Instead of flocking to corporate malls and big box retailers this year, brush off your social responsibility cap (and scarf, and mittens) and spread some holiday cheer where it really counts: in your own community. Shop local this season, Cleveland, and give a gift that keeps on giving.
Made in the 216
For the young, hip and locally minded shopper, Made in the 216 Holiday Shoppe, is the place to knock out this year's holiday shopping. Located in the heart of Ohio City inside Room Service (2078 West 25th Street), this one-of-a-kind market features the work of talented, eclectic local artisans who make everything from apparel and homegoods to cards and jewelry—as well as homemade treats to snack on while you shop. Unlike other one-day or weekend pop ups, Made in the 216 is open seven days a week, from Black Friday until Christmas Eve, and even offers extended evening hours after Dec. 8 to accommodate your schedule. Stop by anytime between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturdays, or 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sundays.
Cleveland Handmade Market
The Cleveland Handmade Market offers shoppers a wide array of handmade goods, and an opportunity to support both the local art and small business scenes in Cleveland. Stop by Tower City Press (1900 Superior) between 10 a.m. and 6 .m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, to browse for great gifts, plus you'll find free parking behind the building. Love what you see? Many of the artists who showcase here can also be found on Etsy under clevelandhandmade.com.
LEAF Community Holiday Market
Folks looking to do some weekday shopping can buzz over to Garfield Middle School (13114 Detroit Ave.) to browse LEAF's fine selection of homemade beauty products, baked foods, cookbooks and crafts. With a selection this savvy, you may end up buying a gift or two for yourself. The market runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 10, in Lakewood.
If you're not particularly keen on holiday shopping (gentlemen, we're nodding at you), then maybe a sip and shop event is more up your alley. From 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13, you can get your holly jollies on at the Tremont Brewhaha Holiday PopUp Shop & Party, as part of the Tremont Artwalk's 20th anniversary celebration. The event will feature more than 25 artisans and farmers market vendors, including Metals by Walker, The Foundry WoodPrints and La Bellaria Patisseries, as well as a cash craft beer bar and a special musical performance by Rachel Brown & the Beatnik Boys. The festivities kick off at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church Grand Ball Room on West 14th Street, but free trolly rides to and from other Tremont hotspots will be available all night.
Gordon Square Holiday Market
The folks who regularly bring you the Gordon Square Farmer's Market are teaming up with the Gordon Square Wrapped in Tradition committee to present their annual Holiday Market on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Stop in for choice gifts from more than 20 vendors, plus take photos with Santa and keep warm by sipping on some yummy hot cocoa.
Pop Up Shaker
Hoping the perfect gift just pops up in front of you? Well, the two dozen rotating vendors at this year's Pop Up Shaker, a seasonal craft and culinary convention, are sure to inspire. Every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 15, members of Cleveland's art, culinary and business scenes are joining forces to help shoppers buy, make, and taste a whole series of unique gifts. Pop into any of the stores between Juma Gallery and Lucy's Sweet Surrender on Chagrin Boulevard and you'll find vendors such as Collective Upsycle, Diella Jewelry and Cherub's Blanket set up to help you select gifts. The folks from Cleveland Culinary Launch and Kitchen also will be on hand to provide cooking demonstrations and delicious samples. The hours vary depending on the day, so do visit tackk.com/popupshaker ahead of time to check the schedule.
Art from the Heart
The Geauga Humane Society's Rescue Village is back for another year of Art from the Heart, featuring dozens of artisans selling everything from apparel to antiques. Over the three day event, shoppers can enjoy hors d'oeuvers (Friday), live music (Saturday) and a deluxe raffle (Sunday). A portion of all proceeds will go toward the animals at Rescue Village. Art from the Heart runs Dec. 13 to 15, and hours of operation vary depending on the day. Visit geaugahumane.org/ for more information.
The touring craft show formerly named Bazaar Bizarre Cleveland may have changed its name to Cleveland Bazaar, but that doesn't mean its selection of unique gifts has dwindled. In fact, over the years, Northeast Ohio's longest running craft show has only upped its quantity and quality of handmade goods. Find made-to-order chocolates, hand-stitched scarves, homemade soaps, and just about everything in between. This year, the bazaar is making a couple of pits stops in Cleveland, one at the Ohio City Holiday Festival in Market Square Park on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and a second at the West 78th Street Studios inside SmARTspace on Saturday, Dec. 14, and Sunday, Dec. 15, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Coit Road Market
If arts and crafts aren't your thing, consider checking out East Cleveland's Coit Road Market to browse a bevy of consumable holiday items. Stop in any Saturday all winter long to pick up seasonal spices, locally tapped maple syrup, and summer-harvest honey. Coit Road Market is open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 15000 Woodworth Rd.
Last Minute Market
If you've over indulged in holiday procrastination (we're guilty too) then head on over to the appropriately named Last Minute Market & Screw Factory Open Studio in Lakewood to wrap up all of your holiday shopping in one fell swoop. With more than 100 jury-selected artists on hand selling handcraft goods ranging from jewelry and accessories to prints and fine art, today's market, brought to you by the same folks who put on Cleveland Handmade Market, will likely be a one- stop shop. In addition to the dozens of pop-up vendors, many permanent artists who work out of the Screw Factory will offer shoppers a peek into their workspaces and an opportunity to buy their work. It all takes places on Saturday, Dec. 21, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 1300 Athens Ave., Lakewood.