Here’s How to Holiday (and Win) Like a Local

Here’s How to Holiday (and Win) Like a Local

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Here’s How to Holiday (and Win) Like a Local

Barbarian Brewing

Reader, you know what the holidays have become. There’s the day-after-Thanksgiving dash to big box stores, the super-quick slide into Christmas/Hanukkah/Festivus, and finally the frantic race to the New Year.

It’s all over so quickly. Where’s the joy? Where’s the time for fun, for creating little moments that add up to big memories? This year, slow your roll and allow the season to surprise you. Here in Garden City, we take the art of getting off the beaten path seriously. Here’s how we’re inviting you to set a new holiday pace that will fill your cup (in some instances, quite literally) and leave you feeling refreshed and ready once you head back to real life in January.

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Shop Local

Big box holiday shopping might be second only to football when it comes to winter contact sports. If you skipped the crowds during 2020 by shopping online, take note: Experts — and businesses themselves — are predicting big backlogs and shipping delays. Instead of biting your nails and hoping your package will arrive on time, why not shop Small Business Saturday in Garden City? The annual Buy Idaho Holiday Market will feature handmade and unique gifts from more than 100 local makers, including specialty food items, glass art, handmade wooden gifts, one-of-a-kind illustrations, beautiful jewelry, and so much more!

Can’t make it to Small Business Saturday? No problem. Check out our guide to artists and makers in Garden City — many of them are ramping up production for the holidays and taking orders now.

Barbarian Brewing

Fill Your Cup

The breweries and wineries that line our famous Craft Beverage Corridor have plenty of ways to sip your way into the holiday spirit. Telaya Wine Co. is offering two Telaya Design events that will tap into your creative side: a Thanksgiving Centerpiece class on Nov. 22 and a Holiday Wreath Making class on Nov. 28 and Dec. 1. Cinder plans on hosting an Ugly Sweater Party in December, while Powderhaus Brewing Company is going all out with its European-style Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market) Nov. 26-28. Craft Beverage Corridor businesses are offering more events every day, so be sure to check the website of your favorite maker. (Bonus tip: Wine and beer club memberships make fantastic gifts, too.)

Western Collective

Ski and Stay

Yes, it’s too cold to float or surf Garden City’s star attraction, the Boise River. But when the snow starts to fly, locals switch gears by heading up the hill to Bogus Basin Ski Resort. Savvy locals and out-of-towners know the best way to enjoy a day of hassle-free skiing or snowboarding is by making basecamp in Garden City at the Riverside Hotel. Not only does it offer easy access to Bogus Basin, but a treat awaits weary muscles after a long day on the slopes: The hotel’s outdoor pool is heated to a soothing 100 degrees in the winter. Want it even hotter? Try the nearby hot tub and soak any lingering aches away.

You can check out even more ideas to add stress-less fun back into your holiday schedule by visiting the Things to Do section of our website. And don’t forget to enter your chance to win a restful weekend with our Holiday Like a Local contest!

Barbarian Brewing

Enter to Win Our Holiday Like a Local Contest.

We’ve put together a fantastic package that will recharge your batteries this holiday season! There’s so much fun to be had that you can invite a few lucky friends to join you, too.

Art Is the Heart of Garden City

Art Is the Heart of Garden City

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Art Is the Heart of Garden City

Murals, art benches, galleries … Garden City isn’t just a haven for artists, it’s a must-see destination for art lovers. From the artist studios and craft beverage makers featured on the Garden City Artisans Pathway Map to the public art works and galleries listed below, you’ll discover more than enough creativity to fuel a weekend in the city.

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Garden City

Murals

The vestiges of the city’s industrial past offer the perfect canvas for muralists. From homages to the city’s past to inspirational messages, the murals of Garden City offer colorful pops of public art in unexpected places.

Above, Below, and On Glenwood Street

Three murals can be found near Glenwood Street. The Airplane Mural, painted on the south side of the Signs by Smith Building at 4747 N. Glenwood, depicts several of the U.S. Airforce jets you might see in the sky overhead. A trio of works — the Fishing Mural, the River Rafting Mural, and the Cyclist Mural, all under the Glenwood Bridge — depict some of the most popular Boise River activities in vibrant color. Garden City’s newest mural is located at Ironwood Bar & Grill at 5467 N. Glenwood and depicts iconic signs and sights of the city.

44th Street

Hunters, set amidst an autumnal landscape, set out to bag deer in the Hunter Mural at the Boise Hunter Education Center, 109 W. 44th Street. Over at 107 E. 44th Street, across from Cinder Wines, the iconic Garden City Postcard Mural offers a colorful crash course in history to visitors exiting the tasting room.

