Each holiday season, we take much-needed time out of our busy schedules for togetherness and celebration. We also take out our wallets. The average American spends about $1,000 on Christmas each year, and a good chunk of our consumption is pretty privileged and embarrassing when you stop to think about it: Dead and decomposing trees, wrapping paper that is immediately thrown out, matching pajamas worn for one day, and inconveniently shaped peppermint candy nobody really wants.
Being smarter about your holiday spend is a great way to benefit your local community, because a dollar spent at a local gift market is so much more meaningful to the independent businessperson versus the multinational corporation. We’ve compiled over twenty local gift markets happening now through just before Christmas. ‘Tis the season to give back to your community by shopping and celebrating with them.
Saugerties United Methodist Church Holiday A-Fair (Nov. 17 & 18). The gift-giving tradition is strong in Saugerties, with crafts, baked goods and recycled/used toys, books, jewelry and household items on offer. Friday (5-8pm) sees hot dogs and chili being served, while Saturday (10am-2pm) features homemade vegetable beef soup.
Dutchess Handmade (now through Dec. 16). Over 60 makers and artists peddle their wares in Poughkeepsie in this gift market open Tuesdays through Saturdays. Featuring works of glass, jewelry, greeting cards, textiles, ceramics, wood products, prints, paintings, home decor and more, this special pop-up at 696 Dutchess Turnpike is a fantastic quick stop to pick up some locally produced presents.
Hudson Valley Hullabaloo: Holiday Market. (Nov. 18 & 19). Kingston’s main gift market features a curated selection of gifts and goods from over 75 makers and vintage vendors. It’s the perfect place to discover local talent and support small businesses while enjoying a vibrant, family-friendly atmosphere. Enjoy music, makers, artists, photo booth, hand-drawn portraits, food and more at the Andy Murphy Recreation Center in Kingston, 10am-5pm on Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sunday.
Winterfest Craft Fair. (Nov. 18). Poughkeepsie’s gift extravaganza features over 75 vendors, theme trees that will be raffled off in support of Family Services, a holiday figure skating show, photos with Santa and friends, holiday performances and festivities, raffles and prizes and more. It all goes down at the MJN Convention Center (formerly the Civic Center), 10am-4pm.
Holiday Fineries at the Wineries (Nov. 18 & 19, Dec. 2, 3, 9 & 10). The Shawangunk Wine Trail will be luring thirsty gift-givers over the next few weeks with self-guided wine tours. Grab a ticket to get your own wine tasting glass, tasting flights at four area wineries, and special ornaments from each winery. Don’t forget to pick up some bottles for family and friends and let the holiday good times roll.
46th Annual Group Holiday Sale (Nov. 18). Hosted at the lovely Delamater Inn & Conference Center in Rhinebeck, this present-procuring pop-up features 17 artisans offering blown glass, textiles, pottery, baskets, jewelry, felting, wood, paper and polymer clay. Kick off the holiday season in a gallery setting with fine works for purchase.
13th Annual Buy Local Holiday Extravaganza & Thanksgiving Farmers Market (Nov. 18) Presented by Meet Me in Marlborough, this artisan market has, appropriately enough, a healthy dash of farm vibes. The farmer’s market, food and desserts will be complimented by a full gift market stocked with the work of local makers and creators. There will be live entertainment, including a visit by Santa himself. It all takes place Saturday at Marlboro Elementary School from 10am-4pm.
Woodstock School Holiday Gift and Craft Fair (Nov. 18). Many local vendors will be present for this free fair with kids’ craft area, auction and a bake sale.
Holiday Pottery Show & Sale (Nov. 18). If you need to buy a gift for a person that truly appreciates a finely crafted piece of pottery, it’s worth the trip to the Garrison Art Center. Over 30 regional ceramic artists (along with a few assorted jewelers and other artisans) will be selling pieces ranging from whimsical children’s items to sophisticated fine art sculptures. Proceeds benefit the Art Center’s education efforts, and there will also be a food drive accepting donations of canned goods, pastas and juices.
Fall Farmers’ Craft Fair (Nov. 18 & 19). Ever been to a gift fair at an actual Christmas tree farm? The W&K Split Rail Nursery and Tree Farm in Milton will be holding their 4th annual craft fair with handmade gifts and crafts for sale, including farm-fresh wreaths. The event runs 9:30am-3:30pm both days, and around 10:30am Santa himself is scheduled to show up.
Infusing Booze for Holiday Gifts (Nov. 18). Want to make alcoholic drinks in a library? No, you don’t have to hide in the non-fiction section, this event is fully sanctioned by Stone Ridge Library. From 4-6pm, a special program will teach participants how to infuse alcohol to create special handmade concoctions to give as holiday gifts. Limoncello, spicy cinnamon whisky and spiced pecan liquor will all be explored. Every participant will get to bring home the recipes, along with a small bottle of one of the liquid creations. Refreshments including glogg (fortified mulled wine) will be served. Registration is limited, and of course you’ve gotta be 21 and up.
