The mall can be so busy around this time of year. Instead of battling for a parking spot, why not opt for one of the many holiday markets happening throughout the Valley? Each features local vendors and artisans offering everything from handmade crafts to original works of art, housewares, and, of course, holiday décor.
With only so many shopping days left, here are 11 holiday markets happening around metro Phoenix.
Carefree Christmas Festival Market
“Have a Carefree Christmas” is the fitting tagline of the ninth annual Carefree Christmas Festival – which features an Electric Light Parade and Pet Parade, 40 tons of snow, and a Holiday Food & Gift Market at 100 Easy Street. The event features craft and food vendors set up as a Lighted Christmas Village (every exhibitor must have a decorated booth display), and offering holiday décor, treats, and crafts for sale. The free Carefree Christmas Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, December 9 and 10, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 11, at the Carefree Desert Gardens & Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion. Check the Carefree Christmas Festival website for more.
Held in Cave Creek’s Stagecoach Village, Christkindlmarkt 2016 is the eighth annual holiday event and market presented by the Arizona Center for Germanic Cultures. Celebrating Central European culture, Christkindlmarkt features local vendors and artisans offering holiday home décor, handmade crafts, jewelry, and more – plus German and Austrian food. The free Christkindlmarkt takes place at 7100 East Cave Creek Road from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, December 9; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 10; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 11. Visit the Arizona Center for Germanic Cultures website for more information.
F.Q. Story Street Fair
Part of the F.Q. Story Home Tour, the F.Q. Story Street Fair will offer holiday shopping from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 4. Browse through dozens of craft vendors, while keeping up your energy with the many food booths available. The F.Q. Holiday Street Fair is free, but tickets to the tour are $15 each – $14 if you donate a nonperishable food item – and available at Ninth Avenue and West Lynwood Street or through the F.Q. Story website, where you can also find more information.
Central Phoenix boutique Frances' Crafeteria event is a holiday standby. The free indie craft festival is held in the Medlock Plaza parking lot behind Frances. This year, the event will feature 40 vendors, including local artists and crafters offering screen prints, jewelry, knitwear, housewares, and more. There also will be live music and food available for purchase from Short Leash Hot Dogs, Mustache Pretzel, and Urban Cookies. The 11th annual Crafeteria takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. on First Friday, December 2. Check the Frances website for further information.
Jackalope: An Indie Artisan Market
You can #shopsmall at the Jackalope Art Fair with more than 150 local artisans in the Hanger Tent at WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 North Pima Road. Vendors will include Arizoniacs, Twirl, and Steam Crow, as well as Camelback Cando Co., Dirty Girl Bath & Body, and FQ Studios. Shoppers also will find workshops, food options, and live music – even a hammock area. The Jackalope Art Fair is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 26, and Sunday, November 27. Entry is free, and onsite parking is $5 in WestWorld’s lot H. Visit the Jackalope Art Fair website for further details.
Jolly Holiday Craft Fair
Set in the Friendly Village of Orangewood, the annual Jolly Holiday Craft Fair features plenty of handmade and hand-sewn stuffed animals and accessories by the Busy Bee Sewing Club – also the event's sponsor. Other vendors will include other arts and crafts handmade vendors. Proceeds for the event go to benefit local charities like Phoenix Children's Hospital, Banner Thunderbird Hospital, Honor Health, Toys for Tots, St. Jude's, and Phoenix Rescue Mission. Entry is free for the Jolly Holiday Craft Fair, happening from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 10. Check the Facebook event for further details.
Mesa Arts Festival
Hosted by Mesa Arts Center, the 2016 Mesa Arts Festival has a rep for featuring original artworks from local, regional, and national artists for sale in the form of print, jewelry, décor, and more. There’s also artist demonstrations, hands-on activities, live performances, and plenty of food. Entry is free (and so is parking), to the 11th annual Mesa Arts Festival, happening in downtown Mesa from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 10, and Sunday, December 11. Visit the Mesa Arts Center website for more details.
Phoenix Festival of the Arts
Held at Margaret T. Hance Park, the fifth annual the Phoenix Festival of the Arts is a three-day collection of art vendors, as well as live performances, food trucks, beer, and wine. Presented by Phoenix Center for the Arts, the free festival offers shopping from more than 125 arts and culture exhibitors from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday, December 9, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, December 10 and 11. More details can be found at the Phoenix Festival of the Arts website.
Held in the Open Air Market space at the Phoenix Public Market, the 2016 Phoestivus offers those in downtown Phoenix to opportunity to shop through more than 130 local vendors, featuring everything from jewelry and pillows to paper goods, snacks, and massages. Hosted by Get Your PHX and the Phoenix Public Market, Phoestivus also features a food truck courtyard, live performances, and, of course, the chance to air one's grievances – complete with pole. Free to enter and park, Phoestivus runs from 5 to 10 p.m. on Thursday, December 8, and Thursday, December 15. Visit the Open Air Market website for more.
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Shopping with Purpose
Hosted at New City Studio in downtown Phoenix’s Central Arts District, Shopping with Purpose is an annual market featuring local and traveling vendors. Proceeds from the night will benefit an array of local and international charitable causes – plus there will be music and wine. Past vendors included 31 Bits and Rufus Salvaged Goods. The 2016 edition of the event is held from 6 to 9 p.m. on First Friday, December 2. Check the New City Studio website for more.
Swoon Winter Boutique
The people behind Swoon Weekly and Made. a local market also host an indoor holiday market with a more intimate feel, the 2016 Swoon Winter Boutique. This year, the event will be held in the Carson Junior High School gymnasium in Mesa. The boutique will feature more than 60 local vendors and food trucks. The free Swoon Winter Boutique is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 3. Visit the Facebook event for further details.