The 2023 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.

Food Fantastique, The Practice, Trout Point Lodge

As we always say, experiences make really great gifts. And even better: they’re often available as tickets or gift cards, that you can buy even at the very last minute. You should head straight to our Travel & Experiences category for a great selection of memorable adventures. There are so many experiences on that list that really stand out — a mouthwatering food or wine tour, or a chef’s tasting; a once in a lifetime event like dining on the ocean floor or a guided tour of the 100 Wild Islands; weekend getaways; romance in the wilderness; memberships for art lovers, car buffs, or yoga enthusiasts; and theatre school for kids or a distilling workshop for grownups. And for animal lovers, a symbolic adoption of a local threatened species from Nova Scotia Nature Trust.

Neptune Theatre, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

Our Travel & Experiences category sponsor is Neptune Theatre, and they’ve got a dynamite lineup for 2024. They’re offering two ticket packages that are absolutely perfect for holiday giving. And what about tickets to some much-anticipated upcoming shows, like Rumour Has It, The Songbook of Adele or Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead? They also have packages to combine your night at the theatre with dinner or even an overnight hotel stay. There’s just no way you can go wrong with gifting some excitement to look forward to in the new year!

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia has a fabulous gallery shop at its Hollis Street location in Halifax, and its selection is truly impressive, featuring merchandise from current exhibits as well as items by many local and Indigenous artists. Their stock of items from the Wishlist is still good, and some of our favourites are this book about Maud Lewis, absolutely any of the folk art they carry, and the many choices for stocking stuffers, like jewelry, socks, and craft kits. The gallery shop will be open on December 24th from 10am-2pm for last-minute shoppers, and they also offer local pickup for your online orders.

Taste of Nova Scotia, White Point Beach Resort

As you’ve no doubt noticed, Taste of Nova Scotia curates some fabulous culinary gift boxes; the last day to place an order for the holidays will be December 20th, but there’s an option for local pickup at their office on Ochterloney Street in Dartmouth, so you’ll definitely have it before the 25th.

Consumables always make great last minute gifts, 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.

Gift certificates to White Point Beach Resort are always a big hit, and you can buy them right up to the very last minute, for any amount that fits your budget, starting at $50. Besides the iconic bunnies and the breathtaking ocean views, they have events and getaway packages lined up all year long. “Magical seaside moments’ is what they promise you at White Point, and they’ve been delivering on that since 1928. Personally, we’d love to try out one of those cozy Lakeside Glomes.

The Trainyard, Crafty Owl Artisans Market, Hook Line & Tinker

The Trainyard General Store’s cheerful shop on Portland Street in Dartmouth features so many local gift items, far more than the ones we’ve featured on the Wishlist (among their bestsellers are a great local collection of jigsaw puzzles), so it’s the perfect destination for last-minute gift pickups. They have a good selection right now, and they’ll be open from 10am-1pm on Christmas Eve. Ask them about delivery and local pickup options. And grab some of these colourful socks for everyone’s stocking!

A very worthwhile reason to head up to Shubenacadie before Christmas is a visit to Crafty Owl Artisans Market, a gift shop that’s all about promoting local artisans, and an excellent place to do some last-minute shopping. They’re well-stocked, especially with items from the Wishlist like these beach resin trays. There are also lots of gift tags, ornaments, soaps, candles, and gift boxes. They’ll be open on the 24th from 11am-4pm, but you can also order online for in-store pickup or delivery; they offer daily delivery to East Hants and weekly to HRM, but note that for both, the last delivery date is the 23rd.

Our newest sponsors are Hook, Line & Tinker, but we’ve been fans of their gorgeous modern embroidery kits for a long time, and you probably are too. They’re currently shipping next day, and they produce on demand so they can make and ship any of their designs, but December 20th is the final shipping day. If you want to make absolutely sure you get your hands on some Hook, Line & Tinker in time for Christmas, head to one of the local shops that carry them, buy a gift card online, or even download a .pdf pattern!

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

All For Knot: Their online store is fully stocked in all products, including the colourful rope dog toys on the Wishlist. A select number of their local retailers have recently restocked, including Masstown Creamery Market and The Binnacle. For online orders within the Maritimes, shipping is guaranteed before Christmas as long as you place your order by December 19th. They also offer local pick-up at their workshop location in Debert, Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, but you’ll need to select it at checkout when buying from their online store, and calling ahead of pick-up (902-641-5668) is encouraged.

