Still time, but you’ll need to get shopping now!

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WITH less than two weeks until Christmas, there’s really no time left for excuses – it’s time to get shopping! “CityNews” has again put together some new gift ideas to inspire readers. 

Natalie Weir’s ‘The Dinner Party’ at The Q in June. Photo by Megan Cullen

Theatrical experiences destined to last a lifetime

THE gift of a subscription to The Q – Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre is the gift of continuous giving, says program manager Stephen Pike.

With a subscription or even a gift voucher to The Q, Stephen says people can enjoy a year’s worth of genuine experiences which will last a lifetime.

“It also gives them the chance to choose something they are really interested in,” he says.

And, he says, there are many exciting things coming up in the New Year in the form of stories, comedy and musicals that will engage, inform and entertain anyone at affordable prices.

“[They can look forward to] some unforgettable experiences in one of the most intimate and comfortable venues in our region,” he says.

Stephen says The Q often gets comments around the intimacy of the theatre and the fact there is not a bad seat in the house.

“We also try very hard to keep it friendly,” he says.

But before the New Year comes around The Q still has shows such as Peter Combes Christmas Album Tour on December 18 and 19.

The Q, Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre, at the rear of 253 Crawford Street, Queanbeyan. Call 6285 6290 or visit

Terry’s one-stop hobby shop

WITH more than 15,000 items, the owner of Monaro Models and Hobbies, Terry Griffiths says there’s a present for everybody this Christmas.

Canberra’s last pure hobby shop, Monaro Models and Hobbies, supplies a face-to-face expert service on model aircrafts, radio-controlled cars, boats, planes, helicopters and drones.

“We run the whole gamut of radio-controlled hobbies and have a supply of plastic construction kits, which are great for stocking fillers,” Terry says.

“We do anything for the hobbyist who actually wants to do something with their hands and not sit at a computer.

“All the staff are highly experienced modelists and can help the beginner to the expert.”

Monaro Models and Hobbies, 1/57 Kembla Street, Fyshwick. Call 6239 3623, email or visit

Gifts like this work by Tanya McArthur will be at the fair and the Potters Place shop

Potters offer unique and original gifts

FOR Canberrans asking where they can find a truly unique Christmas gift, Watson Arts Centre and Canberra Potters’ director Richard Thomas says he has the answer.

Every year, he says, its Christmas Fair sees local potters and ceramicists sell a wonderful selection of ceramic art and pottery.

“So make 2018 the year you give a gift of unique and original work purchased from its local maker,” he says.

“Between the fair and the Potters Place shop, you’re sure to find the perfect gift at the perfect price.

“This year’s fair is stocked by a number of makers participating for the first time alongside fair regulars.

“Between them, our makers have provided a wonderful range of functional ware, decorative ceramics and jewellery.”

Richard says the Christmas Fair has a dedicated following of people who know that they’ll be able to complete their Christmas gift shopping in one place.

“If you haven’t yet discovered Watson Arts Centre and Canberra Potters, grab your present list and head on over to Watson; unlike the busy shopping centres, there’s plenty of free parking,” he says.

The fair is open daily 10am-4pm until December 23.

Watson Arts Centre and Canberra Potters, 1 Aspinall Street, Watson. Call 6241 1670, email or visit

Little Sprout has wooden toys by Grimms

Eco-friendly toy temptations

NOT only does Little Sprout have beautiful gifts, but its owner Brooke Kearn says they will last a lifetime, making them a great Christmas gift.

“Wooden toys are the perfect choice for a special gift this year,” she says.

“Timeless and durable, classic wooden toys encourage imaginative play and inspire creativity.

“The tactile nature and natural texture of wooden toys invite children to touch, feel and explore.

“Stacking, sorting, building and creating with wooden toys encourages the development of fine motor skills and early mathematical concepts.”

Little Sprout stocks a wide range of wooden toys by Grimms (from Germany) and Grapat (from Spain).

“These toys have been exceptionally popular this year, with parents preferring to select quality, eco-friendly toys over single-use, plastic toys,” she says.

“These products offer more educational benefits, are longer lasting and rather than adding to the ‘clutter’ would make a beautiful addition to any playroom.”

Brooke says people who can’t make it into the store can browse and buy on their website.

