If you’ve been hunting for that perfect Christmas gift recently, you have likely have experienced the high stress that comes with shopping at Canberra’s main mall precincts during the festive season – the full car parks, big queues and fight to get the last gift on the shelf.

Each year we always say we are going to be more organised, and if you’re like me, I never keep this promise to myself. So here are five ideas for that perfect Christmas gift outside your traditional shopping mall experience!


1. Christmas in the City markets

Christmas in the City is hosting a series of handcrafted gift and art markets this silly season to help you find the perfect presents for family and friends! Peruse the many stalls and variety of unique items to find something a little more special for your loved ones this Christmas. And while you’re here why not explore one of the various street food themed Christmas markets to keep you going on the hunt for that present!

Details: Daily from 16-24 December, 12-10pm, City Walk, Civic


2. Old Bus Depot Christmas Markets

Open every Saturday and Sunday before Christmas, check out the Old Bus Depot Markets while on the hunt for your Chrissy presents! This market has everything you need for Christmas – from the large array of unique and handcrafted gifts to beautiful pieces for Christmas cheer this silly season like wreaths, advent calendars and candles! Also check out the delicious Christmas spread on offer including gingerbread houses, puddings, local cheeses and so much more.

Details: Every Saturday and Sunday until 18 December, 10am-4pm, 21 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston


3. Santa Claus Lane Markets

Each Saturday until Christmas, the City Walk Markets will transform into the Santa Clause Lane Markets. There will be an array of Christmas goodies, arts, crafts and even activities for the kids too! Bring the whole family along, peruse the markets and post a letter to Santa with your Chrissy wish list. Then enjoy the live music and relax, while tucking into some delicious food and street eats on offer.

Details: Every Saturday until Christmas, 10am-4pm, City Walk near the Civic merry-go-round


4. Lonsdale Street

Head down to Lonsdale Street where there is an amazing mix of eclectic boutiques and stores that will help you find that next Christmas gift. The Ori Building is host to a myriad of local businesses who were a part of the old Lonsdale Street Traders across the road. Check out the amazing homewares and handcrafted items at Hive, or for all things fashion and accessories see Rebel Muse and Peachy Keen. Or for the best of both make sure you visit itrip iskip (pictured) too! A little further along the street is the Designer Op Shop, an awesome spot to find some cool vintage gifts and items that you won’t find anywhere else.

Details: Ori Building, 30 Lonsdale Street, Braddon. Designer Op Shop, 18 Lonsdale Street, Braddon


5. DIY Gifts

For something particularly unique this Christmas, try your hand at some DIY gifts and get creative! Whether it’s baking some delicious Christmas goodies (mince tarts anyone?), arts and crafts, writing or designing something for those special to you. Make a gift with that personal touch this festive season. Never underestimate the appreciation people feel from handmade, personal presents.