With all the festive store displays around town, it sure seemed like the holiday season arrived about a month ago, right? Well, it’s officially here now — you can get into the spirit of the season without second-guessing it.
Scooping up one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts for our loved ones at shopping bazaars in the Austin area is an easy way to do that. Here’s a guide to the essential holiday markets that you’ll want to check out the next few weeks.
Blue Genie Art Bazaar. One of Austin’s largest holiday shopping markets (and also one of the earliest on the scene each year) is back with handmade gifts by more than 200 artists and vendors, all located under one roof with a full bar and a festive, family-friendly atmosphere. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily through Dec. 24 (when it closes at 6 p.m.). 6100 Airport Blvd. bluegenieartbazaar.com.
Hill Country Holiday Village. The Hill Country Galleria has transformed its central plaza into this charming Christmastime market. Lose yourself in the winding walkways, all decked out with holiday cheer and featuring local vendors of art, jewelry, home goods and holiday fare. Santa’s Workshop is also located here. Various dates and times through Dec. 24. 12700 Hill Country Blvd. hillcountrygalleria.com.
Renegade Craft Fair. This weekend celebration of Small Business Saturday — traditionally the day after Black Friday — isn’t just a marketplace of more than 130 artists. Both days have DJ sets, oracle readings, food trucks and seasonal drinks. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Fair Market, 1100 E. Fifth St. renegadecraft.com/fair/austin-winter.
3rd Annual Biergarten Bazaar. What if you could get some of your holiday shopping done while you’re visiting one of your favorite local breweries? Mosey your way through Live Oak Brewing’s outdoor space, beer in hand, while browsing for artisan-made gifts. Noon to 7 p.m. Nov. 30. 1615 Crozier Lane. facebook.com/events/2662354900491367.
39th Annual Christmas Stroll. You might feel as though you’ve wandered into a wintry Dickensian scene with this two-day holiday stroll in the Georgetown Square. Area shops and artisan vendors will have their wares on display. A live manger will be set up. Santa Claus will be taking photos. And kids can enjoy street hockey. 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 6, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 7. 816 S. Main St., Georgetown. thegeorgetownsquare.com.
Cherrywood Art Fair. Wind through the halls, gymnasium and grounds at Maplewood Elementary School in East Austin to find just the right gift for that hard-to-buy-for relative. Browse items from more than 90 Texas makers. There will be live music and kids’ activities, as well. Proceeds from the weekend event benefit Chula League’s art programs. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8. 3808 Maplewood Ave. chulaleague.org/cherrywood-art-fair/home.
German-Texan Annual Christmas Market. Enjoy German culture and more at this bazaar, produced by the German-Texan Heritage Society, featuring handmade ornaments, nutcrackers, schwiebogen (candle holders), smokers and decor. And did we mention mulled wine? 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 7. The German Free School, 507 E. Tenth St. germantexans.org/events/christmas-market.
Desert Door Texas Holiday Market. The blue ceramic bottle of Desert Door sotol is a worthy gift, but the distillery offers more options with this small gathering of Texas artisans selling leather goods, caramels and more at the newly opened Rack House on the Desert Door property. Expect seasonal cocktails and holiday films playing on a projector, too. 2 to 6 p.m. Dec. 7. 211 Darden Hill Road, Driftwood. facebook.com/events/502333900622201.
Holiday Pop-Up Market. Vista Brewing brings local makers to the scenic Hill Country brewery for an afternoon of shopping, along with brunch and live music. You can even participate in the build- your-own gift basket station and put together a mix of beers, Yeti Ramblers, Vista honey, apparel, books and more for the beer lover in your life. Noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 8. 13551 FM 150 W, Driftwood. vistabrewingtx.wixsite.com/mysite.
Holiday Mini Market with Love Child. The motherhood website hosts a pop-up market at South Congress Hotel that will feature 38 vendors from around the country. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 8. 1603 South Congress Ave. eventbrite.com/e/holiday-mini-market-presented-by-spoonfulone-tickets-74698801125.
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. In true Austin style, the 44-year-old holiday market is as much about the live music as it is about the nearly 200 artists spread around a festive Palmer Events Center. Performers this year include Dale Watson, Suzanna Choffel and Ray Wylie Hubbard. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Dec. 13-23, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 24. $10-$50. 900 Barton Springs Road. armadillobazaar.com.
Handmade Holiday Market. Adjacent to Lady Quackenbush’s Cakery in the Mueller neighborhood, this outdoor shopping event features local businesses selling their handmade and vintage wares. The bakery will have pastries and sweets on offer, as well as $2 mimosas. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 15. 1900 Simond Ave. facebook.com/events/675611112878395.