With Hanukkah and Christmas right around the corner, the time for serious holiday shopping is upon us. If Black Friday and mall crowds aren’t your thing, Austin has tons of alternatives to offer. Here’s a list of opportunities to shop local and support some independent crafters, makers, and artists this holiday season.
Blue Genie Art Bazaar – Friday, November 28 – Wednesday, December 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (Closes at 6:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve.) This four-week holiday shopping extravaganza returns for its 14th year. Featuring more than 200 Texas artists, the bazaar offers FREE admission and a hassle-free shopping environment. All items featured at the bazaar must be handmade and include paintings, photography, prints, sculptures, jewelry, clothing, glassworks and more. It is one of the best places to find unique gifts with a local touch. Read about shopping Blue Genie with kids here. Marchesa Hall, 6226 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin.
Bright Friday: A Black Friday Alternative Market – Friday, November 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. This family-friendly event presents the opportunity for Austinites to gather and support local, fair, and direct trade artisans the day after Thanksgiving. Vendors at Bright Friday share a commitment to ethical practices, environmental responsibility and hand crafted quality products including local, handmade, direct trade, and fair trade gifts. Instead of spending Black Friday waiting in lines, enjoy this FREE community shopping event where you’ll find unique crafts, gifts, and treasures from some of Austin’s most talented artisans. Vuka Event Space, 411 Monroe St, Austin.
Renegade Craft Fair’s Austin Holiday Market – Saturday, November 29 and Sunday, November 30 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Attendees will enjoy a festive weekend of holiday and winter shopping with an impressive array of 100+ indie makers. Shoppers will find a variety of outstanding handmade goods at the Fair, perfect for checking off Holiday gift lists – ranging from holiday inspired stationery and giftwrap, unique and one-of-a-kind jewelry, apparel and shoes, to eco-friendly furniture, prints and posters, housewares, and much more. Plus, the venue and booths will be adorned with lights, evergreen, and holiday cheer. The market also features live music, free workshops, and activities. FREE! Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.
City Wide Garage Sale – Saturday, November 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 30 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Austin’s famous vintage flea market returns just in time for the holidays. Cost: Adults $6; kids 12 and under FREE! Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.
ATX Artisans Holiday Market – Sunday, November 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ATX Artisans is a collective of independent artists and craft makers dedicated to making handmade quality goods, including art, jewelry, paper goods, bath and beauty supplies, toys, clothing, holiday decor, pottery, paper goods, and lots more. FREE! Holiday Inn Midtown, 6000 Fiskville Rd, Austin.
ATX Kids – Holiday Style – Thursday, December 4 from 6-9:00 p.m. A shopping event featuring Austin’s best kid-focused brands. Shop for local unique clothes, jewelry, shoes, and more for kids of all ages. Find unique Austin holiday gifts, support local businesses, and have a few snacks and sips. FREE! Design Lab at the Oasis, 6550 Comanche Trail, Ste 106, Austin.
Texas Memorial Museum’s Holiday Shopping Event – Thursday, December 4 – Saturday, December 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Get into the holiday groove with FREE admission to the museum and 20% off all purchases in The Museum Store. View full schedule of savings and events (including FREE kid-friendly seasonal activities hosted by science educators) here. Texas Memorial Museum, 2400 Trinity St, Austin.
Market Days (Wimberley) – Saturday, December 6 from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wimberley hosts the oldest outdoor market in the Texas Hill Country and the second-largest in the state. The market features over 475 booths of everything you can’t live without. Stroll the tree-shaded paths, listen to live music, and shop to your heart’s content. FREE! 601 FM 2325, Wimberley.
Market Days (Round Rock) – Saturday, December 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Market Days features farmers market items, unique arts and crafts, jewelry, home decor, food vendors, and live music all day. FREE! Centennial Plaza, 301 W Bagdad, Round Rock.
Violet Crown Arts Festival Saturday, December 6 and Sunday, December 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Annual fall arts festival featuring music, artists, and plenty of holiday shopping. FREE! Brentwood Elementary School, 6700 Arroyo Seco, Austin.
Budafest (Buda) Saturday, December 6 and Sunday, December 7 from 10:00 a.m. to Dusk. Budafest features over 125 craft vendors, antiques, a wide selection of locally prepared food, a parade at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, live music both days, and appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus. FREE! City Park, 204 San Antonio St, Buda.
Christmas Market – Saturday, December 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Christmas Market is a venue for patrons to shop responsibly this holiday season while supporting local, socially conscious vendors. Hosted by Allies Against Slavery, the Market features 25+ fair trade, direct trade, and social enterprise merchants who use their businesses to promote employment and well-being for people in Austin and around the world. This FREE event for the public will include art, jewelry, music, clothing, purses/bags, toys, cosmetics, coffee, paper goods, housewares, photo prints, and much more. Childcare provided while you shop. For the City Center, 500 Saint John’s Ave, Austin.
