Published November 26, 2018|12 min read
The holidays are here, and with them comes the pop up of holiday markets — offering food, decorations and winter activities to get you into the holiday spirit. While big-name department stores may offer discounts, they can get quite crowded (and stressful) as the holidays close in. And they definitely don’t have the charm of a holiday market.
If you’re looking for ideas on where to go near you, we’ve got this guide that highlights the best holiday market in each state. To make sure we’re featuring markets that offer the most authentic and holiday-spirited experience, we looked at seasonal markets that you can only catch as the holidays approach. Plus, each one has something special that is certain to get you in the holiday spirit.
Address: 2620 Clinton Ave., Huntsville Celebrate the holidays the nerdy way at this annual holiday market — expect to find lots of sci-fi, comic and anime goodies for that pop culture lover on your gift list. Plus, you can play with bunnies up for adoption from the Alabama Rabbit Rescue.
Address: 723 S. Valley Way, Palmer This annual market has horse-drawn and reindeer sleigh rides, pictures with Santa and a fire art display in the sky. Vendors come from all over the state offering custom clothes and jewelry, too.
Address: Fourth Ave. between Eight St. and University Blvd., Tucson With over 500,000 annual visitors, this the city’s largest holiday market and it doesn’t disappoint. Expect to find over 400 vendors selling homemade crafts, and local entertainment playing all day and night long.
Address: 2537 N. McConnell Ave., Fayetteville This holiday market specializes in gifts for the self-proclaimed geeks in your life. Shoppers will find themed gifts from cult classics like Harry Potter, Doctor Who and everything in between. Shoppers can also delight in door prizes, games and even a costume contest.
Address: 2600 Geneva Ave., Daly City Step back in time and enjoy a Dickens-era Christmas at this festive holiday market, sete in an exhibition hall transformed into Victorian London. Tiny Tim and the Ghost of Christmas Past roam the aisles, while costumed vendors sell ceramics, jewelry and clothing.
Address: 1515 Arapahoe St., Denver Walk into this market to find a German village complete with Bavarian carolers, mulled wine and gingerbread houses. Pick up themed Christmas ornaments, Andrean fleece, authentic beer steins, cashmere accessories and more.
Address: 411 Church St., Guilford Not sure what gifts to give your loved ones? This market has personal shoppers available for gift-giving ideas and decoration advice — walking you through vendors selling ceramics, jewelry, toys and more. The Center also hosts several special events during the holiday market, including a jewelry and prosecco reception.
Address: 3176 Denny Rd., Newark A historical private home and farm transforms in the wintertime to a market, complete with live demonstrations, gourmet food and local artisans — and, of course, a Christmas tree farm.
Address: 5111 Lantana Rd., Lake Worth The whole family can have a great holiday at this German-themed outdoor market: Kids can participate in ornament-making and gingerbread house workshops while you relax with an imported German beer and some roasted nuts, all while holiday carolers perform.
Address: 155 Erie Ave., Decatur A local elementary school transforms into an indoor winter wonderland in time for the holidays, complete with a mini art studio and plenty of live music from all genres, including bluegrass, folk and blues.
Address: 333 Keahole St., Hawai’i Kai Boats are decked out with ornaments, tinsel and lights for this Christmas-themed boat parade — with prizes awarded for the best ones. Expect to see great live music and hula performances.
Address: 560 E. Anderson St., Idaho Falls Parents can shop at over 80 vendors for kid-friendly holiday gifts (especially now that Toys-R-Us is no longer around). Kids can visit the North Pole and decorate a cookie with Ms. Claus or make an ornament with Frosty — don’t forget to grab a free photo with Santa before you go.
Address: 50 W. Washington St., Chicago Inspired by the German Christmas tradition, this Daley Plaza market has it all: Handmade nutcrackers, ornaments, cuckoo clocks, schnitzel and German beer.
Address: 40 E. Clair St., Indianapolis Here you can check out goods from more than 150 vendors, from a natural foot-care line to a gourmet popcorn stand. The best part? All participating retailers are local small businesses — so you won't feel (too) guilty for spending a little extra.
Address: 125 N. Madison St., Iowa City You can find over 100 artists showcasing paintings, ceramics, woodwork jewelry here — and a wine and craft beer tasting. Make sure to take advantage of the free gift wrapping on site.
Looking for more ways to make the holidays more affordable? Check out this list of 50 freebies and discounts.
