On just about everyone’s holiday gift list, there is one nearly impossible person to buy for because they seem to have it all. What do you get the friend or relative who already has an iPod, a computer, a closet full of clothes and every season of “Friends” on DVD?
Here are just a few outside-the-box gift ideas and shops that just about anyone can enjoy. They are all local, independently owned and close to campus. Plus, you might discover a place that becomes a personal favorite good for year-round fun.
For most local businesses, a loyal customer base is the gift that keeps on giving. If you don’t find something that catches your eye, take a trip around Fort Collins and explore the huge collection of niche shops or do the digital thing and visit http://www.downtownfortcollins.com for a complete listing of Old Town businesses.
The Fort Collins Brewery
With New Belgium and O’Dell’s taking the majority of the microbrew publicity, it can be easy to miss another local brewery that specializes in small-batch and craft brews. The Fort Collins Brewery features seven staple and four seasonal beers, ranging from their signature Major Tom’s Pomegranate Wheat to the winter-only Big Shot Ale.
For the beer connoisseur, a membership to the Tap Club gives unparalleled access to the brewery and all it has to offer. A $30 lifetime membership includes a growler, tasting room discounts, rewards for every 10 refills and exclusive access to new batches of beer.
For the underage crowd or family-friendly dinner, the Web site boasts six recipes built around a specific brew. Make a double batch of chocolate stout peanut brittle for an easy, inexpensive and creative gift. You could even try to pass the recipe off as your own.
Since setting up shop in Old Town in 2006, Green Logic has never used sustainability as a marketing gimmick.
“We try to maintain a highly versatile selection of earth-friendly goods,” said Alisa Shargorodsky, an employee at the store for nearly four years. She said Green Logic has had a slow year, something they hope to turn around during the holidays.
“The people who come in and support our store are the ones who want us to stay in business,” she said.
The store is a melting pot of all things green and recycled, from bowls made of old vinyl records and chopstick lampshades to organic cotton clothes and bedding. They also have a variety of items useful for maintaining a sustainable lifestyle, like composters, low-flow shower heads and earth-friendly building materials. If a product isn’t in, they can usually order it, Shargorodsky added.
Even if you can’t drop by yourself, the online store has a complete list of every item. Know someone out of state or even out of the country who would like to support Green Logic’s cause? They will ship most products anywhere in the world.
Lyric Cinema Café
The unique and cozy Lyric Cinema Café is one of Old Town’s best-kept secrets. The Lyric offers a steady stream of indie, international and minor Hollywood films that can be enjoyed from the comfort of a sofa or armchair. The café has finger food, coffee and beer, so those that aren’t die-hard film enthusiasts can still enjoy an experience that can’t be found at the multiplex.
“The gift certificates are good for tickets and concessions,” owner and founder Ben Mozer said. “It’s kind of what everyone does so they can lump in a glass of wine and a movie for a full night out.”
Along with gift certificates, the Lyric also has yearly memberships with perks like discounts on tickets, food and drinks. For the material girl (or boy), there are Lyric-inspired T-shirts ($14), pint glasses ($3) and pre-made gift baskets that combine both with candy ($45). The best way to spend your dollar: enjoy a $5 all-you-can-eat cereal buffet and free cartoons from 10 a.m. to noon nearly every day.
Philip Lindeman is the Web Content Editor for College Avenue magazine and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.