Amos Pewter: Their two locations, on Main Street in Mahone Bay and Saltyard Way in Halifax, should be well-stocked with last minute jewelry, ornaments, tree toppers, sculptures (we’ve always coveted this little fox) and other home decor. Gift cards can be purchased in store or over the phone. On Christmas Eve they’ll be open until 3pm in both locations.

Argyle Fine Art: There’s an incredible selection packed into this little gallery, from so many talented local artists. Of course they have gift certificates in any amount, and what an amazing gift that would be! You can order digital gift certificates online, or you can reach out to them in person or over the phone if you’d prefer a paper version. If you have your eye on something specific, they ship and can do local delivery within HRM. They’ll also be open on December 24th from 11am-2pm for last minute gifts.

Believe Fairy Designs: They still have stock of those sweet little fairy doors and can offer local pick up (in Colby Village) or shipping right up until Christmas. They can also deliver in HRM.

Benjamin Bridge: All of their gift options featured on the Wishlist will be available for purchase right up until December 24th! You’ll find Nova 7 at the NSLC and local specialty shops, and Pink Piquette Zero at most grocery stores. The Terroir and Classic Tastings can be booked through their website.

Bridget Turner Jewellery: Bridget’s Wishlist items — like the cobalt blue sea glass hoops and ocean sparkle mini wave ring  — will still be available, with shipping and local pickup options (in Lawrencetown) available. Overnight shipping can be requested as well. She also sells gift certificates for those last minute decisions!

Burning Flame Candle Company: Their flagship candle location inside The Coffee Pro Bedford (961 Bedford Highway) will be fully stocked with all their holiday favourite candles leading into this final week, including Moon Mist Lobster, Someone in Nova Scotia Misses You, and Merry Christmas from Nova Scotia. They have over 65 fragrances and counting! If you’re shopping online, last minute shipping is available until December 18th, or you can opt for free in-store pickup. And here’s a hot tip: score 4 candles for $60 using the code STAYLIT, right up until Christmas.

Colleen Callahan-Sharpe: If you’re looking for something from Colleen’s website, like her upcycled crochet flower pins, you’ll be happy to know she offers local pickup in Fletcher’s Lake, near Fall River.

Ellie Parker Ceramics: Ellie doesn’t have much left on hand herself, but her listed retailers have had very large restocks recently, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble picking up some of her lovely ceramic earrings. The only question is: do you go with teardrops, mushrooms, or strawberries?

Bridget Turner Jewellery, Believe Fairy Designs, Ellie Parker Ceramics

FIKA Wellness Co: They should have plenty of stock, including their dreamy bath soaks, leading up to Christmas Eve, and they offer free local delivery in the HRM.

hi, love. greetings: All of their items are available last minute for pick-up in the Auburn area and some delivery, and they also have digital gift cards available in their online store. You might want to grab armloads of those plantable seed paper gift tags, bookmarks and boxed cards for yourself while you’re at it. And we haven’t even mentioned the stickers yet!

Inkwell Modern Handmade: All of their Inkwell Originals items on the Wishlist will still be in stock, including last minute cards and those beautiful prints. You can buy gift certificates in-store and online, and you know what a great selection of local products they have. Local delivery will be available on orders placed up until December 22nd. They also offer local pickup right up until Christmas Eve, and they’ll be open that day 10am-2pm.

Kept Shop: Lots of local goodies here, including these bath oils from Wildwood Creek. Their little shop on King Street in Dartmouth is still well-stocked, and on the 24th they’ll be open from 10am-3pm.

Kristen De Palma: Kristen’s products will be available right up to December 24th, for both KDP Letters (gosh, we love this tote bag) and To & From Seed Co. You can shop online, with local pickup/delivery and last minute shipping available.

Mable & Rose Handmade: Their brass knitting stitch marker set and necklace chain extenders will be available right up to the 24th. On Etsy, you can use the code LOCALPICKUP to pick up in the Spryfield area. Delivery within urban HRM can also be arranged. They can also offer digital or physical gift cards. For more info on gift cards or to arrange pick up, contact them directly by email ([email protected]) or on Instagram (@mable_and_rose).

