Finding the perfect Christmas presents for family and friends is easy in the Ottawa area. No matter your budget, you’ll discover unique items and memorable experiences for the foodies, animal-lovers and Canada fans in your life. Check out our themed list of places to find epic gifts in the Ottawa region this holiday season. (Note: Many of the businesses mentioned below have online shopping options.)
For the person who…
Goes Christmas crazy every holiday season
- Get your Christmas decorations all year round at Tinseltown Christmas Emporium, located just west of downtown. The charming boutique is full of gingerbread houses, snow globes, ornaments, artificial trees, stockings, candles, wreaths, life-sized reindeer and cute Santas.
- Browse artisan gifts and special holiday items at local markets, including the Ottawa Christmas Market, the ByWard Market, the Ottawa Farmers’ Market and the Parkdale Market.
- Many Ottawa-area businesses create fun seasonal products, like Garden Path Homemade Soap’s candy cane bar soap, Purple Urchin’s ginger spice bath bomb and Doozy Candle’s holiday options.
- Take your giftee to special holiday events in the city or countryside. Spend a fun day at a festive farm, walk or drive under millions of lights, enjoy a choir show, or enjoy live entertainment at large and small performance venues.
- Bakeries and other shops always produce delicious and sweet holiday treats that make adorable (and yummy) gifts, including advent calendars, cookies, yule logs, drinks, and much more.
Is a foodie at heart
- Food shops such as Thyme & Again, Red Apron and Epicuria not only sell prepared food, but also food-related accessories and gift items. Some also offer meal subscription services!
- Get all the kitchenware you can imagine, plus fun holiday items at kitchen supply stores such as Kitchenalia in Westboro Village and Pot & Pantry on Elgin Street.
- Stubbe chocolates in the Wellington West neighbourhood uses premium quality chocolate in all of its products. Choose from advent calendars, hot chocolate mixes, truffles, and even specially-shaped treats like santas, snowmen, cats, dogs, and even high-heeled shoes!
- Foodie experiences make memorable gifts. Consider C’est Bon Ottawa’s gourmet food tours and cooking classes, Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa’s short courses, and excursions with Ottawa Tasting Tours and La Vida Local Food + Wine Tours.
- Treat your giftee to an outing or takeout from their favourite restaurant, or buy them a gift certificate.
Loves animals more than anything
- Little Ray’s Nature Centre offers special experiences including private zoo tours to see exotic species including reptiles, as well as private encounters with a live sloth!
- Did you know you can take woolly animals like llamas and alpacas for a walk at a local farm? This therapeutic outdoor experience is available at Maple Hill Urban Farm located in the Greenbelt just west of downtown, and Jock River Alpaca and Llama Farm in the countryside southwest of Ottawa.
- Animal lovers flock to Park Omega in Montebello, Que. all year long. The self-drive Canadian safari and nature trails are surrounded by wildlife including deer, bison, bears and wolves. The ultimate gift: an overnight stay in a year-round cabin that looks directly into a wolf den!
- Take the hippophile (horse-lover) in your life for a magical ride on the snowy trails at Captiva Farms, a horseback riding ranch just north of Ottawa near Wakefield, Québec.
Knows everything about beer and spirits
- Options abound for beer lovers: the 2022 edition of Nita Beer Company’s Craft Holiday Beer Calendar contains 24 (surprise) cans from 22 Ontario breweries; dozens of breweries across the region sell cool swag (and delicious beer); and Brew Donkey’s fun brewery tours and virtual experiences are basically fun adult field trips.
- Ottawa-area distilleries make smooth spirits. Get some quality gin, vodka, rum, whiskey and more at North of 7 Distillery, Ogham Craft Spirits, Dunrobin Distilleries, Dairy Distillery, and Artist in Residence Distillerie.
- Get local mixes to make perfect drinks! Split Tree Cocktail Co. produces all-natural cordials with flavours like raspberry mint and ginger vanilla. Their gift sets make a great gift!
- Bar From Afar offers complete cocktail kits that include all the ingredients you need, as well wine and custom food board packages. Delivery or pick up available.
