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13 local items we’d put in a Columbus gift basket

614now Staff



Is there anyone in your life who hasn’t experienced all that Columbus has to offer? Do they joke about it being a cow town with just a football team and some corn fields?

If you can relate, then you need to set the record straight with them.

Our suggestion? A kickass Columbus gift basket.

In no particular order, here are 13 local items we’d put in ours to show ’em how we do it in the ‘bus.

Homage Shirt

Sports, city pride, and even popular local haunts and events, Homage’s shirts that embody Columbus will look good on any body.

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Watershed Distillery Bottle

This award-winning distillery is sure to add a kick to your Cbus basket.

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Carfagna’s Sauce

Carfagna’s has been a family tradition in Columbus since 1937 and if anyone knows Italian, it’s them.

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Buckeye Necklace from College Traditions

If you’re heading to a Buckeye game, odds are you’ll pass College Traditions on your trek down Lane Avenue. And would your gift basket really be complete without Buckeye game day gear?!

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OH! Chips

These tasty crisps are cut, fried, and slated right here in Columbus. Read their story here.


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Schmidt’s Buckeye candies

Chocolate. Peanut butter. Schmidt’s. Buckeyes. Honestly, this item is a home run, nay, grand slam.

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Krema Nut Company Goodies

One of the oldest peanut butter companies still manufacturing in the US today located right here in Ohio’s capital city!

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CD102.5 Bumper Sticker

Voted Columbus’ best radio station by (614) readers and also one of the last independently owned and operated alternative stations left in the country!

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Stauf’s Coffee

Caffeinating the fine people of Columbus since 1988.

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Six pack of Four String Hilltop Heritage Lager

A blue collar craft brew for the salt of the earth Buckeyes that make this city so great. Read more.

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Jeni’s Gift Card

Though possible, we’re not going to suggest you go to the trouble of sending a separate box just for the ice cream. Instead, send your uneducated pal and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams gift card. She got her start right here in Columbus but has scoops shops all over the place now!

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Glenn Avenue Soap Company Products

This local and natural soap company has products for everyone—bath bombs and body butters for the ladies, beer soaps and shaving brushes for the gentlemen!

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Aunt Flow Products

Even if the recipient of your basket is a male, there are bound to be some females in his life who deserve to be treated like a queen during their menstrual cycle. Aunt Flow, a young entrepreneur from Columbus, hooks her ladies up with 100% natural, cotton pads and tampons that are good for you, the environment, and the world. Read more.

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Did we forget your favorite local biz? Comment below! 

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Updated hours for North Market as first Farmers’ Market of the season opens Saturday




Get excited Columbus foodies - this Saturday marks the beginning of North Market’s Farmers’ Market season! The Farmers’ Market will tantalize your taste buds every Saturday this summer through October, from 8 a.m. until noon at the North Market outdoor plaza at 59 Spruce Street.

During the coronavirus pandemic, North Market provided customers with fresh pick-up bundles. Now they’ve updated their operating hours to give consumers who want to shop again a chance to pick their own culinary delights.

"The hope is that a gradual reopening will strike a balance between the desire to serve the public and still respect the very real health concerns still shared by merchants, public, and staff," said Rick Harrison Wolfe, North Market's executive director, in a press release Thursday.

The updated hours, which will go into effect this Sat., June 6, are as follows:

  • Monday - Tuesday: closed
  • Wednesday - Friday, Sunday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

All of those in attendance will have to observe the following guidelines as outlined in a press release by North Market:

  • North Market's mask requirement that applies to indoor merchants and guests will also apply to all outdoor vendors and guests.
  • Access to each farmers' market booth will be limited. Markings on ground will indicate this requirement and will show the distance required between people. Only one person/group traveling together may be in each box at a time.
  • Several farms and vendors will offer contact-free shopping and pre-orders. North Market asks that guests pre-order and plan out shopping trips when possible. This helps keep crowds to a minimum and lines moving smoothly.
  • Farms and vendors will provide hand sanitizer for guest use.
  • North Market farms and vendors are committed to helping prevent the spread of illness by washing hands frequently, covering coughs/sneezes, staying home when sick, and avoiding exposure to others who are sick. We ask that all guests follow the same protocols and do not visit North Market or the Farmers' Market if feeling ill.
  • North Market farms and vendors will continue to strictly follow all local public health guidelines, safety protocols, and best practices.

If you’re interested in which merchants will be open on what days, North Market has been dedicated to providing you with that information during the pandemic. You can find the list, which is updated daily, here.

Although there are still limitations on indoor seating, outdoor seating on the porch and the farmers’ market plaza are currently available.

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Weekend Getaway: Ohio State Park lodges reopen




Cooped up inside of our homes for the past few months, everyone could use a change of scenery. Luckily for those that love the great outdoors of Ohio, the perfect getaway is now possible once again.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced on May 28 that all nine Ohio State Park lodges would be reopened by June 5.

The places where you can escape to are listed below in order of closest proximity to Columbus to furthest:

  • Deer Creek
  • Burr Oak
  • Mohican Lodge
  • Salt Fork Lodge
  • Shawnee 
  • Hueston Woods
  • Maumee Bay
  • Punderson Manor

Director of State Park Lodges Tom Arvan had this to say in the May 28 press release:

“Our staff has been working diligently to ensure that guests return to a safe and sanitized environment following the CDC safety guidelines. Our goal is for our guests to feel comfortable as they enjoy the fun activities and relax in the natural beauty of the lodges and all the state parks have to offer this summer.”

Visit to secure your much-needed wilderness adventure today.

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Want to get away? Southwest making it cheap




Southwest Airlines is hoping that enough of you are close to feeling safe to leave the house for more than a trip to the grocery store. In a bid to jumpstart their flagging business, Southwest has announced some pretty steep ticket discounts - as low as $49 each way to a host of cities departing from Columbus.

Flights must be booked at least 14 days in advance and travel must happen between May 26 and August 31. Most expect Ohio's 14-day travel quarantine rule to expire by August but be sure to take that into account if you decide to hop on a plane.

Some of the cities and deals we have imagined for you include:

A long weekend in Atlanta: $118 per person roundtrip from Friday, Aug 14 - Sunday the 16th. Keep in mind, it's about 100 degrees in ATL this time of year so be sure to have access to a body of water if you go.

A patriotic, weekend protest in Washington DC: $98 per person roundtrip, 4th of July weekend. See the sights (if they're open to the public) and stand somewhere with a sign with whatever outrage you have in mind.

A long 4th of July beach weekend in Ft. Lauderdale: $198 per person roundtrip from July 3-6 and you can stay at this cute Airbnb apartment that's just one block from the beach for $88/night.

Vegas baby! You're going to have to forget the weekends if you want the great flight deal. But we found August 5-7 available for $198 a person. Plus you can get into the Bellagio for $139 /night right now as an added bonus. Two nights of debauchery, a little gambling and some of the best restaurants in America. What could go wrong?

Of course, traveling may be risky business for some people and this all assumes the respective cities and attractions re-open and are relatively safe. But if you just need to get away, it's probably never been cheaper.

See other flight options here.

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