Shop local and support Nanaimo’s independent businesses, artisans, makers and creators this holiday season. Nanaimo has a plethora of gift stores and experiences that will make finding something for everyone on your list a breeze.

This gift guide will help you find that unique piece of Nanaimo to share with your loved ones, no matter whether they live next door or on the other side of Canada. 

Don’t live in Nanaimo? No problem, most stores are happy to accommodate shipping even if they don’t have an online store.

While we can’t cover every store or artisan in our guide, it is a great starting point for your holiday gift purchases. 

Don’t forget to explore the delights of downtown Nanaimo and the Old City Quarter, where retailers are showcasing their best holiday gift suggestions:

Scroll to see all our shopping suggestions or click on the menu below to jump to your preferred section:

Gifts to Eat and Drink

Edible Gifts

Nanaimo Bar Gifts: Why not box up a selection of Nanaimo bars for a sweet and tasty gift? Check out our Nanaimo Bar Trail for a list of locations offering traditional and specialty bars as well as other Nanaimo bar-flavoured treats.

OUR PICK:

  • Hearthstone Bakery. As seen on TV! Hearthstone offers three regular and one monthly rotating flavour of Nanaimo Bar.  

Specialty and Deli Food Gifts

Looking for an edible offering for the discerning foodie in your life? These deli’s and specialty food stores offer unique eats, ready-made gift baskets and even some mail-friendly options.

  • McLeans Specialty Foods. Hard to find specialty local and imported food items including the island’s largest collection of cheeses. McLeans offers pre-designed and custom gift baskets.

OUR PICK: Happy Appy Basket

  • St Jeans Cannery. Share the taste of premium West Coast seafood, processed right here in Nanaimo. St Jeans offers gift baskets and boxes as well as travel-friendly pouches.

OUR PICK: Hummingbird Gift Tin


Gift a Locally Created Drink

The holidays are a great time to clink a glass with friends and what better than to raise a toast with a locally made alcoholic beverage?

Spirits

Beer

With four local breweries to choose from you’re spoiled for choice. All offer filled Growlers which make a great gift.

Wine

Celebrate the season with a bottle of wine produced right here in Nanaimo.

Don’t forget: A gift certificate to one of our many fabulous restaurants is always well-received and supports local businesses too!


Activity Gifts

Know someone who prefers action to objects? Give them the gift of a future adventure with a certificate for a Nanaimo activity.

For the Thrill-Seeker

Buy a gift certificate for an experience they won’t soon forget. 

OUR PICKS:

For the Water Lover

With so many options to get out on the water in Nanaimo, you can’t go wrong with a water based activity gift.

OUR PICKS

For the Kids

A great option for active kids:  A Nanaimo Parks and Recreation activity pass gives access to swimming, skating and other drop-in activities.

For the Theatre Enthusiast

For those who enjoy experiencing live music, comedy or drama, the gift of theatre tickets, or a voucher to purchase their own, will get you a standing ovation.

  • Port Theatre: Over 250 events take place each year at this 800+ seat theatre that just celebrated its 25th Anniversary.
  • Nanaimo Theatre Group: Local productions throughout the year held at the 173 seat Bailey Studio.

For The Hobbyist

The holidays are a great chance to support someone’s hobby or special interest with a thoughtfully chosen gift. 

For the Cycling Enthusiast

If they love riding the trails they will love a gift from one of these stores:

For the Crafter

Crafters and artists always appreciate the gift of a beautiful pen or an eye catching notebook.

For the Spiritual Souls

Find a unique gift for crystal collectors and lovers of the metaphysical.


Locally Made Artisan Creations

Nanaimo has a delightful selection of gift and art stores offering locally made items that will allow you to experience and share the spirit of Nanaimo this holiday season. From Coast Salish art to artisan made jewellery to Francine Peter’s eye-catching artistic depictions of Nanaimo.

Indigenous Stores

Supporting and sharing the stories and creativity of our local indigenous communities.

Locally Made

A true Nanaimo gift inspired by the city and made here too.

Nanaimo Themed Gifts

Share your love of Nanaimo with a themed gift.

See our Shopping in Nanaimo page for more store suggestions