Forget Black Friday

Skip the Black Friday frenzy and head to these Austin holiday markets for unique gifts

Head to these local holiday markets for unique gifts

shelves of gifts and presents at the Blue Genie Art Bazaar
The Blue Genie Art Bazaar lets you shop from local artists and sip on delicious beverages everyday from Black Friday until Christmas Eve. Photo courtesy of Blue Genie Art Bazaar

'Tis the season to get a head start on your holiday shopping. But before you join the masses on Black Friday, take a look at some of these post-Thanksgiving alternatives and upcoming holiday markets that focus more on unique options than super sales.

Bright Friday
Friday, November 28
Forget Black Friday — Bright Friday offers a fun, free and family-friendly shopping experience. Browse local goods as well as fair and direct trade products at Vuka Co-op during this joint event with the Amala Foundation.

Blue Genie Art Bazaar
Friday, November 28 through Christmas Eve
The Blue Genie Art Bazaar is back for its 14th year. Open every day from Black Friday through Christmas Eve, this long-running holiday market at Marchesa Hall gives you plenty of time to shop its collection of handmade and local products. The market also includes special events as well as snacks and drinks.

Small Business Saturday at Canopy
Saturday, November 29
Canopy is hosting a special event showcasing goods from their studios, galleries, artists and other creative collectives. Stroll around the different spaces and sip on beverages from Sa-Ten while you shop local.

Renegade Craft Fair
Saturday, November 29 through Sunday, November 30
The Renegade Craft Fair is held in 14 U.S. cities throughout the year, and the DIY phenomenon is setting up shop in Austin just in time for the holidays. Shop from their handpicked artists and craft makers at the Palmer Events Center for one weekend only.

ATX Artisans Holiday Market
Sunday, November 30
The ATX Artisans is a group of local creatives who have banded together to exhibit exquisite goods at Holiday Inn Midtown. Peruse everything from jewelry to toys to beauty products to holiday decorations at this festive holiday market.

Fifth Annual Christmas Market
Saturday, December 6
Support your community — both local and international — at this Christmas market hosted by Allies Against Slavery. Shop all sorts of locally made and fair trade products at the For the City Center.

South American Holiday Bazaar
Saturday, December 6
Add some South American flavor to your holiday shopping with this new event from East Austin's Buenos Aires Cafe and its neighbor Clayworks Studio. Peruse imports from Corocoro and clothing from Lure while feasting on South American fare.

German Christmas Market
Saturday, December 6
Join the German-Texan Heritage Society downtown at the German Free School during their annual Weihnachtsmarkt. Shop for German products, enjoy traditional treats and stick around for visits from not one, but two St. Nicks — the German Sankt Nikolas and his Santa Claus counterpart will both be in attendance. As an added bonus, all purchases are free of sales tax!

St. Austin's Annual Holiday Fair
Saturday, December 6 through Sunday, December 7
St. Austin Catholic Church on Guadalupe offers an alternative experience for shoppers and vendors. This community event includes fair trade as well as locally made options, with proceeds benefiting the parish.

Cherrywood Art Fair
Saturday, December 13 through Sunday December 14
The Cherrywood Art Fair has a little bit of everything including art, music, activities and more. This two-day market at Maplewood Elementary School has a variety of unique and thoughtful items to shop from as well as food trucks.

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
Tuesday, December 16 through Christmas Eve
The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is an Austin staple. One part shopping market and one part music festival, this special bazaar at the Palmer Events Center features handmade goods from local craftsmen and homespun tunes from the likes of Shinyribs, Alpha Rev, Band of Heathens, Dale Watson, Ray Wylie Hubbard and more. Kids under 12 get in free, but there is $7 admission fee per day for adults.