The MODE Holiday Gift Guide has become an annual tradition, and this month Buy Local highlights some of our favorite sources for presents unique to the Harrisburg area. By following our suggestions this year, you can surprise your kids with toys from one of the country’s most renowned toy stores, give your significant other a unique piece of art or jewelry from a Central PA artist, remind faraway relatives of home with a Made in PA gift basket, support independent music stores by giving exclusive albums from Record Store Day 2012, or provide your loved ones with one-of-a-kind experiences like glassblowing lessons, independent film screenings, helicopter rides or holiday concerts. Give incredible gifts while you give back to your community by Buying Local this holiday season.
Through the Fire Studios Inc.
452 Locust Street, Columbia • 717-575-6099
Through the Fire Studios in Columbia’s SUSQ Center for the Creative Arts is a workspace and classroom for glass artists. Benjamin Ahlgrim and Jeremy Friedly opened the studio after studying together in HACC’s glassblowing program and interning with Lancaster based artist Ryan Blythe. Through the Fire Studios is an environment where glass artists can work comfortably and interact with the public. In addition to selling the glassworks made in the studios, a large part of Through the Fire’s business comes from interactive glass blowing experiences available to the general public.
Through the Fire offers a variety of glass artwork perfect for the holidays, including custom ornaments, picture frames, vases and decorative pieces. Adventurous MODE readers should also consider giving passes to the Hot Glass Experience, where visitors can feel the allure of shaping molten glass. Students will be familiarized with the art of glassblowing and all of the necessary tools and equipment Through the Fire Studios uses. Then the resident glassblowers will demonstrate some traditional techniques, and students can work alongside a trained glass blower to create your own piece of art glass! The 90-minute class is $80, and makes a truly unique gift. Through the Fire also offers 4-week courses in advanced techniques, including slumping and casting.
223 N. Water St., Lancaster • 717-299-9684
Lancaster’s Chameleon Club has been a premier destination for live original music since 1985. Located between major tour stops like DC, Philadelphia and New York, the Chameleon Club attracts a large number of national touring artists as well as local DJs and musicians. The Club hosts over 200 shows a year, and has been nationally recognized as one of the greatest places to see live music in the country.
While tickets to any of the Chameleon Club’s shows would make for a great gift, the Chameleon Club and CI Records will be holding their 18th Annual Christmas Shows on Friday, December 7th and Thursday, December 27th, with ticket packages specifically designed for the holidays. Gift packages are available for both shows, ranging from $20 to $60. Each package includes a combination of gift wrapped copies of the performers’ albums, limited run commemorative posters and tickets to the shows. Full information for the Christmas bundles is available at CIRecords.com.
Lancaster Central Market
23 N Market St., Lancaster • 717-735-6890
The country’s oldest continuously operating farmers’ market, Lancaster Central Market has dozens of vendors offering unique local specialties. The Central Market is home to a number of craft and gift shops, including Pineapple House Creations, which sells country décor items and hand-poured candles, and Forever Friends at CM, a unique gift store offering Art and Glassworks’s popular stained glass windows and Friendship Ball ornaments.
For the food lover in your life, Lancaster Central Market has a variety of specialty food vendors including Delgiorno’s Italian Specialties, The Herb Shop, Yasou! Greek Pastries and Amish Family Recipes. There are even options for your pets at the Lancaster Pet Bakery, such as gourmet dog treats and “super-strong organic catnip”. The Lancaster Central Market is open on Tuesday and Friday from 6 AM – 4 PM, and on Saturday’s from 6 AM – 2PM.
Concourse B & C, Harrisburg International Airport, Middletown • 717-948-5999
If you find yourself flying out of HIA for the holidays, be sure to stop by Perfectly Pennsylvania and bring your loved ones a gift that was “Made in PA”. Perfectly Pennsylvania exclusively carries products designed, manufactured or represented by PA companies. Perfectly Pennsylvania stocks hundreds of gifts including snacks, toys, Amish quilts, apparel and accessories that celebrate the Keystone State.
