We all know shopping local makes everything better – our shopkeepers, our community, our gift-giving experience, our ozone – so make it a priority once again this year. I can always find great gifts at Studio 205, Pure, Canoe, Mixed Media and La Bichette, to name only a few. Delight in their glorious window displays and pop in to check someone off your list.
Tis the season for markets: holiday, craft, artisan, super…every type is in full swing this time of year. They are a great way to get in the festive mood, see what’s new in macramé, and score some delicious baked goods. Some favourites: Handmade Hamilton, Craftadian, and whichever offers Belgium cookies and wool dog sweaters.
You know the one – the one you’ve been meaning to try all year. This glorious city has so many new places all the time, but we are still small enough to actually get a table. This is the sweet spot, people. For me, the places I haven’t made it to yet include Cima on Locke, Mesa and Redchurch Café & Gallery. I’m on it!
Hosting a home dinner party is the best excuse to try new recipes, use matching dishes and revel in not having to go out in the cold at the end. Something new to try this month is the new cookbook by the Other Bird (home of Rapscallion, the Mule etc.) called Debauch. It looks beautiful and if we know anything about TOB, the food will be incredibly scrumptious.
I can’t get enough of our local libraries, but in December, their event calendar is uniquely spectacular. Beyond stocking up on books to get you through those ‘freebie’ days before New Year’s Eve, consider participating in their Ugly Sweater DIY, while the afternoon away with a free HPO Brass Quintet performance, or spend a night out with the Skydiggers. No late fees incurred.
You’ve all seen them – those flyers on café corkboards advertising something new and interesting that you may have passed by. Maybe this is the time to get out of your comfort zone, meet new people and experience something different in Hamilton. Aerial yoga could be your new favourite thing!
To combine your two loves of spelling and dining, look no further than a culinary tour based on alliteration. Challenge yourself to dine at places with double letters in their name like: La Luna, Bread Bar, Rolly Rockets, or Saltlick Smokehouse. Why? Because, why not? If you can come up with one that starts with H, let me know.
One way Hamilton is making it easier to shop local is by offering free parking during the month of December all over the city! As someone who has received too many parking tickets this year, I will be reveling in this kindness. Go downtown, go to Barton Village, go to Ottawa Street – give them love!
Or find New Year’s Eve plans, essentially. If you’re going out on the town, hunkering down with friends or spending it at home with Ryan Seacrest and Times Square, there is an undeniable spark that is captured in NYE. Make your reservations and plans now and add a year in review activity to the conversation. What was the best? The worst? The unforgettable? The most delicious?