Chinden

A Garden of Creativity, featuring larger-than-life flora and fauna in can’t-miss-it splashes of color, graces the back of Cobby’s Sandwich Shop at 4348 Chinden Boulevard.

42nd Street

The Be Great Mural, with its helping hands and powerful message, serves as a constant reminder for the kids attending the Boys & Girls Club of Ada County at 610 E. 42nd Street. Note: The mural has recently been covered by the new cafeteria

SITy

Benches

Garden City’s SITy Benches public arts project is inspired by a treasure trove of leafy spaces, including a number of parks and the Greenbelt. Garden City kicked off the project in 2019 — the first of its kind in the Treasure Valley — by choosing five artists to design and fabricate art benches. So far, eight artists have created seven site-specific benches that range from the sculptural to the playful, with more to come. Finding them is the perfect pastime for a lazy Sunday (with plenty of rest breaks included).

Five benches have been installed with more to come, visit the Garden SITy Art Bench Project to learn more.

Heron Park,
3858 Reed Street

Here, you’ll discover two SITy benches by Ken McCall that draw on the beauty of the Boise River. A colorful, larger-than-life heron and cattails bookend the aptly-named Heron Bench. Nearby, a sculptural swirl of blue waves rises toward the sky while a green leaf provides a seat on the River Throne, a perch worthy of a river nymph.

Nature Path near Riverside Pond

The silver Above and Below, by Claire Remsberg and Nicole McDonald, is silhouetted with the many animals that scurry about the earth along the river and swoop in the skies above. The greenish-blue tones of Lazy River, by Russ and Adele Lewis of Touch of Glass, nearly blend into the trees and shrubs that line the river. But take a closer look and you’ll discover glass inlays, including charming green fish.

Mystic Cove Park,
4750 Mystic Cove Way

As the owner and designer at Studio 1212, Derek Hurd has more than a little experience creating eye-catching furniture. But his Blue Bench is a standout: Bright blue and angular, it serves as a frame for the surrounding landscape.

Greenbelt

Reham Aarti’s Greenbelt Sherbet, located at the end of 50th Street, is as colorful as its eponymous namesake — a kaleidoscope of mosaiced glass and tile painstakingly placed along its sofa-like lines. Trio, by artist and blacksmith Susan Madasci, stretches the limits of what a bench is. Its cluster of leaf-like structures beckons climbing kids and face-to-face conversations alike. You can find it at East 40th Street and the Greenbelt.

Garden City

Galleries

The Visual Arts Collective

The Visual Arts Collective

The Visual Arts Collective is part music venue, part gallery, part theatre, part bar — and over the years it has become one of the most lively and interesting places to experience the arts in the Treasure Valley. The VAC is currently closed due to the pandemic, but you can help ensure that it’s back in full force in 2021 by contributing to Love Letters for the VAC.

Surel's Place

Surel’s Place

Surel’s Place is the home of the late artist Surel Mitchell, who championed Garden City as a haven for makers and artists. Her custom-built house is now a residence for a rotating cast of musicians and artists who create inspired works in the space. Although in-house events are off the table for now, you can check out online lectures or visit Hallie Maxwell’s installation Reviresco. Reviresco is an interactive piece housed in the Green Box, a World War II mobile field office, that will run from November 2020 to March 2021. Viewers will have access to paper and instructions so they can create paper cranes that will fill the Green Box and serve as mementos of healing during the pandemic. Check for updates, including online crane-making demonstrations, on the organization’s Facebook page.

The Surel Mitchell

Live-Work-Create District

In 1998, artist Surel Mitchell built a home in Garden City and changed the trajectory of the city’s future. Her home was a place to live and to create and share her art, and she began advocating for Garden City as a location where other artists could build the same lifestyle. She served on Garden City’s Planning & Zoning Commission and the city’s first Arts Commission and championed the idea of a “live, work, create” district.

In 2006, the Garden City Council formally approved the creation of the district between 32nd and 37th streets on either side of Chinden Boulevard. After Mitchell’s passing in 2011, the council named the Surel Mitchell Live-Work-Create District in her honor.

After Mitchell’s death, her friends and family transformed her Garden City home into Surel’s Place, a non-profit artist-in-residence program that attracts artists from around the nation and the world.

The Surel Mitchell Live-Work-Create District
is a neighborhood like no other. Its many features include:

What’s your favorite spot to check out local art in Garden City? Give us your recommendations in the comments below.

The Gift Giver’s Guide to Garden City

The Gift Giver’s Guide to Garden City

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The Gift Giver’s Guide to Garden City

Garden City is a haven for artists and makers — which makes it a one-stop shop for savvy holiday gift-givers! From beautifully made baubles to bottles of brews, we’ve rounded up the best places to score a one-of-a-kind gift for just about every person on your list.

