Summer may not be the time of year that immediately comes to mind when you think about buying presents for loved ones, but between Mother’s Day, graduations, weddings and birthdays, let’s not overlook the warmer months as a gift-giving season. And because nobody really needs another tie or scented candle, we took the liberty of compiling a list of gifts (many of which you can find locally) for just about everyone on your list.
Boulder Running Journal 2015
Authored by Todd Straka, Peter N. Jones and Michael Sandrock, this 186-page book highlights all things running in Boulder; history, culture, hundreds of photos and inspiring stories of local runners. The perfect keepsake for any runner.
$18.95 on Amazon
If you can walk and chew gum, surely you can run and chew gum too. Created by two-time Olympian Nick Symmonds, Run Gum (available in fruit, cinnamon and mint flavors) provides a boost of energy without the trouble and weight of solid food.
$18 for a pack of 12 at JackRabbit.com
Petzl Tikka Headlamp
Runners aren’t going to let something silly like nightfall (or, more likely, pre-dawn darkness) stop them from racing or training. Help the runners in your life light their way (and, let’s be honest, look a little goofy) with an LED-powered headlamp.
$29.95 on Amazon
It’s basically a sleek fanny pack, but we kinda love it. This circular tube will hold a runner’s phone, keys, ID, cash and fuel, and even specially-designed water bottles. The pockets are only on one side, so you can flip the belt (hence the name) so none of your belongings will bounce out on your run.
$32.99 at flipbelt.com
We get it–running clothes are expensive, and you may not be inclined to poke holes in them on race day. That’s where RaceDots come in–magnet-powered alternatives to safety pins that hold your race bib in place without damaging that fancy Nike top. Plus, they’re way cuter than pins.
$19.99 at racedots.com
GoPro Fetch Camera Mount Dog Harness
Ever wonder what the world looks like from your dog’s point of view? Well, neither had we but now that you mention it, it might be kind of fun. Mount your Go-Pro on Fido for the opportunity to see the world through his eyes.
$60 at REI
For smaller pups who still want to be able to see out the window. This safety seat for small dogs (or crate-averse cats who are willing to sit still) features a seatbelt and will keep smaller pets safer in the car.
$45 at REI
Gift card to Muttz Natural Pet Supplies
For your friends whose dogs eat better than you do. This organic pet food shop has locations in Westminster, Broomfield and Firestone. Petsuppliesdenver.com
Trying to hydrate a dog on a hike by pouring water into your hands is cumbersome, messy and wasteful, so gift your favorite dog-lover with this BPA collapsible travel water bowl.
$10 at thedogoutdoors.com
Brave Soldier Crash Paks
To show the cyclists in your life that you care about their safety, this compact wound treatment kit for common road rash injuries treats up to four injuries and includes items like bandages, antiseptic and towelettes.
$15 at Boulder Cycle Sport
For your cyclist friends with a sense of humor.
$14.47 on Etsy (Shirtmandude)
Transit Escape DX Top Tube Bag
We don’t condone texting and biking, but we understand the need to keep your phone and other belongings close by. This bag fits most bikes, is waterproof and is also big enough for wallet, keys and phone, plus it also has that coveted touch-screen pouch for a smartphone.
$34.99 at Performance Bicycle (locations in Boulder and Westminster)
Gift card or day trip to Rocky Mountain Paddleboard
With locations in Boulder, Longmont and Denver, this company is great for everyone from beginners to long-time paddlers, offering rentals, classes and trips.
Pelican 1200 Case with Foam
For when your friend, who’s a white-water rafting guide, needs to travel with something valuable or breakable with the peace of mind that it won’t be destroyed.
$67.95 at REI
This PFD for pups is perfect for canine-human duos who both love water activities like kayaking, rafting, paddleboarding, swimming, etc.
$80 at REI
The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds: 322 Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits, Flowers, Trees and Shrubs
For your gardening friends who want to step it up a notch, this book by Robert E. Gough and Cheryl Moore-Gough will teach them everything they need to know about cultivating, saving and using seeds.
$18.34 on Amazon
Gardeners can never have too many pots for their yard or patio, and seriously how cute is this?
$104.99 at kendallandeverette.com or special order through Sturtz & Copeland
Desktop Grow Light
For the gardeners who just can’t get enough and even wants to grow things on their desks.
