The holidays are approaching and that means it’s time to start thinking about presents — lots of presents. Support Baltimore artists and makers by gifting your loved ones (or those obligatory recipients on your list) with handmade treasures they can’t find at the mall. Or, if you prefer to combine your shopping expeditions with a quick road trip, stroll the illuminated streets of Downtown Annapolis during Midnight Madness.
Here are eight shopping events that will help you avoid the chain stores while supporting the community.
Black Friday Block Party at Harbor East
Nov. 23, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
This event allows you to shop at some of your favorite stores and boutiques in a much more festive setting than your local mall. Stroll around Harbor East for sales, specials, a mimosa and bloody mary bar, a hot chocolate bar, and activities for the littlest elves. Proceeds benefit Helping Up Mission Women’s & Children’s Program / Inspiring Hope Campaign.
More info: harboreast.com
Bazaart at American Visionary Art Museum
Nov. 23, noon-6 p.m. and Nov. 24, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
This annual art market is popping up just in time for Chanukah. The AVAM is giving you the chance to explore paintings, sculptures, metalwork and jewelry from regional artists on #SmallBusinessSaturday. Find lots of original creations to give friends and family this season. And, since you’re already in the building, stop in at Sideshow, the museum’s gift shop for great last-minute ideas.
More info: avam.org
#SmallBusinessSaturday is all about getting out and supporting the ma and pop shops or family-owned businesses that can’t compete with the big box and chain stores. Small businesses are a part of the local communities and help make communities thrive. The Sell-abration in Fells Point includes more than 45 participating businesses, free coffee and cocoa, prizes and a retail passport game. The Shop Hampden, Hon event includes hot cider and hot chocolate at the welcome table and a retail passport game.
Merry Mart 2018 at Creative Alliance
Dec. 2, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admire handmade items from Baltimore artists at Creative Alliance’s annual juried craft market. Shop for clothes, handbags, ceramics, soaps and many other unique creations while your kids participate in the free arts workshop.
More info: creativealliance.org
Holiday Sip & Shop at R. House
Dec. 2, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Grab a drink from the R. Bar before you dive into a plethora of vintage valuables. Hunt for the perfect gift for the kitsch collector on your list. Search through a trove of vintage clothes, furniture and knick-knacks from more than 50 of the area’s best retro vendors.
More info: Facebook.com
Midnight Madness in Downtown Annapolis
Dec. 6, 13 and 20
Bundle up for a magical night of shopping in Downtown Annapolis. Carolers and alpacas will keep you company as you walk from store-to-store on the seasonal streets. Wine and snacks will be waiting for you inside Main Street shops.
More info: Facebook.com
3rd Annual Makers Market at Green Spring Station
Dec. 8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Inspired by New York City’s Bryant Park holiday craft bazaar, this market features more than 20 Baltimore-based artisans. In addition to shopping, you can participate in a DIY workshops to create unique gifts for your friends and families. Join in the merriment!
More info: greenspringstation.com
Holiday Heap 2018 at Space 2640
Dec. 15, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Charm City Craft Mafia hosts more than 50 amazing artists at this festive shop-around. From tea to textiles, crayons to creatures, come find a handmade giftie for yourself or the people you’re actually supposed to be shopping for. Did we mention there will be pickled goodies? Yum.
More info: charmcitycraftmafia.com
BRB (Baltimore Record Bazaar) 2018 for vinyl, tapes and CDs for the hard-to-shop for music snob on your list (at The Windup Space, Dec. 2)
The Jewish Museum of Maryland for Chanukah ideas, Judaica objects and more.
Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar for basket-fillers like locally made gifts and healthy treats (Sundays through Dec. 23).