This year has been a bit of a blur so you might have missed the memo that it's less than two months until Christmas! Never fear - we're here to give you a helping hand so you can get your shopping list in order, including tips on where to shop and the types of gifts that will go down a treat. The best part is, you'll be supporting local businesses who will love you for it after the tough few months they've had in lockdown.
Choose your own adventure on a Makers x Traders walking trail
The Makers x Traders walking trails are self-guided tours so you can explore and discover our city, including some of the best places to shop in Newcastle. Choose your own adventure using the City of Newcastle App, from the grungy West Trail in Newcastle West to the sophisticated Central Trail in the city centre, or the eclectic East Trail in Newcastle East.
Makers x Traders have also recently released their Newcastle Treasure Map, the best of everything in one handy pocket guide! Pick up your free copy from the Visitor Information Centre and set out to discover the city's coolest craftspeople, designers, artists, curators and more while ticking off your Christmas shopping list.
Celebrate and support local Australian artists and designers
While you're picking up your Makers x Traders Newcastle Treasure Map from the Visitor Information Centre, be sure to check out the amazing range of products they have in stock from local makers and traders. From hand-blown glass, individually painted ceramics, Indigenous prints and locally made scented soaps, right through to local food products like sauces and honey, you'll be spoilt for choice for a Chrissy present or two. Some of the unique, quirky and bespoke products include new jigsaw puzzles by Trevor Dickinson and bird illustrator Ebony Bennett, and Ocean Bath themed ceramics by Potteryali.
Newcastle Art Gallery also has a gift shop that's an ideal spot to pick up a unique Christmas gift. Browse the range of ceramic, jewellery, textile and design objects, many of which are handcrafted in the Newcastle and Hunter Valley region. You'll also find a wonderful selection of books for children and adults, art supplies, stationary and greeting cards. This could just be the ultimate location to pick up a Christmas gift that will stand out from the crowd.
Give the gift of adventure or live performance
Forget boring old socks and soap; give the gift of adventure and buy your loved ones an experience so they can see Newcastle through the eyes of a tourist. From walking tours exploring hidden architecture to breathtaking boating experiences, Newcastle has no shortage of offerings when it comes to showing off our beautiful city. There's a bevy of experiences to be had, and a gift voucher to one of them will make an ideal Christmas gift for that relative who already has everything. Check out our previous blog on how to be a tourist in your own city to get your shopping list started.
If you love the idea of gifting an experience, Civic Theatre might also have the ticket for you. Give the gift of live performance and let your loved one choose which show they want to experience with a Civic Ticket Office Gift Voucher, available online now. To purchase gift vouchers or book tickets to any of the shows visit the Civic Theatre website or phone 02 4929 1977.
Browse local markets for handmade goods
For those of you who don't enjoy the hustle and bustle of large shopping centres in the lead up to Christmas, local markets might be the way to go! Enjoy a relaxed day out in the sunshine while ticking off your Christmas shopping list.
Homegrown Markets will be back up and running from November, delivering the best locally designed, handmade, and eco-focused products at The Station Newcastle and Speers Point. Live music and good vibes will fill the air welcoming us back to the world of markets after what feels like far too long without them. And if that wasn't already exciting enough, Homegrown Markets will be launching their first spin off event Made & Found at Webb Park in Redhead. Made & Found will be a carefully curated line-up of quality vintage, beautiful preloved items and a selection of Homegrown faves.
Over at Civic Park, Newcastle's contemporary artists and designers' market The Olive Tree will also be returning in November. Showcasing a carefully curated line-up of over 130 of the best emerging and established artists, designers, makers, gourmet artisan food producers, and delicious street food purveyors each month. Meet the makers, learn their stories, and pick up beautiful goods that have been consciously created by our talented artistic community.