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Garden of the Gods - Southern Illinois

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Nov 20, 2019


The Illinois Office of Tourism Announces 2019 Illinois Made Holiday Gift Guide

Chicago – TheIllinois Office of Tourism is releasing its annual Illinois Made Holiday Gift Guide featuring unique local businesses around the state – each offering an authentic Illinois experience for visitors along with one-of-a-kind gifts for the holiday season. 

“Holiday shopping in Illinois is a wonderful tradition for many, and gifts can be even more meaningful with a unique story behind them,” said Jan Kemmerling, Acting Director of the Illinois Office of Tourism. “Our goal with the Illinois Made Holiday Gift Guide is to introduce visitors and locals to amazing shopping experiences found right here in Illinois.” 

2019 Illinois Made Holiday Gift Guide

For the foodie:

Send a box of mouthwatering popcorn from the Great American Popcorn Co. in Galena:

Great American Popcorn Company – new to the Illinois Made program – is a family-owned business specializing in handcrafted confections for over 24 years using non-GMO corn. The shop features over 350 popcorn flavors including Birthday Cake, Buffalo Ranch, Bacon + Cheddar, Butter Rum, Cherry Cheesecake, Cheezy Garlic Bread, Dill-icious and many more. Shop online here

Discover new favorite kitchen utensils from Wild Cherry Spoon Rock Island: 

Using ethically harvested urban lumber, chief artisan Tim McGuire at Wild Cherry Spoon Co. in Rock Island hand-chisels each wooden cooking utensils before finishing them with organic olive oil and beeswax. Products include hand-crafted wooden spoons, spatulas, pizza cutters and more. Shop products here.  

Plan ahead with an amazing farm-to-table experience at Locavore Farm in Grant Park (Kankakee County):

It’s never too early to start thinking of warmer days, and Locavore Farms offers gift cards to be used for their summertime Dine on the Land events. During these dinners, visitors purchase a share of the harvest and experience it through a multi-course feast served at a 100-foot farm table. Locavore Farm collaborates with chefs and other family farms within a 25-mile radius and features signature wines, cocktails and craft beers, live music, a farm tour, bonfires for roasting marshmallows and more. Locavore Farm offers gift cards that can be purchased online here.

For the fashionista:

Share some style with someone special with TAKARA in Forest Park:

TAKARA crafts funky, organic and natural fiber clothing using linen, cotton and gauze — all designed and manufactured in Chicago. What began as a small accessory line 40 years ago has expanded over the years to include an exquisite clothing line. The collection features one-of-a-kind accessories like bold berets, statement jewelry, eye-catching glasses and intricate outerwear for those looking to splurge a bit this season. Shop all products here

Find the perfect jean fit with Dearborn Denim in Chicago:

Dearborn Denim handcrafts jeans in their Chicago shops (with locations in Andersonville and Hyde Park), each pair custom hemmed for the best fit possible. Their 100 percent cotton denim is sourced from the last remaining denim mills in the country. Shop products here

For the vino connoisseur:

Gift your host with one-of-a-kind wine glasses and decanter from Swoon Living in Chicago: 

Swoon Living – also a new maker in the Illinois Made program – creates hand-blown glassware transformed into incredible revolving wine glasses and decanters, perfect for gifting your holiday party host. The shop also sells candles and crafts wood pieces like city skylines and bottle openers created from locally sourced, reclaimed barn wood and local maple and walnut timber. Products are available for online purchase here

Share the perfect fireside wine with Sleepy Creek Vineyards in Fairmount: 

Sleepy Creek Vineyards uses homegrown grapes and fruit from local growers to produce exceptional wines on their 10-acre vineyard. Any vino lover would enjoy the gift of a bottle of the 2015 Bull Headed Red – a medium-bodied dry red wine, half aged in American oak and French oak barrels. The grapes are 100% Chambourcin from the central and southern regions of Illinois. Shop all wines here

Pop the perfect sparkling wine this New Year’s Eve with Illinois Sparkling Co. in Utica: 

Bring on the bubbly this holiday season with a bottle of Brut from award-winning sparkling wine producers, Illinois Sparkling Co. in Utica. With flavors ranging from sweet to dry, there’s something for every wine lover to enjoy. Shop all products here

For fans of all things cozy:

Stay warm with a hand-crocheted alpaca yarn accessory from Rolling Oak Alpaca Ranch in Makanda: 

Rolling Oak Alpaca Ranch in Makanda specializes in crocheted goods made with all-natural handspun yarn sheared from the herd of alpacas that call the farm home. The online store offers beanies, socks, gloves and more that are perfect for keeping cozy during the colder months. Shop all products here

Offer a new way to relax with Silver Prairie Natural Soap Company in Woodstock:

Everyone could use a bit of relaxing around the holidays, and Silver Prairie Natural Soap Company in Woodstock offers a wide variety of goat milk soap bars. Made using goat milk from their own herd, these soaps are ideal for pampering. Silver Prairie Farm also makes scrubs, deodorants, and lotions. Shop products here

For the art lover:

Remind loved ones how much you care with You Are Beautiful art created by Matthew Hoffman in Chicago:  

Named for “You Are Beautiful,” a global project that aims to better the world in little ways, the You Are Beautiful storefront (3368 N. Elston St.) is the official headquarters of artist Matthew Hoffman. Hoffman creates public art displays that spread positive messages to public spaces aro19d the world, and now you can share that message with loved ones for the holidays through stationary, clothing and more. Shop all products here

See the world through a new lens through River Bend Gallery’s photography in Galena:   

Professional artist Geoffrey Mikol owns River Bend Gallery (RBG) with his family and has garnered numerous awards for his work, developing a following of collectors and enthusiasts. As a person born with Down Syndrome, Geoffrey uses his skillful eye as a photographer to express himself in new ways, capturing beautiful scenes of nature with technical precision. RBG offers calendars, “Triplet” pieces, magnets, coasters, small photo collections and 275-piece puzzles all perfect for a memorable holiday stocking stuffer. Shop gifts online here.

Each of these unique gift options are crafted locally by makers and artisans that are members of the Illinois Made program launched by the Illinois Office of Tourism in 2016. The Illinois Made program promotes authentic travel experiences throughout the state and encourages visitors to discover hidden gems off-the-beaten path.

To download images and b-roll of each Illinois Made maker featured in the Illinois Office of Tourism’s 2019 Holiday Gift Guide click here.

To learn more about the Illinois Made program and discover travel ideas in Illinois for the holiday season visit


 The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism manages industry efforts that result in sustainable and significant economic and quality-of-life benefits for Illinois residents.

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