Whether you’re ready or not, it’s time to start thinking about your holiday gift list. If you’re looking for something really special or even one-of-a-kind for your friends and family, look no further than Austin’s expansive array of handmade shopping opportunities. To the rest of the world, Black Friday is all about hot deals at large retailers, but for those of us in the Austin art scene, November 24 is the unofficial kickoff to the best local art gift events with Blue Genie Art Bazaar, which is quickly followed by Cherrywood Art Fair, Armadillo Christmas Bazaar and so many more. You can easily find gift ideas for your whole list at these events around Austin, running from Black Friday to Christmas Eve. That means even procrastinators will be covered. Here’s a rundown of the top handmade shopping spots to hit to ensure your gifts this year are as unique as the people you’re giving them to!
Top Handmade Holiday Fairs
1. Blue Genie Art Bazaar
When: Nov. 24 – Dec. 24 | 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily (10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Dec. 24)
Where: Blue Genie Art Bazaar (6100 Airport Blvd.)
What: Art & crafts from more than 200 local artists
2. Cherrywood Art Fair
When: Dec. 9 - 10 | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: Maplewood Elementary (East 38 1/2 Street & Maplewood Avenue)
What: More than 80 Texas artists with handmade gifts
Festivities: Food and drink, live music and family friendly activities
3. Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
When: Dec. 14 – 24 | 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Where: Palmer Events Center (900 Barton Springs Rd.)
What: 150+ curated artists and artisans
Festivities: Full bar and live music, daily
Cost: $8 admission
Additional Handmade Shopping:
Thornton Road Studios 25th Annual Holiday Art Sale
When: Dec. 2 - 3 | Sat. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: 2309 and 2311 Thornton Rd.
What: Open studio tour and show with more than 15 artists
Festivities: Live Art Demonstrations
Art from the Streets 25th Annual Show
When: Dec. 2 - 3 | 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: Austin Convention Center (500 Cesar Chavez St.)
What: Artwork from more than 75 homeless or at-risk local artists
Cost: $5 suggested donation at the door
Eastside Holiday Market
When: Dec. 15 | 6 – 10 p.m.
Where: REVELRY (908 E. Fifth St.)
What: More than 40 local artisans and crafters
Free Rent ATX Holiday Market Pop-Ups
When: Nov. 25 & Dec. 16 | 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: I Luv Vintage (2915 Guadalupe St.)
What: Outdoor holiday market with more than 15 local artists
East Austin Handmade Arts Market Yule Bazaar
When: Dec. 17 | Sun. 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Where: Cherry Cola Dog (3409 E. Fifth. St.)
What: More than 30 local artists and crafters
Festivities: Live music, dancing and Santa Elvis
Austin Flea December Events
When: Dec. 2–17 | Usually 12 – 4 p.m.
Where: Local craft breweries (check event website for full schedule)
What: Pop up events with an average of 20 artisans
Annie Winsett is an avid supporter of all things artsy in Austin. She's been involved in the Austin art community for a number of years as a blogger, and now photographer plus marketing consultant for handmade business owners through her new endeavor Crafting Exposure. On any given weekend, you can catch her a local fine art festivals, craft fairs and pop ups. Follow Annie's Artist Lookbook on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with these events and featured Austin artists.