With social distancing in place, we all need to find new ways to connect with our loved ones. Why not put your cellphone or computer keyboard to work by sending some Oregon-inspired love to a friend, family member or even yourself. In the process, you’ll be showing love for your favorite Oregon businesses and helping them to stay afloat during this difficult time. And remember, Mother’s Day is right around the corner.
Here are some gift ideas from around the state to show your love.
For the Foodie
Mmmm, is there anything more comforting than cheese? Stock up online at Bandon’s Face Rock Creamery, which is offering special discounts. Or when making your quick run to the grocery store, grab some Tillamook cheese in the deli section. Then go online for ooey-gooey, step-by-step Tillamook recipes — try the rosemary and kale mac and cheese. Delicious!
Farms products from the Hood River Fruit Loop make perfect gifts: jams and honeys from Packer Orchards and Apple Valley Country Store; wine from Cathedral Ridge Winery and Stave & Stone Wine Estates; and soothing, stress-relieving lavender products from Hood River Lavender Farms and Lavender Valley.
Portland has an international reputation as a foodie town thanks to dedicated restaurateurs and talented chefs. Some restaurants have transitioned to takeout, while other restaurants sit empty. Show your love by buying online gift cards for future dining or restaurant swag like hats and T-shirts. If you ever wanted that pink Voodoo Doughnut coffee mug with the hole in the middle, now’s the time to buy.
For the Bookworm
Legendary Powell’s Books stores are closed, but you can order titles online. Look to other independent neighborhood bookstores to do the same. Plus, if you need something besides Monopoly and Scrabble to play with the kids, check out Powell’s online selection of board games.
Ski season was cut short this year up on Mt. Hood, and Timberline Lodge is temporarily closed, but you still can buy online clothing and souvenirs with the iconic lodge’s name. You also can buy good reads about Timberline and the Cascades, including some selections for kids.
For the Kids
Looking to keep the kids busy while staying at home? Check out the online OMSI Science Store for cool chemistry and solar kits plus toys and games. Your purchase supports the museum and its educational mission during its closure.
While closed, the Oregon Zoo continues to care for more than 1,800 animals. You can help by participating in the zoo’s Symbolic Adoption Program. If you make a $100 donation, you’ll receive an earth-friendly plush animal, framed photo, personalized adoption certificate, animal fact sheet and sticker. You can check on how the real animals are doing every day here.
Oregon Coast Aquarium has a similar online Adopt-an-Animal program. For $59, you’ll receive a plush stuffed animal, 5”x7” photo, personalized adoption certificate, species fact sheet, aquarium sticker and newsletter subscription.
The High Desert Museum in Bend cares for more than 100 animals — from bald eagles to river otters to desert tortoises. You can adopt an animal; commitments range from $25 to $150 with various swag packages.
For the Outdoor Enthusiast
While Oregon State Parks remain temporarily closed, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy Oregon’s outdoors right now. Mill tours have been suspended, but you still can order iconic Pendleton blankets and clothing online. The national park line is perfect for the outdoorsy person in your life.
Gift a future rafting trip with Northwest Rafting Company, Rogue Rafting Company or Orange Torpedo Trips on the Wild and Scenic Rogue River or a future kayaking tour with Sky Lakes Wilderness Adventures or ROE Outfitters on Spring Creek in Southern Oregon. Hellgate Jetboat Excursions lets you explore the Rogue on multiple-day tours, with stops at riverside cabins and gourmet meals.
For the Chocolate and Coffee Connoisseur
Ida’s Cupcake Cafe in Bend ships its four-pack cupcake parfaits — red velvet, chocolate-almond joy, vanilla salted caramel and peanut butter-stuffed chocolate — anywhere in the country.
Are you going through an inordinate amount of coffee at home? Restock with freshly roasted beans from Sisters Coffee Company, which is offering special discounts.
While you can’t step in the shop and smell the Stumptown Hair Bender espresso shots brewing or the warm chocolate straight from the melter, you can order online from family-owned Arrowhead Chocolates in Joseph. Consider a box of the handcrafted, award-winning huckleberry and espresso truffles.
For the Happy-Hour Lover
Here’s a shout-out to Pilot House Distilling in Astoria. The distillery, like others, has transformed its operation to make hundreds of gallons of hand sanitizer for first responders. So if you see Pilot House spirits on the shelves of your favorite liquor store, show your support and buy a bottle. Also, Newport-based Rogue is making hand sanitizer for emergency response and public health officials along the Coast. Show your appreciation by purchasing its beers, ciders and sodas either online or in local stores.
Support your favorite Gorge breweries by buying their craft brews and swag online: pFriem Family Brewers and Ferment Brewing Company in Hood River, Solera Brewery in Parkdale, and Freebridge Brewing in The Dalles.
While tasting rooms and tours are closed to the public, most wineries are shipping bottles. As an extra incentive, many are offering shipping discounts, wine deals and special gift packs. For a list of Oregon’s wine regions and wineries, click here. In addition, the Willamette Valley Wineries Association has compiled a list of offerings here. Sample Oregon wines from The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater: Watermill Winery and Zebra Cellars. Or show some love to the two Oregon wineries in the Snake River AVA by placing an order online at Copper Belt Wines and David Hamilton Winery. There’s never been a better time to stock up on your favorite vintages.
A purchase with Corvallis-based Bella Vino Gifts has a ripple effect throughout the state. The company fills its baskets and boxes with carefully selected Oregon-made products, which in turn supports other small businesses. Choose gifts themed around Oregon beers, wines and specialty-food items or around regions like the Oregon Coast. Bella Vino also curates some baskets to only include products from family- and female-owned businesses. Each basket or box is beautifully arranged with special attention to using sustainable materials.