Guide to the Best Local Christmas Gifts 2016

local holiday gifts, Kingston, OntarioThe holiday season is a great time to have a positive impact on your local economy. Kingston has a wide array 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.

Locally Roasted Coffee: Pick up a delicious blend from Coffeeco ($11.25) or Cooke’s Fine Foods ($14.95).  Both offer a variety of locally roasted, and in Coffeeco’s case, fair trade coffees.  Multatuli’s Christmas Blend (available at Coffeeco) is a favourite at this time of year and can be purchased online or at one of their two stores.

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!)

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 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 or MacKinnon Brothers and pick up a seasonal growler or squealer brewed right on the premises.

Kingston Olive Oil Co.: One year I was given an incredible bottle of KOOC’s Black Mission Fig Balsamic and I enjoyed every drop and then went back to get more. This locally owned shop offers a huge variety of olive oils, vinegars, gourmet salts and even bath and body products.  Can’t decide? They do gift baskets too!

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.

Local Music: Kingston has a lot of 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, Six Questions and Live at The Option for some great ideas.

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.

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, comedians and other performances coming through his year, there is definitely something for everyone in this gift idea.

2016 Limited Edition Pewter Ornaments: Downtown Kingston’s 23rd installment of their annual pewter collection features landmarks including The Portsmouth Tavern, St. John the Apostle Church, Vandervoort’s General Store, The RCHA Club and The Tragically Hip’s Commemorative Brick at Market Square. A limited supply is available for $10 each with proof of $25 purchase from select downtown businesses. Available at the Grand Theatre and K-Rock Centre box offices, as well as the Visitor Information Centre at Confederation Park.

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 many Kingston Charities?  Joe’s MILL, Martha’s Table, The Boys and Girls Club of Kingston 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.

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, Aqua Terra, Harper’s Burger Bar….I could go on forever! Gift certificates can be purchased at each restaurant and in some cases, online.

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 , Merilyn Simonds and Aaron Asselstine to name a few. Head to Novel Idea to pick up a few copies.

Thanks to YGK Studios, Stone City Ales, The Kingston Symphony and Cooke’s Fine Foods for today’s photos.

Danielle Lennon

Danielle Lennon is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. She was the Editor, Community Event Coordinator and Contributor at-large (2008-2018). She is otherwise employed as a section violinist with the Kingston Symphony, violin teacher, studio musician and cat lover. Learn more about Danielle...

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