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.
Scroll to see all our shopping suggestions or click on the menu below to jump to your preferred section:
Gifts to Eat and Drink
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.
- 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?
- Arbutus Distillery. This award-winning distillery specializes in spirits featuring 100% local and BC-grown fermentables and botanicals.
- OUR PICK: Baba Yaga Absinthe
With four local breweries to choose from you’re spoiled for choice. All offer filled Growlers which make a great gift.
- Longwood Brewery and Brew Pub. Longwood’s ‘obsessively local’ beer includes 6 popular core and a number of rotating seasonal brews.
- Wolf Brewing. Producing European-inspired west-coast brews.
- White Sails. Offering a range of award-winning brews inspired by island living.
- OUR PICK: Longwood’s Steam Punk Dunkel
Celebrate the season with a bottle of wine produced right here in Nanaimo.
- Millstone Estate Winery. Producing handcrafted wines, focusing on Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Ortega and Gwertz.
- Chateau Wolff Estate Winery. Red, white and rose options are all offered from this family-run organic vineyard.
- OUR PICK: Chateau Wolff Viognier Blend
Don’t forget: A gift certificate to one of our many fabulous restaurants is always well-received and supports local businesses too!
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Aura Arcana. Offering crystals, cards, incense and wellness products.
- Amethyst Forest. Specialists in metaphysical goods including crystals, jewellery and sound healing tools.
- Nanaimo Rock and Gem. Showcasing a collection of captivating gems and intriguing fossils.
- OUR PICK: Aura Arcana Gift Certificate
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.
Supporting and sharing the stories and creativity of our local indigenous communities.
A true Nanaimo gift inspired by the city and made here too.
- Island-ish: Showcasing local handmade jewellery, candles, soap and other gifts.
- Artzi Stuff: A curated collection of witty, colourful and sustainably made gifts from 65+ local artisans.
- Nanaimo Art Gallery: The Gallery Store features work for sale by over 138 Vancouver Island artists and makers.
- OUR PICK: Resin island tree ornament
Nanaimo Themed Gifts
Share your love of Nanaimo with a themed gift.
- Nanaimo Museum: Unique Nanaimo keepsakes and unique including items featuring Francine Peters colourful portrayals of west coast life and wooden carvings from local indigenous artists
- Newfoundland to Nanaimo: Locally made and Nanaimo themed gifts and souvenirs for the whole family.
- OUR PICK: Happy Black Bear with Nanaimo Hoodie
See our Shopping in Nanaimo page for more store suggestions