Address: 700 Block S. Kansas Ave., Topeka Snap a picture with a reindeer or ride in a horse-drawn carriage at this holiday market, which boasts classic Christmas characters from Tiny Tim to the Sugar Plum Fairy. If you’re feeling competitive, show off your style at the Ugly Sweater Contest or your culinary prowess at the Chili Cookoff.
Address: 417 E. Maxwell St., Lexington Shop for soaps, jewelry, ceramics and wreaths at this greenhouse-turned-market. Munch on a Christmas pastry, sip on some mulled wine and listen to classical music performed by a local group while you shop.
Address: 31025 LA-1, White Castle Climb aboard steamboat American Queen for a holiday shopping experience on the Louisiana River. Shop for holiday-themed arts and crafts, but make sure to stay for the fireworks at night.
Address: 117 Main St., Kennebunk Set at the cozy Brick Store Museum, this holiday market features local artists and entrepreneurs selling china and memorable keepsakes — ranging in price from $5 to $500 — to add to your Christmas decor.
Address: 501 Light St., Baltimore The city’s Inner Harbor transforms into a Christmas village, complete with traditional German-style wooden huts and a giant Christmas tree in the village center. The city elects a Nuremberg Christkind to represent the spirit of Christmas — make sure to catch her at the village on select days.
Address: 467 Washington St., Boston You can find this artist market in the heart of downtown, where local vendors sell jewelry, wood carvings and sculptures.
Address: 2934 Russell St., Detroit This market gives shoppers a single place to find all the ingredients they need for the holidays. This includes food, as well as Michigan-made clothing, art and jewelry to stuff your stockings.
Address: 1382 Willow St., Minneapolis This market transforms downtown Minneapolis into a holiday community gathering, complete with food and craft vendors, visits from Santa, musical performances and an outdoor skating rink. Once a week, you can catch a classic holiday movie and surprise giveaways.
Address: 147 North Union St., Canton Canton’s Historic Courthouse Square will glow with more than 200,000 lights throughout this holiday festival. Don’t miss the interactive Christmas Village, where children can make food for Santa’s reindeer and collect marshmallows from Frosty the Snowman.
Address: 150 E. Argonne Dr., Kirkwood Local vendor Summit Produce converts part of the Kirkwood Farmers’ Market into a 2,000 square foot Gingerbread Shoppe during the holiday season, filled with treats like peppermint bark, molasses puff and solid milk chocolate presents. You can pick out a Christmas tree from the lot on your way out.
Address: 32 Campus Dr., Missoula The University of Montana hosts more than 200 local artists at their annual Christmas market, selling soaps and candles, among other items. And if you get one of the candles, you can make a holder personalized for the recipient. Here are a few other ideas for DIY holiday gifts that won't ruin your budget.
Address: Gene Leahy Mall, Omaha Walk down more than 40 blocks of streets decorated with lights at this downtown festival, which features an ice skating rink and holiday concerts. Shop, eat and drink in the Old Market and take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage.
Address: 3150 Paradise Rd., Las Vegas Expect to find everything Western-themed here, from spurs and boots to Midwestern art and pottery. Don't miss the featured rodeo entertainment, which includes junior competitions and professional showcases.
Address: 14 Hancock St., Portsmouth Take a trip back in time with this colonial-themed Christmas village, complete with a candlelit guided tour of the historic neighborhood of Puddle Dock and an outdoor skating rink.
Address: 1300 Ocean Ave., Asbury Park Inspired by German Christmas markets, the Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar offers vintage and handmade art, jewelry and other goods, accompanied by live music and performances. Must sees include the 30-foot Christmas Tree and holiday photo booth.
Address: 100 E. San Francisco St., Santa Fe Santa Fe’s Winter Indian Market is a celebration of Native arts and crafts. From jewelry to textiles to basketry to ceramics, you’ll find something for everyone on your gift list, all while supporting your community.
Address: Columbus Circle & 59th St., New York Located at the entrance of Central Park, this holiday market captures the city’s elegant Christmas spirit with designer goods and gourmet treats. Catch the famous Rockefeller Christmas tree on 50th Street afterwards.
Address: 210 E. Front St., New Bern Every winter, the entire town of New Bern transforms into a spectacularly lit Christmas village. Gather around the Christmas tree, take your picture with Santa and check out the entries to the annual gingerbread house competition.
Address: 630 1st Ave. N #6, Fargo Drekker Brewing Company, the best brewery in the state, is hosting their very own holiday market, complete with local vendors, crafts for sale and, of course, beer.
