Still need a gift? Check out these 50+ Vermont gifts that are available today along with Vermont Mom’s Shop Local Favorites 2020 Gift Guide. We could all use a little cheer, right? How about we spread some around too!
Our state may be little, but it is brimming with artisans, bakers, brewers, designers, and local finds galore. I’ve had a bit of time on my hands, and during that time I have fallen back in love with all the goodies that can be found in the nooks and crannies of Vermont. Vermont gifts are truly the best! I have put together a snapshot by category of businesses that never disappoint. Plus – our one-stop shopping list… the Vermont Mom Shop Local Favorites of 2020!
No gift feels better to give than our specially selected Vermont gifts!
Vermont has so many wonderful locally-made gift options. While Vermonters themselves appreciate homegrown gifts, I find that people in other parts of the country get very excited about Vermont gifts too. So shop, like, share, support, and give from any of Vermont’s plethora of gift options.
Nothing beats the winter chill like a cozy flannel shirt or a pair of flannel pajamas! My favorite place to shop for all things flannel is the Vermont Flannel Company. Besides the usual flannel products, the Vermont Flannel Company offers wonderfully warm blankets and dog coats. They also offer a range of smaller accessories that make great stocking stuffers, such as lanyards.
Let’s keep those toes cozy with the tried and true Vermont made socks that are better than all the rest. Darn Tough Vermont makes socks that feature colorful designs and always-warm wool. The best part is that they are guaranteed for life. Darn Tough socks hold up really well, but if for some reason they develop a hole, Darn Tough will replace them! I also like that the socks come in different sizes. As a woman with large feet, these are some of the only socks that actually fit me correctly. And you know everyone could use a pair of warm socks!
Stylish and classic, in that only from Vermont kinda way, these Freya Hudson Bay pom-pom hats never go out of style and will bring a smile to anyone who receives them. Love that these hats can be purchased at Common Deer in Burlington – call ahead for private shopping.
Ask any local how they keep their hands warm and they will most likely ask, “Why? What am I doing outside?” to answer. Well, we have found the gloves for all things outdoors – Vermont Glove Chopper’s Mitt will keep those digits warm for a lifetime. Fair warning: the secret is out about these gloves. We suggest a gift card for now.
A new fabulous way to stay warm and look cool – The Skida Bandita! Okay, folks, this is a game-changer, it’s cozy, a fresh look, on-trend (code word “mask”), and has an easy velcro closure. Soft on the inside and sleet stopping on the outside and at $28 this is a gift for everyone. (Hint, hint – it would make a great teacher appreciation gift!)
Vermont is known for its maple syrup. The easiest way to give the gift of maple is to support your local sugar maker and purchase syrup directly. If you’re looking for something fancier, check out Runamok Maple. They offer a variety of specialty syrups, such as coffee or cocoa bean infused maple syrup. However, I am most excited about sparkle syrup! Want to know how to make your waffles sparkle? Check out Runamok!
If you’re thinking of Vermont gifts that don’t just whisper Vermont but rather scream it, here are some no-fail maple goodies:
- Vermont Maple Brittle Yep. You heard that right. Yum!
- Maple Salt Water Taffy is a stocking stuffer favorite. We love Palmer Lane Maple and all of their tasty maple treats.
- Pure Maple Cream from Brookfield Maple Products. If you have not had pancakes with maple cream you simply have not lived.
- Butternut Farm in Morrisville is a Vermont treasure. From maple popcorn to cookies and maple horseradish mustard to the tried and true maple lollipop. You simply cannot go wrong. Their Marven’s Country Store in Morrisville is without a doubt worth the trip!
There are also plenty of options for maple gift packs that include a variety of products. Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks offers a nice selection of gift packs that include maple items such as bacon, popcorn, and cotton candy in addition to maple syrup. If you enjoy baking, grab a gallon and whip up a batch of maple treats to share with your friends and family this holiday season!
Vermont has an abundance of high-quality breweries cider mills and distilleries.
If you are driving to visit friends or family for the holidays, beer is an easy Vermont gift to bring along. In this age of social distancing, it’s also fun to leave a gift of assorted Vermont libations on someone’s porch. Make your own sampler pack that you can customize to each person’s tastes.
For those shopping for friends that are all about big flavors check-out Whistle Pig’s 15 Year Straight Rye & Queen City Brewery’s Gregarious Scotch Ale. The 15 Year Whiskey is aged in Vermont oak barrels and has a full flavor like no other. Another Vermont Mom Shop Local Favorite, Gregarious Scotch Ale, is fabulous whether you’re chopping wood, apres ski, or sitting in an ice fishing hut! This beer is sure to warm you up!