$43.95 at gardeners.com
Three Leaf Farm offers classes and workshops like “Magical Herbalism – Ritual and Folklore” this October, so help the gardeners in your life hone in on some specific skills.
Prices vary; check out threeleaffarm.com for details.
Gift Card to Game Force Boulder
Old school and modern gamers alike will appreciate the access to systems, games and accessories, all the way from the original NES to XBOX 360.
AEG Love Letter
Perfect for on-the-go gamers, this 16-card multiplayer game will fit in a pocket or a purse and is a great pastime for late game nights at home, just hanging out at a brewery or picnicking on a hike.
$8.33 at Amazon
Cloud Dragon Armoury Cutlass
For the gamers who want to bring it all to life, this sword with a 15-inch blade comes in nine different colors.
$100 at theclouddragonarmoury.com
Admission to Friday Night Magic at Time Warp Comics
Even if it’s not your cup of tea, the gamer in your life will almost definitely jump at the opportunity to play Magic the Gathering with a bunch of fellow nerds. Time Warp Comics holds Friday Night Magic each week, which is exactly what it sounds like–lovers of the card game gathering at the shop to play all evening.
$15 per person at Time Warp Comics
Nothing says “I love you” like several pints of beer, right? We won’t even bother trying to guess your loved one’s favorite because, frankly, this article has a word limit, but a few choices to consider are The Old Mine, Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery and Sanitas Brewing Company.
Surprise your favorite beer lover with a group tour of some of the area’s best boozin’ spots.
$32 for a walking tour, $300 for a four-hour van tour with Boulder Brew Tours. Boulderbrewtours.com
Ticket to Boulder Craft Beer Fest
On August 20, 2016 the third annual Boulder Craft Beer Festival will take over downtown Boulder with live music, food and, of course, all the beer you could ask for. Tickets go on sale in early June. Boulderdowntown.com
The Beer Bible
Visiting more than 50 breweries around the world over the course of two years is a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. Author Jeff Alworth did exactly that, and his 2015 book contains just about everything a beer lover could want to know.
$11.87 on Amazon
Gift card to Boulder Fermentation Supply
“I’ve got too many beer brewing gadgets,” said nobody ever. If your favorite beer lovers have been trying their hands and making the stuff on their own, let them go crazy for all the ingredients and gadgets at Boulder Fermentation Supply. Brewing is not a cheap hobby, but the good news is if someone you love brews beer, you’ll never have to think very hard about gift ideas.
Enstrom Gift Basket
Listen, there’s no shame in craving sweets, and sometimes you just need to indulge in something that doesn’t involve kale or chia seeds. Enstrom Toffee & Confections, the beloved Colorado favorite with retail locations in Denver and Arvada, offers gift baskets packed with treats like milk chocolate almond toffee, toffee popcorn, toffee crumbs and mini turtles.
Starting at $43.95 at Enstrom
Four types of cheese. Local Colorado honeycombs. Skillet bacon jam. Truffle salt. Need we say more? It ain’t cheap, but the Best of Box features all things gourmet that your foodie friends will simply swoon over.
$300 at Cured. Curedboulder.com
A Cupcake a Day
Happy Bake Shop has come up with so many cupcake flavors they can’t serve each of them all week. So next time a loved one’s birthday rolls around, help extend the celebration by treating him or her to a different cupcake every day (like Mexican chocolate Monday, cookies & cream $2 Tuesday, maple bacon Wednesday…)
Prices vary at Happy Bake Shop
Oil of the Month Club Membership
It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Specialty oil and vinegar shop Oliverde offers a monthly club, which is exactly what it sounds like—depending on the membership you choose, each month you’ll receive either a bottle of oil or a bottle each of oil and vinegar, with different flavors and styles every month.
Starting at $105 at Oliverde
Silver Spork Social
Is there anything more Colorado than an elusive underground supper club? Local group Silver Spork Social regularly hosts secretive and surprising dinner parties in collaboration with some of the area’s most renowned chefs, featuring several drink-paired courses and a cocktail hour for up to only 40 people at a time.
$120 at silversporksocial.com
Mud Facial Bar Gift Card
Whether they’re brand new to the parenting game or seasoned vets, anyone with kids will appreciate the opportunity to treat themselves and keep their skin looking and feeling fresh and youthful. They can choose from a menu of treatments like the classic “mud” or the “breathe” for more sensitive skin.