Can't get enough of the Outdoors, wellness and adventure
- Fans of winter activities will love a season pass for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or even fat-biking in Gatineau Park. You can also reserve accommodations in the park.
- Downhill lovers would appreciate a day or season’s pass to one of the downhill skiing and snowboarding resorts around the city including Camp Fortune, Mont Cascades and Calabogie Peaks.
- Give the gift of a flight over the city in a small Cessna airplane with Santa as your pilot. These family-friendly tours offered by Ottawa Aviation Adventures (formerly Ottawa Biplane Adventures) fit up to 3 passengers and depart from the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.
- Plan a pampering outing at relaxing oases such as Nordik Spa-Nature and Kōena Spa near Gatineau Park, as well as Holtz Spa, Au Naturel Spa at the Brookstreet hotel, or Renu Spa.
Likes to immerse themselves in culture and leisure activities
- The ultimate gift for museum lovers is an annual membership. Choose from the seven national museums in Ottawa, in addition to the many other attractions like the Bytown Museum and the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum. Museum boutiques also offer unique gift options.
- Look ahead at upcoming live performance listings and get tickets to music, theatre, dance and other programming that your giftee will love.
- Get specialized gifts at niche businesses like Knifewear (handcrafted knives); World of Maps (maps, puzzles and geography items); The Gifted Type (games, toys and silly gifts); and The Papery (writing supplies, decorations and crafts).
- Keep your favourite reader happy with items from independent bookstores like Perfect Books on Elgin Street, Books on Beechwood in New Edinburgh, Octopus Books in the Glebe, and Librairie du Soleil (French books and games) in the ByWard Market area.
- The Visit Ottawa Pass launched in 2023 makes the perfect gift! The pass gives access to six of Ottawa's top attractions including museums, walking tours and the world's largest escape room.
Is a proud Canadian and Ottawan
- Maker House in the Hintonburg neighbourhood carries products made by authentic artisans from the region and across Canada. Cross everyone off your list with DIY craft kits, handmade blankets, hipster art and wood furniture.
- Boutiques such as Boogie + Birdie on Elgin Street, Kindred Shop and Studio in Wellington Village and Cheerfully Made Goods + Markets in Almonte are lovely places to pick up Canadian-designed and made goods including holiday items, jewelry, décor and wellness products for men and women.
- Ottawa’s Made in Canada Gifts presents a wide variety of Canadian-made products including art, jewelry, décor and apparel. Visit their boutiques at CF Rideau Centre and Bayshore Shopping Centre.
- Browse apparel, jewelry and home goods produced by Indigenous makers at Beandigen Café at Lansdowne in the Glebe neighbourhood. This new Anishinaabe-owned and operated coffee and retail pop-up shop opened in late 2021.
- The online Indigenous Marketplace now has an in-person shopping option at Mādahòkì Farm, the new home of Indigenous Experiences, just south of downtown Ottawa. Shop the curated selection of Indigenous-made products from the region and across Canada.
- The Snow Goose store on Sparks Street near Parliament Hill presents a large selection of First Nations and Inuit art, apparel, carvings and jewelry.
Deeply cares about the environment
- Zero-waste Nu Grocery’s urban locations carry much more than food. Shop for self-care items, home products, eco-friendly accessories, as well as holiday specialties like scented candles and “plantable” seed greeting cards.
- All products at Terra 20’s stores are cruelty-free, non-toxic and ethically sourced. Shop for quality lifestyle and wellness items that range from beauty products to games for kids.
- Visit the city’s antique shops to find the perfect previously-enjoyed treasures. Stores like A Fine Thing and Yardley’s Furniture carry furniture, lighting and accessories. And charity shops like Highjinx and Saint Vincent de Paul carry a large variety of antiques, vintage and retro items.
- Find rare literary works or popular bestsellers at used bookstores, including Book Bazaar in Centretown, Black Squirrel Books in Old Ottawa South, as well as Benjamin Books and Barely Bruised Books in Sandy Hill.