Address: 120 S. 3rd St., Steubenville Catch a ride on the “holly trolley” to take you through the market, which features baked goods, arts and crafts and puzzles you can take home to the kids. The market is also home to a collection of more than 150 nutcrackers — don’t miss the 6-foot one.
Address: 399 NW 10th St., Oklahoma City This market hosts local shops that rotate weekly, so you’ll find something new every week. If you are looking to warm up, try the delicious Katiebug’s hot chocolate stand. Looking for something a little stronger? Big Friendly Beer Bus has you covered.
Address: 725 Row River Rd., Cottage Grove This Middle Ages-themed, open-air holiday market features festive food and drink, including German hot spiced wine. As you shop the storefronts for ceramics and fresh baked goods, listen for the sound of carolers performing throughout the day.
Address: 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem One of the largest holiday celebrations in the country, this village has live music, good eats and more than 150 vendors from across the U.S. Early risers can even get breakfast with St. Nick, but those who come later can enjoy holiday spirits and wine tasting, as well as craft their own glass holiday ornaments.
Address: 324 Hope St., Providence This is your holiday stop for all things vintage and handcrafted, from colorful pieces of jewelry to soaps to wooden furniture. You can grab a bite to eat from local food trucks and pledge to support community nonprofits that set up shop among the other vendors.
Address: 871 Riverland Dr., Charleston You can drive or walk the enchanted light trail and watch Christmas trees “dance” to the music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. When you’re done feasting on roasted marshmallows or a chocolatey treat from Santa’s Sweet Shoppe, you can also pick up presents from three different gift shops. Don’t forget to check out the 50-ton holiday sand sculpture before you go.
Looking for more family-friendly activities? Check out this list of inexpensive ways to have fun this holiday season.
Address: 500 E Capitol Ave., Pierre Learn more about the history of Pierre and listen to local choirs and jazz groups at this month-long event. But, the real highlight is the almost 100 Christmas trees, decorated by volunteers from communities, schools, churches, nonprofit organizations and state government offices.
Address: 625 Smith Ave., Nashville Not only are there over 175 vendors at this seasonal market, you can find food trucks, DJ-spun tunes and free prizes for attendees. As a special bonus, the entire market is indoors and heated, which means you can enjoy winter festivities while escaping the cold.
Address: 1650 E. Randol Mill Rd., Arlington Inspired by German Christmas traditions, this holiday village features seasonal gifts, decorations and other traditional German goods, as well as live entertainment by local choirs and dance troupes.
Address: Rio Grande Depot (300 S. Rio Grande St.), Salt Lake City As if the Rio Grande Depot wasn’t beautiful enough, imagine it filled with holiday goodies. More than 70 vendors are participating this year, bringing in locally grown produce and meats as well as handmade crafts and jars of honey, which are perfect gifts for neighbors or to use as stocking stuffers.
Address: 39 Main St., Montpelier Get custom-made gifts for everyone on your wishlist at this local market, which features over 45 local vendors offering up everything from hard cider to fuzzy blankets and scented balms.
Address: 300 John Carlyle St., Alexandria Shop for craft goods like local wines and cheese and artisan goods while your kids get their face painted and decorate their own ornament — best of all, you can do this and listen to live entertainment.
Address: 401 Pine St., Seattle Enjoy the winter weather at this outdoor holiday market, featuring 24 booths that rotate each week. This year’s showcase will feature artisans from Urban Craft Uprising and their handmade goods.
Address: F St NW & 8th St. NW, Washington, D.C. Found in the heart of the nation’s capital, this holiday market has it all: More than 150 artisan vendors selling everything from soaps to textiles, food vendors serving up favorites like empanadas and mini donuts and local musical groups performing jazz, americana, bluegrass and more.
Address: 104 S. King St., Shepherdstown There are enough winter activities for the whole family here, from a live nativity, town tree lightings, toy train displays and holiday shopping. Experience the town (and learn about it, too) all while on a horse-drawn carriage, for only $5 per adult and $3 per child.
Address: 101 Osthoff Ave., Elkhart Lake Expect to find German bratwurst, Czech blown-glass ornaments and Russian hand-painted Santa nesting dolls. Make sure to catch Father Christmas for a photo on your way out.
Address: 1000 E. University Ave., Laramie Put on each year by the University of Wyoming, this holiday market has a wide assortment of potential gifts, including baked goods, home decor, handmade craft and holiday items, clothing, jewelry and children’s books, from 50 different vendors. Show up and get a prize at the door — you can also take part in the auction of vintage UW china, with all proceeds going to charity.
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