Fed up with mass-produced merchandise and stuffy, crowded stores? Try a holiday market instead. Fortunately, L.A. has a wealth of seasonal craft fairs you can browse if the shopping mall options or big department stores just aren't your bag. These seasonal marts are great for filling gaps left after perusing L.A.'s gift shops, and for finding unique gifts handmade by local artisans. As a bonus, showing up at one of these markets is an easy way to get into the Christmas spirit. Just add hot chocolate and you'll be on your way.
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Find the best holiday market for you
Have a crafty start to the Christmas shopping season at CAFAM's annual Holiday Marketplace along Miracle Mile. If you're making a list and checking it twice, consider this shopping event for unique handmade gifts and an opportunity to meet the international artists behind them.
Gear up for the holiday season at this annual holiday market, boasting more than 60 artisanal vendors including makers, crafters and chefs. During the first week of December, local makers and crafters will display one-of-a-kind, festive goods to toast the season of oversized sweaters and hot chocolate (if L.A. weather permits). Located at N 1st Street at Huntington Blvd, Arcadia, free lot parking at Claros Market and Arcadia Park and lots of street parking—or take the Metro Gold Line to Azuza/Citrus Station.
Described as the largest made-in-America shopping event in the country, the annual Unique USA holiday market features clothes, accessories and art pieces from a number of quality handmade brands. Check out local products and rub elbows with the different designers and artists showcasing their work. Take a break with locally-made food, plus free drinks and photo booth portraits.
Calling all vintage lovers! Shop more than 50 of the top vintage retailers (local and national) like Scout, Just Say Native, Recess, Mercy Vintage Now, Arrow and Anchor and private dealers at this vintage market. Now in its fifth year, A Current Affair is a major source for stylists, designers and anyone in search of one-of-a-kind vintage ranging from perfectly worn-in jeans to rare and collectible designer vintage. Shop an array of vintage clothing, accessories, and jewelry from the Victorian Era through today.
If you're making a list and checking it twice, consider this 3rd annual shopping event for unique kitchen, pantry and tabletop finds from retail and culinary pop-ups including Birch & Bone, Brown Bag Books, Courage & Craft, Farm LA, Ink + Smog, Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market, Los Angeles County Store, MADE by DWC, M.Greenwood Jams, Paper Pastries, Spread the Love: Peanut Butter, Ursa Minor Handmade and YA Living. Kick off the holiday season right with gingerbread cookie decorating from 11am-4pm on Sunday, plus a full schedule of live local music from carolers and L.A. bands like the California Feetwarmers. Plus, score all sorts of foodie goodies from Grand Central Market vendors like holiday breads from Clark Street Bread, potato knishes from Wexler's Deli, tamales from Chiles Secos, smoked beef rib from Horse Thief BBQ, butternut winter clam chowder and iced sugar cookies from Bombo, rotisserie chicken from Bar Moruno, holiday on a hoagie sandwich from Belcampo, artisanal food gift baskets from DTLA Cheese, and specialty chocolate boxes, fruitcakes and peppermint bark from Valerie Confections Bakery & Café.
Get all your holiday shopping completed at the Mosaic Craft Fair, an event that showcases the handmade products of more than 80 vendors. Scan through stationary, textiles, plants, jewelry, art, bath and body products from local artisans. There will also be plenty of food trucks, a craft beer garden, kids' corner, craft workshops and live music, making it a family-friendly destination.
Bitchcraft is a badass, scrappy little market featuring a mix of metal-punk-western-hippie-inspired wares including handmade holiday balls by Lady Stardust, Hellbent Leather goods by Brooke Worrel and astrology coasters by Natura Obscura. It sounds a little over the top, but there are many hidden gems here, and they serve beer and Bloody Marys while supplies last, which isn’t long—Bitchcraft tends to turn from fair to party as the afternoon progresses. There will be an appearance by Black Metal Santa Clause, live music and flowing PBRs. Kinship Studios, 5612 N Figueroa St, 90042.
Any crafter worth her weight in cashmere yarn knows that Renegade Craft Fair is the fair all other fairs aspire to. Held in urban epicenters such as Brooklyn, Chicago, Austin and of course, Los Angeles, Renegade is a traveling marketplace showcasing work from hundreds of the country’s best contemporary indie craft artists. Aside from the wares, Renegade offers all sorts of homemade DIY fun and holiday festivities: think classes and demos, free photo booths and tons of tasty food trucks. Sure, Renegade hosts an epic summer fair, but it's the supplemental holiday fairs in wintertime that help you check everyone off your gift list—including yourself.
Reserve the second weekend in December for the holiday installment of this Pinterester's Utopia. Hosted by the 5,000-square-foot Mack Sennett Studios, the Echo Park Craft Fair returns, welcoming artsy east siders for a holiday feast of hand-dyed clothing and delicately concocted bath oils, one-of-a-kind ceramics, weavings, jewelry and beyond. Founded by a shoe designer and a textile artist, the bi-annual extravaganza has grown from a backyard hangout to an artisan's haven, providing a number of local craftspeople a space to showcase their handmade gems.
We Angelenos welcome New York transplants with open arms—as long as they involve either gourmet ice cream or artisanal, handcrafted goodies. These criteria make the Arts District debut of Brooklyn-born craft market Artists & Fleas a no-brainer. And more than other flea market on in Los Angeles, the Downtown Los Angeles and Venice edition of Artists and Fleas is very much a manifestation of its neighborhood. Every Saturday from 11am-5pm, head to 740 E 3rd St for an outdoor weekend event, featuring locally made art, fashion, vintage wares, vinyl, edibles and beyond. The Venice market is every 2nd and 4th Saturday from 11am-5pm at 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Mingle amongst LA's hippest while eyeing hand-beaded jewelry or one-of-a-kind reclaimed wood work from 75+ vendors. Plus, there's a "feed lot" each weekend that features five LA-based food trucks; past participants include Coolhaus, Currywurst and Komodo.