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!
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
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.
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! – 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.
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.