By Ohio.org Staff
Posted On: Nov 12, 2021
This holiday season, put your laptop and phone down. After shopping online for nearly two years, it's time to grab your wallet or purse, jump in the car, and get out and shop in real life. Many of Ohio's most charming towns, which already are decked out in their holiday finest, are home to independent, locally owned retail stores that are eagerly rolling out the welcome mat this year to holiday shoppers.
So, get ready to make the season merry and bright by shopping Ohio for the holidays and supporting local businesses.
Dauntless Roots in Chillicothe
Talk to anyone who has lived in or visited Chillicothe and they'll tell you it's a special place to spend some time, especially around the holidays. With more than 50 shops across multiple blocks, it's easy to park and wander in and out of stores while shopping for everyone on your holiday list.
Positioned in between Wheatberry Books and Totem Supply Company, Dauntless Roots is a one-of-a kind plant shop that also supports other small businesses by carrying local handmade goods for family, friends and the special pups in your life.
"Just know that when you are shopping in these small businesses, you are supporting someone's dreams," said Dauntless Roots owner Katelyn Smith.
Ivy's gift and home accessories store offers two floors of so many cute things you just can't find in big stores, from unique home and garden decor to Polish pottery and Vera Bradley bags. Best of all — they offer gift wrap! Stop for tea and the popular French macarons at High Five Cakes. The bakery and tea house announced it'll be featured on the new Disney+ show Foodtastic. Finish a day of shopping at one of the town's full-service restaurants such as R Kitchen or The Pour House at Machinery Hall.
Blume Home in Lebanon
Located just four miles off Interstate 71 north of Cincinnati, the tree-lined downtown of Lebanon is the perfect place to shop, dine and explore. The second you walk into Oh Suzanna you can tell there's something for everyone, from stuffed animals for the kiddos to upscale women's clothes. Don't leave without stopping into its sister store, The Jam & Jelly Lady, two doors down. No visit is complete without hunting for hard-to-find collectibles at the Broadway Antique Mall, which has more than 50 vendors. And be sure to stop by Blume Home, a home decor store where you'll be sure to find something special.
Complete your Lebanon experience with a delicious dinner or a night's stay at the historic Golden Lamb Restaurant & Hotel. A meal at Greenhouse Cafe supports local farms with a locally sourced and organic menu. Looking for a step back in time? Try The Village Parlor, a Lebanon landmark that has been serving up the best burgers, soups, ice cream and shakes for more than 50 years.
Photo credit: Scott Dommin (Main Street Ohio Volunteer of the Year)
If you head up to the beautiful town of Vermilion on Nov. 27 – Shop Small Saturday – you may actually catch a glimpse of Santa arriving via Scarlet, his red boat, to kick off the holiday season, Lake Erie style. You can easily fill a day with sightseeing, shopping and dining in this "small town on a great lake."
A gift from Erie & Anchor is perfect for anyone who loves living the lake life, with clothes and décor gifts for all ages. Swan Creek Candle Co. is a beautiful "Mom & Pop" boutique that sells 100% American soybean wax candles, handmade vegan soap, and unique home and garden items. The Olive Scene is a tasting emporium for the world's finest extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars, perfect for the chefs in your life. Tails of Vermilion, a new shop that offers all the gear to spoil your special fur kids, is depending on in-person shoppers.
While you take in the lake views as you wander in and out of shops, you'll surely work up an appetite. Big Ed's Main Street Soda Grill is a downtown staple with its classic soda fountain, and Rudy's Bar & Grill is a perfect spot for a casual lunch, dinner or cocktails. For a more upscale meal, The Wine Vault features gourmet cuisine, fine wines, craft beers and their special holiday drinks. And for a sweet treat, stop by Brummer's for homemade chocolate before you head home.
What Goes 'Round Thrift Shoppe in Mansfield
The Carrousel District in the heart of Mansfield is an easy drive from anywhere in Ohio and it's worth the trip with so much culture, shopping and restaurants all around. Teens and young adults will enjoy a trip to or a gift from Operation Fandom/Blackbird Records, which is full of pop culture collectibles, vintage toys and vinyl records. What Goes 'Round Thrift Shop offers nice second-hand furniture, clothes and accessories and benefits Hospice of North Central Ohio.
If you or someone on your gift list loves popcorn, then don't leave Mansfield without a trip to Swavory, which offers a wide variety of gourmet popcorn choices as well as delicious salads and crepes. Grab a coney or burger at Coney Island Diner, the oldest restaurant in Mansfield, or pop in for a cup of joe at Relax It's Just Coffee.
Book a room at Wishmaker House Bed & Breakfast in nearby Belleville to rest those weary feet and enjoy some wine and their famous cheesecake.
Mad River Mountain in Zanesfield
Historic downtown Bellefontaine, located about a 60-minute drive from Columbus and Dayton, makes a perfect day trip for some retail therapy. Retailers and restaurants are welcoming shoppers with open arms this holiday season with First Fridays Bellefontaine and Open Sundays encouraging people to shop, eat, explore, repeat.
The special women in your life will appreciate a gift from The Poppy Seed, specializing in stylish and affordable clothing, accessories and jewelry. The Fun Company is packed with more fun than you can imagine with specialty toys, games and teacher supplies. You can go on treasure hunt for vintage items at Olde Mint Antiques.
You can start your morning off with fresh coffee and donuts made from scratch at City Sweets & Creamery. It's an ideal spot for a mid-afternoon ice-cream cone, too. Grab brunch, lunch or dinner at the Flying Pepper Cantina where the owner and chef serve up made-from-scratch regional recipes that transport the flavors of traditional Mexico to Ohio.
And while you're out that way, consider making a weekend out of it and hit the slopes at Mad River Mountain in nearby Zanesfield. While you're there, you might consider purchasing a season pass for the skier in your family. The resort officially opens for the season in mid-December.