‘Tis the season to shop local! And Santa Cruz businesses and organizations are making it easy with a depth 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.
Park Store Holiday Sale
Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks will host this sale, where nature and Santa Cruz themed clothing, artwork, mugs, jewelry and more will all be available for up to 30% less than usual. These nicknacks can make great gifts for family visiting from out of town who may want to remember their time in Santa Cruz fondly. And you can join Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks while you’re there for an even better discount.
- When: December 5 – 7, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Where: Santa Cruz Mission Adobe ParkStore
Homeless Garden Project Holiday Store
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 ever First Friday Celebration is definitely worth checking out.
- When: December 5, 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
- Where: Homeless Garden Project, at Shaffer Road and Delaware Ave.
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History Holiday Sale
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. Museum Members will receive additional discounts.
- When: December 5 & 6, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Where: Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
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 5 – 6, Friday: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Saturday: 12:00 pm –5:00 pm
FCC Christmas Pop Up
Support Faith Community Church while you shop for gifts for the whole family. There will be a wide range of crafts and other gifts made by local artists.
- When: December 6, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Where: Faith Community Church, 115 S. Morrissey
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 6 – 7, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Where: 17th Ave Studios
Santa Cruz Elks Holiday Bazaar
With wine and beer as well as baked goods and toys for sale, the Elks Holiday Bazaar really is the holiday fair for everyone. There will also be local art and craft, antiques and collectibles, a gift wrapping station, free pictures with Santa, and more. Local artists can call 831-419-5652 for more info.
- When: December 6, 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
- Where: Santa Cruz Elks Lodge
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 6, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
- Where: Various shops and factories, Watsonville
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 6, 11am – 2pm
- Where: Boys & Girls Club of Santa Cruz
Monarch Community School Holiday Craft Fair
Find gifts from local artisans like body care products, custom jewelry, ceramics, prints, and housewares while you support a great local school. If you’re going to the holiday parade downtown beforehand, be sure to snag one of the coupons they’ll be passing out there.
- When: December 6, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
- Where: Louden Nelson Community Center
Bargetto Winery Annual Art in the Cellars
Wine and art is a great pairing, and on 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 6 & 7, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Where: Bargetto Winery
Home and Hearth Holiday Fair
Fans of the Aptos Farmers’ Market will have reason to cheer this December, when three Saturdays in a row will be transformed into and holiday craft and specialty food shopping experience. You can pick up your holiday menu as well as your holiday gift list here.
- When: December 6, 13, & 20,8:00 am – 12:00 pm
- Where: Cabrillo College
Swanton Artisans 14th Annual Holiday Sale
A trip to Swanton Berry Farm is a treat all year round. This holiday season, the organic farmers will team up with local crafters to create a unique and cozy holiday shopping fair. Sample the famous jams and desserts, as you take in paintings, ornaments, and more.
- When: December 6, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
- Where: Swanton Berry Farm
Winter Wonderland Artisan Fair
If you or your loved ones love knitted items, internationally inspired gifts, fine art, and more, then Westlake’s holiday shopping experience is for you. Low N Slow Food Truck will be on site serving up hearty treats.
- When: December 6, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
- Where: Westlake Elementary School
Heritage Holiday Craft & Gift Fair
The Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds will play host to a whole weekend of folk art, antiques, collectibles and more. Support the local fair and local artists while you enjoy holiday poinsettias and a juried show of different craft items.
- When: December 5–7
- Where: Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds
Aptos Holiday Craft Fair & Tree Lighting
Local vendors will show their best work as carols, 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 6, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
- Where: Aptos Tree Village
Jingle Shells Art and Craft Festival
The holiday spirit and marine life will collide at the Seymour Center this Saturday, when ocean–inspired holiday gifts and decorations will be for sale. There will also be several children’s activities and live music.
- When: December 7, 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
- Where: Seymour Marine Discovery Center
Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center Holiday Sale
The Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center in Ben Lomand will hold their second and final holiday sale of the season on December 13th. Find that unique gift of art for someone special, choosing from jewelry, ceramics, glass, scarves, sculpture, woodworking, paintings, photography, and cards.
There will also be live music and refreshments.
- When: December 13, 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
- Where: Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center