Five Local Markets to Thwart Holiday Humbugism

Whether it’s German traditions or gothic ghoulishness, we’ve got your gifting options

Photo by Zeke Barbaro

Unless you plan to give out fake donation cards for the Human Fund à la Seinfeld's George Costanza or have committed to a Scroogey season, you'll need to do a little holiday shopping in the next month. Don't put off shopping and find yourself needing to stop at 7-Eleven for last-minute gifts like a handful of scratchers and a bottle of André; start now! And you can kill two birds, as they say, not only wowing your family and friends with the cool items you've found but contributing to Austin organizations, artists, and makers by shopping at local markets instead of lining the pockets of our corporate overlords.

Blue Genie Art Bazaar

This is the place to find unique jewelry, art, home goods, and gifts with oodles of Austin flair. We're talking coasters with images of Hole in the Wall, "Merry Texmas" cards, handcrafted soap made with Barton Springs water – so many unique items to peruse, you'll want to visit more than once during its monthlong stay.

Daily through Dec. 23, 10am-10pm; Dec. 24, 10am-6pm. 6100 Airport.

Blood Over Texas’ Horror for the Holidays

Got someone on your shopping list who's more into pentagrams and Pinhead than partridges in a pear tree? Find the perfect gifts for all the dark souls in your life, from hordes of unique local vendors. Attractions include killer performances, Evil Santa, a Krampus parade, an auction benefiting SAFE Alliance, and tons of creepy fun.

Sat.-Sun., Nov. 26-27. Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs. $10 for weekend pass.

Community First! Village of Lights & Holiday Market

With more than 250,000 lights choreographed to holiday music, the village becomes one of the biggest light displays in Central Texas. And the market offers unique, handcrafted gifts created by artists and makers living in the village, meaning your purchases help formerly homeless neighbors. Plus, enjoy holiday films at the Community Cinema and catch a visit from Santa early each evening.

Fri.-Sat., Dec. 2-3 & 9-10, 5:30-9pm. Community First! Village, 9301 Hog Eye.

German-Texan Christmas Market

Get into the spirit at a traditional German market offering items imported from the Erzgebirge, an East German region that is internationally known for its Christmas customs, and sip their famous German Glühwein (hot spiced wine) as St. Nick passes out gifts and kiddos partake in activities. Become a member for exclusive access before the public market.

Members only: Nov. 26 & Dec. 1. Sat., 10am-4pm; Thu., 11am-5pm. Public: Sat., Dec. 3, 10am-5pm. German Free School, 507 E. 10th.

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

Austin's homegrown holiday tradition is back with the most new artists the bazaar has ever had, plus live music from local superstars like Kelly Willis and Ray Wylie Hubbard. Sure, you can also shop online, but it's best experienced in person: Grab a cocktail and enjoy the show as you visit booths, talk to local and touring artists, and soak up the history of this tradition that goes back 40 years to Armadillo World Headquarters' days.

Dec. 17-23, 11am-8:30pm. Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs.

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Five Things, Christmas 2022, Blue Genie Art Bazaar, Blood Over Texas, Horror for the Holidays, Community First! Village, Mobile Loaves and Fishes, Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, German Free School

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