MP’s STAYCATION MAP SERIES
Retail Romance – Holiday Shopping for the Young at Heart with our favorite Locally-Owned Retail shops
One blessed year when the kids were little, my husband and I booked extended play date trades and launched a new holiday tradition. An epic four-sport day starting with laps on Ajax: Sport Number ONE.
Sport Number TWO:
Local Holiday Shopping. This needs way more stamina and expertise than boarding the Bell. We make perhaps a dozen stops between Aspen and Glenwood Springs, lunching on Clifbars just like on powder days to maximize our time. We check our list, check it twice, hitting our stash of spots, shopping with storekeepers who know us, if not by name, then by sight because we’re that couple they remember who changes from snow pants to street clothes in their dressing rooms.
Does locally-owned retail cost more than shopping at big boxes?
The answer depends on your perspective, and it lends itself to Olympic-level frugality, the mastery of which is Sport Number THREE. I’ll admit we usually flail on the landing by going a little large on gear. But we justify our silver or bronze in big-air budgeting because we live here in the mountains. LESS truly can be MORE, if less means one stand-up paddleboard instead of two-dozen tchotchkes.
Once it’s all said and done, we’re ready for Sport Number FOUR: our own holiday rom-com under twinkling lights, falling snow, and the influence of aprés anything downtown, our gift to ourselves.
MP’s Staycation Map Series
LET US INTRODUCE YOU to our favorite locally-owned shops and a hint of what you can find this year if you take up this mountain-adventure sport.
1. Aspen Eclectic
635 E. Cooper Avenue, Aspen • (970) 925-6217
Let Carrie and Larkin Horn, two local parents with three children, help you find “Only-in-Aspen” local gifts, plus games and baubles for everyone on your list.
2. Explore Booksellers
221 W. Main Street, Aspen • (970) 925-5336
This year, due to COVID, you will not be able to peruse the shelves at Aspen’s landmark bookstore. Instead, you can schedule an appointment with a shopping consultant who will help you select perfect titles for every occasion and recipient, then they will gift wrap, ship, or arrange a front porch pick up. Holiday shopping doesn’t get easier or more personalized than this.
3. ACES at Hallam Lake
1oo puppy smith Street, Aspen • (970) 925-5766
You’ll find a beautifully hidden shop at Hallam Lake in Aspen, like a little jewel sparkling in the woods. Pick up a copy of the newly released “The Hidden Life Around Us,” a perfect gift for any age. It showcases the species of Aspen with stunning photographs and thoughtful text. This book grew out of a BioBlitz to survey the species at ACES’ Hallam Lake Nature Preserve in the heart of Aspen.
4. Aspen Cross Country Center
39551 W. Highway 82, Aspen • (970) 925-2145
Notoriously discerning about outdoor gear, you can trust the operators from the Ute Mountaineer to select the best Nordic gear for adults and youth. Find warm Swix gloves for smaller hands and of course a great selection of skis and boots. Rentals are available daily or for the season.
5. The ArtWorks Store at Anderson Ranch
5263 Owl Creek Road, Snowmass Village • (970) 923-3181
Walk a snow-covered, wooded path at Anderson Ranch to get to the ArtWorks Store. The store curators have an eye for beauty and a knack for carrying a range of low-priced items, yet there is no skimping on quality.
6. Snowmass Cross Country Skiiing Center
239 Snowmass Club Circle, Snowmass Village • (970) 923-5700
Located on the Snowmass Golf Course, the shop offers a home base while skiing the Nordic track. Find ski packages, rentals, and in case you walked out the door without essential gear, you’ll find hats, glove warmers, and HINT stocking stuffers for your Nordic-loving spouse.
7. St. Benedict’s Monastery
1012 Monastery Road, old Snowmass • (970) 279-4400
Visit this Cistercian Monastic Community and experience the peace of the season. Treasures to discover include Christmas books for children and adults, beautiful Advent calendars, and honey from the monks’ bees. Limited hours due to COVID. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM or by appointment.
BASALT & WILLITS
8. Basalt Printing
23252 Two Rivers Road, Basalt • (970) 927-4705
Here’s your one-stop for custom printed Season’s Greetings, plus art supplies and gifts for all ages. For the elusive dude on your list, check out build-your-own robots and race cars; or handheld 80’s era mini arcade games such as Pac-Man and Tetris.
