Holiday shopping is stressful for so many reasons: the crowds, the parking, the mall madness. Even once you get inside, it's not over because then you have to find a unique – or at least – useable gift. Too often, we make the easy choice and get gift cards. But, let's face it, that's pretty impersonal.
Out of ideas? We're here to help. Starting this week nearly right up to Christmas, weekends will be filled with holiday shopping events where you can browse handcrafted items from local artisans often while listening to live music and enjoying a cocktail.
Some are definitely for adults who can shop with mimosa in hand; others are family friendly like Totally Buffalo 716mas Festival with crafts for the kids.
Here's a list of some of the local holiday markets.
Nov. 16. AVA Collective Pop Up at Resurgence Brewing (55 Chicago St.). More than 30 vendors with art, fashion, music and beer.
Nov. 21: Shea's Shopping Soiree, Shea's Buffalo Theatre (646 Main St.). Shop more than 60 vendors against the backdrop of the gorgeous Shea's lobby and theater during the 10th annual event. With complimentary food tastings and a cash bar. Advance tickets are $10; $15 the day-of. Hours: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Nov. 22-24: Kenan Arts Council Holiday Gift Show, Kenan Center (433 Locust St., Lockport). The 29th annual show features gifts from new artisans, along with food and wine vendors and herbal gifts from the garden. The Hilltop Restaurant serves lunch in the Taylor Theater. Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit. Hours: 5 to 9 p.m. Nov. 22, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 23 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 24; $4.
Nov. 23, 30, Dec. 7, 14 and 21: Horsefeathers Market sponsored by Perks, 346 Connecticut St. More than 18 vendors weekly with holiday décor, gifts, Alpaca apparel, jewelry, fresh local produce and more. Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 21.
Nov. 23-24: Christmas at the Wurlitzer Craft and Gifts, Wurlitzer Building (908 Niagara Falls, Blvd., North Tonawanda). A blend of craft show and Christmas market, this event is both a place to shop for gifts and a place to buy holiday items for your home. Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 23 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 24; $4, free for ages 16 and younger.
Nov. 29-30: Makers + Shakers: Boozy Artisan Market, Buffalo Grand Hotel (120 Church St.). There's no doubt what this event is about: shop and enjoy a cocktail from a build-your-own Bloody Mary Bar. With a shoppers lounge and gift-wrapping station. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; $5.
Nov. 29-30: St. Gregory the Great Annual Craft Show (200 St. Gregory Court, Williamsville). This popular annual event, known for its large assortment of craft items, is a great option to Black Friday shopping at malls. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 29 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 30.
Nov. 30: Buffalo's Women's Gifts, Asbury Hall at Babeville (341 Delaware Ave.). This is the 23rd year for this show that is all about the ladies: it's curated by women, with an exclusive all-female lineup of more than 60 vendors and performers. Food, a cash bar and gift-wrapping. Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Dec. 1: Shopping Unleashed at St. Mary's High School (142 Laverack Ave., Lancaster). Third annual event also helps Lancaster Unleashed and the Como Lake Bark Park. Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free.
Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22: Holiday Market, Hotel Henry (444 Forest Ave.). More than 200 diverse artisan vendors at a historic property in what Architectural Digest calls a "striking hotel." Also, with advance reservations or walk-in luck on their side, shoppers can also opt to have brunch at 100 Acres: The Kitchens at Hotel Henry. Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Dec. 5: Holiday Hall Sale, Oishei Children's Hospital (first floor lobby). Buy unique gifts and help the hospital, too, at this event featuring holiday home décor, jewelry, toys, books, Buffalo themed items, Poinsettias and more. Time: 9 to 3 p.m.
Dec. 7-8: Yuletide in the Country, Hamburg Fairgrounds. A sister event to Christmas in the Country, the 25th annual Yuletide has more than 150 artisans and vendors, plus food, refreshments and demonstrations. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 7 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 8. Admission: $3 advance, $5 at the door; free for ages 12 and younger.
Dec. 7: Queen City Market, Karpeles Manuscript Museum (453 Porter Ave.). This beautifully curated market features nearly 60 local vendors handpicked to provide a wide selection of handmade or vintage items including jewelry, ceramics, clothing, housewares and local foods. Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free, but bring a nonperishable food item for the Food Bank of WNY.
Dec. 7: Holiday Sip and Shop, Becker Farms, Vizcarra Vineyards (3724 Quaker Road, Gasport). Shop unique gifts and sip Vizcarra wines. St. Nick's Apple Ale will be available. Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Dec. 7-8: Totally Buffalo 716mas Festival, Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.). More than 100 vendors, most with a “Buffalove” focus. Plus live music, food and drink. Family-friendly event has crafts for kids and Disney princesses. Admission: $5; free for ages 5 and younger. Free gift wrap station. Santa Claus. Live music. Free shuttle to car lot. Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dec. 13-14: Last-Minute Panic Holiday Marketplace, Western New York Book Arts (468 Washington St.). Another show that lives up to its name, you'll find unique items from more than 40 vendors to fill those last-minute gaps in your gift list including handprinted greeting cards, knitwear and housewares. Hours: 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 13 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 14.
Dec. 14: Holiday Trunk Show, noon to 5 p.m. at the Carnegie Art Center, 240 Goundry St., North Tonawanda. More than 20 local vendors selling high-quality artwork and handmade gifts. This is the place to go if you are looking for one-of-a-kind artwork, especially wall art.
Dec. 14: Flying Bison Holiday Artisan Market, Flying Bison (840 Seneca St.) Do you procrastinate? Who doesn't? Stop by for a brew, shop local artisans and merchants and get your picture taken with Santa from noon to 4 p.m. Live music starts at 1 p.m. Hours: Noon to 5 p.m.
Dec. 14: Old World Christmas Market, Adam Mickiewicz Library & Dramatic Circle (612 Fillmore Ave.). This is the first time out at this historic location where you can shop and watch a demonstration on making traditional Polish Christmas ornaments. Santa will visit and there's a tree lighting, too. Tours will be offered. Hours: 1 to 6 p.m.
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