee Beans
I love coffee, so new roasts and cold brew are always on my list. Columbus has so many terrific coffee roasters to choose from!
A few of my favorites:
- A four-pack of bottles of Ope! Cold Brew
- Espresso and honey process coffees from Brioso
- A giant jug of Doctor Coffee cold brew
- Classic roasts and flavored coffees from Winans
- 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
- Curated micro-roasts from my brother Dan’s roastery, Tacet Coffee
Shop Local & Sustainable
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.
- Get all manner of plants from Stump
- Ohio-made crafts and gifts Ohio Designer Craftsmen
- Perfect things for kids at Cub Shrub
- We always love Glenn Avenue Soap Company‘s lineup of natural soaps, bath bombs, oils. And we swear by their Don’t Bug Me insect repellant in the summer.
- Ethically designed and created clothing for women from Evolverie in Old Worthington
- Gifts, cards, party supplies at Wild Cat Gift & Party
- Give someone a tree or shrub from Oakland Nursery or indoor greenery from Oakland Green Interiors
- Local glass pieces or classes Glass Axis
- All the coolest stuff at Tigertree
- Serendipity Threads in Center Street Market
- Pizazz Gift Shop in the Worthington Mall
- Make your own home decor at AR Workshop (or book a class there with friends)
- Small batch jewelry and gifts at Shift Studios
- Dig through Vernacular’s collections at their Grandview, Worthington, and German Village shops
- Sustainable products like reusable sandwich bags and coffee filters to silicone bowl covers and reusable bag drying stands from Koko.
- Rewash Refillery offers soap refilling, gift boxes with loads of local goodies
- Reuse Revolution focuses on a wide variety of products, from soaps and bags to toothbrushes, makeup, dishcloths, razor blades
- Get all sorts of cool stuff from the Groovy Plants Ranch in Marengo
Books & Local Authors
Lots of options in books, including plenty from local authors!
- Columbus artist and illustrator Bryan Moss did the work for the graphic novel The Eightfold Path.
- Learn all about ice cream in the Buckeye State in Renee Casteel Cook’s Ohio Ice Cream: A Scoop of History.
- Poet Maggie Smith’s books like books of poetry like Goldenrod or Good Bones, or her book of inspirational observations Keep Moving and its companion journal.
- 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
- Check out Saeed Jones‘ memoir How We Fight For Our Lives or his books of poetry
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
Haircuts & Spas
Everyone loves the gift of a little pampering! Give the gift of a spa day or a great haircut or beard trim.
- I love getting haircuts and beard trims at Royal Rhino Club
- The Mug & Brush
- Holy Moses
- We’re in love with the new Kneading Care Massage Therapy in Old Worthington
- Oasis Face Bar
- Balance Beauty Spa + Wellness
- Body For Life Massage & Spa
- Open Sky Day Spa
- Ebb & Float
- Papillon Day Spa
Getaways & Staycations
Give the gift of an overnight escape, weekend getaway, or staycation! Here are some of our past ideas and experiences!
- A Treehouse Stay at The Mohicans and A Stay at The Manor at The Mohicans. On Black Friday The Mohicans is running 10% off all gift cards and BOGO nights for stays through March 31, 2023. And every Friday, find reservations for the following week up to as much as 50% off!
- An Overnight at Gervasi Vineyard
- A Staycation at the Worthington Courtyard Marriott
- The Comfort of Home in Hartville
- A Staycation In and Around Cherry Valley Hotel
- A Staycation at the Hilton Downtown Columbus
- A Night at Le Meridien Columbus, The Joseph
- A Stay Under the Stars at Hotel LeVeque
- Or how about a yurt at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls?
You know I’m always in support of artists and local arts organizations! Shop local artists, buy memberships, order tickets.
- Shadowbox Live performs great holiday shows like Holiday Hoopla and Not So Silent Night. Bonus: get 10% off your tickets with code NICK10.
- BalletMet‘s popular Nutcracker returns Dec. 8-24, and you can get up to $20 off tickets with code NICK22 (up to four tickets per code, savings range depending on seat location).
- Give memberships to the the Columbus Museum of Art, Franklin Park Conservatory, the Columbus Zoo, and the Wexner Center, and COSI
- Support local artists by shopping at smaller arts organizations like the Streetlight Guild, Wild Goose Creative, at Franklinton Fridays, the McConnell Arts Center‘s holiday pop-up shop.
- Book classes and workshops on creativity at Just Bloom School
Play Some Games
Book classes or just schedule an afternoon at an indoor play park, driving range, or bowling alley!
- Top Golf has become a family favorite for an afternoon or evening on the driving range. You can order food and drinks while you’re there! topgolf.com/us/columbus
- Star Lanes is another favorite, with bowling lanes, arcade games, a 3D theatre, and their new four-player Omni Arena. starlanespolaris.com
- 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