6 Local Events Where You Can Get a Jump on Holiday Shopping

It’s never too early to start holiday shopping, so here are six fun events where you can begin checking everyone off your gift list.
Stock image of holiday gifts

Supply chain issues, staffing shortages, and Covid-related shutdowns may be wreaking havoc on holiday gift ordering and shipping this year, so in order to get a jumpstart on your seasonal shopping, consider checking out one of these local events. Not only will you be able to find an array of stellar gift ideas, but you’ll also be supporting local businesses and artisans.

Interior of the Indy MADE Market featuring canvases available for purchase.INDY MADE HOLIDAY MARKET
NOVEMBER 6TH, 9 A.M. – 2 P.M.

Indy MADE Holiday Market will be setting up in the Llama Barn at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds in Noblesville for one fantastic day of shopping this year, featuring over 55 local makers and small businesses stocked with handmade and locally sourced jewelry, clothing, home décor, and specialty items. Admission is $5 at the door or online, kids 15 and under get in free, and there is no charge for parking. Bonus: The first 100 ticket holders at the market will snag a free swag bag.

2 shirts on display at the Christmas Gift + Hobby ShowCHRISTMAS GIFT + HOBBY SHOW

Billed as Indiana’s largest holiday shopping event, the Christmas Gift + Hobby Show returns in 2021 for its 72nd year. Located in the West Pavilion of the Indiana State Fairgrounds, this year’s show features more than 300 exhibitors and an entertainment stage. While you’re there, don’t forget to take a selfie with Santa, check out an array of holiday tablescapes created by local area designers, and snap a photo at the “Pixie Gypsy Camper” mobile photo booth. Tickets for adults will run you $13 at the door ($11 online), children 12 and under are free, and seniors aged 65 and older with proof of ID are $9 on November 10th, 11th, and 12th.


Join Stacy Molander, the owner of the Rusted Window boutique, at the Indiana Design Center for a holiday workshop where you’ll learn how to dress your home with a winter décor change-up that will carry you from November until the New Year. Then, stop in Molander’s shop on the first floor of the building to browse some must-have gifts for everyone on your list. This event is free to the public, but attendees are requested to bring a donation item (such as pasta, pantry spices, or rice) for Second Helpings, an agency dedicated to fighting hunger and promoting culinary job training in greater Indianapolis.

Image of a booth at the Holiday Mart displaying scarves for sale.JUNIOR LEAGUE OF INDIANAPOLIS HOLIDAY MART
NOVEMBER 18th – 21st

2021 marks the 50th anniversary of Holiday Mart, and there are more than 70 merchants this year, many of which are new to the event. Situated in the Blue Ribbon Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, there’s a cash bar available during shopping hours if you prefer to sip and shop. There is also an exclusive “Shoppers’ Eve” event on Thursday, November 18th, from 6-10 p.m., with hors d’oeuvres, valet parking, and a swag bag for the first 600 shoppers; tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the door. General admission tickets for the 19th, 20th, and 21st are $10 in advance online and $15 at the door, and admission is free for children 12 and under.

Image of patrons at the Cumberland Weihnachtsmarkt.CUMBERLAND WEIHNACHTSMARKT
DECEMBER 4TH, 11 A.M. – 10 P.M.

Named the “Weihnactsmarkt,” or Christmas market, in a salute to the town of Cumberland’s German heritage, this daylong event with free admission features a tent for holiday shopping with over 30 vendors that is open until 6 p.m. While you’re there, you can treat your kiddos to crafts, a scavenger hunt, visits with Santa, and face painting until 5 p.m., and in the evening there will be a tree lighting ceremony, a light parade, and live music from The Bishops.

DECEMBER 11TH, 10 A.M. –6 P.M.

Put on some extra layers and sip a warm beverage while you stroll through a variety of unique, local vendors at this free outdoor market in Greenfield. After you’ve finished purchasing your goodies, you can get your picture taken with Santa, and check out a variety of local food trucks.

Stephanie Groves is an Indianapolis-based freelance writer who is fighting her internal drive to procrastinate so she can get her holiday shopping done early this year.

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