2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Photography by Cassandra Stiltner

Your present list? Consider it done. The tree is up. The family photo is taken. The chimney is even cleaned out for Santa. Now all that’s left: those pesky presents. Short on inspiration? No problem. Here are more than 50 clever ideas for gifts— all of them (well, almost all) with local ties. 

FOR THE…Partier


(From left to right) 1. New Belgium Transatlantique Kriek sour ale (gold medal, 2018 Great American Beer Festival, collaboration category), $12; 2. Infinite Monkey Theorem 2017 Cabernet Franc, $25; 3. 291 Barrel Proof Colorado Whiskey (World’s Best Rye, 2018 Whisky Magazine World Whisky Awards), $105; 4. Denver Beer Co. Barrel Aged Japance Off saison (gold medal, 2018 Great American Beer Festival, barrel-aged category), $10; 5. Yolo Rum Gold (gold medal, 2017 New York World Wine and Spirits Competition), $30; 6. Outward Cartography etched topographical map glasses, $20 each (add $8 per map for custom designs); 7. Studio Vertu 303 marble coasters, $46 for set of four, tisfortable.com 8. Denver Woodworker walnut bread board with double maple stripe, $60, and maple bottle opener, $20

FOR THE…Exacting Gourmet


(Clockwise from top) 1. The Real Dill Bloody Mary Mix, $14 for 32 oz., therealdill.com 2. Fruition Farms handcrafted Shepherd’s Halo, $40/lb., Mercantile Dining and Provision; 3. 34° rosemary crisps, $5 per box, amazon.com 4. Bespoke Spicy Sriracha Sea Salt, $16.50; 5. French rolling pin, $20, Lulu’s Furniture and Decor; 6. Cacio Pecora, $36/lb., mercantiledenver.com 7. Chai Tea Concentrate Mix, $14, mercantiledenver.com 8. Roaring Fork Spice Co. Hollidays Herbed Brine, $9 for 9.56 oz.; 9. When Life Gives You a Fresh Start recipe book, $10, lemonpoppyinc.com 10. Farmhand Organic Spicy Napa Kimchi, $9; 11. Catstudio Colorado dish towel, $20, lulusfurniture.com

FOR THE…Young at Heart


1. Almost Everything, by Joelle Jolivet, $34.50, Wildflowers Home; 2. Bug Bingo, $27, Two Hands Paperie; 3. Blabla soft Bandit the Raccoon, $65, and 4. baby age blocks, $38, both at Reverie Living; 5. Schylling Piano Horn, $8; 6. Explorer Scope, $18; 7. Schylling Make A Melody Original Tin Kazoo, $2.50, all at Timbuk Toys; 8. fox pencil pouch, $15, and 9. reindeer, owl, and fox felt finger puppets, $7.50 each, all at wildflowershome.com 10. Best Friends Magnetic Dress-Up, $27, lulusfurniture.com. 11. Fantastical Fairies Fairy Ring Puzzle, $15, and 12. Cupcakes & Cartwheels Jungle Games Playing Cards, $10, both at wildflowershome.com 13. Animal Rummy card game, $8, timbuktoys.com

FOR THE…Inveterate Reader


1. The Beer Kitchen, by Melissa Cole, $30 2. The Lost Words, by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris, $35 3. Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver, $30 4. Brief Answers to the Big Questions, by Stephen Hawking, $22 5. Atlas of a Lost World, by Craig Childs, $28 6. Just Kids Illustrated Edition, by Patti Smith, $40 7. Colorado’s Thirteeners: From Hikes to Climbs, by Gerry and Jennifer Roach, $30 8. Virgil Wander, by Leif Enger, $27, all available at Book Bar, bookbardenver.com

FOR THE…Nester


(From left to right) 1. Hand-block-printed Pine Sprigs linen cushion cover, $38, cardamom-designs.com 2. cocktail napkins, $22 for four, penniolive.com 3. Karmalit candle (available in multiple scents), $20, and mini-matches bottle, $10; 4. French press coffee maker in amber glass, $85, Jones + Co., Boulder; 5. organic cotton and linen fouta, $52, sofrastudio.com 6. handcarved Bridget Dorr porcelain mug in cream, $35, and 7. glass straws, $17 to $20 for a box of four (plus a cleaning brush), shopjonesandco.com 8. Colorado Black on White, by John Fielder, $85; 9. glass vase (comes in multiple colors and sizes), $55, lulusfurniture.com 10. solid-brass taper-candle holder in dome shape, $115 for large, $110 for small, hyggelife.com 11. large tribal vase, $150, and 12. woven coaster set, $30, both at Homebody; 13. woven baskets, $36 small, $46 large, shopjonesandco.com

FOR THE…Outdoors Fanatic


(Counter clockwise from top) 1. Maroon Bell Buffalo leather gloves, $65; 2. 11 x 17 Aspen print from Rocky Mountain Posters, $30; 3. Glade Pulsar magnetic goggles, $100; 4. Topo Designs Rover pack, $140; 5. Cusa Premium Instant Tea, $10; 6. Full Windsor “The Muncher” multi-tool, $50, rei.com 7. Maroon Bell Boulder Gold trucker hat, $30; 8. Wild Country Revo belay device, $145, rei.com 9. Arctic Solitaire: A Boat, a Bay, and the Quest for the Perfect Bear (Mountaineers Books, 2018), by Paul Souders, $27

