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christmas shopping feature

Your Saturday Christmas shopping game plan

Beatrice Smith

Christmas shopping can spook even the most experienced shopper.

The thought of bracing yourself for hours of gift shopping is fatigue inducing before you even begin, so we’ve coordinated a list to suit every type of shopper with recommendations as to where to find your Christmas shopping oasis.

If you’re a browsing-in-bed type of gal (join the club!) then take a look at our Christmas Local Lust List, or if you need to touch, feel and smell it before you buy it, read on!


Sometimes getting a family out the door for a day of Christmas shopping requires more planning and forethought than the average military exercise. 

Simplify things with a trip to somewhere the kids will enjoy as much as you – where they can be fully entertained under the watchful gaze of your significant other without actually raising a finger.

Our top picks are the kids activities available at Westfield Belconnen and the Tuggeranong Hyperdome like storytelling, pet photos and Santa photos.

Storytelling is on at Westfield Belconnen every Saturday where kids will be joined by the Christmas Fairy and characters, at their special ‘Story Corner’ as they share favourite Christmas tales. This Saturday it’s The Gingerbred Man. Storytelling is located outside Target at Westfield Belconnen and is free.

Send the kids off by themselves to find the perfect gift for children in need to pop under the Tuggeranong Hyperdome Giving Tree! Help support [email protected] this Christmas & make your donation at the giving tree, located on the ground floor outside Rebel Sport. Donations of food & unwrapped gifts are welcomed.

If you’re an early riser, don’t miss out on the annual ‘Santa’s Breakfast’ at Westfield Belconnen this Saturday, where kids get to meet and greet with Santa and watch a stage performance. Tickets cost $10 per child, with all funds going to our charity partner Cerebral Palsy Alliance. Seats are limited. Contact the concierge desk for more details and to reserve your spot. Email: [email protected]

This Saturday at 2:30pm and 3:30pm there’s also a Pavlova Cooking Workshop with Patissez outside Hoyts on Level 3. For further information, see the Westfield website.


Santa will be at the Hyperdome in centre court next the the Christmas tree. For all times and information click here.

Santa is also visiting the Canberra Centre with photos available at David Jones and Target. For detailed times, click here.

Santa will also be making an appearance at Canberra Outlet Centre in Fyshwick. For more details click here.

Santa will be at Centre Court at Westfield Belconnen until 24 December for photos. From Saturday 12 December, there will also be an additional ‘Virtual Queue’ service to help reduce the stress of lining up for Santa photos. This service will enable you to continue to shop within the centre, instead of waiting in a line. Simply provide your mobile number to the photography people at the Santa set. They will advise you of an approximate wait time. Once its your time to be photographed a message will be sent to your phone. Its that simple!

Click here for detailed photo time slots.



If your Christmas shopping plan needs to contain an element of calm before you even start, here are our top picks. 


Canberra’s most beloved pottery, internationally renowned Bison are having a Christmas sale out in the leafy surrounds of Pialligo. Their Super-Specials include 50% off a selection of spinning top decorations, bowls and decorator pieces.

If you can’t make their instore event, their sale will also be available online until midnight this Sunday 6 December 2015.

The sale is on from 10 am – 4:30 pm Daily, Friday 4 December – Sunday 6 December 2015 at the Bison Show room, Beltana Rd, Pialligo


After stocking up on gorgeous milk jugs, plates and bowls, stroll to another of Pialligo’s fine homeware stores or consider popping into one of the serene garden stores for a living gift of greenery. We love Bliss Garden and Giftware.

If you find your energy lagging, pop into Pialligo Estate’s new Garden Pavilions for a pick me up coffee or lunch. While you’re there you can even pick up some of Australia’s Best Bacon to give to a foodie in your life.

pialligo estate feature2


For a luxe experience, The Canberra Centre are putting Christmas customers at ease with their Porter service. Receive VIP treatment from our team of talented porters who will help carry your gifts to your car, provide directions and hand out chocolate treats. A complimentary service, the porters are available from Saturday 12 December until Boxing Day. Level 1, outside Witchery. For available times, click here.