Mercantile on Duke: This gorgeously curated gift shop in Chester is home base for Nor’easter Apparel, but also so much more. They’re still well-stocked, and you’ll find an impressive variety of handmade goods from Nova Scotia makers (maybe even our favourite tee). The staff is also great at helping last minute shoppers. And yes, they gift wrap. Open every day this week, including 10am-2:30pm on Christmas Eve.

My HOME Mercantile: All of their My HOME Apparel items will remain in stock through the holidays and beyond (they have lots!), including these cozy blanket scarves and the tartan fleece blanket. They have free pickup at their shop in Truro, and gift certificates are available online and in-store.

muse by mej: Everything is still in stock on the website for their lobster collection, including a Christmas card version. You can opt for shipping or free pickup in Truro, and you’ll also find their items at My HOME Mercantile in Truro, and at Fae Curio in Sydney.

Nova Scotia Nature Trust: Symbolic adoptions of a threatened species or an acre of habitat, for animal and nature lovers! Their Gifts of Nature are available at the last-minute, with instant online purchase.

hi, love. greetings, FIKA Wellness, Inkwell Originals

Poison Pear: Their clothing has been on our radar for years, and our recent faves are the books black leggings and cat stampede tee. They offer quick Xpresspost shipping, gift cards, gift wrapping, and local pickup. Plus they’ll be at the Seaport Market in person on December 23rd.

reFoundry: They’ve just added some new Made pieces to their growing inventory, so they’re well stocked. There are wood collages, bookends, and lamps on the Wishlist, as well as cool Founds for friends who’d appreciate being gifted some local history. And they currently have a 22% discount on all 2022 Mades and Founds! You can find many of their very special pieces on display at Lightship Brewing in Lunenburg and Saltbox Brewing in Mahone Bay, as well as shopping their website. And this week you can still arrange pickup in Lunenburg or Halifax, no need to ship.

Root of it All Remedies: They’ll have a small amount of stock put aside for the Christmas holidays. Come January they’ll be low, if not sold out, until the next batch is done brewing. So grab it while you can!

Rousseau Chocolatier: Hoping to put some Rousseau chocs under the tree? They’ll be offering local delivery (including same day) right up until December 23rd, contact their team for arrangements. Local pickup is available until December 24th at 1 pm. They also have gift certificates, digital or physical. Chocolates are being made daily and new stock is regularly available!

Sandra Ward Stitch Boutique: We know that violet apron has made its way onto at least a few personal wishlists. Sandra’s work is available for last minute gifts for pick up in the Amherst Shore area.

Sara & Ash: Sara’s paper quilling work is so intricate, and most of her items on the Wishlist are sold out, but you still might be able to snap up her quilled cherry blossoms. She offers local pickup in Hatchet Lake.

Scrub Inspired: Don’t you love the sound of that oatmeal coffee scrub? Scrub has a full range of skincare, and they’ve just restocked Sobeys on Prince Street in Sydney. They also offer a local North Sydney pickup and free local CBRM delivery for online orders.

Sea Glass Designs: All of the items on their website, including these earrings and gorgeous pendant, should be available for local pickup right through to the 24th (the 23rd would be the last day to order). They also have gift certificates available online.

The Floatation Centre: Their gift cards will be available until the very bitter end! And besides floatation therapy, they also offer massage therapy and an infrared sauna. A great self-care gift.

Waugh’s River Gardens: Nova Kraut Sauerkraut is well stocked and will be available in all listed stores right up until Christmas and after as well.

Wool a Fibers: Their wool diffusers are always available in store or contact them via Facebook for pickup or shipping. They’ll also be at the Wolfville Farmers Market on December 23rd.

Mable & Rose Handmade, Nova Scotia Nature Trust, Sea Glass Designs

These are just a handful of the 500+ local gift ideas in this year’s Local Wishlist. And many of them are still available. Head to the full list and start browsing!

Take Me To The 2023 Local Wishlist


The Local Wishlist is made possible by our Category Sponsors:

Neptune TheatreArt Gallery of Nova ScotiaTaste of Nova Scotia
Evergreen FestivalWhite PointHalifax Chamber of Commerce
Downtown Halifax Business Commission

And by our Friends of the Local Wishlist:

Christmas Tree Council of Nova ScotiaThe Trainyard General Store
Crafty Owl Artisans MarketHook, Line & TinkerHalifax 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 has big love for local.