Philadelphia's top boutiques and shops are pulling out all the stops this holiday season with special sales, holiday-themed events and more. (Photo by B. Krist for GPTMC)
It’s officially gift-giving holiday heyday, and there’s no time like the present (get it?) to stock up on Philadelphia-made crafts, clothes, food and more for the lucky ones on your list.
Luckily, Philadelphia shops, boutiques and neighborhood districts are making holiday shopping easy this year by hosting a slew of craft bazaars, holiday markets, sidewalk strolls and more.
Check out our roundup of holiday shopping events in Philadelphia, below. Make sure to add your favorites to your calendar.
Holiday Craft Bazaars
• Philadelphia’s Christmas Village: Through Christmas Eve, visit the Christmas Village in Love Park to browse through more than 60 vendors in more than 90 wooden booths offering a wide range of international holiday gifts, ornaments, jewelry, toys and high-quality arts and crafts. Admission is totally free; just pay as you go for gifts.
• Mt. Airy Holiday Craft Bazaar: On both November 30 and December 1, support local businesses at the Mt. Airy Holiday Craft Bazaar. Choose from glassware, ceramics and jewelry made by six of Mt. Airy’s vendors. The bazaar will take place at The Sedgwick Theater at 7137 Germantown Avenue.
• Kensington’s Greensgrow Farms Holiday Bazaar: Greensgrow Farms is hosting their highly anticipated annual Holiday Bazaar, full of handmade crafts, homemade treats, homegrown bulbs and wreaths and other one-of-a-kind gifts. The event runs for four days: December 8 and 15 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and December 9 and 16 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
• Main Line Art Holiday Fine Craft Sale: Main Line Art Center’s 10-day Holiday Fine Craft Sale, November 30-December 9, is a great opportunity to pick up unique and affordable gifts lovingly handcrafted by 50 local artists. Entry is free, and there is plenty of on-site parking. And gifts start at just $5! Sale hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. In addition, brand new this year is Bubbles & Baubles on Wednesday, December 5, 6-8 p.m., a mid-week chance to shop while sipping signature cocktails, watching artist demos and taking advantage of gift wrapping.
• Go West! Craft Fest: This year, the Go West! Craft Fest, located at the Rotunda at 4014 Walnut Street will have 50 Philadelphia based vendors many of which based right out of West Philly. Find treasure after treasure as you browse through the candles, cards, hand blown glass, jewelry, gift baskets and more. The array of items at the craft fest will satisfy your shopping need and the immense talent is bound to impress you too. The complete list of vendors can be found here.
• Holiday Greens Sale at Bartram’s Garden: Saturday, December 8 sees the annual Holiday Greens Sale at Bartram’s Garden, featuring Bartram’s signature collection of fresh wreaths (decorated and undecorated), handcrafted centerpieces, pine roping and loose greens. Pair your shopping with caroling, cider, card-making workshops and s’mores as you browse through pottery, poinsettias, local honey, beautiful bulbs, ornaments and stocking stuffers for everyone on your list. Guided house tours and special holiday activities in the Green Room will also be offered on Saturday and Sunday.
• Chestnut Hill’s Farmer’s Market: Sundays in December, Chestnut Hill’s Farmer’s Market will be featuring a special artisan market perfect for holiday gift shopping. It takes place at 8229 Germantown Avenue.
• Fourth Annual Crafty Balboa Holiday: Looking for handmade holiday gifts? Look no further than Crafty Balboa. The Holiday edition of the popular craft bazaar will be held on Saturday, December 8 this year at SS. Neumann Goretti High School at 1736 10th Street, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. The fair will showcase high-quality and affordable handcrafted goods from 60+ vendors, including prints, bath products, housewares, knits, clothing, ceramics, toys, accessories and more. There will also be a fun photo booth and a craft demo by Colorwheels for attendees to work on project of their very own. Insider tip: the first 50 shoppers will receive a limited-edition Girls Can Tell tote bag filled with special items from all vendors.
• South Philly Handmade Brigade: Support local artists at the South Philly Handmade Brigade on Saturday, December 15 from noon-6 p.m. Shop locally made clothing, sculptures, jewelry, soaps and more. There will be 16 unique vendors at the show including Jessica Kourkounis and her moon booth photo display. Visit her booth for a trip to space as she prints your customs portraits.
Lots more holiday shopping opportunities, below.
