This holiday season, aim to buy local for some, if not most of your gifts! Not only will your recipients love receiving unique gifts, buying local supports the local economy, as well as individuals, instead of large companies. Plus, Columbus has SO MANY amazing artisans, vendors, artists and more! We’d love to hear your suggestions for our Columbus Gift Guide! Leave a comment below, or on our Facebook page to give others more ideas. If you own a business, or just love supporting particular ones, leave a link for others to check out the goods! Scroll down for links to our other gift guides, including White Elephant gifts, hostess/teacher gifts, and more.
Local goods that make great gifts
Whether you’re looking for Columbus-themed shirts, or just something made locally in Columbus, Homage is your place. Order online or stop in at one of the stores. There are so many options, and their t-shirts are so, so soft. From sports, pop culture, colleges, and city themes (and so much more), you’ll find something for everyone. They have holiday deals and $10 bonus bucks for $50 purchases. New customers can use this referral link to get $20 off with a $40 purchase (I get a credit too), or shop in store at Easton.
Everyone loves Alison Rose shirts! They are super soft shirts, with fun, unique designs.
Variety of Local Gifts
These places are one-stop shops with tons of great, local options – from consumables and personal care to art, accessories, and clothing. These are great places to start or finish up your shopping. You’ll find options for many on your gift lists, and probably a few things for yourself as well.
Wholly Craft – I’d venture to say you could find something special for everyone on your Christmas list at Wholly Craft. As one of the OG’s in local alternative craft world, it’s basically a huge alternative craft fair in permanent form. They have a little bit of everything for everyone, so make sure you stop in the store during your holiday shopping!
Celebrate Local – Located at Easton, this store offers Ohio-made artisanal goods from 300+ Ohio small businesses! You’ll find locally-made apparel and jewelry, housewares, and lots of amazing local foods! You can also shop online if that suits you better.
The Ohio Craft Museum offers handmade jewelry, accessories, decorations and more from independent local artists. You’ll find options at all price points.
North Market has so many vendors that it’s easy to find something for everyone – especially if looking for consumables.
Whole Foods carries lots of local brands throughout the store and has local section as well.
Storge OHIO in Powell carries affordable, stylish, and practical products from small businesses all over Ohio. Shop in store or online.
Morgan House has rooms and rooms of goodies
What on Earth? in Upper Arlington features Earth-inspired products, art, and jewelry.
Whether beer, wine, or liquor is the beverage of choice, there are TONS of local drink options. Rather than try to list them here, just check out these directories from Drink Up Columbus. They know what they’re talking about.
- Wine on High is offering lots of holiday gift options, including 3, 6, 12- month wine club memberships, wine baskets, tasting passes, and gift card specials.
Yes, coffee could be under beverages, but I think it deserves it’s own mention. People in Columbus loooove coffee, as evidenced by the great local coffee shops in the city. Pick up a pound of coffee, some accessories, or some treats, and your recipient will be thankful for the morning salvation of good coffee. Columbus Coffee Experience website has a great list of coffee shops around the city where you’ll find good coffee to gift. There’s even a Columbus Coffee Trail that you can travel to earn a free tshirt.
Columbus Ice Cream
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream: The gift of Jeni’s Ice Cream is ALWAYS a good idea (and it ships if you need!). The only problem I see with purchasing Jeni’s Ice Cream as a gift is that it’ll be tough to keep it in your freezer without eating it yourself! Jeni’s Ice Cream would make a perfect Secret Santa gift, teacher gift – or let’s face it…gift for anyone. Want to take the gift to the next level? Include a Jeni’s gift card or salty caramel sauce, or an ice cream scoop from this brand, which was recommended by Jeni herself (and I concur).
We can’t leave Graeter’s Ice Cream off this list, because there’s always room for more ice cream. Graeter’s offers in-store and online purchases, as well as gift packs, merchandise, chocolates, and other sweets.
Local experiences for gifting
Concert Tickets: Music lovers would be thrilled with tickets to see a great concert.
Sports tickets: There are plenty of sporting events around the city, including Columbus Blue Jackets, Columbus Clippers (very affordable), Columbus Crew, Ohio Roller Derby, and all Ohio State sports.
Theatre Tickets: CAPA Theatres offer tons of great plays, musicals, concerts, comedians, and shows for all ages at various price points through the year. Check to see if the current season offerings are anything that would make your recipients wish list.
ZipZone Tours: This adventure destination features hands free, guided zip line tour in the treetops at Camp Mary Orton in North Columbus. There are a variety of adventure options to choose from, including ziplines and climbing, and they even offer a kid-friendly tour for ages 4-7. They will be offering holiday specials on gift cards for a limited time.
