We’re officially entering tinsel season, and the brainstorming has likely already begun to find the perfect gift that will thrill the special someone in your life, something with a story to tell that you can’t find in any box store. The gift that says: “You mean so much to me I spent hours trying to make the perfect gift – then gave up and bought this for you instead” (kidding-not kidding).
All joking aside, while a handmade gift is the dream, we can’t all be as creative and talented as Martha Stewart, and we don’t need to. Finding one-of-a-kind gifts with stories to tell can be as easy as heading to a local seasonal craft market, where you can find fresh, hip products made by creative makers for everyone on your list. It’s #local shopping at its best.
This holiday season, don’t sweat the small stuff and head to a craft market to browse beautiful, handmade pottery, leatherworks, stained glass, knitted goods (and more), then relax in a cozy café with a steaming cup of holiday goodness to congratulate yourself on your excellent finds.
Prepare to be wowed at one of these seven craft markets (hint: add your name to your list and Santa might be good to you, too!).
When: Nov. 24, 2019, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: S.G. Nesbitt Community Centre, Minden
Combine a fundraiser and shopping event into one outing in Minden Hills. The Christmas Artisan Market is the culmination of the Minden Hills Festival of Trees, a fundraiser for the Minden Hills Cultural Centre, so you will really be in the holiday spirit in time to stock up on crafty gifts. At the Festival of Trees (Nov. 22 to 24) you can bid on holiday décor like wreaths, gift baskets and more. The wrap-up is the Christmas Artisan Market where you can find beautifully crafted items from even more local artisans.
When: November 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Nick Smith Centre, Arnprior
This is an event that just keeps growing! Now in its sixth year, you can expect to find a little bit of everything at this fun book sale and craft fair, and the best part is, all funds raised go to fund the Arnprior & District Humane Society so you can do some shopping and support cute furry animals at the same time. Take some time before or after your shopping to sample brews at Lumbertown Ale House or browse collectibles (and an extensive cigar selection) at Antiques, Treasures and Treats.
When: Dec. 7, 2019, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Where: McMartin House, Perth
Unique woodworking, beeswax candles, paintings, jewellery, it’s all to be found at this long-running craft show in the town of Perth. Stop and do some craft shopping before hitting the downtown to pick up anything you missed at the market. Bring a friend (or two) and plan for lunch at Rocky River Café, or The Fieldhouse. Free admission, and visitors to the craft show are entered into a draw (it could be your lucky day!).
When: Nov. 2 and 3, 2019, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: 182 Bridge St., Almonte
Discover fun and unique gifts at this long-running craft market – with more than 30 years under its belt this is where creativity lives. And did someone say door prize? You could win a lap-sized quilt by filling out a ballot at the show. Look for the holiday cards printed with photos of the area’s beautiful scenery – and see if you can spot the same locations on the way home. Make time to wander downtown Almonte and take a wintry pic in front of Almonte’s iconic waterfall, then relax with a steaming cuppa at Heirloom Café & Bistro.
When: Nov. 29 2019
Where: Germania Club, Pembroke
This event gives one-of-a-kind a whole new meaning! Explore a German-inspired makers market for a fun twist on your typical craft show. Be sure to bring your appetite because catering of German fare like Bratwurst, Schnitzel, sauerkraut and potato salad will keep you going all day long. If you still have some energy after the show (and want to work off some German indulgence), do some geo-caching and see what treasures you can uncover (for free!).
Renfrew Armouries Craft Show
Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Renfrew Armouries, Renfrew
Wear your walking shoes to this event – you’ll have three days to explore the creations of more than 60 vendors. Admission is free, but you’ll want to bring a few dollars to refuel yourself with some hot foot and cold drinks so you can get back to it. The Renfrew Armouries is a beautiful building owned and operated by the Renfrew Agricultural Society and is the perfect historic backdrop for an old-fashioned craft show.
When: Nov. 16-17, 2019, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Club 580, Bancroft
Coordinated by the Bancroft Arts & Crafts Guild for more than 40 years, this show is a little smaller than their summer event, but will still offer plenty of unique items that will make the perfect gift for someone you know and love. Find art, woodworking leatherworks, pottery, knitting, and more here. If you’ve never been to Bancroft, make a stop at Tinhouse Woodworking for some more gift ideas from artisans around the area, or stop for a cuppa at The Muse Gallery & Café, a rare artisanal find in its own right, with local artwork lining the walls.