OK — real talk. Gift giving time is upon us. It’s probably too late to order something special from a small boutique in PA or to patronize one of the state’s creative Etsy artisans. But have no fear: There are some wonderful presents that require little more than the click of a button, and still have that local flavor.
Wine Club Membership to a Pennsylvania Winery
If anyone out there is looking for something for moi, might I suggest this one. The great thing about buying a loved one a membership to a local vintner is that it’s the gift that keeps on giving — bottles will arrive on their doorstep at regular intervals throughout the year. Most wine clubs also include free tastings at the winery and other members-only perks, so choosing one close to the giftee’s home confers extra benefits. A few of our favorite PA wineries include Vox Vineti (Lancaster County), Wayvine Winery & Vineyard (Chester County), Mazza Wines (Erie County), Galen Glen Winery (Schuylkill County), and Fero Vineyards (Union County; they offer digital gift cards).
Gift Card to an Independent Cinema
Pennsylvania’s cities and towns boast some really special independent theaters. These community gems often go beyond screening first-run movies, hosting events centered around classic films, themed evenings, film festivals, and even live music. What better way to support your local indy screen than by buying gift cards or memberships for all the cinephiles in your life. A few of our favorites include Zoetropolis (Lancaster), Midtown Cinema (Harrisburg), The Milford Theater (Pike County), the Victoria Theatre (PA Wilds), The Oaks Theater (Allegheny County), and The Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas (Bethlehem)
Local Specialties at their Doorstep
We live in a wonderland of food delivery — and that radius extends beyond just your local eateries. This is a particularly wonderful idea for a PA expat yearning for a taste of home. Via Goldbelly, you can ship them a sandwich from Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh, babka from Essen Bakery in South Philly, an Old Forge pizza kit, a taco party spread from South Philly Barbacoa, or shoofly pie from Lancaster County. Bon appetit!
Grow PHS’ Membership Ranks
Winter is the time to dream of flowers. Gift a membership to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to the green thumb in your life. Joining not only entitles them to annual Flower Show tickets, it also supports all the incredible community greening work taken on by this local institution. On this same theme, a membership to a local public garden or arboretum is another way to brighten up someone’s day.
A Map of One’s Own
Kids love maps. Get the geographically-minded youth in your life excited about their home state with their very own Pennsylvania Atlas. Make sure they have free reign to circle funny town names and to trace winding routes through the Commonwealth. If your recipient is old enough for a driver’s license and looking for some road trip inspo, this travel guide entitled Backroads & Byways of Pennsylvania is a great resource to have lying around.
Time Away with a PABBI Gift Card
The Pennsylvania Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns is a membership organization with delightful properties all over the state, from the wild mountains of Tioga County to the historic neighborhoods of Pittsburgh. They offer gift certificates that can be redeemed at any of their unique B&Bs. This is the perfect idea for someone who finds it tough to get away — what better motivation than to have it already paid for!
LEAD IMAGE: The Victoria Theatre in Blossburg