Local Ideas for Gift Giving Sure to Please Everyone on Your List
Leisurely shopping is a pastime many people enjoy, but when it comes to finding gifts to suit the people on your holiday list, the venture can become stressful.
So, as we immerse ourselves in the spirit of the season, BusinessWest offers some ideas sure to please the most discriminating gift recipients. Even better, they can be found at local establishments, which means a purchase helps to support the Western Mass. economy.
We have listed a few ideas, beginning with the name of the business, followed by an item they sell and, in some cases, information about different options, styles, or choices.
One King St.
Northampton, MA 01060
Wind Swept Tree by Randy Adams, $145-$225
Colleen Kellogg of Silverscape Designs says a Wind Swept Tree sculpture by Randy Adams is the perfect gift for the person who is difficult to buy for. “It’s a conversation piece and an item people will be proud to display in their homes,” she said, adding that the individually handmade trees start out as wire on a spool and are very popular.
Pioneer Valley Balloons
130 Cross Path Road
Northampton, MA 01060
Christmas Special, $200 per person
The sky is literally the limit when you give someone a gift certificate for a hot-air balloon ride, and it’s something that is guaranteed to create memories that will last a lifetime. Choose from a sunrise or sunset excursion on a balloon manned by owner and chief pilot Lisa Fusco. This unique offering is sure to surprise and delight an individual, couple, or family.
Elements Hot Tub Spa
373 Main St.
Amherst, MA 01002
Hot Tub for Two, 60 minutes, $60
Relaxation Massage, 60 minutes, $75
Today’s workplace can be stressful, and if you are searching for a gift for someone who really needs to unwind and enjoy themselves, consider a gift certificate to Elements Hot Tub Spa. The recipient will be rejuvenated after a half-hour or hour in their choice of state-of-the-art hot-tub rooms, saunas, and/or a steam room. And if water therapy isn’t high on their list, a Swedish massage, deep-tissue massage, sugar scrub, herbal wrap, hot-stone massage, or Ayurvedic body-work session may fit the bill. Gift certificates come in different denominations, but are a definite treat for the mind, body, and spirit.
380 State Road
Great Barrington, MA 01230
Lift Ticket, $25; Learn to Ski Package, $75
New England winters can be long and dreary until one discovers the joy of cruising down a ski slope surrounded by snow-covered trees. If you are shopping for someone who works out or loves the outdoors, a gift certificate to Ski Butternut may open the doors to a new passion. If the person is already hooked on downhill sports, a lift ticket will also be a gift they are sure to appreciate
Black Birch Vineyard
155 Glendale Road
Southampton, MA 01073
Vineyard Tour and Wine Tasting with Signature Glass, $10
Gift Basket (wine, two glasses, and a tasting certificate for two),
$45 for white wine; $50 for red wine
Iced Dessert Wine (with two glasses), $45
Anyone who enjoys wine will appreciate a bottle of the award-winning, hand-crafted red or white wine made by hand at Black Birch Vineyard. Prices start at $16 for a bottle, although there’s also nothing like an outing to the vineyard for a wine tasting. Other choices choose a gift basket or a special iced dessert wine made from grapes that are pressed while they are frozen.
349 Main St.
Somers, CT 06071
Go Kart, $8 ($4 for a passenger)
Rock Wall Climb, $5
Soaring Eagle Zipline, $7
Bounce House, $5 for 30 minutes
Need a gift for a child, teen, adult, or entire family that loves to have fun? A gift certificate to Sonny’s Place may be your answer, as the recreation center offers an arcade, batting cage, karting, rock wall, bounce house, Soaring Eagle Zipline, and much, much more, including food and a bar. Adults don’t need to be accompanied by a child to enjoy a one-day getaway here. The prices are reasonable, and when Christmas Day is over, there will be an exciting, fun-filled experience to look forward to.
Holyoke Mall, 50 Holyoke St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
River of Love Locket, $285
Abe Hannoush recommends that anyone looking for a “perfect expression of love” consider the River of Love locket by artist Petra Azar. A row of diamonds is embedded across the heart, and the magnetic clasp in the center of the piece eliminates the need to struggle putting it on. The locket is part of a line created exclusively for Hannoush Jewelers by Azar, with prices ranging from $99 to $400.
1 Edwards St.
Springfield, MA 01103
Day Trip to Sterling and Francine Art Institute, $85 or $72 for members (includes admission, tour, lunch, bus transportation, and gratuities)
Matt Longhi says the gift store at Springfield Museums has so many unique items that people could find something there for everyone on their list. In addition to high-end jewelry and handmade gifts for adults, there are interactive toys and games for children, a wide range of books for the young set and adults alike, memorabilia from Indian Motocycles, and all sorts of things related to Dr. Seuss.
The museums also offer classes in painting and drawing, family genealogy, and eclectic offerings like Polish and Ukrainian egg decoration and “Drawing in Pubs,” with basic drawing instruction provided while sipping a pint.
Springfield Symphony Orchestra
1350 Main St.
Springfield, MA 01103
Jeans and Classic Pop Series concert, $31-$66
Tickets to a Jeans and Classic Pop Series concert are sure to please anyone on your list who loves this genre of music. Hits that chronicle the history of Michael Jackson will be performed Feb. 7. There’s also a concert titled “Blood, Sweat, Tears, Earth, Wind, Fire … and a Little Chicago!” on March 8, and either offering will have recipients rockin’ in their seats as they forget the world around them and get into the groove.
Steaming Tender Restaurant
28 Depot St.
Palmer, MA 01069
The holidays are a sentimental time, and a gift certificate from the Steaming Tender Restaurant will provide people on your gift list with a nostalgic experience. Prices range from $11 to $23 for a meal served in this historic public train station built in 1884. It has been restored to museum quality and is filled with antiques, original artifacts, and railroad memorabilia. There is a Conductor’s Lounge where people can enjoy signature cocktails such as the Locomotion or Steaming Tender’s own Railroad Brew Ale. Diners can also enjoy a view of passing trains on the railroad that goes past this remarkable eatery.
Table and Vine
1119 Riverdale St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
V-One Vodka, $25
This hand-crafted vodka was created by Hadley native and entrepreneur Paul Kozub, who launched the product in 2005. It is sure to please people with the most sophisticated palates and can be enjoyed by itself or in an endless number of cocktails. Manufactured in Poland, it is the only vodka made from 100% spelt wheat (an ancient variety first grown in Europe), and was feted with the World Spirit Competition Double Gold Medal in 2010.
Children’s Learning World
1029 North Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Fast Track – Ready, Aim, Score!, $20
Wooden Project Workbench $100
Cheryl Thivierge says children age 5 and older who love action games will have tons of fun playing a board game for two players called Fast Track – Ready, Aim, Score! The goal is be the first to spin 10 disks across the board with the help of an elastic cord.
Another gift that will amuse children ages 3 and older for hours is a Wooden Project Workbench. It comes with a complete set of wooden tools and pre-cut pieces to build a helicopter, racecar, motorcycle, dune buggy, airplane, and robot. A project book is also included.
Dave Witthaus from Platterpus says vinyl records make a great gift for people who appreciate high-quality sound. “Vinyl is making a comeback because it’s the best sound recording you can buy,” said, adding that many stores have also started selling turntables to respond to this renewed interest.
Platterpus has about 10,000 albums in stock, and although jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm and blues tend to be the most popular genres, shoppers are sure to find some tunes to spin that will please anyone of any age.
Now that you’re armed with plenty of local ideas, happy holiday shopping from BusinessWest!