The thing I love most about the holiday season isn’t decorating, or baking, or eating. Nope: it’s the plethora of seasonal craft shows.
I try to spend a good chunk of my gift-giving budget on handmade or local goods, and if I can wrap both of those into one gift, I generally feel pretty awesome about what I’m giving.
I’m looking forward to checking out the One of a Kind show and sale next week, but as usual Guelph has got its festive bases covered with a stacked line-up of handmade holiday sales. This is by no means an exhaustive list – I haven’t even begun to cover church bazaars and the like – but these three promise amazing artisans, creative local goods, and a much-preferred alternative to the mall or even shopping online.
The biggest challenge? Not buying everything for myself. Giving, schmiving.
This Weekend | Fair November
Thursday, November 21 – Sunday, November 24 / 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. / University Centre, University of Guelph
Much like the One of a Kind show in Toronto, Fair November is a juried sale that has been running for 30+ years, so you can be sure it has loads of high quality goods and long-time artisans. I’m hitting this one up today!
Next Weekend | Necessary Arts Holiday Handmade Pop-Up
Saturday, November 30 / 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. / St. George’s Square (beside Buon Gusto)
More than a dozen makers and artists are gathering for this one-day handmade holiday pop-up in downtown Guelph. It’s hosted by Necessary Arts Company, a newish shared creative space. Check out their upcoming workshops too.
In Two Weekends | Creative Spark Winter Market
Saturday, December 7 / 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. / Dublin St. Church (Dublin/Suffolk streets)
Bring a non-perishable food item to the market, and your admission is free. I visited this one last year and picked up cute art for Graham’s room. This year, it’s in a larger venue and that means more awesome makers offering a variety of handmade goods: wearables, edibles, toys and more.