‘Tis the season to shop local!
Santa Cruz businesses and organizations are making it easy with a full slate of holiday shopping fairs and events.
Here’s a roundup of some of the best opportunities to buy some awesome gifts and help support the local economy and arts culture at the same time.
November 27 – December 3
Santa Cruz Mountains Holiday Makers Market
Come on out and shop local for the holidays with over 40 artists and crafters of Santa Cruz County! This FREE public event is held indoors and features LIVE LOCAL MUSIC all day from Sugar by the Pound, Young & Lowe, and Asher Stern, plus Lynn Holly on the harp.
- When: November 28, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Where: Felton Community Hall
Little Craft Pop-Up
This family-friendly event showcases the work of local artisans who create products for babies and children.
Kids can create a work of art at the Kaiwa Art & Play Space table while you browse clothing, decor, accessories and vintage items. Photo mini sessions with Lisa Jo Photography, face painting and food vendors will also be on hand for festive fun!
When: 11/29 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: Tannery Arts Center
Homeless Garden Project Holiday Store Gala Holiday Open House
The Homeless Garden Project Holiday Store sells great locally made pantry items, jewelry, ornaments, wreaths and more that benefit a great cause that teaches homeless people practical and enriching skills.
The store is open all month, but their First Friday Holiday Open House is definitely worth checking out.
- When: December 4, 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
- Where: Homeless Garden Project Downtown Store
Park Store Holiday Sale
The Santa Cruz Mission ParkStore will hold their annual holiday sale the weekend of Dec. 4-6. Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks members receive 30% off. Proceeds benefit local state parks and beaches.
- When: December 4 – 6, Friday: 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Saturday: 10:00 am –4:00 pm, Sunday: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
- Where: Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park
The Tannery Winter Art Market
If you want to give the gift of art to your loved ones this holiday season, there’s no better place in town than the Tannery to find what you’re looking for. See local artists’ work up close in their studios, take advantage of hands on lessons, and make cards and ornaments while you’re there.
- When: December 4 – 6, Friday: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Saturday &: Sunday: 12:00 pm –5:00 pm
- Where: Tannery Arts Center
Heritage Holiday Craft & Gift Fair
The Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds will play host to a whole weekend of folk art, antiques, collectibles and more.
- When: December 4–6
- Where: Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds
- Cost: $5
11th Annual Christmas Open House
Alladin Nursery will host a small craft fair featuring local artists during their annual open house. Enjoy live music, wine, and homemade pastries while you shop. Bring in a bag full of non-perishable or canned groceries to donate to the Second Harvest Food Bank and receive 10% off your purchase. Bring 2 bags and receive 20% off!
- When: December 4-6
- Where: Alladin Nursery
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History Winter Open House
Free museum admission as well as complementary hot cider and cookies sweeten the deal at the Museum of Natural History, where you’ll find local historical books, posters, toys, and more merchandise at awesome discounts. The open house is on the 5th, from 11-4, but the holiday sale in the museum store runs the entire weekend.
- When: December 5, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
- Where: Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Watsonville Holiday Factory Sale
Every holiday season, various stores and factories in Watsonville come together to hold a massive holiday sale. Many of the products are grown or manufactured locally, making this a great way to both support the local economy and save money on every gift on your list.
- When: December 5, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
- Where: Various shops and factories, Watsonville
Aptos Holiday Craft Fair & Tree Lighting
Local vendors will show their best work as carolers, hot chocolate, Santa, and a tree lighting all come together to make one great holiday fair. This is a great event for the whole family.
- When: December 5, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
- Where: Aptos Tree Village
Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center Holiday Sale
The Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center in Ben Lomand will hold their holiday sale on December 5th. Find that unique gift of art for someone special, choosing from jewelry, ceramics, glass, scarves, sculpture, woodworking, paintings, photography, and cards.
- When: December 5, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
- Where: Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center
Annual Children’s Holiday Craft & Food Fair
Support the Boys and Girls Club in Santa Cruz and find adorable, unique gifts at the Annual Children’s Holiday Craft & Food Fair, which takes place downtown directly following the annual Downtown Santa Cruz holiday parade. You and your kids can make a day out of it.
- When: December 5, 11am – 2pm
- Where: Boys & Girls Club of Santa Cruz
Holiday Book Sale!
Shop from hundreds of books in great condition at the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries Holiday Book Sale! You’ll find a selection of coffee table books, cookbooks, collectible classics, history, fiction, and kids books. This sale follows the Downtown Holiday Parade.
- When: December 5, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
- Where: Downtown Santa Cruz Public Library
Holiday Art & Craft Faire @ Simpkins
The annual Holiday Art and Craft Faire at Simpkins Swim Center will feature work from local artists, including jewelry, textiles, ornaments, soaps, wreaths, mosaics, chocolates, hand-made bags and wallets, and more. See the full list of artists, here.
