Guide to the Best Local Gifts for 2017

Guide to Local Christmas Gifts, Kingston, OntarioThe holiday season is a great time to have a positive impact on your local economy. Kingston has an impressive variety of offerings to choose from, making it easy to find something for everyone on your list. From the foodie to the music lover to the socially conscious, Kingston has you covered.

Below, in no particular order, is a list of some of our favourite ygk gifts to give. Pick up your loved one’s favourite local treat or introduce out-of-town friends to some of the many treasures offered by Kingston businesses. Between boosting the economy and giving some love to local vendors and artists, you can’t really go wrong when you shop local.

Kingston: K-Pass Winter: Today is the launch of the new all-inclusive Kingston: K-Pass Winter. This three-day, $49+hst pass includes over $150 of tickets, admissions and other value at Lumina Borealis, Kingston Trolley Tours, Improbable Escapes and much more. It’s an excellent way for visitors and Kingstonians alike to discover more of Kingston’s attractions and restaurants in the winter. The K-Pass is fantastic value, and makes a great gift.

Cooke’s Special Old Cheddar Cheese: Who doesn’t love Cooke’s amazing old cheddar? I’ve been known to pop in to Cooke’s just to visit the cheese man and enjoy a sample, and I’m sure I’m not alone. This delicious secretly sourced (although we are assured it is local) treat is a hit at gatherings and makes for an excellent gift (don’t forget to keep it refrigerated though!) While you’re Cooke’s, be sure to grab some other wonderful treats to go along with it.

Kingston Olive Oil Company: This family-owned establishment offers dozens of varieties of Olive Oil from world renowned olive regions.  They’ve also got a healthy supply of infused olive oils, ranging from basil to green chili and the adventurous blood orange, a good selection of balsamic, salts and more. Pay them a visit, try some free samples and walk away with a bottle of something really tasty.

Locally Roasted Coffee: Pick up a delicious blend by North Roast Coffee (formerly Multituli) from Kingston Coffee House Inc. or online. Other local roasters include Cooke’s Fine Foods and Crave Coffee House & Bakery. Each one offers a variety of locally roasted, and in Kingston Coffee House’s case, fair trade coffees.

Local Art: There are many galleries to choose from in Kingston where you can acquire local one-of-a-kind works, prints and sculptures for the art lover on your list. Take a stroll downtown and you’ll notice a ton of galleries and shops to choose from including Cornerstone, Heather Haynes Gallery, Black Dog Pottery, Kingston Glass Studio and Gallery, Studio 22 and Martello Alley, to name a few.

Local Music: Kingston has a lot of top-notch local musicians. From rock and blues to Celtic and country, there is a huge variety of musical offerings to choose from, and most of these bands have albums available for purchase. Visit the website of one of your favourites and pick up a CD or download for a friend.  You will be making some local artists very happy. Need some suggestions? Check out our #ygkPlaylist and Six Questions series for some great ideas.

Grand Theatre or Isabel Bader Gift Certificate: Not every gift has to be a tangible item. Experiences are some of my favourite things to give. Why not gift someone with the opportunity to take in a performance from one of our local theatre companies or The Kingston Symphony? Between that and the many live bands and other performances coming to The Grand and The Isabel this year, there is definitely something for everyone in this gift idea. You can purchase gift certificates at the theatres’ box office or on The Grand or The Isabel website.

Tickets to the Kingston Canadian Film Festival: KCFF brings the best Canadian feature films of the year to a number of traditional and unconventional venues in downtown Kingston as well as presenting four short film programs (with dedicated slots for local artists and youth), free workshops and networking opportunities, industry guest appearances and talks, receptions, special events, music, comedy, and awards. This year’s festival runs March 1st-4th and ticket are on sale now. What a great gift idea for the movie buff on your list?

Local Spirits: Prince Edward County has so much to offer when it comes to wine, cider, sparkling wine and now even vodka and beer! Take a short trip down the 401 to pick up some great local spirits to gift or serve at a holiday party. Many of the wines produced in the county are also available in our local LCBO. More of a beer person? Head over to Stone City Ales, The Napanee Beer Company, MacKinnon Brothers, King’s Town Beer Company or Riverhead Brewing Company and pick up a seasonal growler or squealer brewed right on the premises. Check out some of our many posts on local brewers in and around ygk.

2017 Limited Edition Pewter Ornaments: Downtown Kingston’s 2017 installment of their annual pewter collection features landmarks including The Bishop’s House/Parish House; Classic Video; A-One Clothing; Cataraqui Golf & Country Club and K.C.V.I.. A limited supply is available for $10 with proof of $25 purchase from select downtown businesses (dated Nov 1 on) and are available at the Grand Theatre and K-Rock Centre box offices, as well as the Visitor Information Centre at Confederation Park.

1000 Island Soap Company: This local company offers all natural, handmade soaps that they make right in the store. They also offer scrubs, fragrant oils, lotions, massage oils, bath salts and body butters. Aside from these pampering products, 1000 Island Soap Co. also specializes in products to help with specific issues such as eczema, anxiety, foot care, cold and flu and baby products.

Donate to a Local Charity: What to get for the person on your list who has everything…Why not make a donation in their name to one of Kingston’s charities?  Joe’s MILL, Martha’s Table, The Boys and Girls Club of Kingston, Partners in Mission Food Bank, Almost Home and Dawn House Women’s Shelter are just a few of the many charities that would benefit greatly from your donation. Visit this site for a list of dozens of local charities.

YGK Fashion: Pick up some Kingston themed apparel from the newly launched YGK Studios. These locally sourced and Canadian made shirts, hoodies and pants brim with Kingston pride and nostalgia featuring vintage logos including The Manor, House of Sounds and S&R.

Spa gift certificate: There is no shortage of salons and spas in Kingston and we all know someone who deserves a little pampering this holiday season. Grab a gift certificate for a manicure, facial, massage or general use from one of our many local businesses such as Sabaya Spa, James Brett, Serenity Spa, The Annex and many more.

Gift Certificate to a Local Restaurant: We all know how lucky we are to have so many excellent, locally owned and sourced restaurants in Kingston. Share the deliciousness this year with a gift certificate to Casa Domenico, Le Chien Noir, The Iron Duke, Days on Front, Bella Bistro, Darbar….I could go on! Gift certificates can be purchased at each restaurant and in some cases, online. Check out our extensive list of reviews of local restaurants for more ideas.

Local Lit: We have a ton of great authors living in Kingston. From historical to fiction, there is plenty to choose from when it comes to local books. The folks on your list will enjoy reading the words of YS Lee, Iain Reid , Helen Humphreys, Merilyn Simonds and Aaron Asselstine to name a few. Head to Novel Idea to pick up a few copies.

Photo credit to Downtown Kingston!, TCDavis, Veronica Foale, Riverhead Brewing Company, Alvin Trusty and YGK Studios.

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