- Casey Bradley Gent
1 Let's talk about indoor entertainment that doesn't involve booze or watching television. While tabletop gaming may bring to mind memories of your sister flipping the table with the Monopoly board still on it in a fit of rage, there's way more to the hobby than screaming, glorified property management and stealing $500 bills when no one's looking. At Yellow King (1834 E. Platte Ave.), you can find a wealth of options for venturing into gaming, including tournaments and weekly group sessions. For your giftee, we recommend 7 Wonders ($49.99), a card development and resource-gathering game that may still end in table flipping, but requires a lot more strategy to get to that point. Players battle opponents as the leader of an ancient city, using skills (and luck) to gain points through three ages and, hopefully, come out on top. For a simpler, pocket-sized game they can take to the pub and play fast, Love Letter ($9.99) is our other favorite option. It's simple to learn, so they can use it to make new friends — or enemies — at the bar over a pint and a hand.
Location Details The Yellow King
2 Give your favorite pups a gift they'll love (like they love everything you do) with a four-pack of antler chews ($18) sold in elk, venison or antelope. Ruffing It (5928 Stetson Hill Blvd.) touts them as a clean treat that lasts quite a while and keeps your dogs busy. It's a gift to you, too, since it will (perhaps) keep them from chewing shoes, toys, stairs and doors or whatever else they can get their paws on while you're away. If bones aren't your thing, Ruffing It has a ton of other natural foods and supplies, including a rather enormous selection of chews from various parts of various animals. Of course, if you like giving gifts to someone who doesn't appreciate you and might even kinda hate you, there are a few snacks and toys for cats, too.
Location Details Ruffing It
- Casey Bradley Gent
3 For athletes who prefer to exercise on two wheels, Old Town Bike Shop (426 S. Tejon St.) has more than enough gifts to make their day, and their next ride, special. Save Our Soles ($9.99 to $12.99) socks are an affordable stocking stuffer perfect for any cyclist. Made in Colorado, they come in a variety of styles and lengths. They're super breathable, keeping feet cool and dry for miles on end. The best designs are, of course, Colorado-themed. We dug the state flag ankle socks, as well as the delicate purple columbine design. For the rider who spends a bit more time damaging their helmet and eating gravel than upright on their bike, the "Ride Bloody" socks are also pretty badass and give a nod to his or her determination to keep going, even when they probably shouldn't.
Location Details Old Town Bike Shop
4 Got a runner in your life? Someone who thinks charging around the city on foot is actually a fun way to spend a few free hours? They can be hard to shop for. After all, there are only so many energy bars and running belts a person needs before you're out of ideas. Buying them shoes would be like buying them underwear, so what's left? We think the Pikes Peak Road Runners membership ($20 to $30; pprrun.org) makes a great gift. Your runner gets big savings on the PPRR's already affordable races (13 of them, all different lengths and levels of difficulty), plus free entry to the Tortoise & Hare and Turkey Trot Predict races. They also get 10 percent off at a few sporting goods shops around town, fancy running shoes included. And because your money supports the organization's work in the running community, you're doubly supporting your running enthusiast, making you a two-time champion from the comfort of your couch. Beware, this will increase the chances of them making you get up early to support them with clever signs along the race course.
- Casey Bradley Gent
5 On the more delicate side of gifting, Pink Cadillac Boutique (1635 W. Colorado Ave.) has a selection of hand-painted records ($35) created by local artists, featuring landscapes, inspirational imagery and more, making a unique decoration with a handy hole right in the center that makes them easy to hang. The shop also offers a collection of non-painted vintage vinyl for those who are more musically minded. Shop owner Lisa Harrington also creates handmade soap ($6.99), hefty bars of the stuff made right in the boutique's kitchen with ingredients like olive oil, distilled water and essential oils. She says she can barely keep up with demand, so she must be doing something right. Don't stick it in the stocking, though — you don't want to make the edible goodies taste like soap.
Location Details Pink Cadillac Boutique
6 Colorado Kite and Ski (2820 W. Colorado Ave.) is the answer to the question, "What does a ski shop do to get by when they aren't selling and renting skis?" In this case, it's selling kites of all kinds, boasting the largest selection in southern Colorado. And while it's their busy season for the aforementioned skis, they still sell kites in the winter and there are plenty of warm days to enjoy them. While we love the enormous 3D Red Baron kite ($36.99) structured like the plane of the same name, we simply can't help ourselves and have to recommend the serpent kite ($39.99), clocking in at a dramatic 305 inches and able to withstand winds of up to 18 miles per hour. Although this makes a great kid's present, we won't judge any adults who choose to fly it, especially if they give us a turn. In a state that's as windy as it is mountainous and colorful, your recipient will get a lot of mileage out of this gift.
Location Details Colorado Kite and Ski
- Casey Bradley Gent
7 For our final gift selection in our final gift feature, we ventured into a realm more pricey: rare and vintage books. This is for the bibliophile in your life, the person excited to get up at 8 a.m. for lit class during their college years, who reads Chaucer for fun and makes Hemingway puns. Hooked on Books (12 E. Bijou St.) has tons of used books (their Maizeland Road location has an exceptional selection of sci-fi), but one of their coolest features is their specialty book collection. A standout is Le Morte d'Arthur ($350), a two-volume set published in 1908 and in beautiful condition. There's also a first edition book of Edgar Allan Poe's work ($450) and an entire collection of John Steinbeck novels ($85). They have newer stuff, too, and if you're looking for a more affordable way to cultivate a future book fanatic, local author Ana Crespo is serving up fiction about feelings for beginning readers with JP and the Bossy Dinosaur ($16.99).