A stress-free guide to holiday shopping in Vancouver

by Megan Jones

Whether your holiday shopping list includes your best friend, sibling, boss or even your dog, shopping for gifts during the year’s busiest retail season is often anything but simple. This year, read on for a simple guide to crossing off your gift list in Vancouver without the hassle or stress. [Photo courtesy of Tourism Vancouver/Rishad Daroowala]

A stress-free guide to holiday shopping in Vancouver

Find inspiration in an unlikely location

Tired of visiting the same old shopping districts and department stores? These unique shops provide crowd-free browsing and plenty of fresh inspiration.

  • Gulf of Georgia Cannery: Wonderful gifts await inside this historic cannery museum gift shop – from smoked salmon and coastal artworks to toques and mittens. These items are perfect for those who love the West Coast (and who doesn’t?)
  • Ayoub’s Dried Fruits: Find oodles of snack options at Ayoub’s, where dozens upon dozens of containers house delicious dried fruits and nuts – and creative mixes – as well as chocolate and other sweet and savory delights.
  • Yokoyaya: This expansive department store is brimming with gifts from Japan that will surprise even the savviest Vancouver shopper. With more than 15,000 imported items on display, find everything from plush animals to skincare and treats. Don’t forget to bring a large shopping bag – you’ll need it!
  • Looking for more unusual gift ideas? Check out this YP list of shops for unique Christmas gift ideas that will take you all over the city.

Give the gift of shared experience

Capitalize on the latest trend in gifting – experiences – and you’ll get to join in the fun with your loved one, all while impressing them with your creative and adventurous spirit.

  • Get outside: Trekking through the forest or around a pristine lake with friends and family isn’t only for summertime. Read on for this YP list of 5 things to know to start snowshoeing this winter, and make sure to read these 10 safety tips for winter hikers before you depart.
  • Plan a relaxing massage: A couple’s massage is the perfect way to help your loved one relax – while getting some R&R for yourself. Not convinced? Check out this YP list of best Vancouver salons for couple massages and read about the soothing benefits of massage here.
  • Make reservations at a classic Vancouver restaurant: From Italian to Japanese, Vancouver is known for its great restaurants. Treat your loved one to a meal and a glass of wintry wine at one of Vancouver’s best casual fine-dining restaurants.
  • Go on an active (indoor) date for two: For those who want to get fit while escaping the cold, an active indoor date makes the perfect gift. This YP list provides several local dates that will get you moving – and laughing – together this season.

Gift a classic Vancouver favourite: beer

Vancouver is known for its exploding craft beer scene – and what gift could be more appropriate for the suds lover in your life than a pint or two (or better yet, a growler)? Here are top gift ideas originating from Vancouver’s favorite libation.

  • A brewery tour of Vancouver: Treat your loved ones to a walking tour of East Vancouver’s many craft breweries. This handy YP guide provides the 10 best breweries to visit for a warm and cozy experience on a wintry weekend day.
  • A growler (or two): From your dinner party host to your older sister, YP’s ultimate guide to Vancouver’s craft beer scene lists breweries with wide varieties of beer, ideal for matching specific tastes to your loved one’s unique personality.

Save money – and build memories – with a DIY gift

Vancouver is home to a plethora of shops and boutiques carrying products that provide tools, inspiration, materials and often instructions for DIY gifts. Whether you decide to go simple or elaborate, here are a few choice options.

  • Three Bags Full Knit Shop: This colourful boutique offers threads, wools, needles and even passes to classes led by talented instructors.
  • Dressew Supply Ltd: Fabrics of varying colours, textures and thread counts fill this expansive Gastown shop. Find the perfect material for that skirt you’ve been meaning to sew your mother – or the tablecloth you’ve been designing for your best friend.
  • Paper-Ya: Want to craft your own Christmas cards this year? Search no further than Vancouver’s sweetest stationery shop located on Granville Island.
  • Looking for further inspiration? Check out this YP list of local stores for DIY presents – and happy crafting!

Give the gift of personalization

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