It’s time to start purchasing your holiday gifts! We have a big list of local options in our Columbus Gift Guide to work through your shopping list! If you’re waiting until Christmas Eve, make sure to check store hours, as smaller, local store may be closed or closing early. Merry Christmas!
This holiday season, aim to buy local for some, if not ALL 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. That’s especially important this year.
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! Don’t forget to check out our links for local stores to check out in areas and suburbs all over Columbus!
Scroll down for links to our other gift guides, including White Elephant gifts, hostess/teacher gifts, and more. Amazon affiliate links included.
Note: we are in process of updating this list, so links may have changed.
Columbus Gift Guide: Local goods that make great gifts
HOMAGE: 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 shirts are so, so soft. From sports, pop culture, colleges, and city themes (and so much more), you’ll find something for literally everyone. Everyone LOVES their facemasks too!
They often have special deals or discounts (look at the top of the website; currently 15% off. New customers can use this referral link to get $20 off with a $40 purchase (I get a credit too). Don’t know what to buy? Get a gift card and let them pick out their perfect gift (great option for teens and college students, because you probably don’t know what they really want).
ALISON ROSE: Everyone loves Alison Rose shirts! They are super soft shirts, with fun, unique designs that are always local and/or current. They have cute masks now too!
Columbus Gift Guide: 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.
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. The Gifts of the Craftsman Sale is going on through Christmas Eve as well.
Whole Foods carries lots of local brands throughout the store and has local section as well.
Morgan House has rooms and rooms of goodies, gifts, jewelry, clothing, furniture, home accents, and more. Definitely a one-stop shop!
What on Earth? in Upper Arlington features Earth-inspired products, art, and jewelry.
Gift shops at Ohio Statehouse, Ohio History Center and Columbus Museum of Art feature many Columbus-themed and unique products. Note: check website for hours and online shopping availability; these are subject to closures and may not be available for in person shopping.
Columbus Gift Guide: Local Beverages
Whether beer, wine, or liquor is the beverage of choice, there are TONS of local drink options.
Wine on High is offering lots of holiday gift options, including 3, 6, 12- month wine club memberships, wine baskets, and gift card specials.
Watershed Distillery has won double gold medals for both their Bourbon Barrel Gin and their Guild Gin as well as earned the title of Ohio’s Gin Distillery of the year from notable international spirits competitions. The distillery is happy to help create custom gift baskets including their spirits, distillery swag, tours and restaurant gift cards to create the perfect gift this season.
Wolf’s Ridge Brewing are getting creative with customized gift wrapping options and delivery of experiential gifts like brew pairings to celebrate the holidays in case you and your loved ones may not be able to gather this holiday season. See some of the special gift they have packaged, and check out the merch they have available on the website.
- Home for the holiday’s home delivery: Send the gift of beer with a personalized gift tag + custom wrapping (wrapping paper + WRB logo ribbon) to your loved ones this holiday season; applicable for any item in the Wolf’s Ridge online shop (Available through online order for home delivery or curbside pickup in December)
- Black Friday Barrel Aged Beer Release: Chocolate Port Barrel Dire Wolf (8oz bottle – pricing/quantity/pp limit TBD); will be released through the shop to all Ohio delivery regions/curbside pickup
- Cookie Beer Bombers: Two 22oz bombers of cookie-inspired beer infusion (Gingerbread Cookie Clear Sky or Holiday Spiced Dire Wolf), packaged nicely in a carrier (priced at $20 and available for online ordering the first week of December)
- Cookie + Beer Bundle: Each bundle includes 5 cookies, all made with the beers they are paired with. Pairings include:
- Beyond Measure Shortbread Cookie (Paired with our witbier)
- Home for the Holidays Gingerbread Cookie (Paired with our spiced holiday ale)
- Monk’s Hood Peanut Butter (Paired with our imperial milk stout)
- Mixed Holiday Beer Cases: A full case of variations of some of our favorite holiday brews. (Available through online order for home delivery or curbside pickup in December) Brews include: 6-pack of Impish or Admirable, 6-pack of Home for the Holidays, 6-pack of Abominable Haze, 6-pack of Beyond Measure
- Coffee/Mug/Daybreak bundle: 6-pack of Daybreak: One 12oz bag of One Line (choice between ground/whole bean), and ceramic mug. (Available through online order at $35 for home delivery or curbside pickup in December)
Cameron Mitchell Restaurants Cocktail Kits are just the thing your friends need (grab one for yourself too!). Enjoy your favorite cocktails from various Cameron Mitchell Restaurants – ready to gift and enjoy. There are great for gift exchanges, friends or anyone who likes a good cocktail. Drop one off on the porch of your favorite healthcare worker, teacher, or other essential employee who has had a rough go this year. Call them on Zoom and enjoy a cocktail together!
