6 Holiday Markets Where You Can Get Your Shopping On
From Downtown’s Handmade Arcade to Zelienople’s ice festival, find one-of-a-kind gifts at these area artists markets.
Yes, we know that Thanksgiving has yet to arrive, but has that ever stopped anyone from getting an early start on their holiday shopping list? Or, for that matter, has it ever halted any department stores from breaking out the red and green the minute Halloween is over?
No, the answer is no.
If you’re ready to get your shopping on, there are a plethora of holiday markets taking place around the Pittsburgh area throughout November and December that feature one-of-a-kind gifts handcrafted by local artisans.
As a bonus, beyond supporting a small business, shopping for handcrafted items decreases the likelihood that you’ll gift your loved ones a duplicate of what someone else already got them.
Here’s a look at six upcoming markets.
The People’s Gas Holiday Market
Taking place Nov. 18 through Christmas Eve in Market Square, the 11th outdoor People’s Gas Holiday Market at Market Square, Downtown, is set up like a charming European-style village.
Shoppers can wend their way through specially built wooden chalets, each filled with handcrafted gifts by local artisans. Among the vendors, which include a rotating crop of visiting sellers, are Global Girl Gifts, European Folk Art, Garbella and KLoRebel Art Co.
Adding to the merriment are live performances taking place on the Sounds of the Season stage during the week over lunchtime, weekday happy hours and throughout the day on weekends.
CRAFTED Holiday Shopping Event
Head to Contemporary Craft in Upper Lawrenceville for the CRAFTED shopping event featuring Penn/Fairmont’s exclusive line of drinkware, created by the Pittsburgh Glass Center’s artists.
Taking place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, the event also showcases a curated selection of holiday merchandise, glass and ceramic drinkware, home decor and jewelry. Light snacks and refreshments will be served, including a signature cocktail and mocktail. Tickets are $15.
I Made it! Market
The popular pop-up marketplace — known for handcrafted items by dozens of regional artisans — is hosting two holiday shopping events. I Made It! For the Holidays takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19 at The Block Northway in Ross. Featured vendors include 1flychicken creations, Bear and Bowie, 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 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17 at Factory 26 in the Strip District. Among the many vendors 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 boutiques, including The Nue Look at Home, Local Boutique 16063 and Curio Cool, making it a popular destination for Small Business Saturday, taking place this year on Saturday, Nov. 26.
Enhancing this year’s event is Zelie on Ice, featuring an open-air market with local artists selling their wares on the rooftop of restaurant and brewery ShuBrew.
Along with the market, there will be sales and shopping events, discounts and raffles offered at businesses throughout town, as well as free hot chocolate at Spring & Main Cafe. Along with a live ice sculpting demonstration, ice sculptures sponsored by local businesses will be set up along Main Street. The evening commences with the borough’s Light Up Night celebration at Four Corners Park.
Handmade Arcade Holiday Market
Billed as the largest holiday market in the region, the two-day Handmade Arcade’s Holiday Market takes place Friday, Dec. 2- Saturday, Dec. 3, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown. With more than 250 vendors, the event showcases everything from home decor and one-of-a-kind artwork to luxury body products and sustainable clothing.
Things kickoff Dec. 2 with the Friday Night Happy Hour presented by Pip & Lola’s Soap & Sundries from 5 to 7 p.m. Featuring a glass-blowing demonstration by the Pittsburgh Glass Center — and a cash bar with specialty drinks — the more intimate event gives shoppers a chance to browse the market before anyone else. Tickets for this event are $35.
Also giving shoppers a head start is the Early Bird Shopping event presented by Una Biologicals, taking place from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Dec. 3. Tickets to this event are $25.
The main event is from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.Dec. 3. This year’s hands-on activities from screen printers, glass blowers and fabric artists include demos, make-and-takes and community art projects. New this year, the Pittsburgh Glass Center’s annual glass sale will be held on site. To help control the crowds, Handmade Arcade is asking all attendees to sign up for free timed admission.
Winter Artists Markets
The Pittsburgh Center for Arts & Media in Shadyside has a variety of artists lined up for its Winter Artist Market, taking place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10. Among the vendors are A Alma Se Ceramics, Clark Morelia, Tugboat Printshop and Waku Waku Baby.