4 Unique Christmas Shopping Alternatives in Vancouver

Vancouver shopping alternatives

Image posted on the Inside Vancouver Flickr Pool

With all the Black Friday sales popping up in Vancouver, it’s a great time to start thinking about all those people that are on your holiday shopping list (how did it get so long!?). But, when you’re tired of the mall and you’d rather not step foot in another big box store, it’s great to remember that there are a few unique shopping alternatives around town that will make your Christmas present shopping almost… enjoyable!

We’ve compiled a list of 4 interesting and unique places to pick up your presents this year for Christmas:

1. The Vancouver Flea Market

Housed in a big “red barn” near the Main Street skytrain station, the Vancouver Flea Market is a great place to pick up presents if you’re on a budget, or really committed to find something unique to give away. Kind of like a massive indoor garage sale, the Vancouver Flea Market has been around since 1983 and is full of antiques, collectives, vintage clothing, world treasures, housewares, and just about everything else. With over 250 vendors the Vancouver Flea Market is a thriving environment where all kinds of dealers, sellers, buyers, collectors, and patrons join us every weekend to explore.

Sample present ideas: Antique picture frames, video games, records, nag champa, figurines, random weird things, a samurai sword.

vancouver flea market

Image courtesy of ecodallaluna | Flickr.com

2. Craft Fairs

There are TONS of craft fairs that pop up in Vancouver around Christmas Time. Here is an extensive event list compiled by Got Craft? that highlights just some of the craft fairs in the city. Craft Fairs are a great place to purchase presents because they offer unique gifts that are homemade and typically one-of-a-kind. Whether you’re looking for artwork, scarves, or chocolate fudge, craft fairs have got everything for everyone on your list.

Sample present ideas: Hand painted ceramic bowl, stenciled t-shirt, silver jewelry, plant displays, locally-made honey, a hand-crafted leather bag. 

craft fairs vancouver

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3. Vintage Shops

Vintage is coming back in style in a big way, and the best place to get a gift is from the source itself: vintage shops. One of the best that we have come across is Salmagundi West, nestled in Gastown at 321 West Cordova. This store is stuffed to the brim with interesting collectibles and amazing vintage finds. The downstairs to the store also features a giant card cabinet that has different items in each drawer. It’s a great place to pick up something for those people who have a penchant for collecting strange things. Here is a list of some of the other vintage stores around town.

Sample present ideas: typewriters, bird cages, old keys, old dolls, vintage posters, stocking stuffers, collectibles.

Vancouver shopping alternatives

Image courtesy of stevenin4D | Flickr.com

4. The Neighborhood

When most people think about Christmas shopping, their immediate inclination is to head to the nearest mall. But, it is actually more fun, refreshing AND rewarding to head to your nearest shopping-orientated neighborhood to scour the local goods. Main Street, Commercial Drive, West 4th, and Gastown are home to some amazing shops that most people have never even heard of. Take a day to wander down one (or all) of these streets and duck into any shop that catches your eye. You’ll be amazed at some of the items that you’ll be able to find from shops that you wouldn’t have even thought to look twice at. Best of all, because these streets are outside, you’ll be getting the added benefit of fresh air with your shopping. Win/win!

Sample present ideas: clothing, magnetic poetry, Totoro wallet, a book about East Van, Ram horn speakers, bike accessories, local art.

Shopping Alternatives vancouver

Photo courtesy of Leedman | Flickr.com

Got any other great places to shop in Vancouver? Let us know in the comment section below!

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