Make Your Own Gifts: A Seasonal Workshop Series. (Nov. 19 & 26, Dec. 3, 9, 10, 16). One of the coolest gift events this holiday season empowers you, the gift giver, to become your own “maker” at one of the coolest local venues: Saugerties sculpture park Opus 40. Every visit comes with a mug of hot cider or tea, and all workshoppers will have the opportunity to create their own seasonal bouquet with fir boughs, pine cones, and more natural treasures procured on the premises. Each day features a different featured craft, including brooms, holiday cards, puppets, seasonal aromatherapy wax melts, decorative felting and beeswax candles. Most workshops are family-friendly. Visit opus40.org for details.
15th Annual Holiday Stamp-a-Stack. (Nov. 21). Gift cards are life-savers for time-strapped gift-givers, but don’t just jam your plastic in a store-bought gift card. Slow down for a minute to create the perfect personalized cards for your loved ones. Create a whole stack of handmade Christmas/holiday cards on Tuesday at Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County in Millbrook, 6pm.
Hudson Valley Art Market Makers Market (Nov. 24-26). About 40 vendors will be offering fine art, jewelry, ceramics, textile, gifts, gourmet food and more. Visitors can also tour the grounds and home of Samuel Morse at the historic Locust Grove. This is their seventh annual market, and it kicks off each day at 10am.
Twin Star Orchards Holiday Market (Nov. 25 – Dec. 17). Saturdays and Sundays at the orchard in New Paltz feature a holiday market staffed by local artisans, and, of course, plenty of cider and wine. Hosted by Brooklyn Cider House, this rustic, bucolic venue is a great place to slow down and enjoy life while checking a couple gifts off your list.
Reformed Church of New Paltz’s Holiday on Huguenot Street and Christmas Market (Dec. 1 & 2) This annual fundraiser transforms the Education Building into a holiday haven brimming with Christmas gifts like wreaths, topiaries, handmade ornaments, and poinsettias. Kick off the celebrations with ‘Soup on the Stoop’, carolers, and a concert by the Big Blue Big Band on Friday evening. The merriment continues on Saturday with a delightful array of activities including cookie decorating, a visit from Santa, and unique vendors offering everything from baked goods to Build-A-Pet kits. The event culminates with a heartwarming concert, making it a perfect opportunity to revel in the holiday spirit while supporting the church’s initiatives.
Unison Arts’ 32nd Annual Craft, Art and Design Fair. (Dec. 1-3) Enjoy an annual New Paltz tradition that is sure to stuff your stockings from December 1st to 3rd at the scenic College Terrace at SUNY New Paltz,. This fair is a melting pot of creativity, showcasing a diverse array of handcrafted items from regional artists and SUNY New Paltz student makers. From exquisite jewelry and cozy quilts to unique guitars and gourmet jams, the fair offers a perfect opportunity to find one-of-a-kind gifts while supporting the local artisan community. A $5 suggested donation at the door contributes to Unison’s future endeavors, including their upcoming move to new headquarters, with children 12 and under entering for free.
Artists & Makers Holiday Market (Dec. 9 & 10). Two floors of handmade items will greet visitors to Artport Kingston this holiday season. There will be plenty of opportunities to check folks off your gift list, but also food, stories, crafts, holiday music, hot cocoa and more. More info at in-circle.org.
Ashokan Center’s 2nd Annual Holiday Craft Faire (Dec. 10). Here’s another opportunity to make your own gifts with your own two hands, the way the Christmas spirit intended before the holiday became crassly commercialized. Sure, there will be traditional gift-making like holiday wreaths and ornaments, but the rest of the options are well off the beaten path: a wood-handled sorghum broom, fire poker, heart-shaped trivet or plant hanger. In addition to these old-timey crafts, you’ll find a photo opportunity in the Ashokan sleigh, live holiday music and various tasty foods. Bring gently used hats, coats, gloves and boots for the winter clothing drive.
Holiday Bazaar at Belleayre Mountain (Dec. 16 & 17). The Discovery Lodge will host a special holiday gift pop-up vending ornaments, jewelry and more, from 10am-3pm.
The Farmhouse Project Holiday Market (Dec. 17 & 18). From 10am to 6pm at the historic Senate Garage, check out yet another Kingston market stocked to the bring with goods made by local artisans and makers. We’re talking jewelry, pottery, candles, apothecary, spirits, woolens, leather and cutting board. Fine seasonal foods from Grounded and festive piano tunes (from noon to 2pm) will heighten the holiday vibes.