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, local 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 23 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

11/14/18 - 11/18/18
A Christmas Affair
Palmer Events Center
The Junior League of Austin's A Christmas Affair hosts approximately 200 vendors in a themed shopping extravaganza which includes parties, children's events, a private shopping brunch and the season's biggest celebrity, Santa!

three shops at Blue Genie Art Bazaar

11/23/18 – 12/24/18
Blue Genie Art Bazaar
6100 Airport Blvd.
This free, annual art show features more than 200 artists showcasing a wide variety of gifts. From painting to photography to jewelry, this exceptional holiday bazaar also helps support local Austin makers. Whether you're shopping for your sister, your mom, your best friend or your significant other, you’ll surely find something at the Blue Genie Art Bazaar.    

three shops at Cherrywood Art Fair

12/8/18 – 12/9/18
Cherrywood Art Fair
Maplewood Elementary
Don’t miss this amazing free two-day event that helps support the Little Artist BIG ARTIST program, as well as six East Austin elementary schools. Along with unique and handcrafted art pieces, there is live music, delicious food and fun activities for the whole family.

three shops at Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

12/13/18 – 12/24/18
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
Palmer Events Center
Check out this festive shopping experience that showcases more than 175 national and local award-winning artists. They also have live music, featuring local musicians such as Greyhounds, Kalu & The Electric Joint and more - plus two full bars! 

Additional Handmade Shopping

German-Texan Heritage Society Christmas Market
German Free School of Austin
Browse the market for handmade, imported crafts, decorations, ornaments and more, listen to traditional German Christmas music and enjoy a cup of Glühwein with gingerbread cookies.

12/1/18 – 12/2/18
Art from the Streets 26th Annual Show
Austin Convention Center
This two-day show has thousands of pieces of artwork from over 100 different artists, your sure to find something for the whole family.

12/1/18 - 12/2/18
Thornton Road Studios 26th Annual Holiday Art Sale
Thornton Road Studios
Come see the artists of Thornton Road Studios as they open their studios and showcase their art pieces for the holiday sale.

Eastside Holiday Market
Stop by REVELRY to attend this free event that showcases the best local talent from art to music, it’s a stellar shopping experience.

The Holiday Flea
St. Elmo Brewing Co.
The Austin Flea has gifts for any occasion, from jewelry and textiles to vintage clothing and so much more - all crafted by local Austin artists. Check out The Holiday Flea, or other events happening weekly at breweries and venues throughout Austin each weekend!

East Austin Handmade Arts Market Yule Bazaar
Cherry Cola Dog
One of East Austin Handmade Arts Market’s biggest events of the year showcases one-of-a-kind creations that will fulfill your holiday wish list as well as live music acts.

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.