You know that holiday shopping is in full swing in downtown Halifax when the seasonal retail promotions kick off.

Here are two popular ones taking place leading up to Christmas.

Shopping Under the Stars
The 11th annual Shopping Under the Stars event means you can shop in the stores on and around Spring Garden Road till you drop — or at least until the doors close at 10 p.m.

With two nights of late-night buying — one that took place on Nov. 19, and the other happening on Dec. 10 — merchants will be offering discounts, tax-free breaks and contests.

If you get parched or peckish while you’re pounding the pavement, some stores will also be giving away mulled apple cider, cookies and other treats.

“Shopping Under the Stars is always popular because of the extended store hours and great deals leading up to Christmas,” says Nancy Tissington, the executive director of the Spring Garden Area Business Association.

For a list of participating stores, visit or call 423-3751.

The Wish List: Win What You Wish For
Downtown Halifax is celebrating the holiday gift-buying season by encouraging people to take part in The Wish List: Win What You Wish For.

It’s a contest created by the Downtown Halifax Business Commission to encourage shoppers to visit downtown Halifax retailers and restaurants to find their perfect “wish gift.”

Customers will take photos of what they’d like to get for Christmas at downtown businesses and restaurants.

They’ll then post the images on for a chance to win up to $200 toward their wish gift.

Launched on Nov. 20, in time for the 15th annual Holiday Parade of Lights, the promotion runs until Dec. 21.

“The Wish List will encourage people to experience what downtown Halifax businesses offer for the holidays,” says Ivy Ho, the business commission’s communications director.

“When people visit the stores to find their wish gift, they’ll be exposed to their unique offerings.”