Gahanna's Herbal Trail
Take on 'Twelve Days' features 13 days of specials
Amelia Cochran, 3, drops her letter to Santa in the mailbox during her visit to the Ohio Herb Education Center on Dec. 1. The OHEC hosted Santa visits and hands-on activities for children as they walked through the house, which was built in 1855. Buy This Photo
Gahanna's Herbal Trail is offering a "Twelve Days 'til Christmas," featuring a dozen trail members and a variety of specials from Wednesday, Dec. 12, through Monday, Dec. 24.
Patty Donahey Geiger, of PDG Communications, said the English carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas, describes a series of gifts for the days that follow Christmas. Even though the song suggests some amazing ideas, she said, the trail's take -- with a slight tweak in the title -- provides practical but distinctive gifts, featuring an herbal flair and pre-holiday timeline.
Launched last spring to commemorate Gahanna's 40th anniversary year as herb capital of Ohio, the trail physically connects all aspects of what is herbal in Gahanna, including gardens, restaurants and shopping.
The trail begins at the Ohio Herb Education Center (OHEC), 110 Mill St.
Valerie Hamill, OHEC coordinator, said the holiday season is an extra-special time of year and it's exciting to be at the location of the trailhead.
"I love seeing residents and visitors learning about herbs and exploring our city in a new way as they follow the trail," she said. "Here at the center, we're ready for the 12 days with an expanded holiday inventory, gift baskets, make-and-take gifts and, on Saturdays, we've even got Santa, too."
The center will welcome visitors with complimentary herbal tea.
Shoppers will find a variety of gift baskets plus an array of individual gifts, such as Ohio-made artisan products, dried herb blends, potted indoor herbs, herbal teas, candles, lotions and herbal honey.
Expert staff will be on hand to answer questions about herbs, and gift certificates are available for the gift shop and the center's educational workshops, offered year-round.
Zodiac on Mill will help shoppers find a gift that would match the recipient's astrological sign.
For anyone who needs a break and wants to shop at the same time, Koko Tea Salon & Bakery will accomplish both.
Pastry chef Ava Misseldine bakes daily, filling her cases with organic cookies and cupcakes, while also offering specialty candies and hand-blended teas that provide refreshment and gift ideas.
The 12 businesses offering specials for the Twelve Days 'til Christmas are:
* Wyandotte Winery, 4640 Wyandotte Drive, Columbus: Half off the cake trio -- chocolate port, Venetian wine with rosemary, blackberry wine -- to eat in house. The wine cake to go, in a gift tin, will be available for $5 off or $20, limit one per person, while supplies last.
* Sher Bliss, 1394 Cherry Bottom Road: Triple mints, palest of pastels and vivid jewel tones -- a 70-year-old family recipe.
* Zodiac, 69 Mill St.: Two-for-one walk-in personal sage smudgings. Zodiac also is open Mondays until Dec. 24, with discounts every Monday on best-selling Zodiac products.
* Koko Tea Salon & Bakery, 116 Mill St.: Twelve Days of Christmas cupcakes, featuring a different cupcake every day.
* Jewels & More, 122 Creekside Plaza: Additional 10 percent off already reduced Vera Bradley Tea Garden patterns.
* Honey Grove Botanicals, 126 Creekside Plaza: Twenty percent off all herbal soaps.
* Ohio Herb Education Center: Buy one, get one free indoor herb plants and buy one, get one half off herbal teas.
* Jorgensen Organic Farms, 5851 E. Walnut St., Westerville: Holiday open house, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. Complimentary coffee, cider and cookies and 10 percent off all Jorgensen products.
* The Chocolate Tree, 800 Mill St.: Different herbal products each day. Twenty percent off the item of the day. Cakeballs, muffins, cookies, caramels, fudge and more.
* Rees Flowers, 249 Lincoln Circle: Forty percent off Christmas ornaments for the holiday.
* Lola and Giuseppe's Trattoria, 100 Granville St.: Pumpkin praline homemade pie made by Lola, $20. Call 48 hours in advance.
* The Chocolate Kitchen, 808 Mill St.: Twenty-percent discount on herb flavorings and oils.
The 12 shopping suggestions are a great beginning, Geiger said, but even more will be available along the trail.
Business and restaurant destinations offer gift certificates, and the Herbal Trail Discovery Guide with the trail map includes a complete list of Herbal Trail members.
A collaborative initiative, the trail is designed for partner participation, with members displaying the Herbal Trail logo on entry doors or windows and supplying a trail map that outlines the route.
For more information on the Herbal Trail, visit visitgahanna.com or call the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau at 614-418-9114.