Holiday gift guide: Creative ideas from Vail Valley stores to fulfill every last wish
Special to the Weekly
Editor’s note: This is the second part of a two-part series on holiday gift ideas. Read the first story at http://www.vaildaily.com.
It’s the season of shopping, gift exchanges and Secret Santas. The holidays are here, and finding inspiring gifts for your friends and family doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. Ditch your mall-rat notions and skip the drive to Denver — from one end of the Vail Valley to the other, we’ve got what you need for everyone on your list.
• Sonnenalp Hotel breakfast: Celebrating the holidays over a mouth-watering breakfast at the Sonnenalp Hotel is not something you’ll want to miss. Served from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to noon Sunday, the breakfast menu features a buffet of delicious breads and pastries, meat and cheese platters and traditional hot breakfast items, such as waffles, French toast, cheese blintze, eggs any style and a made-to-order omelet bar. For reservations, call 970-479-5461.
• Restaurants: Restaurant gift certificates are the easiest way to say “happy holidays.” Vail Village is brimming with sought-after menus that will certainly please all taste buds. TripAdvisor named Mountain Standard, Sweet Basil, Up the Creek, Terra Bistro, La Tour, Blue Mouse Pizza and The Remedy Bar among its top restaurant picks in Vail.
• 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Co. Tasting Room: Take time with your pals to stroll into the 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Co. Tasting Room, one of Colorado’s premier distilleries, crafting spirits from locally sourced ingredients. The tasting room features moonshine, whiskey, bourbon, vodka and cordial and is a salute to the mountain lifestyle.
• Aria Spa at the Vail Cascade: The 12 Days of Christmas at the Aria Spa is the best “one for you, one for me” gift and will really get you into the holiday spirit. Indulge yourself and your best friend with special offers throughout the holiday season — save as much as 60 percent on spa items, upgrade your massage and receive a free take-home kit with any retail purchase of $150 or more. For more information and details on special spa offers, call 970-476-7111.
• Bol: Not your typical neighborhood bowling alley, Bol offers 10 state-of-the-art bowling lanes and cuisine that boasts flavors from around the world. Make reservations to ring in 2016 at the Bol New Year’s Eve Party with DJ Shake One. Sip Proximo spirits at the open bar from 10 to 11 p.m. and rock in the New Year until 2 a.m. Complimentary appetizers will be passed throughout the night. Price: $225 per person before Dec. 24; $275 per person from Dec. 25 to Dec. 30; $300 day of the event.
• Apex Mountain School: Book a private hut trip for a memorable holiday backcountry skiing experience. The expert team at Apex will take you on an adventure to Anna’s Cabin, located on the Continental Divide at an elevation of 11,700 feet, and only 1.8 miles from the highway and parking area. This trip is geared toward all experience levels and abilities. For more information on booking your private hut trip, call 970-949-9111.
• Perch: Perch has gifts for the fashionista, without the diva undertones. Perfect for any leading lady, the H Brand Knitted Rabbit Fur Twisted Neck Scarf with Hood ($430) will look chic while keeping you snug on cold nights. For stocking stuffers, Perch offers a cocktail of gift items, and our picks include the White + Warren Luxe Slippers ($140), Double Face Gloves ($125) and Handknit Headband ($105), Marc by Marc Jacobs Cosmetic Bags ($68 to $88) and a vacation take-away, the Vail Zipper Pouch ($30). In addition, Perch is introducing the limited-edition Lindsey Vonn Foundation holiday candle ($48), which features a holiday pine scent. All proceeds go to the Lindsay Vonn Foundation.
• Gray Salt Men’s Supply Co.: The newly opened men’s store is the one-stop for your boyfriend. The traditional shirt and tie can be ho-hum, but not when you dress him up in a Vineyard Vines tie ($85) or Pete Millar Shirt ($125). For a quick jaunt, he will love the Graff & Lantz weekender bag ($425).
• Skipper & Scout: Keep the kids amused when they are off the mountain with the Kid O Free Play Magnatab ($27), an update on the good ol’ fashioned Etch-A-Sketch. For your mini-me, you can’t miscalculate with the Mischa Lampert handmade hat ($150) or anything in the ban.do accessories line ($16 to $35).
