Show Your Colorado Love With These 10 Gift Ideas

colorado gifts

You don’t have to live in Colorado to LOVE Colorado! There is so much to do and enjoy in our amazing state (which we think is the best!). Whether you are an active person who loves the outdoors or someone who would rather enjoy the comforts of a majestic view from a car, RV, or hotel, the draw of the mountains and blue skies leaves a permanent kiss on our souls.

In honor of all those souls who are touched by this land, we offer a few suggestions for gift ideas that show our Colorado-Love.

GRIN BIG MOUNTAIN LIFE TEES
by Gary Blehm

grin big colorado springs

When life is unfair…GRIN BIG!

Gary, a long-time resident of Colorado Springs, loves to spread his message of positivity in the midst of frustration through his art. He is the originator of Penman, created in his childhood and rose to fame in the 90s. Penman, once relegated to comic strips across the country, has now jumped off the pages of paper and onto a larger stage to spread his optimism and life outdoors.

Grin Big offers tees for men and women, showing Penman in a variety of mountain activity settings. A great way to share your optimism and love of Colorado!

SHOP ONLINE
LIKE GRIN BIG ON FACEBOOK

CAMPER MUGS WITH HOT COCOA
PIKES PEAK LEMONADE

If you live in Colorado Springs, you MUST stop by the lemonade taproom in downtown! Pikes Peak Lemonade is located at 224 N. Tejon Street. While you are shopping for these awesome camping mugs with hot cocoa, try out their Hot Cocoa bar or their lemonade tasting stand.

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FOLLOW ON FACEBOOK

EAT LOCAL, DRINK LOCAL POTTERY
CHRIS BURCH

colorado drink local mug

What a great way to show your love for all things local with this bowl and mug set. Handthrown by Colorado Springs artist, Chris Burch. You can also customize a set to reflect your style!

This particular design was created exclusively for SPARROW HAWK COOKWARE. You can purchase this set, or order it, through Allen at the store in downtown Colorado Springs.

AVAILABLE AT SPARROW HAWK COOKWARE
120 N. Tejon St, Colorado Springs
719-471-3235

Looking for a customized option? Contact Chris Burch directly through his Facebook page.

SNOW SKIING AND MOUNTAIN BIKING REUSABLE BOTTLE
BLU BOTTLE

While browsing through a local boutique, MacKenzie & West, I stumbled upon these fun finds by Blu Bottle! Your ski-bunny friends and family will love the vintage design of the bottle and the matching tea towels. And for the mountain biking enthusiasts, the mountains with bike bottle fits perfectly in the beverage holder. These containers can hold hot or cold beverages (you know, like a hot cocoa for after a run down the slopes, or refreshing lemonade while exploring backcountry trails!)

AVAILABLE AT MACKENZIE & WEST
2530 W. Colorado Ave
FACEBOOK PAGE

PIKES PEAK CUTTING BOARD
ETSY, BUNGALOWBOOcolorado gifts

100% recycled Bamboo cutting boards are so useful. Why not get one with Pikes Peak engraved on it (there are other mountain ranges available as well) plus add a custom message? A good idea for those who love to cook, entertain, or at least make their kitchen look like they do!

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MOUNTAIN RANGE DECAL
ETSY, COOPERBERRY DESIGNS

Coloradoans are proud of their state. Whether you want to show off where you live or your love for the mountains, this is a unique idea. No matter who you are, one look at this decal will bring a smile to your face and recall memories of, or longing for, an adventure in the mountains.

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ILLUSTRATED LIGHT SLATE PICTURES
BY DAVE CLACK, FT. COLLINS

By far the BEST presentation of fine Colorado photography!!  To see these images in person, framed by the slate or oxidized porcelain, is wonderfully moving. The rugged look of the stone sets the natural stage for the amazing images of Colorado landscape come to life! Sizes range from 12 ” x  12″ all the way to very large wall masterpieces suitable for a large wall or office space.

Visit Dave’s Gallery in Old Town, Ft. Collins or shop online here.

MOUNTAIN BIKE SHIRT
YETI TEES

yet tees mountain biking

If you love the outdoors, you can’t have enough t-shirts that show your passion for all your activities. This one is so simple, but tells a very clear message about where your heart belongs!

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ROCKY MOUNTAINS BRACELET SET
BY MOUNTINSPIRE

Handcrafted in Colorado Springs, these are simple but lovely silver bracelets. Several options available, as well as customization. Maybe you want a favorite mountain range or a peak that you have summited? Perhaps a favorite camping spot for your family. Other Colorado-inspired jewelry items available, too!

