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Unique, local gift ideas for everyone on your list this holiday season

From coffee to beer; animals to puzzles. This gift guide has something for everyone.
Credit: fortyforks
Christmas or New Year presents wrapped in natural coloured paper and decorated with traditional Xmas twine and fir twigs on a dark background

COLORADO, USA — Stumped on what to get someone for Christmas this year?

We put together this list of creative and very Colorado gift ideas for the person who already has everything or who you just want to impress this holiday season.

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Liberty Puzzle

This Boulder-based puzzle company makes intricate wooden jigsaw puzzles. But what makes them truly unique is the shape of their pieces. In each puzzle, no two pieces are the same shape and about 15-20% of the pieces are in the shape of characters or objects that fit the theme of the overall design. All of these pieces and the puzzle patterns are hand-drawn by an artist in Boulder. They range in price from $39 to over $100 and can be purchased online or in their retail shop on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder. They also offer free tours of the factory on 49th St in Boulder on weekdays.

Precision Peaks carved 14ers

Give the hiker in your life a unique trophy to remember that peak they bagged. Precision Peaks uses topographical data to create 3d carved models of Colorado's peaks out of beetle-kill lodgepole pine trees from Central Colorado. They have scale models of every 14er in the state as well as ski resorts and full mountain ranges. They can also create custom carvings. The smaller models start at $30 and larger ones are around $90 or more. 

Red Rocks Live vinyl set

Any music lover would appreciate a little piece of one of Denver's most iconic spots. To celebrate their 77th anniversary, Red Rocks released a three-album collection featuring 20 live recordings from some of their most legendary concerts. It includes performances by U2, The Grateful Dead, Florence + The Machine, Macklemore and many others. There are 5,000 copies of the special-edition vinyl for sale online, at the Red Rocks Trading Post and at the visitor's center. They are $55 plus shipping if you buy online. There's also a digital version available through Amazon Music and iTunes for $25. 

EatDenver Dining Deck

Instead of buying the foodie on your list a restaurant gift card, get them the deck of cards that keeps on giving. It has 55 cards with deals for food or drinks at some of the most popular restaurants in the city including Ace Eat Serve, Beatrice & Woodsley, Euclid Hall, Luca, Steuben's, Tacos Tequila Whiskey and more. Each card is valid from January 1, 2020 until December 31, 2020. The deck is $55 and is available for purchase at the link above.

Denver Passport - Winter Edition

The Denver Passport is similar to the EatDenver deck but for those who would rather sip their way through the city. The Winter Edition of the Passport program gives holders 2-for-1 drinks at 68 different bars, restaurants, breweries, distilleries and coffee shops. Each passport is $25 and is valid until April 15. Don't live in Denver? There are also Boulder, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and Rocky Mountain editions available as well. And this year, the Rocky Mountain Passport comes free with the purchase of any of the front range ones.

Pub Pass

Another option for the beer lover is the Pub Pass. The nice part about this coupon-style gift is that it doesn't require the receiver to make a purchase. The Pub Pass is $25 and includes a free beer at 25 different breweries and bars throughout Denver. Or there is one for $20 for 20 beers in Boulder. Each pass is valid from January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020.

Wine club membership

For the wine lover in your life, Denver winemaker Balistreri Vineyards can be sure they are never without a new bottle. As a member of the wine club, they will receive a new bottle of wine every month as well as 20% off all regularly-priced wines and invitations to special events at the winery. A membership is $29/month and you can get a 10% discount if the receiver wants to pick up each bottle at the winery instead of having it shipped each month. If you don't want to go for the full membership, Balistreri also offers free wine tastings and holiday gift baskets.

Coffee subscription

Do you know someone who can't just can't get going without a morning jolt of caffeine? Make sure they're always energized with a subscription for coffee from Corvus, one of Denver's craft coffee roasteries. The receiver will get a different, seasonal 12-oz bag of whole bean coffee delivered to their door every one, two or four weeks. Prices start at $22 per delivery and shipping is included. There is also a free trial available if you'd like to taste test it first.

Dog sledding

Many Colorado ski towns offer dog sledding tours through the winter months. It's a novel and quaint way to see the beautiful backcountry scenery while making friends with energetic and friendly dogs. Most tours last one to two hours with two people rotating turns on the dog sled while the rest of the group rides next to it. Prices vary from just under $100 to over $200 depending on the company and time of year you book. Coupons are often available through Groupon and Living Social.

Ski Biking lessons

Want to hit the slopes in a completely new way? Ski bike lessons are the perfect gift for someone who is a veteran skier or snowboarder who would enjoy trying something new or for someone who has never been on the mountain before but has always wanted to go. It's actually much easier to pick up the basics than it looks. Guided lessons are offered at several Colorado resorts (Keystone, Winter Park, Durango, Copper Mountain, etc.) and range from $49 - $160 for about a 2-hour class, depending on whether you need a lift ticket, the time of year and the resort you go to.

Animal encounters at the Denver Zoo

Play with the penguins, get up close and personal with a sea lion or pet a rhino all in the heart of Denver. The Denver Zoo offers several different up-close animal encounter experiences where guests get to go behind-the-scenes and learn more about one of the animals in their exhibit. Each encounter is $50-75 (plus zoo admission) and is only offered once or twice a week.

Denver Mint tour

All of the United States' money is manufactured in only four places: Denver, Philadelphia, San Francisco and New York. And only two of those offer tours: Philadelphia and Denver. Tours at the Denver facility last about 45 minutes and take you through the history and process of producing billions of coins. And best of all, the tours are free. Tickets are distributed at the tour information office located at the Mint building starting at 7 a.m. Monday through Thursday. You can only pick up tickets for same-day tours.

Hammond’s Candies

Candy isn't a particularly creative gift idea, but Hammond's has been hand-crafting candy canes, lollipops, peppermints, ribbon candy and Mitchell Sweets in Denver since 1920. Today, you can find their goodies in many stores throughout the state, but it's worth a trip to the factory to see how it's all made before picking up a few sweet treats for everyone's stocking.

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