Little Sprout, 47 Colbee Court, Phillip. Call 6282 3684 or visit

Holiday gift ideas with cards and lay-by

ACTIVE Travel loves making it possible for people to go travelling, which is why it offers gift cards, lay-by options and even payment plans, says owner Nick Carter.

“We want to help people travel, even if it’s just to Sydney for the weekend,” he says.

“If Christmas is more about getting the right gift for that special someone then you may be interested in our new range of gift vouchers.

“There is no expiry date on them so they can truly be used to save up for that once-in-a-lifetime vacation.

“And the gift of travel really is the gift that keeps on giving, from planning it all out with our experienced travel advisers, to the anticipation you feel as the weeks and months count down, to going on the trip itself and then the years of memories and stories gained from experiencing that magical holiday.”

This Christmas Nick and his wife are giving each other a holiday down the coast and say planning a holiday with a loved one is a gift they can both share.

Active Travel’s lay-by options mean customers can pay off a holiday over two, three, four, five, six or 10 months.

“You can come in and book your holidays well in advance, which means you have access to early bird discounts and can take advantage of special offers without needing to have all the money up front,” Nick says.

Active Travel, Palko, G16/27 Lonsdale Street, Braddon. Visit or call 6249 6122

Cheapest gifts in the north

CHEMIST Outlet in Dickson has the cheapest Christmas presents in Canberra’s north, says its owner Rhonda Warne.

It has present ideas such as discounted fragrances, a range of skincare packs, candles, essential oils, nail polish and a range of cosmetics, including make-up brushes.

“We have a whole range of inexpensive gifts for men and women,” she says.

“Our range of presents is for that personal gift. They’re very personal but it’s not an expensive place to shop so you get value for your money.

“It’s also a great place to pick up a present for someone if you don’t know what to get them.

“We have an expert team who can help customers choose a special present or help with any other needs.”

Rhonda says Chemist Outlet in Dickson also has the cheapest gifts on the northside with up to 60 per cent off pharmacy needs and scripts.

Chemist Outlet Dickson, 1/42 Dickson Place, Dickson. Call 6247 7944.

Christmas mugs… available at the Christmas Emporium

Tree time and Mike’s got all the goodies

IT’S Christmas tree time! says the Christmas Emporium owner, Mike.

“It’s a lot more Christmassy this year, we are seeing many people coming to us who are really getting into the spirit and looking forward to decorating their homes,” he says.

The Christmas Emporium is unlike any other Christmas shop, says Mike.

“We are a pleasant and lovely place to browse, shop and feel the spirit of Christmas.

“We stock a lot of quality, different decorations. We recently received a shipment of beautiful baubles by UK brand, Gisela Graham,” he says.

In addition to a full range of well-priced Christmas lights, Mike says their options for artificial Christmas trees range from 600 centimetres to 2.2 metres and now is the time for people to organise and set up their tree at home.

Mike says that the fibre optic trees are a great alternative for people who want to unpack their tree and simply plug it in for an instant Christmas lights look.

The Christmas Emporium offers table setting decorations such as garlands to run along the centre of a table. The team also create and decorate unique miniature trees in-house, perfect for a table setting. Orders for these popular decorations are encouraged, says Mike.  

Hang Ups Framing and Christmas Emporium, corner Kembla and Gladstone Streets, Fyshwick. Call 6280 0312 or email

David offers the gift of getting outdoors

WHY not give the gift of getting outdoors, says Cookies Cycles owner David Cook, who has a huge range of bikes, scooters, skateboards and accessories.

David, who started the family-run business about three years ago, says he has Canberra’s largest range of street and park scooters.

“The beauty of a bike or a scooter is you get your kids outdoors in the fresh air,” he says.

“We have more than 80 different scooters on the floor.

“Scooters are popular among kids at the moment and they’re an affordable Christmas present – starting from $120.”

But customers don’t have to buy an item outright and David says he offers the option to lay-by so people can secure their Christmas presents. Or, there’s also the option of a gift voucher so whoever receives the present can choose something for themselves.

Not just big on scooters, Cookies Cycles also has a second division of the shop titled Canberra Electric Bikes, which, David says is Canberra’s largest range of electric bikes to choose from.

Located inside Cookies Cycles in Franklin, David says he has about 15 types of models on the floor, which include folding bikes, mountain bikes and commuting bikes, ranging in price from $1500 to $5000.

Cookies Cycles, 227 Flemington Road, Franklin. Call 6242 0338, email or visit

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