A tisket, a tasket
April 29, 2010 10:51 AM   Subscribe

Looking for suggestions for hotel room gift basket for our out-of-town wedding guests (in July). Bonus for Minnesota/Twin Cities-themed items.

What we have already:

-homemade CD of local artists (Prince, Replacements, Husker Du, etc)
-bottle of water (not exciting, but was suggested as something simple that would be appreciated)
-Grain Belt beer or Summit
-BT McElrath chocolates (local, delicious)
-map of the area
-something wild-ricey?
-little box of Cheerios (or some other such General Mills products)
-maybe some Advil/Tums in case they drink too much or have travel aches
-Nut Goodie or Nut Roll (Pearson's brand, from MN)
-3M product?

Most of these are things you imbibe...so maybe some other categories of items? I just don't want to get anything too pricey/big/weird that people will leave behind in their rooms.

Probably about 15 total baskets, if that helps.
posted by jilliank to Shopping (17 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Your friends may be very different from mine, but I'm not going to go nuts over a bag of wild rice. If I'm in their shoes, I'm coming into town to have a kickass party for your wedding; you don't really need to get me anything. In fact, spare the expense. If you do feel the need, [aA 6-er of primo, a map, and some advil would be all I need.
posted by craven_morhead at 10:59 AM on April 29, 2010

Your list already sounds better than any wedding gift basket I've ever received. I think you're doing a good thing keeping it to consumables - it's nice to have snacks in a hotel room, and then you aren't giving your guests extra stuff they have to cart back home.
posted by something something at 11:00 AM on April 29, 2010

We got married before people our parent's age could look everything up online, so this may not be as useful now, but we also included a copy of City Pages. Thankfully, there wasn't anything scandalous on the cover that week ;)
posted by advicepig at 11:02 AM on April 29, 2010

My brother and sister-in-law (mostly the latter, but I'll give him credit) also included a little sewing repair kit and those Shout stain-remover pens. Both came in handy for unexpected wardrobe malfunctions/spills through the day.
posted by xingcat at 11:03 AM on April 29, 2010

I second the sewing repair kit and stain remover pens. I might also add safety pins.

A map of the area would be very helpful.

Eye mask and ear plugs. These can be found enexpensively at the drugstore or you could get cutesy with the eyemasks and find something fun. Etsy.com has a lot of them.
posted by TooFewShoes at 11:11 AM on April 29, 2010

Go to the Enchanted Rock Garden in Minneapolis and buy them each a small Lake Superior Agate. What could be more Minnesotan than that?
posted by Think_Long at 11:14 AM on April 29, 2010

mini apples and mini soda?
(depends on how popular puns are in your family)
posted by dinty_moore at 11:21 AM on April 29, 2010 [3 favorites]

Grain Belt beer or Summit

What, no Hamms?
posted by Pollomacho at 11:21 AM on April 29, 2010

Depending on how long they'll be in the city and how many meals they'll be eating on their own, a printout with suggestions of a few restaurants and bars of different types within walking distance (or short driving distance) of the hotel is a very nice gesture. (You could even theme it up if you wanted, "DiMaggio's -- the Italian restaurant where Joe and Jillian got engaged" ... "McDonald's on Fourth -- the fast food joint where they went after a bad party with no food and found out they could laugh together about awkward situations.")

Something like that, or a little hand-sketched map of the area around the hotel with good breakfast places, fun bars, a few sights to see, is really nice if they'll have some free time.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:22 AM on April 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

(Also, if you're not familiar with minimus.biz, it's a great place for sample/travel size stuff and they have some regional-type things.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:23 AM on April 29, 2010

dinty_moore, the locals would think, "what's with the mini pop?"
posted by advicepig at 12:26 PM on April 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

For something more on the order of a souvenir, there are charming highlights-of-Minnesota dish towels. I'm sure I've seen them at the Minnesota Historical Society gift shop and probably other places. Lots of other MN-themed stuff there too, of course.

Reading material? Plenty of good local writers do vacation-y weight material - Kevin Kling, Lorna Landvik, Garrison Keillor...

Can of Spam? ;-)
posted by lakeroon at 12:33 PM on April 29, 2010

For your 3M product, I would recommend post-it notes. They are awfully handy. A pen for jotting notes during the wedding trip might be good too, now that they have paper to write on.

When I've been the recipient of these kinds of goodie bags, the most popular items have been snack foods: bags of trail mix, fun-sized chocolates, bottled drinks, etc. At one wedding we were all staying in cabins at this vacation-rental resort place, and had to pick up our gift bags from the main lodge when we arrived. It turned out to be a great get-to-know-everyone thing, because we were all trading snacks. Personally I hate those orangey cheddar crackers with peanut butter on them, but I met some interesting people when I traded mine for a mini-pack of pringles that was in somebody else's bag. It wasn't a planned ice-breaker activity, just an accidentally fun thing that happened. Perhaps you could encourage something similar.
posted by vytae at 2:01 PM on April 29, 2010

Make the gift bag itself a reusable Target bag!
posted by knile at 2:13 PM on April 29, 2010

Get hold of some issues of "Minnesota Conservation Volunteer" magazine (http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/magazine/index.html), which is free but asks for donations to the DNR: it's chock full of gorgeous photos of the area.

A Saints baseball: the kids can play with it, and Saints stuff should be pretty cheap. (Call and ask for the marketing manager and tell him/her you want to buy a bunch of stuff.)

The gift shop at the Minnesota History Center has awesome things. Could you call them and ask for a suggestion within a certain price range? Even a postcard (with a stamp?) would be cool, especially the photo ones they carry.

A small tin of mints, like Atloids Smalls, that they can stick in their pocket and have all weekend.

A flat of 3M tape strips: everyone steals Post-Its from work but tape strips rule.

Three more votes for Salted Nut Rolls: I buy a case every time I'm in town (along with drinking all the Summit beer I can politely get my hands on).

Call the state tourism office and ask what they give out of town dignitaries (http://www.exploreminnesota.com/contact-us).
posted by wenestvedt at 6:43 AM on April 30, 2010

Cheese Curds. Bonus points if they are from Ellsworth.
posted by Sheppagus at 1:30 PM on April 30, 2010

A ramekin of hotdish? I kid. (But only a little. Hotdish is awesome.)

I love the ideas upthread of Post Its and a Minnesota pen -- so useful. If you have a site set up where people can upload and share their pictures from the wedding, perhaps include a card that includes the relevant information... maybe write it on the back of a nice postcard? A deck of state- or city-themed playing cards might be nice as well.

Mazel tov on your upcoming nuptials!
posted by vespertine at 12:00 AM on May 1, 2010

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