Online shopping has its perks, such as staying home in your fuzzy slippers sipping the adult beverage of your choice while browsing. Small Business Saturday was a brilliant invention by a credit card company that deserves to be supported each year in your favorite downtowns. Braving the mall also has its merits … hey, even the Scrooges among us probably get a tiny twinge of holiday spirit when they pass that long line of kiddos waiting to whisper in Santa’s ear.
But these are not your only shopping options, not even close.
In these days of Cyber Mondays, app hopping and drone-delivered meals, people do still actually make stuff. With their own two hands. Stuff that makes some mighty nice gifts. Amy Petrie, founder of South Jersey Made and South Jersey Adventures, has organized “maker” events in the region for artists and crafts people and works hard to spread the word about buying local. “When gift giving, the details matter a great deal,’’ she said. “Whether you’re buying for a loved one or a coworker, your gift reveals a lot about you. “Purchasing a locally-made good, guarantees a unique and thoughtful gift, while supporting the dream of someone in your own community.”
We’ve rounded up “maker’’ events, festivals and pop-ups that offer a chance for artists and crafters to share their homemade creations directly with you, the gift seeker. These events are a fun way to get out into different parts of South Jersey, meet talented folks face-to-face (can’t do that on Etsy!) and maybe even share a bit of holiday cheer.
Empty Bowls: Saturday, Dec. 1, Noon to 3 p.m., Perkins Center for the Arts, 30 Irvin Ave., Collingswood. Handcrafted bowls sale and food tasting. All proceeds will be divided evenly between the Food Bank of South Jersey and the Perkins Center Scholarship Fund. In exchange for the meal (and handmade bowl), guests contribute a minimum donation of $15. Visit perkinsarts.org/event/8th-annual-empty-bowls/
Green Trading Post Holiday Bazaar: Saturday, Dec. 1 and Sunday, Dec. 2 from noon to 4 p.m., Pinelands Preservation Alliance, 17 Pemberton Road, Vincentown. Vendors include Pinelands Adventures, Whitesbog Preservation Trust, Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge, Pinelands Folk Music and Basketry Center. Visit facebook.com/pg/Pinelands/events/?ref=page_internal
Fair Trade Holiday Sale: Saturday, Dec. 1 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 2 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Catholic Community of Christ Our Light, Parish Center, 402 Kings Highway, Cherry Hill. Sale offers fair trade gifts, holiday décor, home goods, food and fashion. Visit facebook.com/events/559293244512756/
Dickens Festival: Saturday, Dec. 1 from 6 to 9:30 p.m., Main Street, Medford. Crafters with unique gifts are part of this festival, now in its 29th year, which also features a parade, carolers, music, ice sculpting, Santa and food trucks. Featuring Lower Forge Brewing Company and the South Jersey Pops Brass Band. Visit facebook.com/events/1072492596260852/
Duffield’s Christmas Market: Saturday, Dec. 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 280 Chapel Heights Road, Sewell. Festive market at the farm features gift vendors, hot cocoa bar, gingerbread decorating and a country Christmas photo area. Visit facebook.com/events/501736410336306/?ti=icl
Evelyn Taylor Designs: Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 1 and 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 10 W. Coulter Ave., Collingswood—based ceramics artist hosts her sixth open studio and sale. Visit facebook.com/events/1525733410861339/?active_tab=about
Winter Night Market & Scavenger Hunt: Saturday, Dec. 1 from 5 to 9 p.m., Palmyra. Handcrafted gifts and holiday crafts will be part of the fun at this event, which kicks off with a scavenger hunt. Participants get a passport to be stamped at local businesses; complete passports are entered in a drawing for prizes. Event also includes vendors, carolers, food trucks and more. Visit facebook.com/events/1880179005424468/
