Give the Gift of a Unique Hamilton Experience
Why not add a few unique Hamilton experiences to your shopping list? Choose from one of these clutter-free gifts – all perfect for the Hamilton-lover on your list or an out of towner looking to explore Hamilton’s visit-worthy attractions.
- Give the gift of music. The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra hosts spectacular concerts year-round and offers full subscriptions as well as packages.
- Experience a classy night on the town with a live show at Theatre Aquarius. A season membership provides seats to six upcoming productions.
- The Art Gallery of Hamilton is a world-class gallery right in our own backyard. Exhibits change frequently, so a gift membership is the perfect way to take in everything the gallery has to offer, including special perks.
- The outdoor lovers on your list will no doubt appreciate a membership to Royal Botanical Gardens, Canada’s largest botanical garden and a National Historic Site or Hamilton Conservation Authority, a vast network of stunning natural lands.
- Give your adventurous friend a trip to one of Ontario’s top tourist attractions –African Lion Safari. Gift cards can be used towards admission, tours, food and souvenirs throughout the park. You can also get a 2019 season passport to get in on early bird prices.
- Get the history buff or aviation enthusiast on your list an annual membership at the Warplane Heritage Museum. Or upgrade your gift to include a flight on a vintage aircraft!
Holiday Markets in Hamilton
Hamilton loves its crafts. Make everyone on your-nice list happy with one-of-a-kind present, lovingly crafted by one of the city’s many talented artisans.
- Makeology Holiday Market (Nov 18): Not only will you find unique local gifts at this craft show, but your admission includes a tour around the location – the Art Gallery of Hamilton.
- Stuffed! Holiday Shopping Event at Leander Boat Club (Nov. 23-24): Shop to your heart’s content for those stocking stuffers while jamming to the tunes of DJ Donna Lovejoy.
- Handmade Hamilton at Staircase Theatre (Dec. 8-9): This holiday craft show, now in its seventh year, brings together 32 of the finest makers of jewelry, textile art, ceramics, visual art, accessories, home decor and more. Bonus: the first 50 people receive a swag bag.
Made in Hamilton Souvenirs
Give the gift of a Hamilton souvenir or a locally sourced gift from one of these Hamilton-lovin’ shops and studios:
- The Hamilton Store is the perfect one-stop shop “for people who love their city”. You’ll find the perfect made-in-Hamilton gift here including everything from locally sourced treats like honey and mustards to gorgeous prints and cards. Don’t forget to ask about their gift basket options.
- James North General Store harkens back to that traditional general store filled with just about everything! Find a thoughtfully curated selection of locally-made gifts. Fuel your shopping with a cup of coffee, tea or vintage bottle of soda.
- It’s a one-stop shop for local over at the Tourism Hamilton Visitor Centre located downtown in the Lister Building. Grab a Hamilton inspired t-shirt, tote-bag and other souvenirs – all perfect stocking stuffers.
- Whether you started here or your heart never truly left, True Hamiltonian has helped thousands of people share their love of the city with t-shirts, hats and other apparel. Find them online or shops throughout the city.
More Creative Hamilton Gifts
- Choose from tons of cheeky and cute Canadian-made gifts at Studio 205 on King Street East
- Locke Street is home to the lovely Pure Home Couture, full of locally-made fragrances, candles and soaps.
- For the fashionistas on your list, look to garments created by local designers including Blackbird Studios, Angela DeMontigny, and O’s Clothes who often collaborates with local artists on unique designs like the now-iconic HAMont emblem or the sweet J’aime Hamilton
- You’ve no-doubt heard the buzz about Hamilton’s arts scene. Score big points with an original art piece under the tree this year. Just a few of the many artists depicting unique Hamilton scenes include: Gordon Leverton, whose signature paintings focus on buildings’ shadows and lights; Paul Elia who creates one-of-a-kind urban landscapes; and Jelly Bros. who produce neighborhood maps and gorgeous prints of iconic Hamilton landmarks. The city if brimming with galleries big and small, packed with tons of original art – perfect for unwrapping and hanging.
There are countless opportunities to find a unique gift while supporting local here in Hamilton. Happy shopping and happy holidays!
Kristin Archer is a lifelong Hamiltonian and the blogger behind the popular blog I Heart Hamilton where she inspires every local to “be a tourist in your own city.” She’s passionate about discovering her hometown, new experiences and sharing all that Hamilton has to offer. Catch Kristin Fridays at 2 p.m. when she hosts “I Heart Hamilton” on 93.3 CFMU and follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Kristin’s #MyHamilton blog offers an insider’s look at Hamilton’s buzz-worthy arts and culture scene including James Street North staple Art Crawl, great music festivals and venues, outdoor events, theatre, dance and specialty shopping.