By Jonathan Eckelberg
The Holidays can be stressful when shopping for gifts for everyone on your list. We’re here to help and give you options of some pretty cool gift ideas that are made right here in Wisconsin. Buying locally can only add to the appeal of said gift.
For the Bicyclist - Bike Rack
Whether it’s mountain biking, linear biking or fat tire biking, we have the hook-up for you to get your bicycle safely to each destination. Saris, in bicycle-crazed Madison, backs every bike rack they sell with a lifetime guarantee. From fabrication to welding to sewing straps to assembly, these racks are hand-built to make it easier to simply get out and go. Wisconsin has been repeatedly ranked as one of the top bicycling destinations in the nation. So for the bicycling enthusiast in your life, grab them a new bike rack and hit the trails. Maybe visit the world-famous Elroy-Sparta Trail, the granddaddy of the rails-to-trails system, or roll down hundreds of miles of quiet, country roads, or hit up one of Wisconsin’s mountain biking destinations like WinMan Trails.
For the Kids - Wooden Wagon
Have small children on your list, or maybe grandparents who need a way to haul the youngsters around when they’re babysitting? Look no further. Wisconsin Wagon Company, out of Janesville, hand-builds original designs that are of classic tradition. It’s as close to Santa’s workshop as you can get. Tour the facility while you’re there! Their old-fashioned Janesville ball-bearing coaster wagon is a favorite that dates back to the early 1900s and has provided play horizons limited only by the combined imaginations of the children. Take the kids along to the zoo or to the local farmers’ market and have an easy and stylish means of toting them around.
For the Sports Fan - Custom (motorized!) Cooler
In Lake Mills, Seljan Company as the ‘cool factor’ covered with their remote-controlled, almost all-terrain, motorized beverage cooler. Great for the tailgating sports fan, get this C3 Custom Cooler decked out in their favorite sports team’s logos and colors. Complete with working headlights, cup holders and MP3 audio, and reaching speeds of about 6 mph, this isn’t just your average tailgate swag. Want something more personal? C3 does custom designs as well. If you want that special someone on your shopping list to be the coolest one at the next Green Bay Packers or Milwaukee Brewers tailgate, this product will do just that. See you at the game!
For the Paddler - Canoe Supplies
For the paddler in the family, Golden Hawk Canoes in Merrill designs every canoe to meet the exact requirements of the customer. If it’s something that needs to hold up through rugged terrain, you won’t be disappointed. Want something bigger than a kayak but smaller than your standard aluminum canoe, Golden Hawk can create a lightweight beauty to fit your needs. These canoes are great for fishing, birding, relaxing and, of course, paddling down the river or stream. Located right on the Wisconsin River, Golden Hawk offers rentals on all of their models. Take a test-paddle before buying if you so choose. With a new, hand-crafted canoe, your loved ones can visit hidden gems like the Lake Superior sea caves or hit up the whitewater rivers and languid streams. Give them the power to explore their favorite paddling destinations. Don’t forget the cooler and snacks!
For the Dog Lover - Dog Ladder
Something that your furry friend is sure to enjoy: a dog ladder by Waterdog Adventure Gear in Germantown. Designed to make the time you and your dog spend together more enjoyable, dog ladders are available for a variety of recreational outings. If you’re over having to lift your dog, especially when they’ve been in the water, or have struggled with products that always seem to break, this is a solution for you. Make it easier for your pal to get in and out of your boat or out of the water onto your dock when at the cabin this year. Dogs are always welcome in Wisconsin, so why not make getting around a bit easier for both them...and their people.
For the Angler - Fishing Rod
For the fishing fanatic, what better gift than a brand new rod designed and produced right here in Wisconsin by St. Croix Rods in Park Falls. Whether freshwater, saltwater or fly fishing is their call, or maybe they’re more engaged in ice fishing, St. Croix Rods has craftsmanship for any occasion. Rod performance is only as good as the design behind it, and before these rods are even sent to production there are countless hours spent to assure each design is developed to outperform others. Fishing takes you to all sorts of places you might otherwise never see. Send someone dear to you on an adventure, with a new fishing rod, to discover Wisconsin’s 15,000 inland lakes and 42,000 miles of streams and rivers. And let’s not forget about the Great Lakes!
For the Water Skier - Custom Show Board
Buying for the water ski lover? When summer comes, give them the ultimate experience on Wisconsin’s lakes with brand new show skis from Custom Show Boards in Galesville. They pride themselves in crafting top of the line water skis and being able to provide the show ski community quality products at an affordable price. These pristine wooden skis are crafted from select ash and mahogany lumber, which is purchased locally. They even produce and sell swivel and ballet skis, and children skis. With 15,000 lakes, water skiing locations are bountiful, and the astonishment and talent of Wisconsin water ski teams is endless.
For the Outdoors Fanatic - Wool Socks
Who doesn’t need a nice, cozy pair of wool socks for this winter season? Wigwam Mills out of Sheboygan takes local to the extreme with sourcing their wool almost exclusively from American yarn spinners who buy from American wool growers. For more than 100 years, this family company has been knitting fine quality socks for men, women and children. If you have someone (or maybe it’s yourself) who enjoys some outdoor fun in the wintertime and doesn’t want that nasty frostbite, these wool socks are a must-have. If nothing else, they make fantastic stocking stuffers!
For the Biker - Harley-Davidson Swag
Have a big Harley fan in the family? Did you know Harley-Davidson is located right here in Milwaukee? While giving someone a brand new Harley itself may be slightly outside the budget for this year’s gift shopping (although you’d probably be the favorite for a long time…), there is an abundance of options to give for the bike, for the home, or for the lucky one to wear. Shop online, or at the Harley-Davidson Museum, for noteworthy art, distinctive collectibles and unique clothing and accessories, all giving someone the power to ‘express their dark side.’ Then hop on the bike when it warms up and cruise in style down the highway or country roads of Wisconsin. The gorgeous drives are endless!
The options are endless when it comes to gifts made right here in Wisconsin. Do you have a favorite that isn’t listed? Let us know in the comments below.