- When: December 5, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
- Where: Simpkins Family Swim Center
Christmas Cookie and Craft Fair
St. John’s Episcopal Church in Aptos will host a cookie and craft fair, which will also feature plants, tamales, jam, marmalade, and local honey.
- When: December 5, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
- Where: St. John’s Episcopal Church in Aptos
Holiday Decor and Craft Faire
This craft fair in Freedom will feature jewelry, candles, antiques, handbags, baked goods and more.
- When: December 5, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Where: Veterans of Foreign Wars, 1960 Freedom Blvd.
Holiday Art Show & Sale at 17th Ave Studios
Sculptures, paintings, watercolors, jewelry, crafts, handmade books, textiles, mosaics and more await you at 17th Avenue Studios, where local artist will offer up their best work for you to purchase as gifts for yourself or others.
- When: December 5 – 6, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Where: 17th Ave Studios
Bargetto Winery Annual Art in the Cellars
Wine and art is a great pairing, and one you’ll find at Bargetto Winery, along with artisan food products and more. Admission is free, and you can taste Bargetto’s selection with the purchase of a $10 commemorative glass. There will also be special holiday spiced mead for tasting.
- When: December 5-6, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Where: Bargetto Winery
Makers Market Pop Up @ Bantam
Makers Market Santa Cruz is putting on three pop-up events this holiday season. The first one takes place at Bantam on December 6th.
- When: December 6, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
- Where: Bantam
Artisans Holiday Gift Sale
The 8th annual Hand-Made Gift Sale is a one day sale with a wide variety of gift items, all of which are $25 or less, and are created locally. With over 30 vendors on hand, there’s a great chance you’ll be able to make a solid dent in your holiday shopping at this event.
- When: December 6, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
- Where: Veterans Memorial Building
Swanton Artisans 15th Annual Holiday Sale
A trip to Swanton Berry Farm is a treat all year round. For the 15th year in a row, the farm will team up with local artists and crafters to create a unique and cozy holiday shopping fair. In addition to great art, you’ll be able to partake in pies, fruitcake, cobbler, and hot cider.
- When: December 5-6, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
- Where: Swanton Berry Farm
Artisan Craft Fair
This craft fair will feature handmade jewelry, paper crafts, and wooden gifts.
- When: December 6, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
- Where: 201 Nobel Drive, Santa Cruz
Elks Lodge Holiday Bazaar Artisans Craft Faire
The whole family can enjoy this event. Mom and dad will appreciate the 75+ vendors to shop from, while the kiddos will love having a chance to meet Santa. Photos with Santa are free. There will also be food, music and gift wrapping.
- When: December 12, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Where: Santa Cruz Elks Lodge, 150 Jewell Street
Holiday Craft Sale at Bocci’s Cellar
Let the Seaside Sisters serenade you as you shop! Local vendors will have a variety of gift items including jewelry, photography, succulents, and clothing. Free admission!
- When: December 12, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Where: Bocci’s Cellar
Holiday Cheer @ SLV Museum
Stop by for holiday cookies and beverages while you enjoy “Everyone is a Member Discount” 15% off all merchandise in the store, including a large selection of local history and natural history books.
- When: December 12, from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
- Where: San Lorenzo Valley Museum
Soquel High Benefit Craft Fair
Come enjoy a craft fair that supports Soquel High Class of 2016 Safe & Sober Grad Night. Vendors, artists, and crafters will be selling jewelry, candles, art, clothing, plants, candy, and food. Sellers, please inquire about available table space.
- When: December 12, from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
- Where: Soquel High Multi Purpose Room
Jingle Shells Art and Craft Festival
The holiday spirit and marine life will collide at the Seymour Center on December 13th, when ocean–inspired holiday gifts and decorations will be for sale. There will also be several children’s activities and live music.
- When: December 13, 12:00 pm – 5:30 pm
- Where: Seymour Marine Discovery Center
Makers Market Holiday Pop Up: Sip, Shop & Spa @ Chaminade
Chaminade will host this Makers Market featuring locally made products and artwork.
- When: December 15, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
- Where: Chaminade Resort & Spa
Makers Market Pop Up @ NuBo
The final Makers Market pop-up event of the season takes place at NuBo on December 19th.
- When: December 19, 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
- Where: New Bohemia Brewing Company
Holiday Artisan Food & Gift Market
This food and gift market will feature unique, local, small batch artisan foods and gifts perfect for all your holiday giving and entertaining needs. Enjoy tastings, live music, carolers, cocktails, an artisan gift basket raffle, gift wrapping table, and more!
- When: December 19, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
- Where: Santa Cruz Food Lounge