The 2021 Last Minute Local Gift Guide

We know the feeling — that low-level panic that sets in when you don’t have everything checked off on your holiday shopping list, and it’s getting too late to order. Don’t worry! There are so many local gifts that you can still get, especially from the Local Wishlist. We’ve put together a little guide to help you finish that list, and many of these local gifts are still available right up until December 24th.

Murphy’s Camping on the Ocean, East Coast Balloon Adventures, Birkinshaw’s Tea Room

First of all, we always say that experiences make great gifts. And even better: they’re available as tickets or gift cards, that you can buy even at the very last minute. You should head straight to our Travel & Experiences section for a great selection of memorable adventures. There are so many experiences on that list that really stand out — a camping trip to Nova Scotia’s 100 Wild Islands, a hot air balloon ride across the Annapolis Valley, a luxury afternoon tea. Maybe piano or voice lessons, or learning how to make their own wine? How about a spa facial to lift their spirits, or tickets to a comedy festival? And don’t forget the nature lovers — you can adopt an acre of habitat or a threatened species for someone from Nova Scotia Nature Trust, or sponsor an animal at Shubenacadie Wildlife Park.

Neptune Theatre

Our Travel & Experiences category sponsor is Neptune Theatre, and they’ve recently announced their 2022 productions. What about tickets to some much-anticipated upcoming shows, like Samqwan, or The Rocky Horror Show? They also have streaming available for their production of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, so you can watch as a family from the comfort of home.

Made in the Maritimes, Nimbus Publishing

Our Home & Garden sponsors at Made in the Maritimes stocked so many items from the Wishlist this year, and they still have many left, at one or both of their two locations. You can pick up some great gifts at the very last minute, too. Grab a few of those soaps or gift sets to fill stockings!

If books under the tree is one of your family traditions, Nimbus Publishing has dozens of new titles this year, and you can choose a quick shipping option on their website right up until the last few days. But if you miss the deadline, many of their books can be found at local, independent booksellers right up until Christmas Eve.

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Peace by Chocolate

Don’t forget that Art Gallery of Nova Scotia has a gift shop, and its selection is incredible, featuring many local and Indigenous artists. At time of writing, their stock of items from the Wishlist is still good. The gallery shop will be open December 23rd 2-9pm and December 24th 10am-2pm for last-minute shoppers.

Peace by Chocolate’s local shipping deadline is December 20th, but don’t despair if you miss that: their products are available at dozens of specialty stores and grocery locations across the province. You can also pop into their stores in Halifax or Antigonish.

White Point Beach Resort, The Trainyard General Store

Gift certificates to White Point Beach Resort would never go astray, and besides the bunnies and the breathtaking views, another drawing card is the events and getaway packages they have lined up all year long. This year also saw the addition of brand new Lakeside Glomes, their unique spin on glamorous camping.

The Trainyard General Store’s lovely new space on Portland Street in Dartmouth features a multitude of local products, far more than the ones you spotted on the Wishlist, so it’s a great destination for last-minute gift pickups. They have a good selection right now, and they’ll be open from 10am-3pm on Christmas Eve. Ask about delivery and local pickup options.

Rousseau Chocolatier, Bulwark Cider, HardyWares Jam

Beyond experiences, consumables make for great gifts as well, especially for the “they already have everything” people on your list. You should still be able to find most of the food or drink items on the Wishlist. Farmers’ markets or specialty groceries are a good place to start, and most of the wine, beer and spirits can be found at NSLC or specialty shops, or direct from the vendors’ locations. Look for more details in our Food & Drink category, sponsored by Taste of Nova Scotia.

Here are more businesses that we know are well stocked and ready for last-minute shopping:

Afishionado Fishmongers: Have you been drooling over that Smoked Salmon Box? Their Bedford location is open until 2pm on the 24th, but you’ll need to have your holiday pre-orders in by Tuesday, December 21st at midnight.

Aflame Creations: All of Aflame’s items listed in our Jewelry section should be available right up through December 24th. They can offer local pickup at the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market on Saturday the 18th 8am-2pm and Sunday the 19th 10am-2pm. You can also arrange pickup at the studio, located between Chester and Windsor, up until the 24th, and they’ll likely arrange a pickup/drop-off day in the HRM sometime next week. There’s a contact form on their website to get in touch.

Allyson Simmie Metal Arts: You should be able to find her earrings at Made in the Maritimes and Fireworks Gallery in Halifax, and Northern Sun Gallery in Mahone Bay.

Amos Pewter: Their shops on Lower Water Street in Halifax and Main Street in Mahone Bay will be open every day until Christmas Eve. You should be able to find most of their jewelry and ornaments that are on the Wishlist.

Annapolis Valley Luffa: Those multi-scrubbers and body sponges can be found at dozens of retail locations around the province. Check this link for the full list.

Anther & Apiary: You can find their unpasteurized honey and other products at various retailers. See their listing for stockists.

Argyle Fine Art – They still have a good amount of stock available, including our favourite folk art birds, and can deliver in HRM if needed, or make arrangements. They also have gift certificates, and will be open on Christmas Eve until 2pm.

Believe Fairy Designs: They’re well-stocked with those adorable fairy doors! You can contact them through their website to arrange local pickup.

builderburner ceramics: They’re still fairly well-stocked, including the items listed in our Home & Garden section, but contact Alana through Facebook or Instagram to find out how you can get hold of specific pieces.

Caldera Distilling: They’ve assured us that their Hurricane 5 Whisky is  well-stocked at NSLC locations, and should be right up through Christmas Eve.