With so much to see (and shop) this holiday season, why not make a weekend of it? The Riverside Hotel is offering a Warm Up to Winter Package that’s perfect for the occasion, including a Signature Breakfast, cozy robes and slippers, and a $50 food and beverage card. Plus, you’ll get access to the hotel’s spacious 98-degree pool — heated sustainably with off-grid excess power — and the socially-distanced deck. Be sure to ask for the package by name when making your reservation.

After a heady day of lounging and browsing, be sure to check out Christmas in Color at Expo Idaho, which will set the night sky ablaze with 1.5 million (yes, million!) lights. All you need to participate in this mile-long drive-through tour is your trusty vehicle. Tune in to the Christmas in Color radio station to enjoy a synchronized music-and-light show featuring a wonderland of giant candy canes, snowmen, and dazzling decorative arches. You need just one $30 ticket per vehicle to experience this sparkling show, which runs from Nov. 20-Jan. 3.

Now, are you ready to find the perfect gift? Let’s dive in!

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FOR THE

Sustainably Stylish

Fluff Hardware

Fluff Hardware features of-the-moment designs crafted with hammered metal, chunky crystals, delicate chains, and stamped cuffs. Order online, catch them at one of their many holiday craft appearances, or book a stamped jewelry class and make your own gift!

Garden City Projects

Garden City Projects offers sculptural, modern takes on jewelry — exactly the sort of pieces your college-age niece or minimalist girlfriend would sport regularly. Pair a set of earrings with one of their glass trays for the ultimate cool-girl gift.

Foster Weld

For a gift that will last for decades to come, check out Fosterweld. The artisans at metalworking shop craft everything from bottle openers to belt buckles, keychains to custom vintage-style signs. Have an idea? Bring it to the shop (operating by appointment only) for a one-of-a-kind gift, or check out their online store.

FOR THE

Boutique Enthusiast

Suzanne Fluty Designs

Each Suzanne Fluty Designs ceramic piece is both down-to-earth and elegant, with washes of soft color and earth-inspired art. Choose a gorgeous mug as a lovely gift for the hard-working teacher who has been surviving Zoom classes on endless cups of coffee.

Lala's Fresh Pots

If you’ve never seen an agatewear design — one that mimics the fluid layers and swirls of its namesake rock — you’re in for a treat. Lala’s Fresh Pots specializes in this unique look (check out maker Kayla Morgan’s could-have-fooled-you agatewear earrings, too).

FOR THE

Art Collector

Zion Warne

For more than 20 years, Zion Warne has been at the vanguard of the Treasure Valley glass scene. He’s known for his swirling layers of colorful glass — but don’t overlook his special holiday-themed collection featuring sunglass-sporting snowmen, hand-blown ornaments, and blue-and-green pine trees.

Stover Glass

Museum-worthy vessels, delicate earrings, display-worthy glasses … they’re all available at the Stover Glass online shop. Artist Lisa Stover’s covetable creations are the result of 25 years’ worth of exploration into what glass can do (and at prices ranging from $25 to $300+, there’s something for every budget). 

Betsie Richardson

Artist Betsie Richardson’s oil paintings reflect big landscapes and little moments. You can pick up anything from stickers to holiday cards to gallery-worthy prints at her Etsy shop, or make a private studio appointment with the artist — Richardson takes commissions.

Madasci Studios

Artist and blacksmith Susan Madasci, founder of Madasci Studios, creates vessels that seem pieced together by invisible thread and colorful sculptures that appear to defy gravity. Whether you purchase from her online shop or choose something that’s made to order, you can be sure you’re gifting something that’s one of a kind.

FOR THE

Vintage Enthusiast

Studio 1212

Looking for something that’s truly unique? Go vintage — or vintage-inspired, like the handcrafted furniture at Studio 1212 that draws on the clean, futuristic lines of mid-century modern design.

Ricochet Home Consignment

Ricochet Home Consignment offers a doubletrack of goods, decor and clothing, including items from screen legend Maureen O’Hara’s estate.

Estate Sales Outlet

You’ll discover a wide range of treasures, from collectibles to antique silverware, at the Estate Sales Outlet Shop, which houses overflow from the business’s frequent events.

Assistance League Thrift Shop

Your gift will do double good at the Assistance League Thrift Shop, where proceeds from sales help to fund nine philanthropic programs.

Eclectic curio

The offerings at Eclectic Curio are as wide-ranging as the shop’s name implies — browse here for handmade ornaments and carefully curated vintage finds.

