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Lots of inspiration for terrific Christmas gifts

This week “CityNews” rounds up some of the best Christmas gift options for Canberrans this holiday season.

It’s time to get that gift shopping done! With only a few weeks left, time’s running short to start or start finalising that Christmas shopping! 

“CityNews” has done some of the legwork and found some great Christmas gift options.

Blow your own Christmas baubles at Canberra Glassworks.

Handcrafted gifts of glassware

CANBERRA Glassworks is “unique” for its international reputation of amazing glass artists who work here in Canberra, says Aimee Frodsham, Canberra Glassworks artistic director.

Over the holiday period, Canberra Glassworks will run a limited series of short glass-blowing classes.

“Visitors can blow their own set of glass baubles to put on or under the tree on the weekends leading up to Christmas,” says Aimee.

“By shopping at the Glassworks Gallery Shop, visitors are supporting the artists working here and buying handcrafted glassware and artworks made with love.”

Canberra Glassworks is the largest glass-making facility in the southern hemisphere, with dedicated artists’ working in contemporary glass art, craft and design, says Brooke McEachern, Canberra Glassworks marketing manager.

“Take home gifts from some of Australia’s leading glass artists from the studios of Canberra Glassworks,” says Brooke.

“Whether it’s a decanter set with a previous life as a wine bottle or one of our signature, hand-blown platters, these presents will not only stand out under the Christmas tree but also bring delight and awe to your holiday celebrations.”

Canberra Glassworks, 11 Wentworth Ave Kingston Canberra. Call 6260 7005 or visit canberraglassworks.com

Pamper the ones you love these holidays

QUINTESSENCE nail and beauty in Belconnen is offering gift vouchers, skin care kits, gift sets, makeup sets, handmade earrings, candles, diffusers and more for the holiday season, says owner Alicia Fragopoulos.

“We are a one stop beauty shop for all beauty needs,” she says.

“We provide waxing and tinting services, manicures and pedicures, massages, facials, tanning, laser hair removal, lash extensions, lash lifts, henna brows, brow lamination, teeth whitening and spa packages.”

Alicia says she loves the feeling of being pampered and relaxed, and purchased the business in 2016 to provide the same kind of escape for others.

“Every day brings different treatments, clients and conversations. It’s very rewarding to see clients leaving happy, fresh and relaxed.”

“We are professional, caring and kind and enjoy making people look and feel good,” she says.

Quintessence nail and beauty, 2/9 Page Place, Page. Call 6278 5334, or visit beautysalonbelconnen.com.au

Knitwear made with a passion for perfection

BERRIMA’s Natural Australia promotes the Australian Merino industry by showcasing the highest quality merino knitwear in fashionable garments, says owner Angela Rodgers.

“Berrima’s Natural Australia was opened in 1995 by my parents,” she says.

“My parents were retired sheep graziers from south-west Queensland. In those days all garments in the shop were produced from Australian-grown Merino, and designed and made in Australia.”

Angela joined the business in 1996, excited by the qualities of Merino fibre and garments it created.

Berrima’s Natural Australia has a range of fine Merino knitwear, either made in Australia, NZ or Europe, and Merino, possum and silk garments and accessories from NZ, cashmere from Italy and the UK, and Australian cotton in summer, says Angela.

“It is a very exciting experience to discover beautiful knitwear made with a passion for perfection and detail. My customers often comment that it is a pleasure to walk into the shop and see such beautiful quality garments, made totally with natural fibres.

Angela says that Christmas shoppers can enjoy a 50 per cent discount on some items throughout December. 

“There are beautiful linen in wide and straight leg pants, and dresses from Italy,” she says.

“Also, fine cotton, floral printed tops, Australian made silk kaftans which are perfect for a little warm weather, are all 25 per cent off. 

“All items are made in ethically operated workshops who employ local staff. 

“Quality control is ensured.”

