Anti-Black Friday? Your guide to rad, local gifts in Reno
See how to properly and safely find a Christmas Tree on public lands. Jason Bean, Benjamin Spillman & Laura Longero
What says, "Merry Christmas" better than a Made in China coffee mug with a generic inspirational saying, bought last minute from TJ Maxx? SO MANY THINGS.
The perks of shopping local go far beyond supporting your neighboring artisans and entrepreneurs.
You don't have to endure self-checkout-induced migraines nor roundabout road rage. You don't have to feel shame as you stuff your recycling bin with piles of Amazon.com cardboard and plastic, all for a dinky ornament that could have fit in a Ziploc baggie.
But, best of all -- from funky stained glass decor to "Keep Reno Neon" stickers to pole dancing classes -- Reno has some rad, local gifts. Here are a few ideas:
1. Keep it glassy
You can't make promises to someone who wants a crystal ball that foresees the future, but you could make a promise to give someone a beautiful glass ornament, or a gift card to a class where they can make their own. Reno's new Mantra Glass Studio (651 E. 4th St.) gives patrons the ability to make their own blown glass orbs, a unique piece of art that will last forever (so long as they're no butterfingers).
2. Bowl 'em over
A variety of ceramic treasures can be found at Wedge Ceramics Studio (92095 Dickerson Rd.), which sells ornaments, mugs, vases made by the collective of artists that use the studio. The studio sells bowls upon bowls during the studio's Seventh Annual Chili Cash & Carry three-day sale, which, yes, includes a hot bowl of chili with the purchase of a bowl.
3. Seeds of love
Want to give someone the gift of life for the holidays? Plants are a lovely way to decorate a hibernation space during the winter. Go to any one of the local nurseries in town, like Moana Nursery (11301 S. Virginia St.), Rail City Garden Center (1720 Brierley Way in Sparks) or Sierra Water Gardens (2135 Dickerson Rd.), to name a few.
4. Ring in the new year
You can put a ring on it; you could also put a necklace, bracelet or earrings on it. So many talented jewelers around the Great Basin, including locals such as Etsy-based Sierra Sage Designs; Honey & Goldies (1108A California Ave.); or be your own jeweler and make something using goods from the Reno Bead Shop (542 Plumas St.).
5. Cozy comfort
Knitting isn't just for grandmothers, so if you know someone in your life who is looking for a hobby while sitting in front of the fireplace when the snow comes, visit the Yarn Refuge (3368 Lakeside Ct.) and feel all the amazingly soft, fluffy yarns that they have to offer. Or maybe the gift of yarn is just what your loved one needs to be inspired to make that pair of mittens you've been wanting them to make (Hint, hint, right?).
6. Crazy for cocoa
For the cocoa-nuts in your life, you will surely satisfy them with a box of chocolates made here in Reno. Heck, get a truffle from the trifecta of local chocolatiers near downtown Reno, including Sugar Love Chocolates (50 S. Virginia St., Ste. 11 in The Basement of the Old Post Office), Dorinda's (727 Riverside Dr.) and Sierra Chocolate Co. (1290 S. Virginia St.), the last of which goes out of its way to hire employees with disabilities.
7. Home Means Nevada
For a gift shop that has a little bit of everything for everyone, you can always go to Buy Nevada First Gift Shop and Visitor Center (4001 So. Virginia St. in Reno Town Hall), a gift shop that is stocked with local items, from honey to quilts to homemade ornaments. You can always get a full Reno and Nevada wardrobe from Reno Envy (135 N. Sierra St.) too!
8. On the record
Records are bound to make any hipster in your life happy, and thankfully we still have a few places in town that sell them! Recyled Records (822 S. Virginia St. Reno) and Sundance Books and Music (121 California Ave.) both have an extensive collection of media to choose from, including vintage classics and recent releases.
9. A stain you'll want to keep
Stained glass is hard to come by anymore, but online-based Gold Fever Glass Co. in Reno will make the sun shining through your windows that much more breathtaking each morning. Since 2014, this one-woman operation has been producing dreamy transparencies to hang in your window.
10. Page turners
Some of us still love burying our noses in the musty folds of an old book, and thanks to independent bookstores such as Sundance Books and Music (121 California Ave.) and Grassroots Books and Music (660 E. Grove St.), there are still plenty to buy up. The employees at both locations are well-read, obviously, and can help you find the right read for just about anyone who still enjoys a night at home with a book in their hands.
11. Compost is cool
Do you hug tree huggers? Well, we got a gift for them! Down to Earth Composting (775-842-5018) is a bicycle-powered compost service that monthly retrieves residential compost from the Midtown, Old Southwest, Downtown and University areas. One bucket at a time, these pedalers are peddling planetary wellness. Your favorite tree hugger surely will hug you right back.
