This time of year, holiday markets are springing up all around the greater Boston area, from church fairs to school bazaars to high-end artist markets. We’ve highlighted 12 fun finds that feature the handiwork of artisans from both near and far. Many have extras like food and live entertainment, and some even have Santa on hand for sharing holiday wishes! Take this opportunity to get into the holiday spirit; and find one-of-a-kind gifts for loved ones, too.
1. Castleberry Fair—Topsfield, Wilmington & Hanover
November 9 to 11, 2018 (Topsfield)
November 23 to 25, 2018 (Wilmington)
December 1 to 2, 2018 (Hanover)
adults $8; children (under 14) free
Choose from plenty of gifts, accessories, decorative items, arts and crafts from local and regional artisans at Castleberry Faire in Topsfield, Wilmington, and Hanover.
2. Holiday Shop and Sip—Wenham
November 25, 2018 adults $10; children free
The Wenham Museum's annual holiday event, Holiday Shop and Sip, features the North Shore's best artisans offering one-of-a-kind gifts. Enjoy light bites and cocktails while you browse.
3. Dickens Festival and Holiday Craft Fair—Braintree
November 17, 2018 free admission
Visit the Dickens Festival and Holiday Craft Fair for some old-fashioned holiday spirit to start off the holiday season. Features Christmas Carolers, Father Christmas, and a Sweet Shop, with fudge that always sells out early.
4. Old South Church Christmas Craft Fair—Copley Square
December 1, 2018 free admission
Thirty New England artists vend their unique offerings in pottery, knits, photography, fine art, jewelry, blown glass, beeswax candles, turned wood, and more at the Old South Church Christmas Craft Fair in Copley Square. Families can enjoy Christmas greens and the scent of hot mulled cider in the air.
Enjoy delicious homemade food and beautiful handmade gifts at the Waldorf School of Lexington Holiday Fair. Photo courtesy of the Waldorf School of Lexington.
5. Holiday Fair at the Waldorf School of Lexington—Lexington
December 1, 2018
Welcome in the spirit of the season at the annual Holiday Fair at the Waldorf School of Lexington. Enjoyment for all includes a marionette show, crafts for young children, live music, and dozens of artisan vendors who sell unique hand-made items for holiday gift shopping.
6. JP Crafts Fair—Jamaica Plain
December 1, 2018 free admission
Find your favorite local and Etsy artists and crafters at the JP Crafts Fair. Live music plays while you browse, and lunch is available for purchase.
7. SOWA Winter Festival - Boston
November 20 to December 2 and December 7 to 9, 2018 free admission
This year's SOWA Holiday Market features New England independent designers, artists and crafters. Along with an exceptional array of indie goods, including: handbags, jewelry, pottery, letterpress stationery, silk-screened t-shirts, baby clothes, re-purposed wool accessories and more, shoppers can also enjoy delicious food, cocktails and holiday themed workshops.
8. Harvard Square Holiday Craft Fair—Cambridge
Open weekends beginning December 8, 2018free admission
The juried craft fair includes a mix of items from New England craftspeople and world-traveling importers.
9. Cultural Survival Bazaar - Cambridge & Boston
December 15 to 16, 2018 (Cambridge)
December 21 to 23, 2018 (Boston)free admission
The Cultural Survival Bazaar series features works by Indigenous artists and offers cultural performances, which include live music from around the world, Native American storytelling, cultural presentations, craft-making demonstrations, and short films. Bazaars take place at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School and the Shops at Prudential Center.
10. CraftBoston Holiday Show—Boston
December 14 to 16, 2018 adults $15; children (under 18) free
At CraftBoston Holiday Show artists showcase one-of-a-kind and limited-edition pieces in baskets, ceramics, decorative fiber, art-to-wear, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper and wood.
Rockport Makers' Festival Holiday Market - Queen of Sorts. Photo courtesy of Rockport Makers
At this town-wide festival you can shop local and discover handmade gifts at maker-themed events in local shops. The Rockport Makers' Festival also has fun and crafty family activities, festive food, holiday music, and special programming at Rockport's famous art venues.
This holiday market includes two floors of unique holiday gifts shopping goodness. The Somerville Flea also has a DJ, cafe, and beer and wine for sale.
Post originally published November 2012 and updated annually