• Colorado Limited: Bring home a classic Colorado souvenir. The Colorado Puff Ball Beanie ($24) comes in several colors, including Orange Bronco and Classic Colorado.
• Blitz: For the super-couture, the funky, edgy craftsmanship of the Evoke Cow Hair Purse with jade emblem ($213) is a one-of-a-kind piece that will give her style a finishing touch.
• Lululemon: Every active woman on your gift list will love the Lululemon Run Fast Neck Warmer ($28). Perfect for chilly morning runs, snowshoe excursions or clocking vertical feet on the mountain, the Run Fast Neck Warmer repels wind, features sweat-wicking, super-soft Rulu fabric and a cinch-able draw cord to customize your fit.
• Craniologie: Don’t get caught looking like the Jerry of the day; stop by Craniologie and get the exact helmet and goggle fit you need, one that eliminates the “gaper gap.” The Sweet Protection Trooper Helmet ($320) is the brand’s first snow helmet, and the Giro Contact goggles ($240) offer a magnet lens change for last-minute weather corrections.
• The Golden Bear: The Golden Bear’s exclusive design has been coined as the signature symbol of the Vail Valley. Adorn your loved ones with a baby, mama or papa bear necklace in 14-karat gold (starting at $425).
• Ski Base: If your holiday plans include bringing the whole family to Vail for a winter vacation, then Ski Base is your hot spot for rentals. Ski Base stocks the best demos for every skill level, as well as a full line of boots, helmets and poles to complement your ski or snowboard rental package. Top-of-the-line new demo skis include K2, Blizzard, Fisher, Atomic, Volkl, Rossignol, Dynastar, Nordica, Scott, Salomon, Head and Hart, Line and Faction. A bonus to renting from Ski Base is that the shop will give you free storage during your stay on the mountain. If you order ski rentals online at vailskibase.com, then the store will give you 25 percent discount.
• Beaver Creek Ice Rink: The time-honored activity of ice-skating at the Beaver Creek Ice Rink offers a picturesque photo opportunity during your visit. The ice rink is open daily from noon to 9 p.m., and prices range from $5 to $15 for rental equipment and time on the ice. For details, call 970-845-0438.
• BC Loves Teens 2: Give your teen the gift of seeing the mountain in a new light. The guided Twilight Snowshoe & Pizza Party is a teen-only event that takes place after sundown, followed by a pizza party in the Nordic Center. Snowshoe equipment and headlamps will be provided. Dinner is also included in the $35 registration cost. Holiday dates: Monday and Dec. 28 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
• New Year’s Eve Bash: Ring in 2016 with the whole family at the Beaver Creek New Year’s Eve Bash. Beginning at 6:45 p.m., the festivities will include village fireworks and two New Year’s balloon drops. Tickets start at $50 and will feature food from Powder 8 Kitchen & Tap. For more information and to buy tickets, visit http://www.beavercreek.com.
• Vilar Performing Arts Center: The Vilar has a holiday lineup you won’t want to miss. Delight your loved ones with Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” (Tuesday and Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.; $35 for children, $65 for adults), Golden Dragon Acrobats of China (Dec. 26 at 6:30 p.m. and Dec. 27 at 4:30 p.m.; $32 for children, $48 for adults) or Rhythmic Circus (Dec. 30 at 6:30 p.m.; $28 for children, $48 for adults). For more information and tickets, call the box office at 970-845-8497.
• Paderewski Fine Art & The Sportsman’s Gallery LTD: Paderewski Fine Art & The Sportsman’s Gallery LTD have one of the largest and most diverse collections of fine sporting and wildlife art. The Tom Gwynn knives, money clips, key chains and letter openers ($75 to $450) reflect the artist’s life in the Rocky Mountains. Each inlay is hand done into various exotic hardwoods, antler or bone. The silver is hand cut with a jeweler’s saw, creating breathtaking designs. Each piece is guaranteed for life.
• Beaver Creek Gear: You can’t go wrong with the quintessential Beaver Creek T-shirt or sweatshirt. The shop’s biggest sellers include the “I’m difficult” ($17.99), Beaver Creek, CO T-shirts ($22.99), the Kuhl women’s jacket ($169.99) and The North Face Beaver Creek men’s fleece ($109.99), both featuring the Beaver Creek logo.
