Very Last Minute Shopping Guide for Procrastinators in Mississauga

It's official—Christmas is less than a week away.

Even though you're all no doubt aware that you have exactly five sleeps until you get to open your Santa presents, it's possible (maybe even probable) that you haven't finished (perhaps even started) your holiday shopping.

While you might be nervous—especially since you only have Saturday to get it done if you're saving your big shop for the weekend—you should take comfort in the fact that you're not alone (a lot of people wait until the last possible minute to grab those final gifts) and that some of Mississauga's biggest shopping centres are offering extended hours in the lead-up to Christmas Day.

So, without further ado, here's a comforting last minute shopping guide to keep in mind when shopping in Mississauga.Extended Hours

Many shopping centres are offering extended hours from now until after the holidays to ensure you have a little extra time to grab last-minute gifts either before or after work.

If you want to shop at Square One, you can hit the mall as early as 8:00 a.m. on Christmas Eve. As for other days, the mall will be opening at 9:00 a.m. and closing at 10:00 p.m. from now until December 30. If you're looking to lock down some deals at Dixie Outlet Mall, you can hit the discount hotspot from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. from now until Christmas Eve.

On Dec. 24, Dixie will open its doors a little earlier (9:30 a.m.) and close at 6:00 p.m. If you're planning to hit the mall to hunt for Boxing Day deals, you'll probably be happy to hear that the mall is opening at 8:00 a.m. and staying open until 7:00 p.m.

If you live in Erin Mills and want to hit the newly renovated Erin Mills Town Centre, note that the mall will be open until 9:30 p.m. every night from now until Christmas Eve. If you plan to hit the mall on Dec. 24, you can start shopping at 8:30 a.m. If you have to shop after work, note that the mall—like other shopping centres—will close at 6:00 p.m.

Best Times to Shop

"Be sure to shop weekday mornings and mid-afternoons," says Cristina Avila, marketing director at Dixie Outlet Mall.

Avila is absolutely right that malls are less crowded the earlier you hit them, and other mall operators agree.

["The best time to avoid crowds] is between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.," says Paola Caldaroni, marketing coordinator with the Orlando Corporation (which owns Mississauga's sprawling Heartland Town Centre).

Toni Holley, marketing director at Square One, also agrees.

"Start shopping early in the day," she says.

Best Places to Park

We actually wrote about Square One's very useful real-time parking map here.

“Since parking is always a big topic of conversation this time of year,” says Holley, “we’ve enhanced our online parking map to help make holiday parking [easier].”

The map displays real-time parking availability and provides instant directions on mobile map apps. If you take a look at this map on your computer or phone, you can see which parking lots have more availability at a glance.

If you're shopping at Dixie Outlet Mall, operators also have some suggestions you might want to heed in the frantic lead up to the weekend.

"The most convenient parking can be found over by our silver entrance (where Boathouse Outlet and Laura Outlet are located,) facing the QEW," says Avila.

Another helpful parking tip? If you're shopping at Square One and don't want to utilize the valet services, you'll probably find a spot in the lot right at Rathburn and Duke of York Blvd—right across from the old Target.What New Stores Should You Check Out?

If you're looking to buy for a fancy loved one (or you just really want to wow your partner), you can browse the newer section at Square One in search of something a little higher-end. The mall recently welcomed a host of new locations, including Simons and Holt Renfrew, that you might want to check if you're looking to give something with a little wow factor.

If you're looking for value, you can grab more affordable gifts-and enjoy a filling lunch—at Dixie Outlet Mall.

"We’ve recently opened Barburrito, Animal Riders, Treasure Hunt and Forever21 Under $15," says Dixie Outlet Mall's Avila.

Animal Riders is a new feature that allows children (and adults) to ride large plush animals around the mall and Treasure Hunt is a new overstock and warehouse liquidation catchall store, so if you have children to entertain and are looking for affordable gifts, the mall might be worth a visit.

If you're hoping to do some shopping at Heartland, there are new stores to check out there, too.

"[Some new stores include] Hobby & Toy, Beanwise, West49, JYSK and Voluptuous," says Heartland's Caldaroni.

Hobby and Toy is probably an ideal destination if you're shopping for a precocious child or other hobby enthusiast.

If you have a coffee lover on your list, Beanwise is a coffee superstore that offers a vast--and we do mean vast--selection of coffee and coffee accessories. If you hit up this store, you can purchase traditional coffee beans, k-cups, loose leaf tea, syrups (they have an entire wall of incredibly exciting flavours and the prices are exceptional at roughly $9.99 for a Torani bottle), equipment (espresso machines, French presses, grinders and more) and glassware. It’s rare to see (and smell) so much coffee and coffee paraphernalia in one place and the experience is pretty one-of-a-kind.

If you're hoping to grab some gifts and accessories (wrapping paper, cards and more), you'll probably want to check out Walmart's brand new store at Erin Mills Town Centre.

If you don't want to hit a mall or power centre and need to grab a few last minute things, you might want to look up your local LCBO to see if it's offering extended hours in the lead-up to Christmas.

Happy shopping, everyone!

Your Comments