Looking to make the cocktail lover happy this holiday – look no further! Stonecutter Spirits Single Barrel Gin makes a most delicious Double R Diner. Add to the basket Mad River’s Mad Apple Brandy and Silo’s ready to drink Blue B Trap and you may just be invited inside – mask on of course!
Maybe it’s a hard cider fan you are shopping for? Vermont has loads of ways to make this gift special. If we’re making a custom 6-pack start with the Mac & Maple from Champlain Orchards. Just a bit sweet and classic. I can’t get around adding two from Woodchuck Cider. The Amber is always a crowd pleaser and their Pearsecco is a staple in my fridge! My fourth pick would have to be Stowe Cider’s Strawberry Fields. This one is seasonal and may be hard to find (substitute Tips Up if it cannot be found) but I just could not resist adding it to the list. The fifth cider to make the pack is Shacksbury’s Rose – this is fantastic for a hot summer day or cozy Sunday afternoon, yum! To finish this custom 6 pack is Citizen Cider’s Northern Spy cider. Love the description online, “Proud, a little stubborn and full of character,” not unlike myself!
Want to make this 6 pack extra special? I suggest adding New Duds pinecone pint glasses. The shape is a modern take on the likeness of a beer can. These glasses are one of our Vermont Mom favorites and are just plain cool.
HOT TIP: 12 days of Cider from Eden specialty ciders could be a wonderful gift to celebrate the last 12 days of 2020!
When it comes to Vermont gifts for children, toys rule! One gift that will be cherished for years to come is a bear from Vermont Teddy Bear. These bears are adorable and are made to endure endless cuddles. Also, as I learned for myself, Vermont Teddy Bear will fix any bears that experience accidents. My daughter was horrified when her bear’s leg fell off, but it was easily fixed and returned to her as good as new. Vermont Teddy Bear also makes adorable bear outfits to add some flair!
Another great option is Vermont-made wooden toys, such as those from Maple Landmark. They create classic toys such as wooden blocks and name trains that will encourage hours of imaginative play. Also check out the marble mills, puzzles, and vehicles. Bonus: Maple Landmark also makes home decor items for the adults in your life to appreciate.
But if you’re like the rest of us and really need that shop in-person experience here are some of Vermont Mom’s go-to shops for unique toy finds:
- Turner Toys. If you haven’t been head straight to Essex Lang Farms and they will find what you didn’t know you were looking for!
- Stocking stuffers and more – the store you had no idea had such an incredible selection of toys on the third floor- Home Port on Church St.
- The store that has it all – toys, books, games clothes, and stocking stuffers. Be sure to make time for Jaime Two Coats, you’ll be there awhile.
- Hogback Mountain Country Store. Amazing puzzle selection and so much more!
- If you’re looking for a particularly hard to shop for child then head straight to The Stowe Mercantile. This place has it all – you’re welcome!
Books are fantastic gifts. For extra credit, pick out books written by Vermont authors.
Support your local independent bookstore when shopping for these books. Most of them offer a section of Vermont authors for your perusal. Try a mix of well-known authors such as Chris Bohjalian with authors you haven’t read before. May I suggest former Vermont Mom contributing writer, Ally Berthiaume’s Dear Universe I get it Now: Letters on the Art and Journey of Being Brave and Being Me.
Or support one of these Vermont treasures:
- Pheonix Books in Essex Junction, Burington, and Rutland. They have an eye for everything you need to read and always wonderful staff that is truly happy to help!
- Want to feel as if you just spent the afternoon at a cozy Vermont B&B? Then check out The Flying Pig Book Store in Shelburne, VT. Good for a nice chat and visit too.
- Manchester gem, Northshire Bookstore. This place smells like books in the most delicious way. And it may just turn you into a literary bug.
- Bartleby’s Books in Wilmington. Checks all the boxes: hyper-local feel, cozy, been around long enough to have credibility – and woman-owned to boot!
HOT TIP: There is simply too much to list – please check out this wonderful Vermont independent bookstore resource for a store near you.
Who doesn’t like getting chocolate as a gift? You rarely buy it for yourself and there is something special about receiving a gift that is just for you – NO SHARING! There are loads of local chocolate makers and confectioners in the state of Vermont. One Vermont Mom Shop Local Favorite is Snowflake Chocolate’s sea salt caramels. Buy two boxes, one as a gift, and hide the other for yourself. My kids always request Christmas candy from Snowflake Chocolate. Every single year. Handmade candy canes, and peppermint bark. Another reason to love the holiday season.