• Frinje: Known for bringing unique and trendy brands to the Vail Valley, Frinje offers a sophisticated range of gift items for the fashionista. What started out as a convenient way to keep track of your hotel room key, The Giving Keys ($45 to $60) soon became a “pay it forward” phenomenon that has taken the fashion industry by storm. Each key has its story, and the company practices good karma by employing those who are transitioning out of homelessness. The Royal Scout & Co. faux fur boot cuffs ($53) are as stylish on the slopes as they are on a quick trip to the market. They can be worn with tall or short boots and come in three colors: brown bear, black bear and grey wolf.
• Avalon: Don’t forget about your main squeeze. Avalon has gift ideas for your chic, refined beau, including the Moore & Giles Bison Flask ($95), Moore & Giles Ruck Sack ($575), Eton button-down shirts ($265) and the Mercer & James Uptown Modern Shaving Kit ($258), which can be accompanied by Shave Alpine Edition shaving cream ($43.50), a botanical-rich shave cream made exclusively for Avalon.
• Base Mountain Sports: Servicing the ski and snowboard community for more than 30 years, Base Mountain Sports has gifts for the skiers and boarders on your list, including Picture Ladies Jacket ($200), featuring recycled polyester, and Armada Ladies Skis ($700). For men, the Aspen-based brand Strafe Outerwear has a variety of jacket options such as the Men’s Neoshell Jacket ($495), and Smith Maze combines the love for skiing and fishing with the Smith Maze Fish On ski helmet ($100).
• Karin’s Boutique: Featuring a collection of vintage-inspired European gifts, Karin’s Boutique carries one-of-a-kind, exclusive artists and pieces, including English artist Susan Westwood’s “Rocky Mountain Sunshine” painting ($2,750; 33 inches by 33 inches, framed), the handmade Black Forest German “The Bell Roof” cuckoo clock ($679) and various holiday frames (beginning at $169).
Riverwalk at Edwards
• Riverwalk Theatre: The holiday flick season kicks off with the continuation of the “Star Wars” saga. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opened in theaters Friday, just in time for winter break. Two movie tickets wrapped with a box of traditional movie candy ($20) is the perfect date night gift. For up-to-the-minute movie releases and show times, call the Riverwalk Theatre Movieline at 970-476-5661.
• Doggie Style Pet Grooming: A picture is truly worth a thousand words, especially when you set up a Doggie Style Photo Shoot ($150). The furry-friend photo session gives you a digital zip drive with 40 to 60 pictures of your best buddy. Doggie Style Pet Grooming gift certificates are also available.
• The Bookworm of Edwards: A spinoff of the children’s Give 15 book gifting program, The Bookworm recently launched the literary concierge service Trust Me, You’ll Love It, which is specifically geared toward adult book lovers. As part of the monthly program, customers will receive book selections that fit their reading preferences.
• Vintage Magnolia: The Bavarian-style German Smokers ($80 to $165) are a great hostess or housewarming gift. These smokers feature incense (refills: $15) in pine and sandalwood and will fill your home with traditional holiday scents.
• Slifer Designs: The Mighty Purse ($175) is the ultimate gift for tooling around town and making sure your smartphone is charged for holiday selfies. The purse comes equipped with a battery pack inside for discreet phone charging and can be used as a clutch or cross-body purse.
• Ruby Jane: The newly opened Ruby Jane (from the owners of Valley Girl) has a whimsical display of gifts ideal for the alpine home. The handmade reclaimed barn wood wall hanging “Elk” ($250) can be custom ordered to fit your home’s color palette, the Vail pillow ($38.90) will look picture-perfect on a library leather-club chair, and the repurposed, one-of-a-kind Book Letters ($19) can spell out your favorite winter words.
• Valley Girl: You can never go wrong with a little bling for the holidays. The Rebel Designs Cuff bracelet ($152.90), Tat2 necklaces ($98 to $250) and Marcia Moran druzy quartz necklaces ($97 to $150) will give any holiday ensemble an edgy sparkle, while the Satya necklaces ($75 to $160) will inspire that mountain yogi girl in your life.