Photo by AMzPhoto via iStock.
During the holiday season, most of us want to find good gifts for our loved ones. Rather than visiting yet another big-box retailer, why not visit a craft fair and support local businesses? That holiday joy seems to spread just a little easier when you are supporting local businesses. Here are some upcoming markets and fairs where you can find that perfect gift:
Where can you find fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, crocodile necklaces, sea salt candles, and aventurine-quartz earrings? The 7th annual GRUMP! Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair in Rosslyn, Virginia, for starters. Flip through hand-bound notebooks by Rocketkoi, or squeeze a crochet animal plushie from Hooked and Loopy. Want some excitement with your shopping? Visit the second fair the following weekend at the Smithsonian’s ZooLights celebration and browse amongst the creatures.
You may never be able to explore 19th-century Berlin, but you can experience one of their holiday traditions by visiting Christkindlmarkt, a traditional German public Christmas market, hosted by the Heurich House Museum. Stroll through the outdoor pavilion sipping a Right Proper ale, marvel at silver bangles by Cindy Liebel jewelry or gold drop earrings from Kicheko Goods, or pick up some sweets: we recommend macaroons from Sweet Crimes or chocolate chip cookies from Together We Bake.
December is coming up, and many of us are heading to Olde City Christmas Tree Farm in Van Ness for our White Spruce and Fraser Firs. But what many don’t realize is the neighborhood also hosts a pop-up shop: During its 3rd annual four-weekend pop-up, vendors in the community will take over an empty storefront on Connecticut Avenue to sell jewelry, foliage, textiles, coffee, and more. The third weekend (December 8th and 9th) looks particularly promising with Christmas caroling by the Singing Capital Chorus and a cooking demonstration by local celebrity chef Jonathan Bardzik.
This embassy has its own annual holiday tradition. Hosted by the House of Sweden, their Christmas Bazaar features national delicacies like”glögg”—aka mulled wine. You can also choose from a bevy of crafts, textiles, books, and fresh-baked breads. If all the shopping gets tiring, feel free to indulge in a traditional Swedish “fika,” a short break to chat over coffee and pastry.
Looking for a little luxury? The legendary Watergate Hotel has heard your prayers. This weekend, they’ll be hosting their first ever holiday market, and they aren’t holding back the extraness: this holiday market will focus on the high-end and luxe. Now’s the chance to partake in SPAGnVOLA chocolates, don belts from Amato Style, or marvel at rings sporting semi-precious stones from Kamaria Jewelry—100% of whom’s proceeds goes to the non-profit Restore Dignity, which gives financial assistance to victims of sexual violence. And if you’re looking for a cheeky twist to your gifts, the Watergate will provide complimentary gift-wrapping paper… with a print referencing the hotel’s most infamous moment in history.
If you’re looking for something quainter and cozier, the newly sprung Sugarplum Shoppe is hosting their own holiday pop-up at Shopkeepers, a boutique-cafe-gallery hybrid in Northeast DC. Featured are small vendors like Fulla & Fayda, who specialize in handmade Senegalese-inspired purses, backpacks, and wallets, or grab a coffee from the bar and gush over gold-filled mini rainbow necklaces from local artisan Rachel Pfeffer, whose handmade jewelry will also be on display.
What do you get someone who has all the newest toys? Something old! Luckily, Miss Pixie’s Furnishings & Whatnot, a vintage furniture shop in Northwest DC, will be hosting their sixth annual holiday market, where Washingtonians can browse goods from 15 small businesses while nibbling on vegetarian paella from Barcelona Wine Bar. Go for the sales, stay for the live jazz from local band Bitter Dose Combo.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Adams Morgan Day festival. Listen to carolers sing your favorite Christmas tunes while checking out the wares of over 50 local vendors. You could help decorate the Festivus kiosk on December 8th, or watch a 20-minute holiday performance on the front steps of the Line Hotel the following day.
Finally, DC’s holiday village is back! The 14th annual month-long fair has returned to 7th and 9th Streets, NW. This year the market boasts over 180 exhibitors, providing more than enough variety for those who seek it: Choose from 12 painters, 7 photographers, 26 jewelers, 4 antique shops, and 13 imported craft retailers, just for starters. But if you would prefer a good time without the empty wallet, go for live performances by classic rock band 49-Cent Dress, blues duo Alligator Pears, or jazz vocalist Carly Harvey. You can listen to the live music while munching steaming pastry pockets from Alexa’s Empanadas.