Winter Bazaar: Sunday, Dec. 2 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Fleetwood School, 231 Fleetwood Ave., Mount Laurel. Benefits Fleetwood School PTO. Crafts, vendors, holiday shopping. Visit facebook.com/events/324947461420116/
Small Works: Sunday, Dec. 2 to Saturday, Dec. 15, Perkins Center for the Arts, 395 Kings Highway, Moorestown. Curated handmade gifts and fine art by area artists. Candles, fine art, jewelry, olive oil, soaps, pottery, fashions, wood carvings. Hours: Mon.– Fri. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturday to Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Visit perkinsarts.org/event/small-works-2/
Franks & Beans Women’s Shopping Expo: Thursday, Dec. 6 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., Beneficial Bank, 1901 Route 70 at Springdale Road, Cherry Hill. Event includes a Boutique Marketplace with 30 vendors, an indoor food truck (Not Your Mama’s Tacos), psychic readings, food demos and tastings, book signings, free massage and warm beverages, vendor bingo and more. Free tickets are requested. Event benefits Cantor Scott Borsky’s Animal Rescue Center in Cherry Hill. Visit franksandbeans.net/2018-womens-expo
Eilandarts Holiday Market: Friday, Dec. 7 from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., The Station, 10 E. Chestnut Ave., Merchantville. This coffee house and artist co-op hosts its 6th annual holiday market featuring works by area artists and crafters. Visit eilandarts.com/events.html
Holiday Market and Ladies Day Out: Saturday, Dec. 8 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., b.Good at the Promenade at Sagemore, 500 Route 73, Marlton. Vendors include: Lemongrass Spa, Trades of Hope, Scentsy, Shop701, LulaRoe and Paparazzi. facebook.com/events/1117029888449750/
Made ‘n’ Found: Saturday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., The Hot Dog Shack, Rancocas Woods, 118 Creek Road, Mount Laurel. Live music, food trucks and 36 crafters and other vendors. Made ‘n’ Found events are held throughout the year at this location. Visit facebook.com/events/965769046939933/
SOHA Holiday Market: Saturday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., SOHA Arts Building, 1001 White Horse Pike, Haddon Township. This artist co-op hosts its biggest day of the year with live music by David Kelly, open studio tours by photographers, painters, fiber artists, jewelers, comics artists and potters. Gourmet foods for sale by Mecha Artisan Chocolate, Cheese Etc. & Gourmet Gifts, Royal Mile Coffee, The Baking Harlot and Pooch Patisserie (dog bakery!). Refreshments and beverages.
Winterfest: Saturday, Dec. 1 and Saturday, Dec. 8, 5 to 9 p.m. Uptown Pitman. A Victorian holiday festival transforms the town. Vendors offer unique and handmade gifts, both in stores, and from 30 vendors in a holiday shopping village. Free trolley, bonfires and visits with Santa. Rain location: Sunset Auditorium. Visit facebook.com/events/189637681957219/
Shawnee Craft and Gift Fair: Saturday, Dec. 8 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Shawnee High School, Medford. Supports Shawnee High School Marching Band and features 150 vendors. Visit https://bit.ly/2ACqKPF
Elf Hunt and Vendor Event: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 8, Voorhees Town Center. Benefits Beyond Breast Cancer. Visit facebook.com/events/2191938897701013/
CASA Holiday Open House: Saturday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Hopeloft at 40 E. Commerce St., Bridgeton. Fundraiser for local foster youth in South Jersey, hosted by Hopeloft and CASA of Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties. Craft table for kids, Santa’s Workshop, door prizes, coats/toys drop off stations, bake sale and more. Vendors include Appel Farms Arts & Music Center, Arbonne, Dubbs Dapper Designs, Paparazzi Accessories, Essential Oils, Usborne Books, Scentsy and Harvest Trading Post. Visit facebook.com/events/299250437341488/
Online shopping has its perks, such as staying home in your fuzzy slippers sipping the adult beverage of your choice while browsing. Small Business Saturday was a brilliant invention by a credit card company that deserves to be supported each year in your favorite downtowns. Braving the mall also has its merits …