12. Art attack
There are so many ways to satisfy the local art lover in your life, whether it's a membership to the Nevada Museum of Art (160 W Liberty St.), or perhaps a painting purchased at a local gallery or coffee shop, or maybe some supplies from independent art supplier, Nevada Fine Arts (1301 S Virginia St.), where you can find just about anything for a creative comrade.
13. Tuned in
Sometimes the best gifts are experiences. Reno has a rich assortment of music organizations, and there is a number of ways to support them. For the old soul, catch a pair of tickets to the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra (Box office is located at 925 Riverside Dr., Suite 3) or for the more eclectic ears in your posse, gift them a membership to KWNK (1717 S Wells Ave.), Reno's young community-run radio station that plays every genre you can think of.
14. Punch drunk love
What better way to show how much you love your favorite boozy buddy than with an excellent bottle of locally made alcohol? Whether some cans of a Pigeon Head (840 E 5th St.) pilsner or perhaps a bottle of gin from 10 Torr Distillery and Brewery (490 Mill St.), there's plenty of local liquid to choose from.
15. Bikini babes
It may be snowing in the mountains, but who says it's too soon to plan for warmer weather. Strange Bikinis (2115 Dickerson Rd.) makes sleek bikinis that fit like a glove; in fact, they even come custom if you'd like. For hot springers and surfers alike, this Reno brand is making waves in the best of ways.
16. Dance, dance revolution
Learn to cut a rug with your loved one by taking a dance class at any one of the local dance studios in the Reno area. Try the Foxtrot or the Argentine Tango at Arthur Murray Dance Studio (2920 Mill St.), or maybe even try pole dancing at Epic Pole Fitness (210 10th St. in Sparks). Contrary to the preacher's belief in Footloose, a little dancing never hurt anyone.
17. Stick to it
If you know anyone with a boring guitar case, or someone who expresses themselves entirely from things adhered to their bumper, check out Hoff Goods, a local stickers-and-more business that is bound to make your person's day a little brighter. Often inspired by retro vibes, designer and illustrator Haleigh Hoff creates a combo of catchy catchphrases and images for her colorful stickers. Everyone should have "Lake Taco" and "Keep Reno Neon" on their bumpers, don't ya think?
For those 21 and over, consider going to any one of the handful of recreational marijuana dispensaries and gifting someone a gummy or two, or a bar of chocolate, or maybe just an old-fashioned joint. All of the products at all of the locations are grown and produced here in the Silver State.
19. Built to last
If climbing on things, building things, or just doing weird and wild things is a habit for someone in your life, a gift that will go a long way is a membership to the Generator (1240 Icehouse Ave. in Sparks), one of the maker spaces in town where you can build, or try to build, just about anything. The "Genny" offers not only space to experiment, and access to resources such as 3D printers, but also classes where you can learn a great many skills.
20. Cowboy fever
We're still at the heart of the Wild West, aren't we? So own it, and get your favorite cowboy or cowgirl some leather goods from one of the local leather goods shops in town, such as D Bar M Western Shop (1020 E. Fourth St.). If you're really head over heels, go for a pair of boots, or if you're looking for something a little more affordable -- a wallet, belt or keychain is just as thoughtful.
21. Stuffed animals?
For those who are a little morbid, stop by Natural Selection (39 St Lawrence Ave.) and get them a lucky rabbit foot or perhaps a perpetually puffed puffer fish. Sometimes the best gifts are better dead than alive.
22. Gotta keep 'em caffeinated
For the bean addict in your life, there's no better way to show you care than by giving them the makings for a swell cup of joe. Check this out: You can get even get someone a subscription to one of our local roasters, Old World Coffee Co.(104 California Ave.), which will deliver coffee to you weekly, bi-weekly or however often you want for free! (I mean, you still have to pay for the coffee, but...).
23. Global good
This shop was started by a Annika Caldwell, a former humanitarian aid worker. She used to do good by traveling the world, following war, conflict and disaster. Now she wants to do good by selling fair trade, sustainable goods (mostly Scandinavian home goods because she grew up in Finland) from her shop, Nordik Design (50 S. Virginia St. in the basement of the old Post Office). Between the jewelry, ornaments, dishes and original art, there's something for anyone who wants their home to look like a slice of Pottery Barn, but know too where the products all came from.
24. Stay informed
Ok, this is admittedly totally biased, but staying informed about your community is -- in our humble opinion -- hot, hot, hot. Renoites are lucky to have numerous resources that will help them dial in to what's going on around town, but we'd be remiss if we didn't remind you that one of those resources is the Reno Gazette Journal (955 Kuenzli St.). Since 1870, this local paper has been bringing you news of Northern Nevada, and we're proud to continue doing so. Like any business, however, we need dollars to keep going, so subscribe for your favorite news nerd. Santa's watching.