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COLORADO 14er SUMMIT REGISTER
by WANDER WIDE ART

14er summit register

Many people come to tackle the 14ers in Colorado! There is a special pride for them as each peak is conquered. Give them a gift that keeps track of their accomplishments. As each summit is completed, an included “SUMMITED” stamp is used to mark off the peak. Display quality.

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COLORADO LOVE, COLORADO-SOURCED

I hope this gives you some ideas for your gift-giving needs. While many of these products are produced by Colorado artists, not all of them are. Be sure to check out our last blog post that features all Colorado-sourced gift ideas.

Holiday Activities Near Colorado Springs, 2017

As soon as we turn our calendars to November, we know it’s time to kick it up a notch. Special events are being planned and promoted and now is the time to figure out what we will fill our calendars with. Most of us probably stick to the same routine year after year. Instead, this year let me challenge the same-ole, same-ole and suggest several holiday activities to expand your horizons!

FAMILY ACTIVITIES

holiday activities for kids colorado springs
Photo by Mike Arney on Unsplash

We’ve selected a few kid-friendly options that will excite and get everyone in the mood for Christmas! Also, with kids out of school, what better way to make the days ease by quicker than by filling their vacation with special events. Whether it is ice-skating, watching a Christmas parade, or a special Daddy-daughter dance, mark up your calendar with special holiday activities sure to bring a smile to all.

ACACIA PARK TREE LIGHTING AND ICE-SKATING (Sat., November 18): Located at the park in downtown Colorado Springs. Watch the lighting of the city Christmas tree, ice skate, watch short holiday movies, visit Santa, and create crafts. Activities start at 4:30 p.m.

FALL FAMILY FUN DAYS, PIONEER MUSEUM (Nov. 21, 22, & 25): The Pioneers Museum is opening a new children’s interactive exhibit. During the Fall Break, bring your kids to this family celebration for crafts, movies, popcorn, and a tour.

ROYAL GORGE SANTA EXPRESS TRAIN (Nov 16 – Dec. 24): Do you or your kids love the movie, Polar Express? Then you’ll be giddy over this experience on a real train. Wear your PJs and get ready to drink your fill of hot chocolate. It’s a popular attraction so book early!

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN ZOO ELECTRIC SAFARI (Starts Dec. 8. Multiple nights): You can not celebrate this season without a visit to the Electric Safari! Beautiful lights, hot cocoa, fire pits throughout the zoo – a fun night that is a special tradition for our city. Bundle the whole family up and enjoy a memorable evening!

ENCHANTED PRINCESS BALL (Dec. 17, Glen Eryie): If you are a daddy to a little girl, stop now and get your tickets to this ball! You will forever capture the heart of your daughter! (Ages 10 and under)

DATE NIGHTholiday activities for couples

So now that the kids are taken care of, don’t think that the fun stops there. It’s only beginning! There are loads of options for a special date night to celebrate sans little ones.

CRAFT CIDER AND COCKTAIL NIGHT AT THE GOLDEN BEE (Mon., Nov. 20, 5:30 – 8:30 pm): A local favorite gathering spot, they are hosting Colorado Common Hard Cider and Lee Spirits Co. for an evening of pairings and good conversations. Make sure to put in a reservation and enjoy the night!

ADULTS-ONLY ELECTRIC MOONLIGHT (Dec. 7, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo): This time leave the kids at home and have an adult-only night!

GREAT GATSBY WHITE ROSE GALA (Ellie Caulkins Opera House, New Years Eve). So I’m sending you to Denver, but honestly, this looks like a blast! Who wouldn’t want to don a flapper dress, gloves, red lipstick (or a pinstriped tux and fedora) and dance the night away? Call a sitter and stay the night in Denver!

DESSERT WITH DICKENS (Dec. 15, 8 PM, Cherokee Ranch, Sedalia): Love the idea of a fireside storyteller? Dial it down to a more intimate setting. Here’s your chance for a bit of nostalgia. Dessert, the Christmas Carol, and a cozy evening with a loved one. Even better….it’s in a castle!

UGLY SWEATER FEST (Dec. 2, Norris-Penrose Event Center): Did you make the Halloween Brew Fest? Same folks, different costumes! Come out and have a blast in your ugliest sweater.

