Philadelphia's top boutiques and shops are pulling out all the stops this holiday season with special sales, holiday-themed events and more. (Photos clockwise from left by C. Gabello for Visit Philadelphia, courtesy Chestnut Hill, Christmas Village, R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)
[This holiday season, let Uwishunu be your merry guide. From brilliant lights and must-see attractions to festive events and jolly good times, check out our daily updates on holiday happenings in Philadelphia right here.]
Shoppers eager to purchase fun, unusual, creative or sure-to-be-coveted gifts this holiday season have plenty of markets, bazaars and pop-up shops to choose from in Philadelphia. From Black Friday through the new year, pop-up shops and markets are popping up all over town for the weekend, for several weekends or even for the entire month.
Gift givers can choose from garden-focused delights at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Pop-Up Shop at Chestnut Hill, crafty goods at the Blue Cross RiverRink’s Art Star Holiday Market Village or handmade gifts created by 50 artisans at the Pennsylvania Ballet’s first-ever Nutcracker Market at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
Here’s a look at where shoppers can get in on the holiday pop-up shopping action.
Holiday Craft & Flea Markets
• Art Star Holiday Market Village: Friday-Sunday, November 29-December 31, December 19-23, 27-31. Columbus Boulevard and Market Street. The Blue Cross RiverRink at Penn’s Landing opens its 20th season with a whole new look that comes in the form of a pop-up holiday winter garden and village called Waterfront Winterfest, featuring shops, music and food. One major component of the warming tent created from recycled shipping containers: the Art Star Holiday Market Village, curated by Art Star Craft Bazaar and featuring rotating vendors selling kids items, clothes, jewelry, posters, pottery and more.
• Franklin Flea: Saturdays through December 21 and Friday, December 20. 8th and Market streets. For six Saturdays and one Friday — the Friday before Christmas — the Franklin Flea takes over a portion of the former Strawbridge’s space at The Gallery. Patrons can peruse and purchase merchandise from dozens of antique vendors, vintage-clothing dealers, jewelry merchants and others.
• Christmas Village: November 28-January 1. 16th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard. With its medieval-village type setting, the German-style Christmas Village has become a favorite tradition for holiday shoppers who can peruse more than 50 decorated booths selling international seasonal gifts, traditional German Christmas ornaments, jewelry and high-quality arts and crafts. Hot mulled wine, gingerbread and bratwursts are also among the offerings. This year, for the first time, visitors have even more time to shop and enjoy the entertainment as the village extends its season.
• National Liberty Museum Gifts of Brilliance: December 6-31. National Liberty Museum, 321 Chestnut Street. For the first time this year, Old City’s National Liberty Museum is set to transform its first floor galleries into a 25-day pop-up craft market. Gifts of Brilliance opens to the public on First Friday in December, and will display and sell everything from blown glass and sculptures to locally made jewelry and more. Plus, proceeds benefit the programs of the National Liberty Museum.
• Superfantastic Craft Bazaar: Saturday, December 7. Philly Free School, 2001 Christian Street. Teaming up for the first time this year, East Passyunk Avenue’s Nice Things Handmade and The Philly Free School are set to host the Superfantastic Craft Bazaar, a day-long holiday market to benefit the nontraditional school in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood. More than 35 local artisans and crafters on tap to peddle handmade wares in the school’s roller-skating rink. A festival-style event, the market also includes face painting, caricatures, make-and-take crafts and free candy canes. Plus, Ultimo Coffee, Weckerly’s Ice Cream and other vendors will provide hot beverages and seasonal snacks.
• Nutcracker Market: December 7-8. Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Broad and Spruce streets. Shoppers stock up on one-of-a-kind, artisan-made gifts at the Pennsylvania Ballet’s first-ever Nutcracker Market at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Fifty selected artists and craftsmen offer hand-made American crafts and gifts, including ornaments, jewelry, photography and dance-inspired pieces. Shoppers can also enjoy origami lessons, visits from the characters of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, a Land of Sweets candy shop, Fleisher Art Memorial’s art and crafts experience van and daily performances on the Community Stage.
More holiday markets and shops, below.
• Greensgrow Farms Holiday Bazaar: December 7-8, 14-15. 2501 E. Cumberland Street. Head to Kensington to shop this festive neighborhood annual sale. At the Greensgrow Holiday Bazaar, get your tree or holiday greens, handmade crafts, homemade treats, homegrown bulbs and wreaths and other one-of-a-kind gifts.
• Punk Rock Flea Market Holiday Edition: December 14-15. The Punk Rock Flea Market Dome, 461 N. 9th Street. The holiday Punk Rock Flea Market yet lands in Callowhill on Saturday, December 14 and Sunday, December 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Browse the goods of more than 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 runs for two days, and the $3 entry donation provides access throughout the whole weekend.