Berrima’s Natural Australia, 11 Old Hume Highway, Berrima. Call 4877 1598, or visit berrimawool.com

Christmas present that’s sure to take off

JET Flight Simulator Canberra has the perfect Christmas gift for anyone who’s ever wanted to fly, says owner Trevor Vickers.

“Visitors get to operate a full-size replica of a Boeing 737-800 cockpit and can choose from 24,000 airports around the world to fly in or out of,” he says.

“Our instructor is there to point out what all the buttons and levers do and when to use them, but it’ll be you that’s doing the flying.

“Sometimes people want to fly over where they’ve been on holiday, others want to do things like fly under the Sydney Harbour Bridge – it’s all possible.”

But that’s not the only experience they’re offering, says Trevor.

“Our new VR Paraglider Simulator offers a great way to experience paragliding without leaving the ground,” Trevor says.

“It’s a fantastic experience. You can see how close you can land to the target, or conquer the skies with a tomato gun to fire at other paragliders!”

Visitors also have the opportunity for a more fast-paced, virtual reality experience called “ICAROS” which Trevor says is a “completely different way to fly”.

“The way it works is that you lie on a frame and just by shifting your body weight it steers you in the virtual world,” he says.

“The sensation is more like flying with a wingsuit or like you’re Superman. It’s a Superman simulator.”

Whether it’s flying a 737, paragliding over the coast, or soaring through a virtual world, Trevor says there’s multiple booking options on their website, including gift certificates.

Jet Flight Simulator Canberra, 4 Montford Crescent, Lyneham. Call 0438 834026, or visit jetflightsimulatorcanberra.com.au

Charity night lets Queanbeyan Players say thank you

“CHRISTMAS at the B” is the Queanbeyan Players’ annual charity event, says event founder Jenna Hinton. 

“It’s an opportunity for our organisation to give back,” she says.

“I think it is very important for organisations to give back where they can. 

“We are a community organisation and all of us involved are volunteers, but we also benefit from the community, so we like to be able to help out where we can.

“The event will include a few rounds of trivia and a raffle with prizes for the winners for both. 

“We also have musical performances.

“People can expect a really fun night out, with music, games, and some dancing, all in the name of a great cause.

“Each year we raise money for Motor Neurone Disease NSW. 

Motor neurone disease, or MND, is the name given to a group of diseases in which the nerve cells controlling the muscles that enable us to move, speak, breathe and swallow undergo degeneration and die. 

There will also be performances from the QP Christmas Choir, she says.

“Tickets start from $25, with tables of 10 for $250,” says Jenna.

“Individual tickets are available as well.

“If you can’t get a table of 10, we will put attendees together and it makes a great way to meet new friends.”

Christmas at the B! For tickets, visit theq.net.au

Astleys Knives are one of the many gifts available for purchase from “The Shop” at Belco Arts.

Handmade gifts by Australian artists

THE Shop at Belco Arts provides the Canberra community with bespoke and handmade gifts, says marketing manager Shan Crosbie.

“We proudly support Australian artists who supply The Shop with a wide range of beautiful ceramics, glassware, jewellery and textile pieces to suit every taste,” she says.

“What sets us apart is our commitment to seeking out unique artwork that you won’t find in Canberra.”

Shan says currently in stock is a range of exquisite nature-inspired jewellery by Budawang Ranges artists, Sky and Jakub of Charleys Forest Silver.

“Our range of stunning hand-forged Damascus Steel chef knives by South Australian artist, Phil Astley will make a perfect gift for the home chef,” she says.

“We also have a selection of affordable pieces from local Canberra artists, including bright and bold earrings from Amy Creative, and mini ceramic houses and bunny brooches from Little Tree Studio.”

Shan says The Shop at Belco Arts will be open until 4pm on December 22.

“Pick up the perfect last-minute gift to make a lasting impression. If you’re shopping online, be sure to order online before Thursday, December 14, to make sure you receive your delivery before Christmas.”

Belco Arts, 118 Emu Bank, Belconnen. Call 6173 3300, or visit belcoarts.com.au

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