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 CBUS Coffee Experience Pass that you work through to earn a free t-shirt.
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, 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.
Columbus Gift Guide: Local Items
Eleventh Candle Co.: This local social enterprise employs survivors of human trafficking as a way to redeem, restore and empower vulnerable women. Eleventh Candle Co. uses its dollars from candle sales (they’ve grossed over $3M in just three years) to provide employment, support and training to recovering women who have been trafficked.
Each candle is locally sourced in Columbus, Ohio and shipped nationwide. They’re made with simple ingredients like soy wax, fragrance oils, and cotton-core wicks. We received some candles and they are amazing – the candles burn cleanly and the scents are just the right strength. Amazing Grace and Gray Flannel smell so good! You can buy Eleventh candles at The Madery at 752 High St. in Worthington.
The Engagement Journal by Season Journals: Columbus-based Season Journals has released The Engagement Journal; a guided keepsake book that takes a holistic look at the engagement journey and wedding celebration. The Journal is a great gift for engaged couples looking to reflect on and remember their season of engagement. If you know someone who has recently gotten engaged, or is planning to soon, this would be a great gift.
- We help couples plan a personalized, meaningful wedding at any budget
- The Engagement Journal was designed to be gender-neutral and utilized by both partners
- The Journal is structured to align with each milestone in an engagement
- We designed the Journal to be minimal, modern, and timeless
- We are Columbus-based and women-owned
They will be having big sales for Black Friday/ Cyber Monday / Small Biz Saturday. Columbus on the Cheap readers can get 15% off The Engagement Journal with code CBUSCHEAP.
Elle Brands Jewelry and Accessories
Holiday Art and Craft Fairs: Find other amazing local items at Local Craft and Holiday Fairs around here – we have a huge list!
Columbus Gift Guide: Local experiences for gifting
Note: While some of the local experiences aren’t currently open, we are going to leave them on the list. It’s especially important to support local businesses that are affected by temporary closures or limitations. Gift cards can be an excellent way to show support, and can be used when the business reopens, or when recipient feels comfortable with the outing. If nothing else, it’ll instill the hope of future normalcy!
Movie Tickets (or Private Screenings): Pick a theatre nearby for them to enjoy a movie or two. Don’t forget about great local theaters such as Studio 35, Drexel, and Grandview Theatre. You can also rent your own screening at many movie theatres. This can be a great future family outing, friend gathering, or work event. Note: it’s currently recommended that you only spend time with immediate family and/or your small quarantine crew, so this type of gift may need to wait until cases are under control. Theatres limit the amount of people who may attend each screening to follow guidelines.
Theatre Tickets: CAPA Theatres offer tons of great plays, musicals, concerts, comedians, and shows for all ages at various price points through the year. The theatres are having virtual shows until they can open with for audiences.
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 have Black Friday deals coming up soon, and sell gift cards as well. Follow on Facebook to see the latest deals.
Note: they have closed for the season, but this will be a great gift for your recipient to enjoy in the Spring or Summer!