361 Market Street, Willits • (970) 279-5726
Adorable women’s clothing and home decor plus a nook especially for new mothers and newborn babes. Future skiers will cuddle up in style with a sweet onesie/blanket pairing from Boulder, printed with a whimsical map of Colorado.
10. Midland Clothing
740 E Valley Road, Willits • (970) 927-9542
Muster your discipline to walk straight past the gorgeous women’s clothing and jewelry towards the children’s section. Find carefully curated clothing for boys and girls up to size 14, plus a highly entertaining array of novelty games, art supplies, and stuffed animals. Jellycat remains the go-to gift for the softest “stuffies” in the world.
11. RJ Paddywacks
400 E. Valley Road, El Jebel • (970) 963-1700
Santa Paws has a soft spot in his heart for our furry family members because before having kids, our pets were our children first. Soothe aching older dogs with muscle and joint relieving CBD treats. Indulge puppies with chew toys, cats with locally sourced catnip, and every animal with the highest-quality food available.
12. Near New Store
302 Main Street, Carbondale • (970) 963-0340
When Kris Kringle landed on the Island of Misfit Toys, he knew he’d find a home for holiday magic at the charitable thrift store run by the local Rebekah Lodge. The womens’ organization collects vintage Christmas kitsch throughout the year, with an eye for holiday cookie tins, vintage decorations, and yes, “ugly” sweaters.
13. Sawyer’s Closet
327 Main Street, Carbondale • (970) 963-0258
Now the Valley’s only child-centric consignment store. Thanks to careful curating and a clean, uncluttered aesthetic, it feels like a boutique, not a thrift shop. You’ll find gently worn top brands from birth to age 16. Plus new Melissa & Doug toys and Ooly art supplies. Due to COVID, consignment drop-off is by appointment only.
14. True Nature Healing Arts
100 N 3rd Street, Carbondale • (970) 963-9900
Bring home the natural beauty of True Nature’s Peace Garden with an earthy-elegant medicinal or culinary dried herb bundle grown by the center’s gardeners. Pair an herbal sachet with a virtual yoga punch pass, and you’ve discovered the art of mindful gifting.
15. Roaring Fork Valley Co-OP
0760 Highway 133, Carbondale • (970) 963-2220
Ralphie of A Christmas Story is not the only kid in town wishing for “an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle,” which you’ll find at the Co-Op. If Mom says “you’ll shoot your eye out,” look for bomber sleds, pocket knives, cowboy hats, Carhartt onesies and winter boots and hats.
16. Glenwood Music
3102 Blake Avenue D, Glenwood Springs • (970) 928-8628
You don’t need to be a rock star to shop here. In fact, these locally renowned musicians keep their musical talents on the DL, only jamming a little bluegrass if they don’t see you browsing. If you have a beginning or accomplished musician in your life, these guys will help you make your little Jimi’s heart sing.
17. Sunlight Ski & Bike
309 9th Street, Glenwood Springs • (970) 945-9425
Known by many as the local’s family mountain, Sunlight’s downtown Glenwood gear shop specializes in price-conscious recreational starter packages and seasonal rentals. New this year – Burton’s “After School Special” board-binding combo at an entry-level price, sized for even the youngest of shredders.
18. Toad & Co + Treadz
812 & 816 Grand Avenue, Glenwood springs • (970) 928-0620
Two side-by-side family-owned shops = one-stop parking and gifts for every price point. Try Placebos, mints created by a Colorado high school counselor with flavors to relieve Pandemic Fatigue and Fake News. Plus Fjallraven Kanken backpacks made of waterproof recycled poly-cotton-cannabis fabric in a range of sizes and colors.
19. Glenwood Toys & Gifts
208 6th Street, Glenwood Springs • (970) 945-1141
Glenwood’s downtown toy store moved across the river to a new location just steps away from the Hot Springs Pool. You’ll find wooden toys, an expanded Lego section, old-school retro favorites, educational toys, lots of jigsaw puzzles, and “Pandemic,” THE board game of 2020.
ACES at Hallam Lake
Aspen Cross Country Ski Center
The Artworks Store at Anderson Ranch
Snowmass Cross Country Ski Center
Basalt Printing & Art Supply
Near New Store
True Nature Healing Arts
Roaring Fork Valley Co-Op
Sunlight Mountain Ski & Bike
Toad & Co
Glenwood Toys & Gifts