In addition to their individual items, Perfectly Pennsylvania offers a number of themed gift baskets that highlight unique aspects of the state. The Best of Pennsylvania Fun Basket features toys that you may not have known were created in PA, including the Slinky, Silly Putty, Boyd’s Bears and Crayola products, while their Snack Attack Baskets includes local favorites like Middleswarth potato chips and Herlocher’s Penn State dipping mustard. Perfectly Pennsylvania’s gifts are ideal for friends and relatives who’ve moved from the state and want a reminder of home. Outside of their retail location in the airport, Perfectly Pennsylvania also sells their products through their online store.
Down A Country Road
295 E Main St., Hummelstown • 717-566-8026
Down A Country Road in Hummelstown is a relaxed, country-style gift and décor store split into 11 distinctly themed rooms. The two-story, 1940s brick house includes the Garden Room, the Patriotic Room, a Country Kitchen and the Blue Room. Especially notable are Down A Country Road’s Christmas and Autumn rooms, which are each open year-round and are full of hundreds of gift and decoration options. The Christmas room includes ornaments, stockings, lights, garland and dozens of Santa and Snowman statues.
Down A Country Road’s inventory is constantly changing, making each visit a unique experience. If you find yourself stumped on what to get someone this holiday season, be sure to check out the Down A Country Road Facebook page, where they post giftgiving advice daily. Down A Country Road is open M-F from 10 AM through 5 PM, Saturdays from 10 AM – 4 PM and Sundays from 1 PM – 4 PM.
Toys on the Square
22 E Main St., Hummelstown • 717-566-6301
Toys on the Square is a family-owned and operated specialty toy store in Hummelstown renowned for their hand-selected inventory of unique toys from around the world. “We specifically look for toys that inspire a creative imagination and an active mind and body,” explained Toys on the Square VP Barb Stine. “Our shelves are loaded with an endless variety of unique and fine quality toys, ranging from infant to toddler to teens, and adults.” Toys on the Square is also home to the Paint-Your-Own Pottery studio, where visitors can paint a wide variety of pottery which is then kiln-fired and available for delivery. The studio is available for walk-ins or painting parties of any type.
Throughout the month of November, Toys on the Square will be celebrating their 25th anniversary with events including a Playmobil Play Day on Nov. 10, and a visit by the Hershey Kissmobile Cruiser on Nov. 23. Additionally, Toys on the Square will make a $2 donation to the Children’s Miracle Network for every piece of Paint-Your-Own Pottery made during November. For more information about the anniversary events, visit their Facebook page at Facebook.com/ToysOnTheSquare.
2202 A Gettysburg Rd., Camp Hill • 717-737-7223
Founded in 1993 by Stuart and David Kranzel, Kranzel’s Hobbies is “Your One Stop Hobby Shop”, specializing in radio controlled vehicles, as well as models, rockets, slot cars and general supplies. They carry the top brands in RC cars, trucks, helicopters and planes, including Traxxas, Terminator, Losi, HPI and Dynamite. Beyond their in-store stock, many kits are available to be shipped to Kranzel’s Hobbies within one business day, or can be shipped directly to your home within 3.
Since so many of the products sold at Kranzel’s are meant for racing or flying, it’s important to know how to repair, maintain and upgrade your RC vehicles. Kranzel’s features a full-service hobby repair shop that can service any product they carry, and even offers custom car building. Kranzel’s is open seven days a week, and also offers online sales through their website.
12 North St., Millersburg • 717-307-5383
With Our Own Two Hands, or Wooth, in Millersburg is one of the area’s most interesting jewelers. For over 10 years, Wooth’s Tiffany Miller has created handcrafted custom jewelry & gifts of art. Wooth’s jewelry is handcrafted from only high quality silver, gold and gemstones. Each piece is carefully made and may have variations in color and texture. Any variations are intentional, making each piece unique.