Looking for small-batch cardamom chocolate bars? Carmel, peanut butter cups? Dark chocolate buttercrunch? So glad you asked: Laughing Moon Chocolates in Stowe has that and so much more. Handmade confections to please every person on your list.
Where is the best hot chocolate mix ever made? Right here in Burlington. Lake Champlain chocolates hot cocoa is the only hot cocoa in my pantry. Nothing better. Add a bit of Silo Irish Cream… if you so choose.
If your gift recipient doesn’t have a sweet tooth then let there be cheese! Have you heard, Vermont is becoming a mecca for small artisan cheese as well as large cheese brands that have stood the test of time. There are so many local options! A great Vermont gift that won’t break the bank is Cabot cheese. They are especially known for their cheddar varieties.
The definition of artisan cheese is Vermont Sheperd, Invierno. This sheep’s milk cheese is aged in caves and has layers of complexity that can only come from this particular farm. Make someone smile with a whole wheel wrapped only in wax paper. They’ll need to open it right away!
No Vermont cheese list would be complete without Jasper Hill Farm’s Bayly Hazen Blue. Award-winning. Never fails to make the gift recipient want to dig right in. This is the Belgian chocolate of the cheese world.
We’re lucky to live in a state that has such a wide array of cheese styles and flavors but there are just too many to individually list. From perfect goat cheese from Sage Farm Goat Dairy in Stowe to the oh so decadent Blythedale Farm Camembert Vermont in Cornith to the Vermont vernacular Maple Fromoge from Halifax’s Spoonwood Cabin – there is no wrong path to take. If you’re still looking for a gift for the cheese lover who has had it all, check out the Vermont Cheese Council’s site. You’re sure to find a cheese cave, closet, or crevasse that they have not found yet.
HOT TIP: Add the Packout Travel Board from JK Adams to your cheese basket gift. Another 2020 Favorites, this is everything Vermont. Locally made, useful in the backyard or on a hike, and just plain cool. Yep, I may have purchased two.
If you have ever been to a farmer’s market in Vermont you know what a bounty of handmade one-of-a-kind Vermont gifts can be found all around this brave little state. Quite literally too many to list. So, I have one of my favorites from the top craft fair categories.
Pottery – There is something special about Laura Zindel’s handmade ceramics. She makes spiders beautiful, ants artful and I cannot get enough of her farmyard collection.
Photography – Sarah Kozak has an eye that is all Vermont. Her photos capture moments we can all relate to while framing each image in a way that is beautifully unique.
Art – Misoo’s series The Giant Asian Girl is imagery that you cannot walk away from. Beautiful, soulful, and one of a kind. The little girl playing the ukulele is my favorite.
Glass – I could easily mention Simon Pearce and be done. Of course, the handblown artful glass selection is beautiful and a gift that will wow! I am currently lusting after their evergreen tree series. However, I must also mention Little River HotGlass Studio. I have been purchasing glass ornaments for my tree for years and the ones from them are just an extra bit special.
Metal & Wood – Something oh so Vermont are the metal sculptures by Christian Schnoeig. Check out the Magneto Mackerel! You’d be hard-pressed to call yourself a true Vermonter without a Vermont-made wooden spoon, bowl, or cutting board in your home. Thing is, they never get old. Some women collect shoes, I collect wooden utensils! My new fav – the coffee spoons from Vermont Spoon in Richmond.
HOT TIP: Need it before 12/25? Head to Blockhouse Studio for Vermont Spoons and more wonderful local artisans.
How are baked goods not something everyone gives and gets over the holidays? What friend, family member, or co-worker would not love to open their door to find a thoughtful FRESH basket of Vermont-made bread and pastries? Here’s just a few by city and specialty:
- Essex Junction: West Meadow Gluten Free Farm Bakery. This bakery makes you forget about the missing gluten. Their 3-Cheese loaf is my go-to but if you’re shopping for someone who is gluten-free – they have it all. You can special order gluten-free cakes too!
- Burlington: Can’t get out of this town without a cup a joe and something sweet! My go-to is Great Harvest. The selection is enormous, specialty orders welcome, and may I suggest their Eggnog Teabread – available through next week. Gotta give TOMGIRL on Pine street a shout out as well. The Apple Carmel Cake is an impressive gift and their enormous selection of jarred goodies would finish off any VT bakery basket.