• Punk Rock Flea Market: Holiday Edition: The biggest Punk Rock Flea Market yet lands in Callowhill on Sunday, December 9 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Browse the goods of 300+ tables of vendors selling old records, clothes, art, music, food, junk, bicycles, stereo equipment, instruments, automobiles, tools, posters, furniture, computers, skateboards and lots of other stuff. For this “Holiday Edition,” Punk Rock Flea Market will also include a record fair across the street at Starlight Ballroom. So now you get access to two separate bazaars for the price of your $3 entry donation.
• The Brandywine River Museum Critter Sale: 9,000 hand crafted and environmentally friendly critter ornaments will be on sale at the Brandywine River Museum on December 1 and 2. Decorate your Christmas tree and home with impressive critters made of sticks, seeds, dried flowers, leaves and more natural materials. Volunteers begin creating unique critters in March. The proceeds benefit a good cause, the Volunteers’ Art Purchase Fund which has added more than 200 works of art to the museum’s collection since 1975.
• Starboard Side Gallery: On Friday, December 7 from 5-8 p.m., go back in time at thepast presents for the future (nice play on words!)retro holiday shopping party. Browse inexpensive (yes, low cost, you heard right) items like retro inspired jewelry, vintage clothes and accessories, framed album art and more. While browsing some of the best vintage finds, enjoy a cold beer and fun music.
• Mayfair Christmas Village: At the intersection of Cottman and Frankford Avenues in Mayfair, experience a Christmas village and craft fair boasting 30 vendors selling everything you need to complete your Christmas shopping. The event will run from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, December 2. Mayfair favorite The Grey Lodge Pub will be providing thirsty guests with growlers and pints of Philly Winter Wunder and Philly Newbold IPA. The event will wrap up with a tree lighting ceremony at 4 p.m.
• Shop to Beat MS at 333 Belrose Bar and Grill: For only $25 a pop, benefit a great cause on December 5 at 333 Belrose Bar and Grill for Shop to Beat MS, co-sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to raise money for the cause. Browse items from Stella & Dot jewelry, Rain Star glitter tattoos, Ina Palmer accessories and Gracelina jewelry, to name a few. Chef Carlo deMarco will prepare delicious treats like cheesesteak spring rolls, veggie spring rolls and java pork bites to complement beverages like pumpkin spice cocktails.
Shopping Sprees and Sidewalk Strolls
• NoLibs Holiday Shopping Spree: For the fifth year in a row, enjoy holiday discounts and refreshments at 13 local, independent boutiques in Northern Liberties. Many shops will also be offering free, adorable gift wrap. The Holiday Shopping Spree is Saturday, December 1, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday, December 2, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. For the list of participating shops, click here.
• Chestnut Hill’s Stag & Doe Nights: On the Wednesdays leading up to Christmas, December 7, 14 and 21, Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill will transform into a Winter Wonderland for their annual Stag & Doe nights. From 6-9 p.m. on those nights, Chestnut Hill shops will be full of holiday spirit. Shopkeepers will help you figure out what to get picky gift receivers with gift suggestions, all while you’re enjoying treats from each shop. As you travel from shop to shop, carolers will serenade you with favorite Christmas carols. For sustenance, be sure to stop by Bredenbeck’s Bakery for delicious homemade gingerbread, the revampedCafette for tasty vegetarian bites or Mica for award-winning cuisine from Chef Chip Roman.
• Haddonfield Candlelight Shopping: On Friday nights from November 23-December 21, Haddonfield will offer carriage rides, Christmas carols and visits with Santa, all from 6-9 p.m. for their annual Candlelight Shopping event.
• Rittenhouse Row Holiday Celebration Saturdays: On December 1, 8 and 15, head to Rittenhouse Row to enjoy school choirs on the streets, visits with Santa at TD Bank at 18th and Walnut, and special shopping incentives from Rittenhouse Row member businesses.
• First Friday: Old City, Manayunk, Kennett Square, Northern Liberties, Frankford Avenue, Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy all participate in the Friday night favorite, First Friday. Shops and galleries stay open later for your viewing and shopping pleasure. It’s the perfect opportunity this season to get your holiday shop on.
• Saffron Pop-Up Shop in Mt. Airy: On Saturday, November 24 from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday, November 25 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. head to the Greene on Greene Building in Mt. Airy (Carpenter Lane and Greene Street) to check out the 2012 Saffron Pop-Up Shop, an exclusive-for-the-holidays boutique featuring the work of a hand-selected group of Philadelphia area artists. Now in its second year, the shop will feature glass, jewelry, home decor, pottery, art, accessories, vintage and more.
• Kevin O’Brien Studio Holiday Pop-Up Shop: From November 16-January 19, Kevin O’Brien Studio will open its annual holiday shop in Old City featuring beautiful upholstery manufactured right here in Philadelphia.