Customers are able to shop through Wooth’s website or contact Miller to place custom orders. The Millersburg location also carries pottery, hats, scarves, clothing and accessories. Visitors are invited to shop from the in-store selection or create their own customized pieces.
Village Artisans Gallery
321 Walnut St., Boiling Springs • 717-256-3256
Housed in a renovated 1875 brick church located in picturesque Boiling Springs, the Village Artisans Gallery has been nationally recognized as a treasury of American craftsmanship and artistry. “The Village Artisans Gallery is the perfect place to find unique handcrafted gifts and decorative items made by American craftsmen and artists,” explained proprietor PJ Heyman. Over 200 artists’ work is featured, including blown, fused and stained glass, Christmas ornaments, Judaica, wrought iron, pottery, hand-woven and hand marbled apparel and accessories, jewelry and jewelry boxes, metal sculpture, mosaics, turned wood bowls, Shaker style boxes and trays, leather and fabric purses, colorful mismatched socks, folk art carvings, needle felted sculptures, collages, children’s book illustrations, watercolors, pastels, oil and acrylic paintings and much more.
On December 2, the Village Artisans Gallery will host their Holiday Open House, featuring artist Diane Troutman demonstrating her skill in sculpting handcrafted Santas, and at dusk Boiling Springs will light the Christmas tree floating on Children’s Lake and the luminaries around the lake. Santa will arrive in a rowboat and welcome children in the gazebo on the east side of the lake. The Village Artisans Gallery is open from Wednesday through Saturday from 10 AM – 6 PM, and on Sundays from 12 PM – 5 PM.
Oxford Hall Celtic Shop
233 Bridge Street, New Cumberland • 717-774-8789
Located in a restored Civil War Era building in New Cumberland, Oxhford Hall showcases imported Celtic gifts, jewelry, apparel and food. Their imports include sweaters, tartans, kilts, tams, fine apparel and a large selection of religious items including rosaries, medals, crosses and missals. Oxford Hall is also home to the area’s largest selection of Celtic jewelry including beautiful wedding and engagement rings from Ireland and the UK’s top artisan jewelers. Oxford Hall’s Tea Shop, located in the rear of the store, is a great destination in its own right. Stop in for a pot of one of their 70 different tea varieties, authentic scones, sandwiches, pasties or a light lunch. Oxford Hall proudly uses organic, free-range products and many of their ingredients are sourced from local farms.
On Saturday, November 10, Oxford Hall will hold their New Cumberland Holiday Open House, featuring a weaving demonstration, photos with Santa, free wagon rides, a holiday coloring contest and a live baby sheep. For more information, follow the Oxford Hall Celtic Shop on Facebook.
The Country Apple House Gift Shop
2142 N. Union St., Middletown • 717-566-1072
The Country Apple Gift Shop in Middletown is “a delight store in a rural setting offering country décor ‘from rustic to refined’, beautiful women’s accessories and a wonderful selection of tasteful gifts for you and yours,” explained owner Marjie Hartz. Suggested gifts include Kameleon Jewelry, Yankee Candles, BellaRyan Jewelry and products from Crabtree &E velyn.
The Country Apple House Gift Shop has recently for restocked for the holiday season and will be holding Holiday Open Houses and other holiday shopping events throughout November and December. For more information on the Country Apple House’s special events visit their website for Facebook page.
Gallery on the Square
226 Union St., Millersburg • 717-692-4914
Millersburg’s Gallery on the Square is home to both a gallery and classroom, highlighting the work of regional artists and craftspeople. Operated by the Millersburg Area Art Association, Inc., the gallery features original work by artists from Dauphin, Northumberland and Schuylkill Counties. The Gallery also features limited edition prints of local points of interest and wildlife, as well as hand-crafted greeting cards and other unique gifts.
On Friday, November 23 at 5:30 PM, Gallery on the Square will hold their Holiday Open House to launch their Annual Holiday Show. The open house will include cider, cookies and a tree lighting ceremony, and the exhibition offers an opportunity to support local artists and craftspeople while looking for holiday gifts that are truly special. Featured items include unique, locally made gifts, jewelry, primitive dolls, small framed paintings, quilted items, one-of-a-kind stone items, slate paintings and more. The gallery is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 2 – 5 PM, and on Saturdays from 11 AM – 2 PM.
