It's the most wonderful time of the year... except if you are shopping at a big chain store with lines, crowds, and massive amounts of road rage in the parking lot. Despite all of the holiday cheer, discount buys and large department stores can feel impersonal. So, where to go for Christmas shopping?
The good news is Phoenix and surrounding areas are filled with small, holiday-themed markets that encourage residents to #shopsmall, support local boutiques, sell handmade good, and make gifts personal.
Even better than that... some of these open-air markets are aimed to please you, the conscious shopping adult, and tempt you with things like taco food trucks, Santa dressed as a hipster, craft beer and wine, and so much more.
So this year, we are skipping the department stores and shopping at Christmas markets where we can be our most authentic Chairperson of Cheer. Let's explore the 15 best Christmas markets in Phoenix you must visit this holiday season.
Carefree Christmas Festival
When: December 9th and 10th from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., December 11th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Have a holly, jolly Carefree Christmas at the annual Carefree Christmas Festival this year at The Carefree Desert Gardens and Sanderson Lincoln Pavillion. This treasured event is a Christmas themed wonderland with an electric light parade, parade of pets, holiday food and gift vendors, live music, crafts, and art exhibits from throughout the state.
To make this an event even more magical, the Carefree Christmas Crew brings in 40 tons of snow every year to make the desert feel, well, less like the desert. For more information on dates, times, vendors, and events during this fabulous time of the year, head over to their website: Carefree Christmas Festival website.
When: December 9th and 10th 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., December 11th 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Have you ever seen a cooler Santa than this guy (see above)? You'll get this guy and a whole lot more of the wild, wild, west version of Christmas at Cave Creek's Stage Coach Village Christkindlmarkt. This event will be celebrating their tenth year this year and there is a whole lot of Christmas cheer to be had.
At this market, you will enjoy Germanic Christmas themes celebrating central European culture with local vendors, holiday decorations, handmade crafts, jewelry vendors, German and Austrian themed food, and...badass Santa. Visit the Arizona Center for Germanic Cultures website for more info.
When: Friday, December 2nd from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Central Phoenix celebrates Christmas in the best way possible, with trendy, hip, one of a kind, and handcrafted vendors held inside the Medlock Plaza parking lot behind the host, Frances shop. Local artists, caterers, vendors, and small business owners come together for patrons interested in shopping small this holiday season.
For one night you are able to shop to live music, food trucks, local artists, gifts you can grab and go, and delicious snacks to munch on as you fill up your Christmas tank with holiday cheer. Last year they had Short Leash Hot Dogs, Mustache Pretzel, and Urban Pizza to start. You don't want to miss this small but mighty event!
For more information, visit the Frances website
Jackalope: An Indie Artisan Market
When: Friday and Saturday - November 26th and 27th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friends don't let friends shop at chain stores, is the theme of the Jackalope Art Fair with a heavy shop small theme, over 150 local artisans, and vendors who display their handmade art and gifts for purchase at WestWorld of Scottsdale.
Some of the most prominent and popular vendors include Arizoniacs, Twirl, Steam Crow, Camelback Cando Co., Dirty Girl Bath + Body, and so many more! Eat, drink, shop, and enjoy the holiday-themed atmosphere at this annual event. Visit their website for more information.
Mesa Arts Festival
When: Saturday and Sunday, December 10th, 11th 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Head down to Mesa for their annual art festival, handmade good, locally crafted gifts, and everything that is quintessentially Arizona. This includes awesome statement pieces made from turquoise and copper, handwoven blankets, print art, holiday decor and more.
Want more information on who will be there? Check out their website for events, times, vendors, and more information! It's going to be a weekend rememberer, so don't miss it! Visit Mesa Arts Center website for more details.
Phoenix Festival of the Arts
When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, December 9th, 10th, and 11th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Centrally located at Margaret T. Hance Park, the Phoenix Festival of the Arts is an entire weekend dedicated to supporting local businesses and supporting their success this Christmas season by purchasing items that range from signs to jewelry. In fact, you will enjoy a wide variety from over 125 exhibitors all weekend long!
In addition to gifts and items, you will be able to enjoy food and drinks served from vendors and food trucks, crafts, live entertainment, and holiday-themed activities for all ages. For all the vendors, check out their website at the Phoenix Festival of the Arts.