MUSIC AND PERFORMANCES

Photo by Radek Grzybowski on Unsplash

Do you have a favorite tradition for the holidays? I love to attend a Nutcracker performance. Something I have done since a teenager. No matter what your tradition, here are several classic performances sure to have you dreaming of a white (and warm & snuggly) Christmas!

THE NUTCRACKER, (Thanksgiving Weekend, Pikes Peak Center): What is the Christmas season without watching the story of Claire and her nutcracker doll coming to life? A “sweet treat” no matter your age!

HEART OF CHRISTMAS (Dec 8 – 10, Charis Bible College, Woodland Park): Now in its 8th year, a phenomenal musical performed both in Norway and in our backyard, Woodland Park. The story of a young girl in the 40s who escapes the war in Europe and comes to America. She discovers the true meaning of Christmas.

CHRISTMAS SYMPHONY, (Dec. 17, 2:30 pm, Pikes Peak Center)

IRISH CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA, (Nov. 24, Stargazers Theatre): Looking for something a little different? “The hugely popular show, now in its 13th season, features top Irish music, song, and dance in an engaging performance rich in history, humor and boundless energy.”

REPEAT THE SOUNDING JOY, (Dec 2-3, 6 p.m. Village Seven Presbyterian Church): Looking for a goosebump experience? This is not your grandma’s little village choir. Village Seven produces the most amazing performances. Extremely talented and well put-together, I have never been disappointed. Nothing short of an amazing experience.

ALL ABOUT THAT FOODPhoto by Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash

Admit it. You LOVE the food during the holidays! Who doesn’t? I found a few holiday activities that are all about yummy-to-your-tummy treats and tantalizing and rich meals.

SALT OF THE EARTH DINNER, (Nov. 30, 6:30 PM, The Till):  4-course, fall-inspired meal. A great evening with a table full of friends!

MURDER MYSTERY DINNER THEATRE, (Dec. 30, Briarhurst Manor): 5-course meal and hours of intrigue! Hurry…the tickets sell out fast!

GLEN EYRIE MADRIGAL BANQUET (Several December dates to choose from): Experience a traditional medieval Christmas banquet, hosted in the Grand Hall of the castle. Wassail, singing, and a traditional meal. Get your tickets early!

FRIENDSGIVING AT THE MELTING POT, (Nov. 21 & 22): Featuring a Pumpkin Spice Martini & White Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Fondue. Enough said. Sounds like a GNO to me!

I wish I could have included all the wonderful activities available this year! There are so many to choose from. Whatever you decide, may it be a magical year for you and your family.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Modern Architectural Styles In Colorado Homes

modern architectural styles colorado homes

Most of us are well aware of the housing boom that Colorado Springs is experiencing right now. Large master-planned communities and neighborhoods are springing up so fast, that if you avoid a certain area for more than a month, you may not recognize it the next time you drive by!

However, what is most exciting, not only in the new construction but also as part of the urban renewal projects, are the “new” modern and contemporary architectural styles being birthed out of a thriving economy and the passionate, creative influences of a new generation.

Continue reading “Modern Architectural Styles In Colorado Homes”

20 Autumn Activities Near Colorado Springs

AUTUMN ACTIVITIES

Every year, around August 15, I can sense a slight shift in the air. While the temperatures may say that it is still Summer, there is something subtly different in the air that lets me know Autumn is quickly approaching.

On one hand, I’m a bit sad that the sizzle and excitement of Summer are beginning to fade. On the other hand, fall festivals and Autumn activities will start filling up my calendar. It’s the busiest season of the year for shopping, outdoor adventures, harvest celebrations, and social gatherings prior to our retreat indoors for the holidays and the winter chill. Continue reading “20 Autumn Activities Near Colorado Springs”

Top Ten Colorado Springs Boutiques

colorado springs boutiques
This is a paid guest post I did for Susanna Haynie at 
www.yourcoloradospringshouse.com

There is a Small Business Boom in Colorado Springs right now.  It ranges from craft beer, coffee shops, cafes, boutiques, or any number of other creative, entrepreneurial ventures. With so many excellent options, I rarely leave town for shopping or dining. There are literally dozens of Colorado Springs boutiques all over the city, with new ones opening up all the time.

This post only includes ten of those. As a result, I encourage you to get out and explore all the beautiful small boutiques the Springs and the surrounding areas have to offer. Continue reading “Top Ten Colorado Springs Boutiques”