Air One Helicopter Tours
Capital City Airport, New Cumberland • 717-554-3014
If you have a thrillseeker or photographer in your life, consider giving them a gift certificate for a ride with Air One Helicopter Tours. “There is nothing quite like seeing the Harrisburg Area and Susquehanna Valley from the air,” explained owner and pilot Daniel Schiavoni, “and flying in a state-of-the-art R44 helicopter is a great way to get aerial photographs of your home, business or just see the fall foliage.”
Air One Helicopter Rides seat up to 3 passengers per tour, and range from 20 minutes to an hour. All seats are window seats and the open cabin design allows for unobstructed viewing. The R44 helicopter is ideally suited to providing a comfortable, safe and scenic air tour of the midstate, and two-way intercoms permit spontaneous conversation with Schiavoni as he guides you over the midstate.
Top Secret Gourmets
Central PA’s Top Secret Gourmets is a spice and seasoning company that uses only the finest ingredients, like pure ground habanero, real espresso and authentic hickory and mesquite smoke. Their spice rubs have made is a 42-time international award winner including the Golden Chile from Chile Pepper Magazine. Popular rubs include X-Hot Cajun Gator Bite, Jamaican Habanero & Lime, Pulled Porky Carolina Q and Wild Wild Southwest Mesquite & Coffee.
Top Secret Gourmet spices are extremely versatile; able to be used as marinades, crusts or just as an added kick. They make perfect gifts for chefs, grillers and lovers of spicy food. Currently Top Secret Gourmets sells primarily through festivals and trade shows, but you can order a batch for yourself by contacting them through their website.
Black Dragon Kenpo Karate
Jump Street Arts, 100 N. Cameron St., Harrisburg • 717.314.7549
Black Dragon Kenpo Karate is an American martial arts system with studios in both Harrisburg and Lancaster. Classes are taught by Eric Sollenberger, a Kenpo Black Belt and United States Marine Corps Veteran. “American Kenpo was made for use on the street. We use real-world situations to prepare you in case you ever have to use what is learned,” explained Sollenberger. “American Kenpo is not pretty, flashy or impractical. It is designed to get you out of trouble and back home safely.”
Black Dragon Kenpo classes can be a great gift for anyone looking to get in shape while learning self-defense skills. “If you’re looking to get fit, we have you covered,” said Sollenberger. “You can expect to be challenged, but you will be in better shape and leave feeling stronger and more confident after each and every class.” Because Kenpo relies on speed and targeting, classes can be beneficial to students of all ages, body types and experience levels. In honor of Veterans’ Day, Black Dragon will be offering new students at the Harrisburg location a 33% discount throughout November. For more information, visit Black Dragon Kenpo’s website or Facebook page.
250 Reily St., Harrisburg • 717-909-6566
Since 2001, the Midtown Cinema has brough many of the best independent and arthouse films to the city of Harrisburg. Earlier this year, the film industry’s transition from 35mm to digital projection threatened to put the theater out of business. In response, the Midtown Cinema held their Summer of 10,000 Tickets promotion, which raised enough funds to acquire the new projectors and keep the doors open. The Midtown Cinema offers gift certificates in any denomination, making for perfect office gifts or stocking stuffers for the movie buffs in your life.
153 N. Front St., Steelton • 717-939-7463
Elevated Shoetique in Steelton is “Where Fly Girls Get Fly Shoes”. The newly-opened Steelton boutique features everything from everyday shoes to nightclub stilettos, and from ankle boots to over-the-knee boots. If you’re looking for a gift for the fashion-forward girl in your life, “Shop Elevated” at Elevated Shoetique, and be sure to follow them on Twitter @ElevatedShoes to be the first to find out about the latest styles and specials.