FOR THE…Inscrutable Colleague


1. Frank Lloyd Wright puzzle, $25, lulusfurniture.com 2. 2019 desk calendar by Craft Belly, $24, reverieliving.com 3. Passport holders, $78 apiece, homebodydenver.com 4. Stepwell table runner in Jaipur pink, $36, cardamom-designs.com 5. que collapsible water bottle, $25, reverieliving.com 6. Poppy Cinnamon Bourbon Popcorn, $27; 7. Miette et Chocolat rochers, $6.15; 8. Andy Warhol Memory Game, $20, lulusfurniture.com 9. suede valet trays, in three sizes, $68, $98, and $127 each, homebodydenver.com 10. leather luggage tag, $96, homebodydenver.com.

FOR THE…Style Maven


(Clockwise from top) 1. Hazel Ray leather crossbody + belt bag in mint, $110; 2. zip clutch in cream, $34; 3. leather cardholder in silver, $22; 4. leather tassel key ring in brown $22, all at shophazelray.com 5. seed pearl Bloom Bijoux bracelet with ruby, $3,500; 6. leopard-spot Bloom Bijoux ruby and diamond bracelet, $3,750 7. silver diamond crown bracelet, $7,500 8. sapphire and diamond articulated bar bracelet, $9,875, all at bloomdenver.com 9. 100-ml. bottle of perfume/cologne, $65, scentedstudio.com 10. Lollia hand cream in multiple fragrances, $30, wildflowershome.com 11. Liv and B GNO clutch, $165; 12. hand-knitted wool Hat Uma, $35, hyggelife.com 13. Zeal Optics Crowley sunglasses in ivory tortoise, $150; 14. Aina night clutch in blue, $98, shopbillie.com

FOR THE…Go-Getters

Want to give a gift that will never be forgotten? Give an experience.


Know someone who loves to ski (and is intermediate, advanced, or expert) and wants to improve his or her technique? “Ski With Kim” outings may be just the ticket. Part-time Aspenite Kim Reichhelm, a former member of the U.S. Ski Team, offers women’s ski adventures in Colorado, Utah, and Montana; coed skiing camps in Colorado and Revelstoke, British Columbia; guided skiing in Japan and Chile; and helicopter skiing in Greenland, Alaska, and Chile. Check out length of trips and pricing at skiwithkim.com


Send someone on 30 or 60 exhilarating minutes flying over Denver, Boulder, or Red Rocks in a private helicopter with Colorado Heli-Ops. The “Romantic Escape” option is perfect for a proposal or an unforgettable date night. $475 for 30-minute “Holiday Wonder” flight, $650 for 60-minute “Greater Denver Getaway (up to three passengers). coloradoheliops.com


Got a theater lover in your life? Treat them to a private, 90-minute weekday tour behind the scenes at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Tours start at the box office for the Helen Bonfils Theatre and cover the history of the performing arts complex, including some of the major performances over the years, plus visits to the props, costume, scenery and lighting areas. Three-week notice required. denvercenter.org


Whether you are buying for a relative newbie or an “intermediate,” there’s a range of classes at the Denver School of Photography, from a four-week class that provides an intro to digital photography ($310) to a four-week intro to Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom. The school also offers specialized workshops on subjects like real estate photography, portraiture, landscape photography, and more. denverschoolofphotography.com


Got a pal who always keeps everyone in stitches? Give them an improv comedy class at Bovine Metropolis. Eight weeks of beginner classes totaling 20 hours (costing $274 and open to all skill levels) teach the history and basic rules of improv, how to communicate onstage, how to create invisible props, and other skills. Students say the experience is life-changing. bovinemetropolis.com


This is the perfect gift for a whole family (you have to work in teams in very tight quarters, so let’s hope you like one another). Try to solve your way out of a room filled with obscure, mind-twisting clues— and a stopwatch going the whole time. Trust us: It’s both fun and mentally exhausting. Epic Escape has multiple locations around the Denver area. All we can say is: Good luck. epicescapegame.com


So you’ve got a friend who likes to try every outdoor experience imaginable. How about snowkiting (skiing or boarding while attached to a kite to lift you aloft)? Colorado Kite Force offers a two-hour “ground school” for $200 and a four-hour beginner lesson for $400 that includes the two hours of ground school instruction plus a two-hour ride—or, for the super- committed, a three-day kite camp (days do not have to be consecutive) for $900. Happy sailing! coloradokiteforce.com


Whether you’re looking for a class for the “I can’t boil water” type or one for the “My cooking is so good, people tell me I should open my own restaurant” type, there are plenty of options, at a variety of price points: Uncorked Kitchen (uncorkedkitchen.com), Stir Cooking School (stirtolearn.com), Cook Street School of Culinary Arts (cookstreet.com), and The Seasoned Chef Cooking School (theseasonedchef.com).


Know someone who has been dying to face off with an angry bull? Here’s their chance. At the Bull Fighting School in Larkspur, they can engage in a three-day course ($440) taught by seasoned rodeo performers and then get matched with a bull based on their age, athletic ability, and energy level. greatamericandays.com

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