• Studio Christensen Nino Brand Pop-Up Shop: The fabulous Studio Christensen in Rittenhouse is home to a Nino Brand pop-up shop through January 1. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment to try the lovely capes, coats and more.
• Pennsylvania Horticulture Society Holiday Pop-Up Shop: Flowers are the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Who doesn’t love decorating their home with fresh blooms? This holiday season, you’re in luck. The Pennsylvania Horticulture Society will have a pop-up shop located across from the Chestnut Hill Hotel all season long. The shop will debut on Wednesday, November 28 and will run through Sunday, December 23. Not only will you be able to purchase flowers of all sorts, but stop by for culinary and home decor items as well.
• Holiday Trunk Fashion Show at Smokin’ Betty’s: Benefit a good cause while participating in a fun night out. On Wednesday, December 5 from 6-9 p.m. check out the third annual holiday trunk fashion show to benefit Dress for Success at Smokin’ Betty’s, where you can enjoy tasty treats and drinks. Philadelphia’s favorite artisans, jewelers and merchants will be in attendance to make sure you find something for everyone at this holiday shopping event. Attendees will also enjoy a raffle, giveaways, a fashion show and a trunk show. Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door.
• Adresse Boutique’s Wish List Party: Once again, Rittenhouse Square’s luxe Adresse will host two holiday shopping parties, one for the ladies and one for the gents. On Wednesday, November 28, from 5-8 p.m., enjoy tunes, cocktails, refreshments and the chance to create a ladies’ holiday wish list. Then on Wednesday, December 5, from 5-8 p.m., the guys will have their chance to pick up any and all items from their lady’s lineup, fortified by Art in the Age drinks.
• 20th Annual Holiday Party at Scarlett Alley: On Wednesday, November 28 from 4:30-8 p.m. head to Old City’s Scarlett Alley for hot toddies, turkey meatballs, 20 door prizes under the tree and 20% off jewels and holiday ware. Let the Scarlett Alley team help you shine this holiday season.
• TownHome’s “Girls Night Out” and “Guys Night Out” Shopping Events: Save these dates: Thursday, November 28, 5:30-8 p.m. is “Girls Night Out” at Rittenhouse Row’s TownHome; Tuesday, December 11, 5:30-8 p.m. is “Guys Night Out.” Pick up absolutely gorgeous jewelry and home items at this quaint boutique. The ladies will enjoy wine and light bites from Chef Marc Vetri, and the men will enjoy food from Vetri and whiskey cocktails from Whiskey Pig!
• Joan Shepp: Back by popular demand at the Center City boutique, Joan Shepp, is the Lizabeth fine jewelry – vintage inspired event on November 30 and December 1. Shop for jewelry for yourself, or for someone on your Christmas list.
• Aoki: Spend your Friday night shopping and mingling at Aoki Boutique’s Ellelauri trunk show on Friday, December 7. The trunk show will feature Ellelauri’s full holiday collection and guests will be encouraged to partake in exclusive discounts and giveaways from the designer. Plus, store-wide, Aoki will be 10% off! In addition to discounted fashion and giveaways, enjoy cupcakes and cocktails for the duration of the event.
• Bus Stop Boutique Bits & Baubles Holiday Soiree: On Wednesday, December 5 from 6-9 p.m. get 15% off bits and baubles at Bus Stop Boutique. Small gifts are the perfect presents for Secret Santa exchanges and stocking stuffers, or yourself. You can never have enough socks, wallets, purses and scarves. While browsing the selection, sip on cocktails and don’t forget to check out the shop’s namesake shoe collection, also 15% off.
• Three Sirens Boutique: Celebrate the holidays in all-local style at Three Sirens Boutique in Old City. Join Tough Luv Clothing and Pearl in Crown Jewelry with live music by Philly’s own Dani Mari on Saturday, December 8. Refreshments will be served from noon-7 p.m. Then, on Sunday, December 16, noon-5 p.m., join the boutique at a Rittenhouse Square pop-up inside Nawrocki Fitness at 1500 Locust. The Fit, Fabulous & Fashionable Sunday shopping experience will showcase new fall styles and workout wear at a discount.
• Maximal Art Sample Sale: A half-hour drive outside Philadelphia in Aston, Maximal Art jewelry is created by John Wind, whose work has been featured in Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, In Style and Oprah; it’s also in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. So… it’s a big deal. And you can pick up some of his baubles for yourself at the Maximal Art Sample Sale, December 14-17, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. They’ll be selling discontinued items, samples that never made it into a collection, one of a kinds and true vintage find at deep discounts — perfect for finding some last minute presents. Have at it.