- Middlebury: I have a guilty pleasure, well a few, but one can be found at Otter Creek Bakery & Deli. The maple cream cheese danish makes me smile.
- Bennington: Cider donuts. Ubiquitous in Vermont. I must say that the mini-sugared cider donuts at Apple Barn and Country Store made by Johhny and Jane Appleseed Country Bakery. These bites of Vermont are a perfect gift to give locally or by mail. I have to give their special order holiday pies a shout too!
- Rutland: Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake. There I said it. Call The Pies the Limit Bakery to pre-order!
- Ludlow: Want to surprise someone with a birthday cake fit for Julia Child? Yep, Sweet Surrenderer Bakery made Julia Child’s 85th birthday cake. Make their holiday gift one they can look forward to, their very own gourmet birthday cake! The gift that keeps on giving!
- Stowe: Stowe Bee Bakery is the perfect stop before heading to the slopes! Grab a latte and a chocolate sea salt almond cookie for the chairlift later. Be sure to be a “single” you’re not gonna want to share.
- Norwich: No list of Vermont bakeries would be complete with mentioning every baker’s mecca: King Arthur Bakery and flagship store in Norwich, VT. King Arthur also finds itself on our Shop Local Favorites 2020 with the perfect 2020 gift for any baker, a Bake hat, and sourdough starter. The grounds, store, bakery, and deli are all as beautiful as you can imagine. Enjoy a perfect croissant while watching the master bakers make the magic happen. Leave time – there is a lot to see and enjoy!
HOT TIP: If you’re making the trip to King Arthur bakery, make a day out of it and visit the Montshire Museum of Science. In the summer my kids log roll down the hills at King Arthur and end the day playing in the outdoor streams and splash zones at Montshire. Not a bad day.
Just a thought; you may have someone on your gift list that would fit into a sparkly, necklace or handle the weight of a new pair of Vermont-made earrings? These extra-special Vermont gifts are ready to buy and ship the same day in most places.
Our Shop Local Favorite 2020 necklace by Gosia Meyer has either Camels Hump or MT Mansfield bars to choose from. The necklace is a classic and a great way to send a special someone a piece of Vermont. It also makes a perfect mother-daughter gift!
Give the gift of being one of a kind. The Sterling Silver Wood Grain Earring. If Vermont had a fingerprint, these earrings would be it. I have been known to visit my dream ring occasionally, the Beryl and 14K Gold Feather Ring. My precious.
A forever bracelet is a gift that will be loved for years to come. The Vermont Bracelet by Kim Hand is made of sterling silver and has a no break clap that makes it beautiful and durable, just like Vermont.
Need to shop for a special someone with a bit more to choose from? Head straight to Perrywinkle’s in Burlington. The staff is always wonderfully helpful without the air of “Are you buying or looking?” I cannot say enough about how fun my visits have been there. Again, available to buy, wrap and give – same day! Who doesn’t love that!
Let’s be clear; we have all been stuck in one or many ways this year. Perhaps it’s time to get a little something for yourself? Or may I suggest sharing this list with a certain someone who may wrap a gift that won’t surprise, but will put you over the moon?
ONE – TWO – THREE = FOR ME!
One – Want to know a secret? I know who makes the perfect bag. Yep, one of our Shop Local Favorites of 2020 is Ma & Pembum’s Go-To bag, handmade right in Hinesburg, VT. The charming shop that not only sells her bags and accessories has a lovely comfy sofa for you to hang out on! As if the bag wasn’t good enough, Pheobe Mott, Ma’s founder, gives 50% of all sales to organizations that work to end human trafficking. This Vermont mom is truly putting her money where her mouth is. But let’s get back to that couch…
Two – I have spent a bit of time in the kitchen these days. You too? There are few ways to feel pretty in the kitchen. And if I can’t be pretty in the kitchen, I’ll settle for put together. A gift to myself this year and another Shop Local Favorite is the Pinafore Apron from Red House. I don’t know if it will make my bread taste better or the dishes not suck as much – I’ll let you know.
Three – 2021 will quickly be upon us. Can we all shout hallelujah to all the powers that be for that? I have found a small way of taking care of myself and in preparation for a new year, I’m getting extra for my friends. Our final Shop Local Favorites of 2020; Glow Serum from Lillian Sophia. In this little bottle, I have anti-aging, moisturizing, healing properties, and glow powers. Want some today? Head to the source, la bella derma spa in Winooski. I suggest staying for awhile.