Painting classes: Studios include Wine & Canvas, The Party Studio, Studio 614, Color Me Mine and more. These are also often held at local wineries, so check with your favorite to see if there are any upcoming events!
Escape Rooms in Columbus: The Chamber Escape Room, Lockdown Columbus, Trapped Columbus, Room Escape Columbus, and more – if you have any to recommend, I’d love to add them to the list!
Shadowbox Live tickets make a great gift for local comedy and Saturday Night Live fans, as the sketch comedy reminds me of SNL. Shows are definitely geared towards adults for some mature content, but holiday shows are toned down.
Axe Throwing in Columbus: This sport is developing quite a following in Columbus! Check out Columbus Axe Throwing and Dueling Axes. Gift certificates would be great for someone with everything, or the minimalist in your life!
Games and Fun: Arcade and game entertainment bars are IN right now in Columbus! Grab a gift card for 16-Bit Bar & Arcade or Pins Mechanical, and give them the gift of fun! Both have locations in Columbus and Dublin, and offer select times that 21 and under can also play (varies for each location), so it’s a gift that’s good for all ages!
Spa day: Gift cards for a mani, pedi, massage, or hair services are always appreciated – and useful!
Classes and Lessons: Whatever your recipients’ interests are, there’s a class for that around Columbus. Fitness, painting, sports, glass blowing, photography, writing, cooking, sewing and crafts, cake decorating, home improvement, self defense…the options are nearly limitless and impossible for me to list. Do an internet search for the “desired activity + local area”, or check local community centers, and you’re sure to find a few choices. Great options for kids are gymnastics, piano, acting, cooking, swimming, and whatever else their little hearts will enjoy.
Local season pass gift ideas
Season passes are the gift that keep giving. Not only does the gift last for several months to a full year, they are the gift of an experience, which is more valuable to most than just stuff. Whether it’s a gift for a whole family, or just an individual, they will appreciate the thoughtfulness that you took to choose a pass that they will enjoy, and will think of you when the use it. These gifts can be a bit more expensive, but the value is worth it when choosing a bigger gift. If the season pass is out of your price range, purchase a one-time use pass instead. Attractions often offer specials during the holiday season, so be sure to ask, or look around the websites.
Columbus Zoo & Aquarium: Several membership options are available and memberships typically pay for themselves within 2 visits and include special discounts and other benefits.
Zoombezi Bay: Any water park lover will be thrilled with a season pass to Zoombezi Bay. Passes include admission to The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and other benefits.
COSI: There’s never enough time to enjoy all of COSI in a day, so a membership is a perfect way for loved ones to enjoy all of the traveling exhibits, Giant Screen Movies, Planetarium, and all of the regular COSI fun. While COSI is more geared towards families and kids of all ages, there’s fun to be had for any science lover. Purchase a membership by December 15 and get a ticket voucher for Disney on Ice presents Reach for the Stars.
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens: With every changing exhibits and gardens, plus fun family activities each week, cooking classes, and other special events, it’s unlikely someone could get bored with a membership to Franklin Park Conservatory. No matter the weather, there will always be plenty of beauty to enjoy.
Columbus Museum of Art: This membership will thrill the art lover on your list. CMA is such a fantastic place to explore, and features fun for all ages.
Local outdoor swimming pool: While these memberships are only valid for several months of the year, they pay off big time during the hot summer days. Many local pools offer early bird discounts on memberships, so Christmas is the perfect time to buy.
Community Center membership: Community centers offer so many benefits for individuals or families. From fitness, hobby classes, sports, events, and even indoor swimming pools, its a membership that can be used all year. Pick the center closest to the recipient and be sure to ask if there is a discount for residents of the community, as many have reduced fees for local tax district and school district residents.
Wexner Center for the Arts: From film to exhibits to special events, there’s so much fun to be had at Wexner Center for the Arts. They offer features that are family friendly, as well as ones that are perfect for date night. Gift memberships are presented in a box with an extra gift included.
Mad River Mountain Ski Resort: If your recipient loves skiing pr snowboarding, Mad River Mountain is just a short drive away and is great for when they only have a few hours to ski and for practice before big ski trips.
Don’t forget to check out our Columbus Gift Guide: Hostess Gift Ideas with additional local gift options that are perfect for hostess gifts, teacher gifts, friend gifts, co-worker gifts, and Secret Santa gifts.
Need an easy gift for people who have everything? Gift cards make great presents, plus these have a bonus for you.
Need something silly or sassy? Check out our White Elephant Gifts Guide.