It’s the holiday season, and visions of shopping for gifts are dancing in our collective heads. If you’re looking for some creative gifts for your nearest and dearest, you might want to check out one or more of the myriad makers’ markets popping up all over town.
In addition to unique sale items, several offer live entertainment, food, and drinks. Here are ten to consider:
Blue Genie Art Bazaar
Nov. 23-Dec. 24
6100 Airport Blvd.
Organizers say: We have thousands of original works ranging from serious art to fun, kitschy items. Shopping at the Bazaar is a great way to buy holiday gifts in a hassle-free environment, all while supporting local artists. All items at the Bazaar are handmade by local and regional artists that are selected through a rigorous jury process. The Bazaar features the work of more than 200 artists offering a wide variety of imaginative and beautiful gifts. You can expect to find paintings, photography, prints, sculptures, jewelry, clothing, accessories, glassworks, ceramics, and more gifts you can’t find anywhere else.
23rd Annual German-Texas Christmas Market
Dec. 1; 10AM-5:30PM
German Free School Building (507 E. 10th St.)
Organizers say: Come for the food and entertainment. Stay for a unique shopping experience. We will have authentic German, handcrafted Christmas ornaments, nutcrackers, Schwiebogen, smokers and decor. Enjoy some Gluehwein (hot spiced wine), Christmas Stollen made by The New World Bakery and gingerbread hearts made by Uwe’s Bakery. Up for some German cookies? Try out Silke’s German Gourmet Cookies.
Art from the Streets 26th Annual Show & Sale
Dec. 1-2; 11 AM-5PM
Austin Convention Center (500 E. Cesar Chavez St.)
Suggested donation $5
Organizers say: We will have thousands of pieces of artwork for sale from over 100 artists. 95% of sales goes directly to the artist. The mission of Art From the Streets is to provide a safe and encouraging environment in which the positive spirit and creativity of homeless and formerly homeless people is nurtured through artistic expression, and to provide them with a source of pride and income through the sale of their work.
Thornton Rd. Studios 26th Annual Holiday Show and Sale
Dec. 1, 11AM-8PM and Dec. 2, 11 AM-5PM
2309 and 2311 Thornton Rd.
Organizers say: Come experience the art and artists at Thornton Road Studios and get some Christmas shopping done! Beautiful art done by beautiful artists including mosaics, pottery, painting, watercolor, ceramics, sculpture, metal works, photography, fantasy art, jewelry. Come and join us for two days of art, food, and demonstrations.
Umlauf After Dark: Winter Fair
Dec. 4; 6-8 PM
Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum (605 Azie Morton Rd.)
Admission $5; free for members
Organizers say: Get a jump on your holiday shopping and support the Umlauf at the same time! We’ll have great local and handmade gifts available from local artisans and makers. Activities include live music, lawn games, and ornament making. We’ll have a bar and free beer so that you can sip while you shop and hang out!
Humanities Texas Holiday Book Fair
Dec. 8; 10 AM-1 PM
Byrne-Reed House (15th & Rio Grande St.)
Organizers say: A number of noteworthy authors — including Lawrence Wright, Sarah Bird, H. W. Brands, Elizabeth Crook, Joe Holley, Bill Wittliff, Carrie Fountain, Michael Barnes, Mimi Swartz, Chris Barton, Don Graham, Bethany Hegedus, Kyle Longley, Austin Bay, Kenny Braun, Samantha M. Clark, Xelena González, Paul Woodruff, Bronson Dorsey, Virginia A. Cumberbatch, Leslie A. Blair, Bill Wright, Wyatt McSpadden, Barbara Morgan, Kevin Robbins, Anne R. Keene, and Jennifer Ziegler — will visit with the public and sign copies of their latest books, which Humanities Texas will offer for purchase at a discounted price. Available titles include works of fiction and nonfiction, with selections for both adult and youth readers. Proceeds benefit Texas libraries.
Cherrywood Art Fair
Dec. 8-9, 10 AM-5 PM
Maplewood Elementary (3808 Maplewood Ave.)
Organizers say: Cherrywood Art Fair is an art-filled, two-day event showcasing local artists, live music, kids’ activities, and great food in a free, family-friendly environment. More than 8,000 visitors stroll through the fairgrounds looking at art, listening to beautiful music and sampling some of Austin’s finest food trailer cuisine. Since its 2002 inception, the fair has served as a destination for discerning holiday shoppers seeking unique and artful items from Texas artists and makers. Proceeds benefit Little Artist BIG ARTIST, our free after-school arts mentorship program in six East Austin elementary schools.
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
Dec. 13-24, 11 AM-10 PM
Palmer Events Center (900 Barton Springs Rd.)
Organizers say: This year Armadillo Christmas Bazaar offers shoppers 12 days to explore an exciting variety of fine art, handmade gifts, heirloom pieces, and stocking stuffers from over 175 carefully curated contemporary artists and makers. Enjoy at least three live music performances per day, two full bars and delicious local food, while shopping from national and local award-winning artists and makers, all in a festive, lively atmosphere.
East Side Holiday Market
Dec. 14, 6-10 PM
REVELRY (902 E. 5th St.)
Organizers say: Stop by REVELRY for three blocks of holiday cheer! We’re snagging some great locally sourced talent (from makers to music to grub) to give you one stellar shopping experience. Family friendly and free to attend, so don’t forget to support our vendors and buy a little somethin’!
Unique Markets Holiday Pop-up Austin
Dec. 16, 11 AM-6 PM
Brazos Hall (204 E. 4th St.)
Admission $5; under 12 free
Organizers say: Shop from the best modern, independent designers, artists, and emerging brands this holiday season! Find one-of-a-kind gifts, shop with your squad, or bring the whole family for a fun and unique shopping experience. The energetic, festival-like atmosphere includes great music, free drinks and DIY projects, photo booth fun, and admission includes a limited-edition cotton tote bag!