Bay of Quinte Tourism

7 Spots for Last-Minute Gifts in the Bay of Quinte Region

The count-down is on! With every radio rendition of “Baby it’s cold outside,” Christmas gets a little closer, and we get collectively giddy about spending good times with our favourite people. But some of them are tricky to shop for. Not to worry – we’ve scoured the Bay of Quinte for the most unique gifts that are bound to delight even your most discerning loved ones.

Scalliwag-Toys-21. For the young at heart: Scalliwag Toys, 302 Front Street BellevilleWhat makes it so special: This is the place for people who like to play, whether they’re three year old girls with their hearts set on a new Melissa and Doug dollhouse, or hard-core Dungeons and Dragons fanatics. This shop has a huge inventory of quality-crafted toys and games that make you feel like a kid again.

What you’ll find there: craft sets and supplies, Lego and Playmobil sets, Melissa and Doug wooden toys, puppets, music boxes, kaleidoscopes, colouring books, educational and building toys, science sets, and lots of games.

Bonus: Scalliwag boasts more than 1500 board games, has a ton of information about various games, and even hosts role playing game (RPG) nights. Dungeons and Dragons is on Wednesdays, and Magic: the Gathering is on Friday nights.

Hardys-Hobbies-12. For the Artist: Hardy’s Hobbies and Crafts, 93 Tannery Rd., MadocWhat makes it so special: Tucked away on a quiet road, Hardy’s is small and a tad remote, but it’s well stocked with just about everything a true artist could possibly need, and the vibe is positively positive. It’s impossible to be in a bad mood in this creative mecca.

What you’ll find there: A good selection of paints, brushes, sculpting tools, solvents, sealers and more. Pre-made and custom gift baskets are available.

Bonus: Classes are offered in the large studio behind the shop, as well as on-line, by certified oil and acrylic teacher Cat Hardy. Master painters from all over the world also come to Hardy’s to teach, with seven renowned painters already lined up for 2015. Upcoming classes are listed at www.hardysartstudio.com and gift certificates to classes are available.

Richard-Davis-13. For the best (dressed) friend: Richard Davis 271 Front Street, BellevilleWhat makes it so special: Richard Davis has been keeping Front Street stylish for over twenty years, and has repeatedly won the Belleville Intelligencer’s Readers Choice award for favourite men’s clothing store. Spacious, upscale, and friendly, the shop also carries women’s attire, and on-trend accessories for both men and women.

What you’ll find there: Exclusive specialty brands, including Michael Kors, Lacoste, Tiger of Sweden, and Canada Goose.

Bonus: Richard Davis has become a destination store for good reason: it carries brands that can’t be found anywhere else in the area.

Stephen-License-2-e14192838319464. For the hobbyist: Stephen Licence Ltd., 288 Front Street, BellevilleWhat makes it so special: Since Stephen Licence opened his shop of the same name in 1918, it has remained “the place” for serious cyclists to buy their bikes and equipment; but it’s more than a bike shop. Today, you’ll find all the top sporting brands, as well traditional games and new novelties.

What you’ll find there: Bikes, accessories and safety equipment, along with all manner of other sporting goods, and attire. Stephen Licence Ltd. also has a large selection of novelty and collector items, including jigsaw puzzles, models, train sets, games, collectable figurines (everything from Star-Trek to Hello Kitty), and retro toys. It’s also the most celebrated skate-sharpening shop around, with people traveling from hours away to get the perfect edge on their blades.

Bonus: In 1958 Stephen Licence’s son-in law, Gerry Bongard took over the business. He’s still there today, and if you stop in you’re likely to witness three generations of Bongards working together.

The-Bookworm-2-e14192839289875. For the avid reader: The Book Worm, 80 Durham St. Box 617What makes it so special: Shopping on a budget? You’re in luck. Run by the ‘friends of the Madoc Library,’ the Bookworm’s mandate is to encourage the love of reading, so the second-hand books are priced very low. You can pick up children’s books for ten cents each, and hardcover novels go for a twoonie.

What you’ll find there: The Bookworm currently has a good selection of holiday-themed reads, as well as a large fiction section, how-to-guides, history and non-fiction, and even videos and DVDs.

Bonus: Run completely by volunteers, the Bookworm’s proceeds support the local hospice house and Royal Canadian Legion. You won’t spend much at the bookworm (even if you leave with an armful of reading material), but you can feel great knowing that what you do spend is going to a good cause. (Note: the Bookworm is cash only.)

Gourmet-Diem-4-e14192839772296. For the Foodie: Gourmet Diem, 249 Front St, BellevilleWhat makes it so special: Gourmet Diem is brand new, so the gastronomes on your list may not have had time to check it out yet. Also, it has items you’re unlikely to find anywhere else, including ready-to-enjoy deli meats, cheeses, and confectionaries, as well as top-notch ingredients that promise to up-the-game of any serious kitchen player.

What you’ll find there: delectable imports such as black winter truffles from France and arbeguino olive oil smoked with organic oak wood, alongside locally produced artisan cheeses, deli meats, mustards, chocolates, honey, jellies and sauces.

Bonus: You can feel great about supporting local producers while you take a well deserved break from your holiday shopping to enjoy a latte and gourmet sandwich.

The-Unconventional-Moose-37. For the loveable eccentric: The Unconventional Moose, 108575 Highway 7, TweedWhat makes it special: The Unconventional Moose is pleasantly sprawling and has a bit of everything, including a distinctly Canadian sense of humour. The products are well-made, often local, and unique. If there’s someone on your list that’s hard to buy gifts for, you can bet you’ll finally find the right thing to tickle their fancy at the Unconventional Moose.

What you’ll find there: Rustic wooden furniture, beautiful traditional moccasins, hand-crafted jewellery, linens, Tilley hats, fashion, fur hats, retro toys, housewares, home decor, novelty items, lamps, pottery, and so much more!

Bonus: According to the owner, the theme of the Unconventional Moose is “fun,” and this rings true. The vibe inside is cheery and laid back. Plan to have at least an hour to roam the various rooms, and check out all the neat stuff!

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