ABOVE PHOTO: Courtesy of Christmas Village in Philadelphia.
Skip the mall and shop local! Here’s where to get in the spirit with fantastic holiday markets.
By Laura Swartz
With Thanksgiving and Chanukah happening early this year, there’s even more time to deck the halls, start shopping, and celebrate the season. No matter who you have to shop for, you’re sure to find something special and one-of-a-kind at the many Philly holiday markets around town.
While some markets are just for the day, others bring a whole month of merriness! And even if you don’t have much shopping to do, they are the perfect places to check out our local arts scene, enjoy some holiday treats, and spend time with family. Here are our favorites.
Love Park, 1500 Arch Street
To call this just a holiday market is a great injustice, because this is basically a month of holiday cheer in the middle of Philadelphia. Modeled after the traditional Christmas Markets in Germany, this annual market features over 80 vendors in wooden booths selling authentic European food, ornaments, crafts, clothing, and more from all over the world. In addition to the amazing assortment of wares, there are festive events all month long including live music, storytimes, wine tastings, and even visits with Santa! They also have great food, from waffles to mulled wine (Pro tip: buy the commemorative mug for discount refills—you won’t be sorry).
Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market
November 17—January 1, 2019
Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th St.
Right outside City Hall, more than 40 local artisans, designers, crafters, and confectionaries will offer unique selections for gifts and special holiday foods. This market was designed to complement Christmas Village across the street—but only focuses on locally made gifts. Stop by after skating on the Rothman Rink and running through Wintergarden Maze! Stay after to watch the light show projected onto City Hall, and don’t miss a ride on the carousel in the courtyard. It’s even open on Christmas Eve, so you can go for last minute shopping.
Cherry Street Pier
November 23—December 25
121 N. Christopher Columbus Boulevard
The Christmas Tree Stand and Holiday Market will be at Cherry Street Pier seven days week, starting on Black Friday and running until Christmas. Trees can be purchased on-site and brought home that day or delivered, and you can buy ornaments there too. Select weekends in December will have additional shopping opportunities: Punk Rock Flea Market (December 8—9) and Art Star Market (December 15—16) which will also include photos with Santa, a gift wrapping station, and make-and-takes. Shane Confectionery is also planning to visit on select weekends to sell their homemade confections and hold candy-making demonstrations.
Clover Market’s Holiday Market at PAFA
December 1—2, 11 am—5 pm
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 128 N. Broad St.
This indoor market will feature 75 vendors including handmade gifts, antiques, and specialty foods. The market is free and open to the public, and situated in the second floor galleries of PAFA, so there’s more than just gifts to look at. There will also be make-and-takes from the Handwork Studio, the Waldorf School of Philadelphia, and Black Hound Clay Studio; as well as facepainting, food, and a cash bar.
Greens Sale and Market at Bartram’s Garden
December 1, 10 am—3 pm
5400 Lindbergh Blvd.
Enjoy seasonal music and refreshments as you get everything you need to deck your halls—including decorated and undecorated wreaths, centerpieces, fresh evergreens and more. Plus, Holiday Marketplace vendors will be there so you get some gift shopping done too.
December 8, 11 am—5 pm
Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catharine St.
This indoor market includes unique gifts by artists and craft vendors, as well as a bottomless tumbler fundraiser with ceramic artist Daniel Teran, a special pop-up market with Fleisher’s Teen Lounge and adult students, food, festive tunes, and a portrait booth. Admission is free, but after you finish your shopping, you can stay for one of three DIY gift-making workshops for $40.
BOK, 1901 S. Ninth St.
Crafty Balboa’s Holiday Makers Market will showcase over 100 artists and makers, and feature one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list.
South Philly Handmade Brigade
December 8, 11 am—6 pm
1241 Carpenter St.
This shopping event features affordable and original artwork and gifts by local artists. Plus, you can meet the local artists in their studios!
West Craft Fest
December 9, 10 am–4 pm
The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St.
Find unique holiday gifts handmade by dozens of local makers and artists. This annual West Philly fair has a great selection of accessories, jewelry, art, toys, and more.