Painting classes: Studios include Wine & Canvas, The Party Studio, Studio 614, Color Me Mine and more. While these were often held in studio or at wineries and other establishments, you can now enjoy a paint class at home! Have a Zoom painting party with friends or family, or buy a gift card for someone to enjoy a class on their own. Studios offer take-home paint kits to complete projects, and may offer live or video instruction. Great for the art lovers on your list!
Brush Crazy: Stop in at Brush Crazy and purchase a gift card for a loved one (or for yourself) between Dec 17th and Dec 24th (except when closed on Tuesday or Wednesday) and receive 10% of the gift card purchase as studio credit to be used anytime you like. They also have lots of fun classes and arts-to-gogh options, if you want to grab a gift or schedule an outing. 1299 Bethel Road
Escape Rooms in Columbus: The Chamber Escape Room, Trapped Columbus, Room Escape Columbus, Lockology Columbus Escape Room, and more – if you have any to recommend, I’d love to add them to the list! Escape challenges have switched to private parties only, so you won’t be with others outside of your group.
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. Shadowbox has reopened with lots of safety precautions, so they could use support from sketch comedy lovers!
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! You may be surprised how much grandma likes throwing axes!
Trampoline and Bounce Parks: Sky Zone, Rockin Jump, Altitude Trampoline Park, Urban Air Adventure Park, Get Air, and more. Most have very strict and limited capacity and extensive cleaning procedures, and may offer private sessions. Lazer Kraze hosts private (and reasonably priced) laser tag and trampoline park sessions.
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!
Car washes or detailing: Know someone who loves their car (or hates how messy/dirty their car is)? Buy some car wash certificates to use throughout the year. Want to really treat them? Get their car detailed or buy them a gift card to have it done.
- Ricart Automotive’s “Sparkle Day” service is the perfect gift for busy parents, clear-car fanatics and everyone in between. For $220, Ricart will pick up your loved one’s car, provide them with a fully sanitized loaner vehicle to get around for the day, take theirs back to the dealership, fully detail it inside and out and drop it back off when complete. Read more about Sparkle Day service here.
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.
This is a great gift for the young art lovers in your life. Art Studio in a box includes a smorgasbord of art supplies that will kick-start hours of imaginative play and creative experimentation. Your Studio in a Box will include watercolors, crayons, markers, postcards, stickers and lots of additional bizarre and delightful arts and craft supplies. Consider subscribing to Studio in a Box to fully stock your home studio as supplies change monthly. Need inspiration? CMA partners with local artist educators to post #myCMAStudio Creative Challenges weekly. In addition, Studio in a Box includes a link to one of our weekly, virtual Studio Workshops for all ages. They even offer themed options!
Studio in a Box is $30 for nonmembers $25 for members. A three-month subscription* that includes a new box shipped directly to your home at the beginning of each month is $60 for members and $75 for nonmembers. Recipients can create along with CMA with Studio Workshops that are free and open to families and children grades 1 – 8.
Columbus Gift Guide: 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, or the recipient is unlikely to use it multiple times, 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. Look for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other holiday specials!
Note: All recipients may not be comfortable with these attractions until the threat of COVID has been reduced. Most gift memberships allow the recipient to activate when they are ready, so be sure to check activation details if that is a concern.
Columbus Zoo & Aquarium: Several membership options are available and memberships typically pay for themselves within 2 visits and include special discounts and other benefits. They’ll even have a chance to use their gift card for Wildlights this year during the week after Christmas, and again next year early in the Wildlights season (until expiration).
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. Passes are usually less expensive if purchased in the winter months.
COSI: Note: COSI has remained closed through the pandemic, as it’s a high-touch experience. Passes purchased won’t start until the attraction reopens, and a gift membership can be activated at a later date. 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.
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens: With every changing exhibits and gardens, plus fun 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.
NOTE: These may not be available for purchase at all pools for 2021 season due to closures for so many in 2020.
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.
Need more gift guides?
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.
Columbus on the Cheap is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.