When: December 13th and 21st, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Phoestivus for the rest of us is quickly approaching, and it is going to be bigger and better than ever this year! In the 9 years, Phoestivus has been running downtown, it has brought more joy to Phoenician adults who love Christmas and also things like craft beer and a hipster Santa.
Hosted at Phoenix Public Market already gives the event an air to be rivaled with. From jewelry to pillows, live performances, food trucks, crafts, and competitions, you and your friends will jump right into enjoying the lights, gifts, sounds, and drinks we all love around Christmas time. Need more info? Click here Open Air Market website.
Shopping with Purpose
When: December 2nd, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Nothing quite like all the feels while shopping, right? This is what you can expect when you are shopping at the Phoenix Central Arts District Shopping with Purpose. This outdoor Christmas market is filled with local and traveling vendors who all give back a portion of their proceeds to a charity of group of their choice.
This year there will be music, wine, tons of vendors selling anything and everything from handbags to Christmas ornaments. Above all else, Christmas is a season for giving and what better way to give back than to circulate your money spent to a good cause. #LoveUp! Check out New Studio's website for all the info New City Studio.
Swoon Winter Boutique
When: Saturday, December 3rd from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Swoon Weekly and Made hosts this Christmas market at Carson Junior High School featuring over 60 local vendors supplying our need for hand-crafted, specialty made, and small business oriented goodies right to us.
If you are hungry, stop by for some food, and if you don't know what you want to buy, don't worry ... this is a FREE event! But we promise if the Christmas themed signs don't get you, the adorable pre-wrapped gifts will.
When: Saturday, November 24th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phoenix Flea is NOT your average flea market. You won't run into moth ball smelling clothing, second-hand junk that is labeled under the category of "just why" nor will you be greeted by toothless vendors who are selling used Q-Tips. This, my friends, is a completely different experience.
The Phoenix Flea stands as one of the hippest, most valuable markets for unique buys, upcycled treasures, and lots and lots of gifts that are one-of-a-kind and won't be found anywhere else. Better yet, the next one is in just a few days, so head over to Heritage Square & Science park downtown and find your next treasure at the flea market. Here is their website for more information.
When: Every Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Who said you have to buy everything premade before giving it as a gift? We think some of the best foods are the edible ones, and for that, Singh Farms has your back. As one of the most popular Farmer's Markets in Phoenix, this spot will give your little heart every ingredient you desire for your gift giving masterpieces.
Looking to make your own soap? Want to pickle veggies? You can get all of the supplies you need here, and support an amazing local farm that has an incredible space available for resting and relaxing.
Thieves Market Vintage
When: December 1st, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Thieves Flea Market is the market you think of when, well, you think of a flea market. There are no flashy signs, no red carpets, no fancy vintage diamonds, just upcycled magic, old rustic tools, actual vintage items that REALLY look like they are vintage, and some of the most amazing eclectic items you will come across.
With BOHO feels and vintage on the mind, Thieves has it all. You might even find a true hidden treasure in the depths of this venue. Visit their website for more information on when they are open and what you can expect to find.
CitySkate Vintage Market and Christmas Tree Lighting
When: November 23rd, from noon to 11:00 p.m.
Who said you can't have good old fashioned winter fun in the desert? Not these elves. November 23rd head downtown and you will find a giant outdoor skating rink, a Christmas tree the size of a small building, snacks, treats, and of course, Santa Claus.
You will also be tickled pink when you find out the Alternative Black Friday (ABF) Vintage Market will be parked right in the mix with vintage buys and holiday gifts that have been hand-made and originally designed.
Old Brick House Market
When: November 24th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Every second Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of the month you can enjoy the Old Brick House Vintage Market located conveniently off Main Street in Mesa. This Christmas market is outdoors and has a little bit of old sprinkled with a little bit of new.
The next upcoming market day is Small Business Saturday and by far will be the largest vendor turnout for the year. Don't miss getting out to downtown Mesa to take advantage of the treasures, clothing, and gifts you will find.
When: November 23rd-24th, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Glendale Glitters is an entire Christmas experience for the entire family. There are hot air balloons, an open vendor market with gifts and goodies, food trucks, and millions of Christmas lights. This event is a big one in Glendale, so don't miss it!