5 winter craft markets to bring your kids to

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I generally don’t crack the holiday decorations out until well into December, but I have always been excited about the craft markets that sprinkle the Vancouver landscape like gumdrops on a gingerbread house’s front lawn. There are already a couple greats that have passed, but luckily there are some amazing ones still on the horizon, featuring local artists, food makers, jewelry makers, and entrepreneurs. There is always something for kids at each of these markets, and don’t forget cash for the hot apple cider!

tumblr_nd90v8hrTi1u14vjgo2_r1_500Toque Western Front

303 East 8th Avenue, Vancouver

Dec 5th, 6-10pm; Dec 6th, 11am – 5pm

This craft market is also the Western Fronts annual fundraiser, which raises funds for year-round art and music programs at the artist-run centre. Artists, designers, and art-makers gather to showcase everything from limited edition books to beautiful ceramics. Not only will you be dazzled by Vancouver’s local talent, but you’ll be supporting the accessibility of the local arts as well.

-Image  from Draw Me a Lion

farmersmarket

Winter Market – Nat Bailey Stadium

4601 Ontario Street, Vancouver

Every Saturday, 10am – 2pm; Nov 1 – April 25

Whenever I ask my friends “where did you get that amazing…” it’s usually from this farmer’s market. There are delicious artisan cheeses, fresh fish, and herbs; as well as food trucks, hot drinks, and usually some musical entertainment. Stock up on your holiday ingredients and support local ranchers, farmers, and fisherman.

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Got Craft? – Maritime Labour Centre

1880 Triumph Street, Vancouver

Dec 13 + 14th, 10am – 5pm

I’ve been told that this is Vancouver’s best (and biggest) indie craft market, which means you’ll probably see me there at least one of the days above. Got Craft? has been putting on wonderful craft events around Vancouver throughout the seasons for years now, and the community always brings an exciting array of goods to each market. You can find everything from tasty treats, to stationary, soft toys, and even a few D.I.Y. workshops. It is always beautifully curated, and a not-to-miss event.

Make-it

Make it! – PNE Forum

2901 East Hastings Street

Dec 4 + 5, 11am-9pm; Dec 6, 10am – 7pm; Dec 7, 11am – 5pm

There are over 250 local and national designers, artists, and crafters that bring their wares to this bustling market at the PNE Forum, with a devotion to creating ethically sourced products. It’s a fun event that includes music, food trucks, and even a licensed bar. So get your partner/friend to take the kids for a walk around the forum while you treat yourself to a well-deserved beer.

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Vancouver Christmas Market – Queen Elizabeth Plaza

650 Hamilton Street, Vancouver

Nov 22 – Dec 24, 11am – 9pm

The Vancouver Christmas Market is classic Christmas. The Queen Elizabeth Plaza is transformed into a snowy wooden village, filled with international food trucks, glistening ornaments, and even a few small amusement park rides. Last year it was incredibly cold when we visited, but the hot apple cider (you need to be 19+ to drink it) was a warm hug to the belly, and the kids munched happily on German cakes and schnitzel. There is a steady stream of performances by dancers and singers, and plenty of benches set up beside towering Christmas trees where you can sit and enjoy a show while you snack. It’s definitely busy, but the everyone is in a good mood – it must be the hot apple cider.

peaks-and-harbours Carina-Marie Nilsson is the co-founder of Peaks and Harbours, a Vancouver “not just for moms” blog that showcases everything our city has to offer the younger crowd. @carinamarienilsson