My brother will be starting on campus this January. I want to get him gift certificates to local hangouts. Any suggestions?

How exciting for him! There are a lot of popular off-campus spots to eat, drink, study, and hang out. Uncommon Grounds is a good one; it’s a cozy coffee shop with squishy leather chairs and a gigantic selection of bagels. You can stay all day doing work (free wi-fi!) and they won’t bug you to leave.

Another choice is Putnam Market — it’s not so much of a hangout as a miniature grocery store, but in addition to making some of the best sandwiches in Saratoga Springs (being a bit pricey, they might be enjoyed more if purchased with a gift certificate) Putnam has so many cute snacks, cupcakes, gourmet goodies and even containers of soup you can take home. Good for buying a meal or a snack when you get sick of the dining hall.

Finally, one of my favorite places in town is Virgil’s House on Henry St. They make a mean latte and have grilled cheese "sammiches" on the menu. Plus you aren’t allowed to use electronic devices in Virgil’s, so it’s a great place to actually talk to your friends, go on a date, or play a board game. Super cute and very affordable too.

Hope this helps!

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