The first rule of the holiday season is not to get your tinsel in a tangle.
Turning the calendar to December means that Richmond’s holiday market season is cranking up, making it easier than ever to shop local.
Why spend at big box stores when you can support local artists and artisans with gifts that are truly special? One could even say that you’re very Richmond if … your gifts are made by Richmonders. Here is a list of some upcoming local holiday arts markets and events throughout December (in chronological order):
Maymont’s Merry Market features 40 local artisans and small businesses on the carriage house lawn, with the added bonus of a crafts tent where kids can make their own special gifts and decorations. Snap a photo with St. Nicholas, snag something refreshing from the festive holiday bar, grab something to eat from one of the food vendors and sidle up to the fire pits to listen to jazz and a cappella groups setting a holiday mood. Friday, Dec. 2 from 6-9 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3 from 3-9 p.m. Maymont, 1700 Hampton St., maymont.org.
- The decorated dining room inside the mansion at Maymont.
Quirk Hotel’s Holiday Market promises to be as, well, quirky as the pink and gray hotel itself. The all-local goods market features pottery, photography, arts and edibles and benefits from the glow of a shimmering pink Christmas tree and the proximity of Quirk’s cozy bar offering seasonal libations. Check it out Sunday, Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4p.m. Quirk Hotel, 201 W. Broad St., quirkhotels.com.
Main Line Brewery’s Artisan Market celebrates Shop Small Sunday. If your idea of shopping involves bringing Fido or shopping with a craft beer or gluten-free hard seltzer in hand, this is the outdoor market for you. Live music and food trucks add to the festive feeling, ideal for scoping out handmade home décor, art, jewelry, apparel, and food products. The Artisan Market runs 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4. Main Line Brewery, 1603 Ownby Lane, mainlinerva.com.
Blue Bee Cider’s Christkindlmarkt takes its inspiration from German Christmas markets, named after Christkindl, the German equivalent of Santa Claus. Sip on hot and cold cider options while shopping for gifts and goods from an array of local makers and artists. Truckle Cheesemongers will be on site selling grilled cheese sandwiches to pair with your cider and keep your energy up for the outdoor event. The Christkindlmarkt is Saturday, Dec. 10 from 1-5 p.m. Blue Bee Cider, 1320 Summit Ave., bluebeecider.com.
Clayworks presents their 7th Annual Holiday in the Warehouse, showcasing the work of sixteen local potters. Smaller items make terrific stocking stuffers while larger piece – bowls, vases, plates- make wonderful gifts for friends and family who appreciate the beauty of hand-thrown pottery. Shop Holiday in the Warehouse on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Clayworks, 2277 Dabney Rd., clayworkssupplies.com.
The Carytown Artisan Market marks its 11th year with a two-day event featuring over 100 local artisans, plus food trucks, and live music at City Stadium. Hosted by the Carytown Farmers Market, the Artisan Market continues their run of outstanding local farmers markets with a holiday edition that showcases the best of local craftspeople and artisans on Saturday, Dec. 10 and Sunday, Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. City Stadium, 3201 Maplewood Ave., carytownmarket.com.
Diversity Thrift and River City Witches co-host the 4th annual Yule Witch Market, a mischievous market that includes offerings by some of Richmond's most unorthodox creatives. With 65 vendors, you’re sure to score your Winter Solstice supplies, not to mention gifts galore, food truck eats and performances. When you’re through shopping, treat yourself to a Reiki session, grab some hot chocolate, tea or coffee or have your Tarot cards read. The Yule Witch Market is Sunday, Dec. 11 from noon to 6 p.m. Diversity Richmond, 1407 Sherwood Ave., diversitythrift.org.
Art Works’ Made in RVA Holiday Shop features handmade gifts from local artists. What makes the RVA Holiday Shop unique is that they’re open daily through New Year’s Eve, so, you don't have to try to make it by on a Saturday when there are so many events and parties going on. Instead, you can stop by any day except Monday during the week. Besides the Made in RVA Holiday shop, you can also peruse 80 artists’ studios chock full of local art on display and for sale. Open Tuesday through Sunday 11-5 through Dec. 31. ArtWorks, 320 Hull St., artworksrva.com.
The Bizarre Market has been around since 2004 and with good, quirky reason. The much-loved pop-up appears every year featuring the work of dozens of brilliant, funny, and talented makers who are inspired to create by their love of RVA. Once housed upstairs at Chop Suey Books, Bizarre Market Holiday 2022 now runs Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Dec. 23 at Richmond Young Writers. 2707 W. Cary St., bizarremarket.org.
Studio Two Three’s 7th annual Winter Market is a veritable island of misfit toys featuring over 125 artists and hundreds of handmade objects and art for gift-giving. If you’re looking to support local artists, this is a festive way to do it since last year’s market raised over $130,000 in sales for Virginia makers. Open daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Dec. 24. Studio Two Three, 3300 W. Clay St., studiotwothree.org.