Prices vary, at Mud Facial Bar
Bundle Diaper Service
It may not be the sexiest gift, but for an environmentally-conscious set of new parents, it may just be a lifesaver. Parents can have fresh diapers dropped off and dirties picked up on the same day each week, so that’s one less thing they have to think about.
Starting at $22 a week
As their kids get older, your parent friends will constantly be on the lookout for things to do with their families. This hands-on museum in Lafayette features age appropriate exhibits and activities for kids 1-11 years old, and an annual membership saves parents a bundle on admission costs.
Starting at $75 at wowchildrensmuseum.org
Global Kitchen Spice Set
Featuring curries from India and Vietnam, Mexican mole, classic French herbs, Ethiopian seasonings and more, this gift set will give your favorite home cook a little bit of everything to play with in the kitchen.
$52.95 at Savory Spice Shop
Peppercorn Gift Card
There’s just too much to choose from at this shop featuring all things kitchen, so let the receiver go crazy among the gadgets, cookware, cutlery and specialty local products themselves. And then make sure they invite you over for dinner.
We’re certainly not insinuating that the home cook in your life needs extra guidance, but who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to learn at the hand of some local experts? Food Lab offers year-round cooking classes like “An evening in Capri” featuring instruction for Caprese salad, spicy linguine with seafood and lemon profiteroles.
Starting at $55 at foodlabboulder.com
What’s your ideal gift?
Run for it
We asked Boulder Running Journal co-publisher Todd Straka what gifts he would most like to receive, and even though he’s a long-time runner flush with gadgets and gear, it wasn’t hard for him to come up with an answer. Straka’s top three, in no particular order:
“Even though it’s become the defacto gift for runners, socks are the perfect gift as they are not too expensive and everyone usually needs a new pair after a good season of running. The hot sock right now is Stance socks. They come in a variety of styles from no-show, quarter and crew with very in-style colors, patterns and even images. So mix up your foot style this summer.”
The Feed “Colorado Box”
$42.95 (right out of the box, but you can customize)
“There are so many nutrition choices on the shelves nowadays, but The Feed has made it convenient for on-the-go athletes by packaging many of Colorado’s best to keep you strong on the run with plenty of nutrition for post run recovery. Favorites like Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, Honey Stinger energy chews, Skratch Labs, or a Breeze Bar.”
Roll Recovery R3 Orthopedic Foot Roller
“Recovery tools are a must for runners, and with so many options there is no reason not to have an entire toolset. The R3 is the latest release from Roll Recovery and I like this particular tool as its 3 different levels are focused for the bottom of your foot to help prevent the dreaded plantar fasciitis. But this small and portable tool also works great on your IT band, lower back, hips, and glutes.”
Boulder Fermentation Supply co-owner Greg Kallfa spends most of his days surrounded by beer-related gadgets and ingredients, and he’s the first to admit that he most likely already has (or has easy access to) anything that he could possibly want as a gift. But if someone were to surprise him with a growler (preferably a stainless steel growler like the Hydro flask, he says) full of a local brew, he’d want it to be “something hoppy or something Belgian” from one of the following:
- BRU Handbuilt Ales & Eats (Boulder)
- Odd13 Brewing, Inc. (Lafayette)
- Upslope Brewing Company (Boulder)
Treat yo’ self
As a parent, it’s easy to let your own indulgences fall to the wayside—even during the holidays, a lot of parents ask for and receive gifts that revolve around their kids and families. Nobody knows this better than Caroline Evascu, owner of Nest Children’s Boutique and Firebird Books & Toys. So we asked Evascu to name a few local places for which she’d love to receive a gift card so she can relax and pamper herself.
“All three boutiques are great ways for moms to pamper themselves in healthy, natural ways,” Evascu says.
“SOL is a woman-owned, locally-owned lingerie store with the most amazing customer service and they can fit any body type for a bra that will make you feel AMAZING—so important for moms (especially with changing bodies) to feel good about themselves.” www.solgirl.com
GLOW Body & Sun
“Another locally owned business with a high level of customer service. They provide spray tans that are natural and organic. They also just opened up a new concept next door, Glow Facial Bar, which provides amazing facials in just 30 minutes—important for busy mothers!” www.glowbodyandsun.com
“Another woman-owned, locally-owned boutique, Vert Beauty sells natural and organic make-up and does amazing mommy makeovers!” www.vertbeauty.com