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Sports' season tickets, art, Adirondacks, fancy oils and more gift picks 

2017 Gift Guide

1

 Let's launch this week's list with a gift that's a little less traditional: the gift of an experience that can be used — and remembered — long after the holiday is over. If you've got a baseball fan in your life, you can give months of memories with season tickets to Sky Sox baseball (skysox.com). It's a pretty awesome way to make someone's holiday. You're basically gifting them with sitting on their asses, drinking beer and yelling at people without consequence all in the caress of the warm summer sunshine. Hell, that's probably a great gift for people who don't even like baseball. We're partial to the Friday Fireworks Pack ($75), which covers 10 games guaranteed to end with a fiery fanfare. Another great option is the $2 Tuesday Pack ($20), which covers Tuesday games and offers some of the best seats available for dirt cheap, plus parking, and certain beers are only $2. (Substitute option for soccer fans: season tickets to Switchbacks FC games, starting at $170, switchbacksfc.com.)

click to enlarge CASEY BRADLEY GENT
  • Casey Bradley Gent
2

 If your loved one isn't into sports and instead is an indoorsy or artsy sort, there are lots of gifts to be found at the Green Horse Gallery (729 Manitou Ave.). Kyle Crutcher's sci-fi pottery is fun and eye-catching, with bright colors and clean lines that make it look like each piece was yanked from a space-themed comic. The claybot jar ($145) is quite adorable and functional, too (you can store stuff inside). There are a few to choose from, so pick the one you think will make the coolest new robot friend for your giftee's home. If you'd like to get something a little less whimsical, but still unique, Ken and Tina Riesterer have a beautiful collection of functional pottery on display. Their sturdy, heavy mugs ($38) are painted with delicate nudes in muted colors, a dichotomy that is its own special expression.

Location Details Green Horse Gallery
729 Manitou Ave.
Manitou Springs/Ute Pass
Manitou Springs, CO
685-0636
Art Gallery
click to enlarge CASEY BRADLEY GENT
  • Casey Bradley Gent
3

 Is there a piece of furniture that more embodies the spirit of Colorado than a lounge chair made of skis with a boot binding beer holder? Probably not. You've likely passed Colorado Ski Chairs (419 Manitou Ave.) a time or two on your way into Manitou Springs and seen their vibrant chairs and benches dotting the hillside. The Colorado flag Adirondack ski chair ($395) is our favorite, but you can choose from a variety of imagery. The chairs are hand-painted by owner Adam Vernon's wife and a few other artists, so the more intricate, the higher the price. As an added bonus, your chair keeps used skis out of landfills, which means your relaxing night on the porch is good for the environment. Vernon says that pretty much any chair or bench can become a rocker for an extra $50 — we think it's worth it.

Location Details Colorado Ski Chairs
419 Manitou Ave
Manitou Springs/Ute Pass
Manitou Springs, CO
Retail Store
4

 Let's talk a little bit more about relaxation. As a rule, a gift card can be seen as a bit impersonal, but short of lugging one of SunWater Spa's mineral pools (sunwellness.net) to the front yard of your giftee, it's the only way this next idea is gonna fly. SunWater has yoga and unique classes (think self-care retreats and healing sound circles), but the best reason to visit is found in their mineral pools, where you can soak for two hours ($25) or get an all-day pass ($35). Basically, you're handing someone a ticket to tranquility. SunWater uses water pumped in from the same aquifer that powers the Seven Minute Spring in downtown Manitou Springs. Rumor has it that the water contains lithium, but we don't recommend your recipient drink the pool water unless they are super stressed out. (No, really, don't drink it.)

Location Details SunWater Spa
514 El Paso Blvd.
Manitou Springs/Ute Pass
Manitou Springs, CO
866/786-9283
Meeting Place and Salon/Spa
5

 Some people prefer a more active relationship with water. Swimming, boating, fishing. You get the idea. If you're looking for the perfect gift for your favorite fisherman, Angler's Covey (295 S. 21st St.) has more than enough options to help you out. We were big fans of their fly fishing starter kit ($69.99), since you'd also be giving the gift of a new hobby. Customer service rep Steve Armijo works the counter in the fly fishing department and cautions that folks who fish can be rather discerning about their tools. His go-to gift recommendation is Angler's guided fly fishing trip for two ($395), which includes six hours of time on the water, lunch and help from an experienced guide (equipment, too, if needed).

Location Details Angler's Covey Fly Shop
295 S. 21st St.
West side
Colorado Springs, CO
471-2984
Retail Store
click to enlarge CASEY BRADLEY GENT
  • Casey Bradley Gent
6

 Like fishermen, chefs are also a bit particular about what they use in their craft. We suggest you skip agonizing about knives or ramekins in favor of giving quality ingredients. The Olive Tap (906 Manitou Ave.) offers a solid selection of flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars, plus a literal wall of spices. It's a self-pour kind of deal, allowing you to sample a variety of flavors before you buy. We suggest the roasted garlic olive oil in the 375ml bottle ($17.95). It works triple-time as a pre-meal dip for crusty bread, a drizzle for salads and a flavorful oil in which to sauté chicken or fish.

Location Details The Olive Tap
906 Manitou Ave., #103
Manitou Springs/Ute Pass
Manitou Springs, CO
358-9329
Retail Store
click to enlarge CASEY BRADLEY GENT
  • Casey Bradley Gent
7

 A good meal calls for a good beer, and last week's gift guide featured a do-it-yourself brew kit. But for those who just want to support our local breweries, fine options abound. We all know at least one beer aficionado who sports a discerning palate and an obsession with all things hops and suds. You may not understand them, but you probably still like hanging with them even as they dissect the IBUs and flavor profile of a pint you ordered solely for its funny name. Give that person exclusive access to members-only flavors with a three-month membership at Local Relic ($135, localrelic.com). The brewery's program is akin to a beer-of-the month club, featuring four 500ml bottles every month that are not available to the public. Head brewer Grant Goodwiler is known for his eclectic profiles (cranberry orange saison and a rich braggot are current standouts on tap in their tasting room), so your recipient will get some unique beers for sure. That means they not only get to drink cool new suds, they get to feel extra superior while they do it.

Location Details Local Relic at The Carter Payne
320 S. Weber St.
Downtown
Colorado Springs, Colorado
270-0077
Breweries/Wineries/Distilleries
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  • Casey Bradley Gent
8

 When it's time to clean off your pearly whites — you only get one permanent set, so it's important to keep them clean and reasonably functional — Frau Fowler Tooth Powder in Super Minty ($6-$8) can go a long way toward preventing tooth decay, and it makes a neat stocking stuffer, particularly for those with a focus on using natural products. It's made in Woodland Park, which adds a level of coolness that's completely unrelated to its minty flavor. A little really does go a long way with this powder, and it's ideal for travelers preferring carry-on bags. You can find it at a few places in Colorado Springs, including Mountain Mama's and Natural Grocers' locations.

Location Details Mountain Mama Natural Foods
1625 W. Uintah St., Suite A
West side
Colorado Springs, CO
633-4139
Retail Store

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