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Rough Draft Atlanta
Hyperlocal news and information for metro Atlanta
With Christmas figuratively around the corner, now is the time to check your list twice and shop for a variety of handmade arts, crafts, jewelry, pottery, metalwork and more from local merchants at special markets throughout metro Atlanta.
Hyperlocal events like Christmas art and creative markets are integral to community retailers during the holiday season, often offering one-of-a-kind merchandise as well as spurring the local economy. “It’s very important to bring awareness to local makers and brands which encourages both the community and retailers to dedicate dollars and [support] to the local [businesses],” says Dr. Lakeysha Hallmon, CEO and founder of The Village Retail at Ponce City Market. “When local artisans are placed front and center, we establish a shared ecosystem.”
In addition to shopping, these festive, seasonal markets are family-friendly and feature activities such as photos with Santa, opportunities to create holiday greeting cards and indulge in tasty food and drinks. Consider these special markets another way to celebrate Christmastime with people you treasure, a chance to start a new family tradition and time spent getting to know local businessowners. “These events are a fun environment to introduce and showcase artists and their work. They are also a platform for attendees and artists to interact, learn and gain respect for each other while celebrating the unique location where the event is being held,” says Randall Fox, founder of Atlanta Foundation For Public Spaces and organizer of the inaugural holiday market at Piedmont Park this year.
The following 11 holiday markets can help kickstart your art and craft shopping season. (Unless noted, entry to the markets are free.) While shopping for others, be sure to gift yourself with something nice and special, too.
German holiday market. Wind through the festive German Christkindl Market and shop for ornaments from Kaethe Wohlfahrt, one of Germany’s best known Christmas ornament shops as well as wooden toys, jewelry, clay and hardwood pipes, handcrafts, bath and body items and more. For those who rev up an appetite while shopping, opt for favorites like German Glühwein, also known as mulled wine, and traditional food like pretzels, schnitzel and bratwurst. Hours vary. Nov. 25-Dec. 24. 290 East Paces Ferry Road NE, Atlanta. christkindlmarket.org.
Black-owned businesses. With a mission to support Black-owned brands seeking a home for their product, the Village Retail Holiday Markets will be a retail experience rooted in storytelling and upward mobility, intersecting cause, culture, shopping and community. To kick off the holiday season on Small Business Saturday, the shop will be home to Black creators offering clothing, accessories, candles, beauty products and more for everyone on your shopping list. Noon-5 p.m. Nov. 26-27 and Dec. 4, 11 and 18. The Shed alongside the Beltline’s Eastside Trail and in The Trestle, the breezeway connecting Ponce City Market to the Beltline. Ponce City Market, 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-907-1918, thevillageretail.com.
New event. Thanksgiving weekend will welcome the inaugural Piedmont Holiday Gift Market, a two-day event. Eventgoers will be able to stroll through the park while exploring gift items from approximately 100 artists including painters, photographers, sculptors, glass blowers, leather and metalworkers, jewelers and crafters. The atmosphere will also be festive with live music and warm holiday-themed drinks from select vendors. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 26 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 27. Piedmont Park, 1215 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta. affps.com.
One city, three events. Athens will be home to a variety of holiday markets. First up is the Southern Brewing Holiday Market, a two-day event which will celebrate the season with merchandise form local artists and creatives plus seasonal stouts to drink. The next event, a two-night affair, will be hosted in the courtyard at the Big City Bread Cafe and feature local artists and craft makers offering handmade gifts and treasures. The third event will be the city’s annual holiday market and craft fair at West Broad Farmers Market, made festive with artisan goods, kids holiday crafts, music plus fresh produce and baked products from local farmers. Southern Brewing Holiday Market event, 2-7 p.m. Dec. 3-4. 231 Collins Industrial Blvd., Athens. 706-548-7183, visitathensga.com. Big City Bread Cafe event, 5-9 p.m. Dec. 8-9. 393 N. Finley St., Athens. 706-340-1973, visitathensga.com. West Broad Farmers Market event, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 10. 300 S. Rocksprings St., Athens. 706-765-4020, athenslandtrust.org.
Handmade gifts. A festive all-day artist market, aptly called the Indie Craft Experience, will feature more than 70 vendors offering holiday crafts, art and vintage items, handmade gifts and food. For more incentive to visit this unique community destination market, the first 100 people in line will receive a tote bag. The entry fee is $5 for everyone ages 13 and older. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 3. Atrium at Uptown, 575 Morosgo Drive NE, Atlanta. indiecraftexperience.com.
Craft fair. Complete your gift list for everyone who’s been nice at the Christmas Craft Fair, hosted by a Timothy Lutheran Church’s TLC Youth Group. Visitors will find a bevy of beautiful crafts, arts and more. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 3. 556 Arnold Mill Road, Woodstock. 770 928-2812, timothylutheran.360unite.com.
Farm fun. Attendees to the Third Annual Outdoor Winter at the Market, held on the Still Family Farm, will find an assortment of holiday gifts and be able to take photos with Santa, create holiday cards with a backdrop of Christmas-themed arrangements and warm up with concession treats like hot chocolate and cookies. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 4. 5682 Macland Road, Powder Springs. 678-283-6951,stillfamilyfarm.com.
Santa’s in town. Shop for holiday gifts for everyone on your list at the Alpharetta Christmas Market. In addition to a variety of crafts, food, decor and jewelry, visitors will be able to take pictures with Santa. The event will occur 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 10; photos with Santa, 10 a.m.-noon. Alpharetta Community Center, 175 Roswell St., Alpharetta. 678-297-6100, awesomealpharetta.com.
Keep it local. Swing by the Artist & Fleas Holiday Market Shopping Celebration for a special event filled with holiday merchandise, activities and treats. Local merchants will offer everything from home goods and accessories to apparel plus personal skincare products and more. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 17. Ponce City Market, 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-900-7900, artistsandfleas.com.
Carolyn Desalu is a contributing writer to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. More by Carolyn Desalu | Atlanta Journal-Constitution