Colette Thomas: Her book The Forgotten Son will be available to purchase at the Dartmouth Book Exchange and the Highland Village Museum in Iona right up until December 24th. It’s also available online, with quick shipping options, through Amazon.

Colleen Callahan Sharpe: Colleen’s unique upcycled cushion covers are available right up through December 24th — contact her through her website form to make arrangements.

Crafty Owl Artisans Market: Crafty Owl is well-stocked at their Shubenacadie location, and they’re open every day between now and December 24th. Load up on soaps and bath bombs to fill those stockings!

Duckish Natural Skin Care: Duckish products, including shampoo, conditioner and body wash bars, can be found at The Trainyard General Store, Organic Earth Market, and many Sobeys locations. Check their website for details.

Ellie Parker Ceramics: Her delicate little earrings can be found at Inkwell in Halifax and Kept Gifts & Housewares in Dartmouth.

Hen And Goose Pet Supply: You can pick up their adorable pet bandanas and collars from their shop in Eastern Passage, but only until December 19th. After that they’ll be closed until January 10th, but there should still be some stock at The Trainyard General Store.

Hutchinson’s Maple Products: Hutchinson’s tells us their Breakfast Box (and many other fine maple products) will be available all the way up to Christmas and most likely into the new year. You can search for retailers on their website, or contact them through the form.

Inkwell Modern Handmade Boutique: You know Inkwell will be well-stocked, and they’ve even had some recent arrivals. They’ll be open at their Brunswick Street location every day through December 24th. They offer local delivery, curbside pickup, and gift certificates.

Jampy: Those SeaFlakes ornaments make a great last-minute gift, and Chris at Jampy will be offering online sales and pickup in Dartmouth until December 24th.

King & North: Their small-batch chocolate bars are mostly sold out, but you may be able to find some at the Where to Buy locations in their listing.

Laughing Pear Soap Company: Their soaps and tub truffles are all available through December 24th, and they offer local pickup in Upper Sackville.

Michele Faulkner: Michele makes those adorable forest animal totes, among many other things, and on her website she offers local pickup in Upper Tantallon as an option at checkout.

Mrs. MacGregor’s Shortbreads: Handcrafted shortbreads are available at their shop in Pictou, or check their list of stockists here.

Nor’easter Apparel: They offer free curbside pickup in Martins Point for their clothing and accessories.

Petite Rivière Vineyards: That sweet cranberry wine, along with their other products, will be available at participating NSLC locations through the 24th.

Rescue Coffee: Their howl-iday blend and other coffees are available at various retailers around the province. See their listing for stockists.

Rita Van Tassel Studio: Many of Rita’s hand-stitching felt kits, like the house hippo and octopus, can be found at The Trainyard General Store in Dartmouth and Mariner’s Daughter in Lunenburg.

Rousseau Chocolatier: Even if you missed out on their limited edition holiday chocolate bars, Rousseau’s shop on South Street in Halifax is full of chocolatey goodness. They’ll be open until 3pm on Christmas Eve to pick up last-minute treats.

RRoth Art: Their holiday paintings will be available right up to December 24th, but there are limited quantities remaining at Fishermans Cove Gallery, Argyle Fine Art and Made in the Maritimes.

Sage and Sweetgrass: If you had your eye on the aromatherapy gift set, you can pick up that and other wonderful self-care products at their boutique on Caldwell Road in Dartmouth. See their website for holiday hours.

Sea Glass Designs: Their jewelry is available through the website for local pickup through December 23rd, and available in the two shops listed through to the 24th. They also offer gift certificates on the website.

Sheep’s Clothing: Their stock is still fairly good, although they may be limited in sizes for the sweaters. It’s past their deadline for holiday shipping, but contact them before December 22nd (their factory shutdown) if you’d like to arrange a gift certificate.

Shivani’s Kitchen: Their Indian spice blends are available at Sobeys and Atlantic Superstore locations around the province.

Spiffo!: Their razors, shaving brushes and shave sets are available for local pickup in Dartmouth. Details on their website.

The Butler’s Pantry: If you can’t get to their Amherst location (Birkinshaw’s Tea Room), they offer 1 or 2 day delivery by courier. December 20th is the last day for shipping Christmas cakes.

The Happiness Field: Their colourful earrings are still in stock at The Trainyard General Store and Inkwell.

THERApotions: They offer free Halifax and area doorstep delivery on all of their products, including the Zen Gift Set and Essential Sticks Collection. Check their website for details.

Wool a Fibers: Those sweet little wool diffusers in our Stocking Stuffers section are available until Christmas and they can arrange local pickup in the Windsor area. Contact them through Facebook, at the link.

Yellow Petal Handmade: If you’d still like to order some of those sweet cotton face pads or keychain wristlets for stocking stuffers (they’ve also got some great crafting project bags), curbside pick up can be arranged for local orders in Upper Tantallon.

Laughing Pear, Argyle Fine Art, Aflame Creations

These are just some of the hundreds of local gift ideas available in this year’s Local Wishlist. Head to the full list and start browsing!

Take Me To The 2021 Local Wishlist


The Local Wishlist is made possible by our Category Sponsors:

Neptune TheatreNimbusTaste of Nova Scotia
Evergreen FestivalWhite PointDowntown Halifax Business Commission
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

And by our Friends of the Local Wishlist:

Christmas Tree Council of Nova ScotiaThe Trainyard General Store
Crafty Owl Artisans MarketHalifax Partnership

About the author

Kate Kirkpatrick

A Nova Scotia native, Kate chased the bright lights of other cities for a while, but eventually found her way home. She's the minder of all things Halifax Bloggers. And yes, she loves this town.