• South Philly Handmade Brigade: Sunday, December 15. 1241 Carpenter Street. Support local artists at the annual South Philly Handmade Brigade. Shop locally made clothing, sculptures, jewelry, soaps and more. There will be more than a dozen unique vendors at the show, including Jessica Kourkounis and her moon booth photo display.
• Mt. Airy Holiday Craft Bazaar: December 14-15. Mt. Airy Art Garage, 11 W. Mt. Airy Avenue. Support local businesses at the Mt. Airy Holiday Craft Bazaar. Choose from glassware, ceramics and jewelry made by Mt. Airy’s vendors, which will fill the 5,000-square-foot Mt. Airy Art Garage with one-of-a-kind items for both adults and children. Plus, the art space will provide refreshments, as well as live music from local favorites Saint Mad and Art Miron.
• Go West! Holiday Craft Fest: Sunday, December 15. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut Street. This year, the Go West! Craft Fest 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.
• Duke & Winston Main Live Pop-Up: Through January 7. 907 W. Lancaster Avenue. Philadelphia’s Main Line is getting in on the pop-up store action with the addition of Philly-based Duke & Winston, a preppy-yet-casual casual men’s clothing line. The shop will carry all of the Duke & Winston standards—tees, hats, ties, polos, hoodies and rugby sweaters. Also available for purchase: items from the newly launched pet product line, including leather collars and leashes, dog hoodies and more.
• Blue Claw Co. Pop-Up Shop: Through January 15. 1822 Chestnut Street. The Blue Claw Co. recently converted Kembrel’s space on Chestnut Street into a men’s pop-up shop. With a focus on American-made goods that range from $60-$400, it carries its own line of luggage, bags and leather goods, along with bags, boots and denim from Levi’s, Stormy Kromer, Red Wing and Patagonia, to name a few. The space even boasts a bar to ensure that this shopping experience stands apart from all others.
• PHS Holiday Pop-Up Store: Through January 5. 8433 Germantown Avenue. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the esteemed organization that puts on the nation’s largest flower show, is opening a temporary retail venue in Philly’s prim and pretty Chestnut Hill section. Here, they’ll sell wreaths, garlands, apparel, candles, ornaments, garden accessories and tickets to the 2014 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show. Themed “ARTiculture!,” the show is a celebration of art and horticulture that features collaborations with the nation’s leading art museums.
• CFEVA Holiday Pop-Up Shop: December 2-January 17. Center for Emerging Visual Artists, The Barclay, 237 S. 18th Street, 3rd Floor. The Center for Emerging Visual Artists (the same folks who produced the annual Philadelphia Open Studio Tours) welcomes shoppers to its third-floor gallery space for an art-filled pop-up shop just in time for the holidays. The shop will include prints, original artwork, wearables, home goods, and other handmade items from current CFEVA fellows and alumni, and proceeds benefit CFEVA.
Shopping Sprees, Sales & Events
• NoLibs Holiday Shopping Spree: December 7 & 8. 2nd Street north of Spring Garden Street. For the sixth year in a row, enjoy holiday discounts and refreshments at 13 local, independent boutiques in Northern Liberties during the NoLibs Holiday Shopping Spree, a progressive sale in Northern Liberties during which customers get increasing discounts the more they shop. Many shops will also be offering free, adorable gift wrap.
• Chestnut Hill’s Stag & Doe Nights: December 4, 11 & 18. Germantown Avenue. On the Wednesdays leading up to Christmas, Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill transforms into a winter wonderland for the annual Stag & Doe shopping nights. From 6 to 9 p.m., 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.
• Rittenhouse Row Holiday Shopping Celebration: Saturdays through December 21. Throughout the Rittenhouse neighborhood. This December, 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. Check here for a complete rundown of shops, specials and more.
• Holiday Greens Sale at Bartram’s Garden: Saturday, December 7. 54th Street and Lindbergh Boulevard. The annual Holiday Greens Sale at Bartram’s Garden is the perfect occasion to pick up those boughs of holly. During the sale, find a collection of fresh wreaths (decorated and undecorated), handcrafted centerpieces, pine roping and loose greens. Pair shopping with caroling, cider, card-making workshops and s’mores and browse through pottery, poinsettias, local honey, beautiful bulbs, ornaments and stocking stuffers for everyone on your list.
• First Friday: Friday, December 6. 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.
• Handmade In Philadelphia Local Art Sale: Friday, December 6 and Saturday, December 7. Ethical Society Building, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Square. The Handmade in Philadelphia art sale returns with a slew of handcrafted items created by Philadelphia-area artists. The mobile art gallery and organization spotlights local artisans of all sort — from jewelry makers to ceramic artists — in a weekend sale of varied goods. This year’s art sale begins on Friday, December 6 with an evening opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Folks are invited to get their local shop on this Saturday, December 7 as the art sale opens its doors from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.