Written by Beth Exley
The season of giving, Christmas, is just around the corner. Are you in need of something different, something handmade and locally crafted? The Pennsylvania Great Outdoors region consists of five counties with tons of unique gift ideas not available at the big box stores.
For that family member or friend who has everything, what do you buy them for Christmas this year? Where can you get some fresh ideas? Something clever and original? Perhaps even something delicious? Well, hitch up that sleigh and let’s get going! Here are some gift ideas to choose from and they are all handmade or homemade locally.
Looking for something yummy? Our area has locally crafted delectable delights to choose from. Dan Smith’s Candies offers chocolates in milk and dark chocolate, sugar-free and novelty candies in Brookville, Clarion, and Ridgway. Divani Chocolatier and Barista in Foxburg offers European style handmade gourmet chocolates, espresso coffees, teas, and ice cream. King Krunch in Brookville offers gourmet popcorn in a variety of flavors, seasoned pretzels, chocolates and more. All items are made locally, and you can try a sample of a few of their tasty treats at the shop. Stello Foods in Punxsutawney has a location in Punxsutawney where they craft their own gourmet homestyle foods that are sold in an on-site store. Blackbird Distillery has a full line of wing sauces, bbq sauces, and steak sauces all made in house with their own recipes. In addition, Blackbirds has canned goods, smoked cheeses, beef and pork jerky, beef bologna and pork sausage….all homemade.
Have an artist or art lover on your list? Our region has several locations that showcase local artists and artisans like Appalachian Art Studio in Ridgway, Elk County Council on the Arts in Ridgway, Cameron County Chamber of Commerce & Artisan Center in Emporium, Elkwood Arts in Ridgway, Nuthatch Studio in Weedville, Pine Springs Pottery just south of Clarion, Donnell’s Gift Shop in Benezette, Kellygreen B&B and Art Shop in Tionesta, Red Brick Gallery in Foxburg, Lindemuth Country Store in Brookville, Grant’s Pass Antiques & Wrought Iron in Benezette, and CREATE in Brookville. Each business offers a variety for you to choose from. Many different artists and artisans are represented using a wide array of mediums.
Hand crafted furniture on someone’s list? Briar Hill Furniture in Leeper has 65 years of experience in custom-designed wood products. Another great place to look is The Open House Shop in Brookville. The Open House Shop offers handmade authentic primitive home furnishings.
Other locally made items include gloves, embroidery, and screen printing from Brookville Glove in Brookville, BWP Bats just east of Brookville that specializes in custom handmade wooden baseball bats from the finest quality local hardwood timber. Bats can be customized, and free tours are available too! Quiet Creek Herb Farm and School of Country Living, just north of Brookville, has a gift shop with soaps, salves, essential oils and herbs. Quiet Creek also has workshops to make your own wreaths, soaps, or to cultivate mushrooms. The Reiland Farm and Shoppe in Pleasantville is farm and retail shop featuring yarns, spinning fibers, baskets, woven and knitted items, along with handmade crafts and special gifts by local artisans.
For the green thumb on your list, head to C&A Trees in Clarion with its garden center, nursery, greenhouses, gift shop, and landscape services.
Looking for something in the libation’s arena? Check out our Wine, Beer, and Shine Tasting trail brochure at VisitPAGO.com/Wine-beer-shine. The brochure covers 14 wineries, 6 moonshine distilleries, and two local breweries. It can also lead you to Means Cork and Cap in Clarion to find all you need for the “do it yourselfer” on your list.
I hope this list helps you in your search for the perfect gift this Christmas. For a complete list, go to VisitPAGO.com