If you’re in the city, polish off a day of Christmas shopping by enjoying a well-deserved cocktail at Jamie’s Italian until Wednesday 23 December in Jamie’s Italian Aperol Summer Garden. If you haven’t tried a refreshing Aperol spritz on a hot summer’s evening then now is the time. At Canberra Centre, 125 Bunda Street, Canberra City.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of


You’re someone who firmly believes that Christmas shopping shouldn’t be a drag, it should be the most fun possible! This itinerary pulls together the best of local shopping with the most entertaining events on offer. 


Usually a Sunday-only affair, the Old Bus Depot Markets will be open on both Saturdays and Sundays throughout December in the lead up to Christmas Day.

The markets will feature handmade gifts and festive items including Christmas wreaths, decorations, table centrepieces, candles, stockings and advent calendars. Live Christmas trees are also an annual favourite, and modern handmade wooden Christmas trees offer an alternative you can style for your own home.


And the food, the glorious Christmas food. The markets will offer delicious Christmas fare including cakes, gingerbread houses, mince tarts, puddings, shortbread, party dips, farmhouse cheeses, olives and more.

At the annual Christmas Stallholder sale this Saturday 5 December, the stallholders will be offering exclusive specials and fantastic deals – it’s a great chance for visitors to stock up on everything they need for the festive season.

Christmas at the Old Bus Depot Markets will be open Saturday 5 (stallholder sale) and Sunday 6 December, Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 December, and Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 December from 10am to 4pm. Entry is free. For more information visit


Hustle&Scout Twilight Fashion Market and The Forage return for their final event of the year this Saturday 5 December at a new location never before used for an event in Canberra – a multi-level car park at the recently opened Little National Hotel in Barton.



The Forage, who will be presenting their largest food and drink line-up to date, will be located in the outdoor car park of the hotel. Featuring over 30 vendors, The Forage will welcome a suite of new vendors such as Bush Taco Girls, Yang’s Malaysian Food Truck and Smoothie & Co. The outdoor live music lounge – featuring local talent such as Kaleid, The Feraude Trio and GhostNoises – will lead into the multi-level, above-ground car park where Hustle&Scout will showcase over 60 fashion designers across two, spiralling levels.

Entry to the event is free.

Visit the Forage website and Hustle&Scout website for more information. On Saturday December 5 from 3pm – 8pm at Little National Hotel, National Circuit, Barton.

If sustainability is the name of your game…

The Eco Elves Market at the Canberra Environment Centre promises to bring zen, wine and more to your shopping experience. The Eco Elves Local’s Bar will be stocking Canberra’s very own German Ale and Pilsner from Zierholz Brewery in Fyshwick Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Rosé from Mount Majura Vineyard, and Shiraz and Chardonnay from Gardners Ground Organic Winery. There will also be fresh mead from Win’s Creek Meadery in Murrumbateman.

Amongst food available on the night is the Paydirt Eatery, a hand-made dumpling business from Braidwood; My Rainbow Dreams Vegetarian Café from Dickson; Funky Pies, an eco-friendly vegan pie maker and Crafted3 vegan cupcakes, Breton crêpes, gozleme and organic ice cream.

Live music for shoppers as they peruse the 50 stalls selling environmentally conscious, local, recycled and fair trade items on the night. Support Canberra’s local artisans and your environment by shopping outside the box this Christmas. Visit the website for more information. On Saturday 5 December from 5pm-9pm at Canberra Environment Centre, Lennox Crossing, Acton. 

image via


Christmas charity wrapping services are available at these locations:
  • Tuggeranong Hyperdome with all proceeds going to The Lions Club. Click here for more information
  • Canberra Centre with all proceeds raised going to Sids and Kids ACT. Click here for more information
  • Canberra Outlet Centre with all proceeds raised going to Marymead. Click here for more information.

Image of ‘woman shopping online with credit card‘ via Shutterstock


Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Editorial Coordinator involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise you’ll find her at the movies, ordering a cheese board or ordering a cheese board at the movies. More about the Author

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