German Christmas Market – Saturday, December 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The German-Texan Heritage Society offers shoppers hand-made, imported crafts including plenty of Christmas themed decorations such as nutcrackers and ornaments. It is a festival atmosphere with traditional German Christmas music, tables full of handcrafted items direct from the Erzgebirge region of Germany, a visit by both our historic American Santa Claus and the traditional German Sankt Nikolas with gifts for the children, a hospitality serving of Glühwein (hot spiced wine), coffee, apple cider/juice and gingerbread cookies and plenty of German style baked goodies for purchase. All purchases are sales tax free on this special day. FREE! German Free School of Austin, 507 E 10th St, Austin.
Austin Flea – Saturday, December 6 and Sunday, December 7 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Flea features all local handmade items and vintage wares from some of Austin’s most amazing and talented vendors. Find one-of-a-kind gifts for the holidays or any occasion including jewelry, glasswork, clothing, artwork, paper goods, textiles, and so much more. Family friendly and FREE! Opal Divine’s Penn Field, 3601 S Congress Ave, Austin.
Art From the Streets Show & Sale – Saturday, December 6 and Sunday, December 7 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For the past 22 years, homeless or formerly homeless individuals from around Austin have found their way to free, twice-weekly open studio sessions hosted by Art From the Streets. In addition to providing a safe and supportive environment for creativity, Art From the Streets gives these artists the opportunity to sell their work. This year’s annual exhibition will feature more than 2,000 new pieces for sale, including paintings and drawings, photography, jewelry, and pottery. Prices start at $35. Cost: $5 suggested donation at the door to help fund the program year-round. Austin Convention Center, 500 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin.
South American Holiday Bazaar – Saturday, December 6 from Noon – 4:00 p.m. Buenos Aires Cafe is excited to host the South American Holiday Bazaar in coordination with Clayworks Studio, featuring South American art imports from Corocoro, imported Brazilian fashion from Lure, and authentic South American food from Buenos Aires Cafe, Patakon Columbian, and Llamas Peruvian Creole. A raffle for door prizes will benefit the Sustainable Food Center. Family-friendly and FREE! Clayworks Studio, 1209 E 6th St, Austin.
A Sami Show (Dripping Springs) – Friday, December 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 7 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Holiday arts & crafts market. Cost: Adults $5; kids 12 and under FREE! Dripping Springs Ranch Park, 1042 Dripping Springs Ranch Rd, Dripping Springs.
The Gift Giver’s Social – Sunday, December 7 from 3-7:00 p.m. Enjoy an afternoon of holiday shopping with complimentary sips and eats. Find gifts just as unique as the loved ones you are gifting. Booths will be filled to the brim with both handmade and quality products alike–clothing, jewelry, home decor and much more. Silent auction proceeds benefit Verge Dance Company. FREE! Alisa’s Dance Academy, 3267 Bee Caves Rd, Austin.
Harmony Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair – Saturday, December 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Austin Harmony Project is hosting a holiday arts and crafts fair that will feature original fine art, handmade crafts, jewelry, henna tattoos, music, food, games, and more. The event benefits Harmony’s nonprofit art and music programs for adults with developmental disabilities. Family friendly and FREE! 1806 W Stassney, Ste 106, Austin.
Christmas Market (Blanco) – Saturday, December 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. FREE! Old Blanco County Courthouse, 300 Main St, Blanco.
Downtown Christmas Fair (Hutto) – Saturday, December 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Shop the stores, enjoy a meal at the downtown restaurants, shop vendors featuring handmade items, unique gifts, home decor, jewelry, toys, and delicious fair food and drinks. Live music and children’s activities will take place all day. FREE! Downtown Hutto.
Christmas Shopping Extravaganza (Round Rock) – Saturday, December 13 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The heart of this event is to showcase local business women and their talents along with raising money for a great cause. There will be great vendors to shop from and a raffle of some of their wonderful items to support the Round Rock ISD Clothes Closet. Please bring your gently used size 4T-16 children’s clothing to donate to the clothing drive. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase. FREE! Grace Presbyterian Church, 1705 Gattis School Rd, Round Rock.
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar – Tuesday, December 16 – Wednesday, December 24 from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Hot music, fine art, and cold beer make the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar the place where Austin shops in the giving season. The show is actually two events in one: an art fair and music festival with a vibrant community-driven vibe. Visitors can explore an amazing array of handmade items from 160+ artists while enjoying live local music and sips from a full bar. It all adds up to a fun authentic Austin experience. Cost: $7 for a single day pass. Kids 12 and under FREE! Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd, Austin.
Austin Flea – Saturday, December 20 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Flea features all local handmade items and vintage wares from some of Austin’s most amazing and talented vendors. Find one-of-a-kind gifts for the holidays or any occasion including jewelry, glasswork, clothing, artwork, paper goods, textiles and so much more. Family friendly and FREE! The Highball 1120 S Lamar Blvd, Austin.
In her life before kids, Emily held jobs as a zookeeper, a middle school teacher, and a tour bus driver in the wilds of Montana–not one of which prepared her for the adventures of motherhood. Now she’s living the good life in Austin with her husband, two sons and a Great Dane. When she’s not off gallivanting with her boys, you might find Emily baking up a mean batch of cupcakes, recalling obscure 80s song lyrics, or dreaming of peace and quiet.