Know someone who loves food? Instead of buying them a cookbook or newfangled kitchen item, how about buying them a foodie experience?
Colorado has blossomed with food tours over the last several years, and I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing several of these delicious excursions.
Local Table Tours
This company was started by a Boulder food blogger who has traveled extensively in the United States and abroad. Today, Local Table run tours in Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins. In Denver, they do a tour at The Source, a Taste of Highlands and in downtown (Taste of LoDo and Union Station).
Their Boulder-based tours including A Taste of Boulder, Cocktail Tours, Coffee & Chocolate Tours and May through October they offer tours at the Boulder Farmers’ Market.
In Fort Collins, tasting tours include a Cocktail Tour, Waffle & Chocolate Tour, Artisans at Scotch Pines Tour and, the one I experienced this past summer, the Jessup Farm Tasting Tour. Continue reading
In the weeks leading up to Christmas I always put out a top 5 list of some sort, and this year I decided to share with you my picks for the top 5 made in Colorado gifts for 2012. The prerequisite for making my list was that the product made by each company had to be manufactured IN Colorado.
This list is in no particular order.
1. MouCo Cheese Co. I’ve had the pleasure of touring MouCo and writing about them for several other publications over the years. They just so happen to make my favorite cheese of all-time, Truffello, which is saying a lot because I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like. Their website describes Truffello as a “mystical soft cheese to be savored and shared with reck-licious ease.” MouCo sells their cheese all over the world, but it’s all made in their small factory in Fort Collins, Colorado with milk from local cows.
2. OZ Snowboards. I don’t ride, but if I did I’d ride an OZ board. I ran into these guys on Facebook and fell in love with their concept and the beauty of their boards. They make these works of art in Evergreen, Colorado.
3. Moonflower Essentials. This small company is located in Denver, and they make my favorite lotion, Forest Muse. I’ve known owner, Barb Donnelly, for a number of years, and she’s a creative lady with a talent for making body products that truly impress. Moonflower Essentials has a Holiday Open House planned for Sunday, December 9. Learn more here.
4. NeedleForge.com. This company was brought to my attention by a HeidiTown citizen and I couldn’t resist putting them on this list. I don’t know exactly how to explain what it is they make, but my Facebook tipster put it like this: Geekery + yarn = win. Every yarn creation is made by hand in Denver, but if you want something by this Christmas you’d better get your order in real soon, because according to their Facebook page, orders are stacking up and they only have so many hands to do the knitting!
5. Nova Monda Cacao & Chocolate. I have not had the pleasure of trying this chocolate yet, but it made my list because it’s made in Lafayette, Colorado and it was highly recommended to me by two people; the Chef at the Welsh Rabbit Cheese Shop and a trustworthy friend with good taste.
This could have easily been a top 50 list, as there are many wonderful Colorado companies and craftsmen I would have enjoyed highlighting in this piece. If you have a favorite please feel free to share it in the comment section.
Please Note: A lot of Facebook friends helped me with this list by sharing their favorite Colorado companies and I’ve compiled a list of all their suggestions in a NOTE on the HeidiTown Facebook page. Click HERE to see it!
I encourage you to shop local this year, as much as possible. Spending your hard earned money at a small Colorado-owned business will ensure that all boats rise.
1. The gift of dinner & theater. This is the gift of an entire evening of fun, including dinner and a show. We are lucky to have several excellent dinner theaters nearby, including my favorite, Boulder’s Dinner Theater. You can read my past review of one of their shows by clicking here.
If you live in Northern Colorado check out Carousel Dinner Theatre in Fort Collins (www.adinnertheatre.com), Union Colony Dinner Theater in Greeley (www.ucdinnertheatre.com) or Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Loveland (www.coloradocandlelight.com). For my review of a past show at Candlelight click here.
Also consider a gift certificate to the Dinner Detective with shows in Fort Collins, Golden, Denver and Colorado Springs. See my review of a Dinner Detective show here. For tickets go to www.thedinnerdetective.com.
2. The gift of music. How about giving a gift certificate to the Colorado Symphony Orchestra? Several years ago my husband and I had season tickets to the CSO, and it was wonderful. We looked forward to each symphony event because it was a built-in date night in Denver. Instead of an entire season, you can also purchase smaller packages that include a grouping of specific shows. Visit www.coloradosymphony.org to find out more.
If you live in Northern Colorado check out the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra at www.greeleyphilharmonic.com, or the Fort Collins Symphony, www.fcsymphony.org, currently running a buy one, get second one half off of their flex passes.
Do you know someone who loves jazz? Buy them tickets to the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Festival. The 41st annual festival runs August 28-30, 2011 and is the largest festival of its kind in the country.
3. The gift of membership to a local museum or zoo. For many individuals and families a membership to a local museum or zoo is a gift that they will use again and again, and museum or zoo membership comes with benefits.
For example, a family membership at the Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Center costs $70 (individual, $35) and benefits includes unlimited access to the FCMDC, discounts on programs, workshops and at the museum store, free newsletter and advanced schedule of events, exclusive new exhibit previews and free admission to ten other Colorado museums including the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
4. The gift of artisan beer or liquor. Need to find something for the person who has everything? I recommend a growler of craft beer or a nice bottle of craft liquor. In Northern Colorado we have a brewer on every corner, but I like Grimm Brothers Brewhouse. These guys specialize in German style beers, a unique option for Coloradoans. You can purchase a full growler for just $13, and your gift recipient can refill his/her growler for $9. Find Grimm Brothers online at www.grimmbrosbrewhouse.com, or on Facebook.
While already well known for beer, the craft distillery business is making its mark in the rocky mountain region. Colorado is ranked fourth in number of distilleries in the state and one of the newest and finest is located in Loveland, Colorado. Dancing Pines Distillery opened this past summer and they make several varieties of artisan spirits including a chai liqueur that is already tremendously popular. A bottle of any of their top-shelf spirits would make a splendid gift. Visit Dancing Pines on Facebook by clicking here.
5. The gift of bed & breakfast. My husband and I love staying in bed and breakfasts, even if it’s close to home. Buying someone a gift certificate for an overnight stay in a fabulous B&B is like buying them a miniature vacation. For instance, why not buy a Denverite a stay in a Golden, Colorado? Or a Fort Collins resident a stay in Denver?
My favorite website for finding the perfect B&B is www.tripadvisor.com. This site is a great way to browse photographs and read reviews from real people who have stayed at the thousands of B&Bs listed on the site. The Mayor’s reviews are on Trip Advisor, just look for reviews by HeidioftheRockies!
Any reproduction or unauthorized publication of this article or photographs is strictly forbidden. If you’d like to republish this article please send your request to TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.
Top 5 Christmas Gifts, according to the Mayor by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.heiditown.com.
Last year, we realized my parents were still going to Blockbuster for their movies. I had been telling them about Netflix for years, but they just weren’t interested in trying it out. In part because it is an online subscription, and that was a little intimidating for them.
So we decided to get my parents a three-month subscription to Netflix as a Christmas present, and since we were visiting them for the holidays, we were able to help them set up their account. After they figured out how to use it, they were completely sold on the concept.
No more trips to Blockbuster for my parents, plus they can find any movie they want, even television shows and obscure documentaries.
So if there’s a movie lover in your life who still hasn’t signed up with Netflix, you might want to give them a subscription for Christmas.
Note: Netflix did not pay for this blog post. I am a true fan.