As the holidays approach, consider skipping the malls and supporting local businesses and artisans by shopping at these holiday craft shows. Not only will you find a variety of unique gifts, but you'll also be keeping your money in Maryland. With so many options, why would you shop anywhere else?
Maryland Christmas Show at the Frederick Fairgrounds
Friday, November 16 through Sunday, November 18 and Friday, November 23 through Sunday, November 25
Hours: Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: $7 adults; $4 children 12 and under
797 E Patrick St., Frederick, Maryland; 301-898-5466
At this annual craft festival, 500 artists and craftspeople display and sell their work, including fine art, pottery, quilts, wreaths, toys, Christmas ornaments, furniture, and more.
Sugarloaf Craft Festival
Friday, November 16 through Sunday, November 18
Hours: Thursday, Friday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Admission: $7 adults; free for children 12 and under
Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 16 Chestnut Street, Gaithersburg, Maryland
More than 500 artists will convene at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds for this festival, where shoppers can find high quality jewelry, wood, leather, clothing, sculpture, and more. Live entertainment and food will also be available.
Baltimore Clayworks Winterfest 2012 and Holiday Sale
Saturday, November 17 through Monday, January 5
Find the perfect ceramic gift at this annual holiday sale. Both established and emerging ceramic artists will exhibit and sell their work.
Bazaart Holiday Art Market and Preview Party
Friday, November 23 and Saturday, November 24
Hours: Friday (preview party) 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (art market)
Admission: Friday $20 general public, $10 members; Saturday
The American Visionary Art Museum, Jim Rouse Visionary Center, 3rd Floor, 800 Key Highway, Baltimore, Maryland
Spend Saturday at The American Visionary Art Museum, where original creations by 50 regional artists and craftspeople will be up for grabs at this holiday sale. Beat the crowds at the Friday night preview party, where light fair and beverages will be sold.
Fridays, November 23 through December 21
Score great gifts in Hampden's unique boutiques when several shops offer extended hours this holiday season (usually, these stores offer extended hours in First Fridays, too). Participating merchants include Atomic Books, doubledutch boutique, In Watermelon Sugar, Ma Petite Shoe, Milagro, and Mud and Metal. Be sure to go around the corner and check out the Christmas lights on 34th Street!
Harbor Holiday Festival
Friday, November 30 through Sunday, December 2
Hours: Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
137 National Plaza, National Harbor, Maryland
More than 200 specialty boutiques will sell their wares at this holiday craft market that takes place inside a heated tent. Shoppers will find arts and crafts including fine art, woodworking, pottery, furniture, jewelry, clothing, toys, gourmet foods, linens, and more. Live entertainment and kids activities make this a fun-filled day for any family.
Saturday, December 1
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
St. John's Church, 2640 St Paul St., Baltimore, Maryland
Each year, the Charm City Craft Mafia hand picks more than 60 talented artists and craftspeople from Baltimore and around the country for this holiday shopping event. Baltimore food trucks are scheduled to make an appearance as well. A raffle full of donated handmade items supports Great Kids Farm.
Sunday, December 2
Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave., Baltimore, Maryland; 410-276-1651
Some of Baltimore's finest artists and craftspeople will join forces at the Creative Alliance at the Patterson for this festive bazaar, where clothing, handbags, felt accessories, ceramics, soaps, toys, jewelry, and fine art will be up for sale. Crafters will come from Baltimore and beyond, and drop-in arts workshops for kids will take place from noon until 3 p.m.
Glen Echo Park Holiday Art Show & Sale
Friday, November 23 through Saturday, January 26
Hours: Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Popcorn Gallery at Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Boulevard, Glen Echo, Maryland
At this exhibition, resident artists will sell their work, including glass, ceramics, painting, and photography.
For more options, the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland has launched the Made in Maryland gift guide.