Yeses, we know Thanksgiving hasn’t arrived yet, but has that ever stopped anyone from starting early on their holiday shopping list? Or, for that matter, has he ever stopped the department stores from rolling out red and green at the end of Halloween?
No, the answer is no.
If you’re ready to shop, there are a plethora of holiday markets in the Pittsburgh area during November and December that offer unique gifts handcrafted by local artisans.
As a bonus, in addition to supporting a small business, buying handcrafted items decreases the likelihood that you’ll gift your loved ones double what someone else has already gifted them.
Here’s a look at six upcoming markets.
The Popular Gas Holiday Market
Taking place from November 18 to Christmas Eve in Market Square, the 11th popular open-air holiday market in Market Square in the city center is laid out like a charming European-style village.
Shoppers can weave their way through purpose-built wooden chalets, each filled with handcrafted gifts from local artisans. Vendors, which include a rotation of visiting vendors, include Global Girl Gifts, European Folk Art, Garbella and KLoRebel Art Co.
To add to the joy, live performances take place on the Sounds of the Season stage during the week at lunchtime, happy hours on weekdays, and throughout the day on weekends.
CRAFTED Holiday Shopping Event
Head to Contemporary Crafts in Upper Lawrenceville for the CRAFTED shopping event featuring the exclusive line of Penn/Fairmont glasses, created by the artists of the Pittsburgh Glass Center.
Taking place from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, November 18, the event also features a curated selection of holiday merchandise, glassware and ceramics, home decor, and jewelry. Light snacks and refreshments will be served, including a signature cocktail and mocktail. Tickets are $15.
I did it! Market
The popular pop-up market, known for its handcrafted items from dozens of regional artisans, is hosting two holiday shopping events. I did it! For the Holidays takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 19 at the Block Northway in Ross. Featured vendors include 1flychicken, Bear and Bowie Creations, Charlie Darwin Textiles, Cutting Root Farm and East End Alchemy.
A second pop-up, aptly dubbed I Made It! Market Last Minute Holiday Shopping, is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, December 17 at Factory 26 in the Strip District. Among the many sellers are Songbird Artistry, The Daggerfish Gear Co. and Shop Emily M.
Zelie on ice
Zelienople’s main street is lined with independent restaurants and small shops, including The Nue Look at Home, Local Boutique 16063 and Curio Cool, making it a popular destination for Small Business Saturday, which this year takes place on Saturday 26 november.
Along with the market, there will be sales and shopping events, discounts and raffles offered at businesses across the city, and free hot chocolate at the Spring & Main Cafe. In addition to a live ice carving demonstration, ice sculptures sponsored by local businesses will be installed along Main Street. The evening begins with the borough’s Light Up Night celebration at Four Corners Park.
Handmade Arcade Holiday Market
Considered the largest holiday market in the area, Handmade Arcade’s two-day holiday market takes place Friday, Dec. 2 through Saturday, Dec. 3 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center downtown. With over 250 vendors, the event showcases everything from unique home decor and artwork to luxury body products and sustainable clothing.
Things kick off on December 2 with Friday Night Happy Hour presented by Pip & Lola’s Soap & Sundries from 5-7pm. a chance to hit the market before anyone else. Tickets for this event are $35.
The Early Bird Shopping event presented by Una Biologicals, which runs from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on December 3, will also give shoppers a head start. Tickets for this event are $25.
The main event is from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 3. This year’s hands-on activities for screenprinters, glassblowers, and textile artists include demonstrations, creations, and community art projects. New this year, the Pittsburgh Glass Center’s annual glass sale will be held on-site. To help control crowds, Handmade Arcade is asking all attendees to register for free timed entry.
Winter Artists’ Markets
The Pittsburgh Center for Arts & Media in Shadyside has a variety of artists lined up for its Winter Artists Market, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, December 10. Vendors include A Alma Se Ceramics, Clark Morelia, Tugboat Printing and Waku Waku Baby.