The Merq

The Merq has earned a diehard following for its “treasure of great junk” and helpful service; you can even set up a private browsing experience.

FOR THE

Beer & Cider Buddy

Garden City’s Craft Beverage Corridor offers a bonanza of gifts for the tipplers on your list. Tap into Powderhaus Brewing Company, Loose Screw Beer Co., County Line Brewing, Western Collective (which also sells a limited selection of house-made wine), Crooked Fence Brewing Co., Barbarian Brewing, and Meriwether Cider for bottles, cans, and growlers of the best brews in the state.

Powderhaus Brewing Company

Loose Screw

County Line Brewing

Western Collective

Crooked Fence Brewing Co.

Barbarian Brewing

Meriwether cider

FOR THE

Wine Sipper

Of course, the Craft Beverage Corridor isn’t limited to beer alone. Garden City’s fantastic wines are racking up honors — and you will, too, with the gift of a wine club subscription or a coveted bottle or four. Check out Cinder Wines, Split Rail Winery, Telaya Wine Co., Coiled Wines, Potter Wines, or Par Terre Winery.

Cinder Wines

split rail

Telaya Wine Co.

Coiled Wines

Potter Wines

Par Terre Winery

FOR THE

DIY Gifter

Quilt Expressions

What could be more meaningful — especially this year — than making your own gift? Quilters flock to Garden City’s Quilt Expressions, which has an astounding 7,000+ bolts of fabric to choose from at its store, online, or for curbside pickup.

the Twisted Ewe

Yarn arts enthusiasts will find everything they need at Twisted Ewe, which features skeins of gorgeous yarn from around the world, including Noro from Japan, Gedifra from Italy, and the shop’s own in-house brand.

Twisted Kitchen

If whipping up 500 cookies is more your style, head to the Twisted Kitchen next door and rent its fully-stocked commercial kitchen. It comes equipped with a convection oven, a spacious prep kitchen, massive fridges and freezers, and much more.

The Potter's Center

The Potter’s Center offers group and one-on-one classes for budding ceramicists and a range of beautiful supplies and tools for those who already know their way around a wheel.

Quality Art

Your artistic friend (or your elementary-age child) will appreciate a gift certificate or kit from Quality Art School & Art Supply, which stocks everything from Bob Ross kits to reams of colorful kraft paper and kid-friendly washable tempera paints.

Reuseum

To create a truly weird and wonderful gift, head to the Reuseum. This electronics supply and surplus store has a charmingly unpredictable stash of finds ranging from lab equipment to spare circuit boards that the tech-savvy and mechanically handy will find inspiring.

What’s your favorite place to shop in Garden City? Give us your recommendations in the comments below.

Murals and Benches

Murals and Benches

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Murals and Benches

Want to See Art in Garden City? Just Look Around.

Garden City has earned a rep as a haven for artists, so it’s no surprise that their work is tucked throughout the city — all you have to do is keep an eye out for these unexpected delights.

Each artwork has been created by artists with ties to the area, and each reflects an aspect of life in Garden City. Walk along an Osage Street alley in front of Cinder Wines and you’ll stumble upon a bigger-than-life postcard of the Chinese gardens that once filled the land by the river. An angular, bright-blue bench on the Greenbelt seems a bit out of place … until you realize it offers two “frames” of the Boise River and the sunny sky overhead.

The city’s public art benches are the brainchild of the Garden City Arts Commission. The Garden City Arts Commission revealed the first four benches in 2019 and plans to add another five in the near future.

 

Of course, you don’t have to randomly stumble upon these works of art. Take a self-guided art tour by visiting the following locations:

  • Heron Bench, Heron Park, 3858 Reed Street
  • Greenbelt Sherbet, end of 50th Street on the Greenbelt
  • Blue Bench, Mystic Cove Park on the Greenbelt
  • Trio, E. 40th Street and the Greenbelt
  • “Underneath” located at Riverside Park at Glenwood & Riverside Dr
  • Airplane Mural, Signs by Smith Building, 4747 N. Glenwood Street
  • Be Great Mural, Boys & Girls Club of Ada County, 610 E. 42nd Street
  • Hunter Mural, Boise Hunter Education Center, 109 W. 44th Street
  • Fishing Mural, under Glenwood Bridge
  • River Rafting Mural, under Glenwood Bridge
  • Garden City Postcard Mural, across from Cinder Wines, 107 E. 44th Street
  • A Garden of Creativity, back of Cobby’s Sandwich Shop, 4348 Chinden Boulevard

Don’t forget that you can explore even more of Garden City’s amazing, living art heritage through our Artisans Pathways map.

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