Every year, Christmas brings with it a panic to find the perfect gift for everyone in your life, but trudging to the mall or scrolling through Amazon listings can kill anyone’s holiday spirit after a while. Shopping local at fun events is an entirely different way to shop and supports small, local businesses and providing unique, special gifts that can’t be found at Target. Throughout December, there are a plethora of events to hit for hand-crafted goods, artisan and prepared foods, and a pleasant environment.
Linden Hill Holiday Market – Weekly on Sundays
This event is repeating every Sunday, so it can fit into your schedule no matter if you prefer to shop early or in that late crunch time—up to the 23rd! This event is bustling and busy and offers a nice variety of makers and on-site prepared food to keep you filled while you shop.
Sunnyside Gardens has a parking lot, though it’s a bit small, but most visitors should be able to snag a free spot. While you’re there, you can shop their lovely plant arrangements for some pinecone infused front porch decor.
Runs on Sundays from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. It’s free and dog-friendly.
Linden Hills Market by Franki Hanke
Another option for a repeating event is The Great Northeast Make Merry at Sociable Cider Werks. It offers both the chance to shop and drink. Minneapolis Craft Market and Frank & Ernest Markets & Events are hosting their local maker market with Sociable because “holiday shopping is a lot more fun with a cider in hand.”
Runs on Thursdays from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM. It’s free, but your cider won’t be.
“This is NOT your Church craft sale, this is Betty’s Bizarre Bazaar and she does things her way, quirky some would say,” Betty Danger’s describes on their event page. Betty Danger’s, if you haven’t been, is a unique and interesting venue to visit all in itself, so adding in another reason makes it all the more appealing.
Their event will feature brunch and dinner items and strong cocktails for sale during the event with local artists work on showcase.
Runs on Saturday, December 1st from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
While most opportunities to shop local don’t cost anything for entry, Unique Market’s does. The tickets have been discounted to $5 due to Constant Contact sponsorship, and they are offering lots of perks for the price tag.
The event is described as “festival-like” with music, free drinks, and photo booths. Plus, an entry ticket gets you a free cotton tote so you can shop waste-free. Otherwise, with your ticket, you’ll get some gift wrapping, watercolor gift tags to DIY, and some drinks for their partners to enhance the day.
Runs on December 2nd from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
For the sixth year in a row, Union Depot will be hosting a bake sale opportunity to get all the homemade goodies that you don’t have to actually make!
Throughout the event will be different activities including demos from local chefs, music, workshops, and cake walks. This year, unlike last years, there will be no entry charge.
To start drooling about what you’ll buy, check out their vendor list.
Bakeries: Amy’s Classic Confections, Antoinette’s Little Bakeshop, Curly Girlz Candy, Germanic-American Institute, Groundswell, Heavenly Treats, Mademoiselle Miel, Nikkolette’s Macarons, North Mallow, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Potter’s Pasties, Sarah Jane’s Bakery, St. Croix Chocolate Co., St. George Greek Orthodox Church, The Buttered Tin, Sweet Retreat, T-Rex Cookie Company, LLC and Union Depot‘s Bee Line Honey,
Runs December 8th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
These are only some of the events happening in the Twin Cities, where we have a wealth of talented crafters. Breweries are a popular spot for hostings these so if you’ve got a favorite, check out their page and see if they have anything going on. Wherever you go, these events offer a much more pleasant experience than hitting the commercial malls or just scrolling at home— though you will need pants for these. I hope it’ll be worth wearing jeans!