If I’ve learned one thing since moving to Boulder, it’s that people who live in Boulder truly, genuinely, and unabashedly love Boulder. There is real pride here both in the beauty of the landscape and in the little things that the city does so well, from the foods it manufactures and the beer it brews to the creativity it fosters. Whether their residence is the result of a vacation they never wanted to end, a visit so profound that they only went home to gather their things before turning around and making their way back, or if they are a born and raised Boulderite, the people in Boulder aren’t shy about spreading the love they have for their city.
There are many ways to give the gift of Boulder to family and friends from out of town during the holiday season, from stocking stuffers to thoughtful tokens, souvenirs from locally owned companies to samples of locally made food products. Here are some suggestions for what you can gift this holiday season to show those from other parts of the country or world a little glimpse of what makes Boulder so special.
For the Curious Palate
With a bountiful variety of locally made foods and beverages to choose from, selecting a few local Boulder snacks and drinks is a great way to give out-of-towners quite literally a taste of Boulder. Perhaps the most well known of the various local food and beverage companies is Celestial Seasonings, and a trip to their extensive gift shop is sure to jumpstart your holiday shopping with tea gift sets, sample-sized tea packets, memorabilia decorated with the company’s vibrant artwork, and other local products. Browsing the aisles of your local grocery store is also a perfect way to construct a do-it-yourself assortment of Boulder products, from Boulder Canyon Natural Foods kettle chips to Boulder Granola, Boulder Popcorn to Justin’s Nut Butter Cups, White Girl Salsa to Third Street Chai. Whether you buy these products in-store or online, compiling them will add a little bit of Boulder to the snack bowl or the kitchen table when you go home for the holidays.
For the Chocolate Addict
Boulder’s chocolate products also make for great stocking stuffers or gift sets. Companies such as Chocolove, with a large online store and wide distribution, offer gift boxes as well as individual chocolate bars for purchase, while Sun Cups, which are both nut free and gluten free, offer treats such as Dark Chocolate Mint Cups and Milk Chocolate Carmel Cups. Piece, Love & Chocolate boasts a large online store and in-house shop full of all kinds of interesting, traditional, and artful chocolate products. These gifts are great opportunities to show your family and friends that, just because Boulderites like to be healthy, active, and eat clean, we definitely still love our chocolate!
For the Beer Lover
Boulder is a beer lover’s dream and, with an out of town beer lover in your family or circle of friends, that should make holiday gift shopping easy. However, shipping and delivering beer can be an expensive and complicated process depending on the destination state, and Boulder’s breweries vary greatly in size, meaning that your favorite brew that you’re dying to have your family try might only be available locally or in select surrounding states. While some Boulder breweries do have larger capacities for distribution and can be found in more distant regions, a fun way to more easily entice that beer lover would be to pick them up some paraphernalia from the many online and in-house shops that local breweries have available. Whether it’s a koozie, glassware, or apparel, you can find many of these items at the online stores for breweries such as the Avery Brewery, Upslope Brewing Company, and Boulder Beer Company. The Walnut Brewery sells tees branded with the logos of some of their most popular beers in-house, and gift cards to various breweries are available online as another great option that would provide out-of-towners with some extra incentive to book a future visit to Boulder.
For a Glimpse of Boulder’s Background
The Boulder Book Store within Pearl Street Mall is a wonderful shop to browse in and also caters to those looking for books specific to Boulder. With sections dedicated to Boulder and Colorado’s history as well as regional guide books for those new to town, planning a trip, or picking up a new hobby, the store also has a website with a specific section that is consistently updated to highlight local authors. For those you know who have a curiosity for history, an interest in photography, or enjoy a good local ghost legend, the selection at this bookstore is a great place to start.
One such element of Boulder’s recent history is the Boulder Star, an arrangement of lights on Flagstaff Mountain that has been lighting up the mountainside during the holiday season in Boulder for decades. An iconic local staple with an interesting history itself, the Boulder Star is the feature of a seasonal holiday card, the Boulder Star Card, designed by a local artist and available for sale on the Boulder Chamber website and at various local businesses. Proceeds go to the Boulder Star Fund, which supports the maintenance of the Star as well as local nonprofit organizations. The annual Boulder Star logo also serves as the label of the Boulder Star Wine, created by Bookcliff Vineyards, which is available at various liquor stores in the area. These gifts give loved ones a taste of local art, history, and charity all in one.
For a Bit of Boulder Flair
Located in the heart of the Boulder holiday season window-shopping mecca, Pearl Street Mall, Boulder Arts and Crafts Gallery is a colorful and extremely varied and unique collection of pieces from artists and artisans from Colorado, many of them specifically from Boulder. Browsing through this artist cooperative is a great way to find that piece of local jewelry, creative decoration, or beautifully crafted knick knack that a certain loved one simply has to have.
Put a Bow On It
For those who are crunched for time and don’t have the chance to peruse local shops and grocery stores to put together assortments of local gifts for out of town loved ones, websites such as It’s Only Natural Gifts offer premade gift baskets, such as the “Totally Boulder Gift Basket,” that can be ordered quickly and easily with a simple click. With optional add-ons of local seasonal items to further personalize the gift, this basket contains many of the aforementioned local Boulder food items and is a convenient pre-made gift option. The Colorado in a Basket website likewise offers gift baskets featuring local Boulder items and baskets with Boulder themes, such as the “Boulder in the Buff: Gluten Free” gift basket, the “Boulder Brew: Coffee, Chocolates and Goodies in a Mug” basket, and the “Flatirons of Boulder: The Ultimate Climb” basket. All of these are creative ways to give your loved one a piece of Boulder for the holidays.