Best Holiday Shopping Events

Popular arts, crafts fairs with a holiday theme

If you can't find or hire Santa to fill a gift list in Madison, holiday shopping at one of these popular, festive arts and crafts shows should do the trick.

  • 01 of 09

    Winter Art Festival: Nov. 10-11

    Members of the Wisconsin Alliance of Artists and Craftspeople sell elegant to functional artwork, made from fabric to wood. Expect 140 vendors at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 10 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 11. The Young Collector's Corner is a children-only shopping area, featuring art at inexpensive prices.

  • 02 of 09
    Vendors at the 42nd annual event sell gourmet food to fine art at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, inside the Overture Center for the Arts. Attend the Nov. 16 preview luncheon (for $50) and be rewarded with the first opportunity to shop. Subsequent hours for this treasure hunt are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • 03 of 09
    Discover the newest tricks for preserving memories and making your mark on gift buckets to greeting cards at the Alliant Energy Center. Simply shop, observe new techniques during workshops or get creative during Create-n-Keep classes or the Make-n-Take Market. Doors open at 10 a.m. daily. Participate in a scavenger hunt for a chance to win a $400 prize basket.
  • 04 of 09

    Madison Bead Society Show and Sale: Nov. 17-18

    Jewelry makers and others who work with beads replenish materials and gain inspiration for new projects during this annual show, which coincides with the stamping and scrapbook event at Alliant Energy Center. Membership in the society, established in 1992, is open to anyone interested in beading.
    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09
    Shop for your favorite dirt diggers from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Nov. 17) or 5 p.m. (Nov. 18) at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, where garden-themed books and other gifts are for sale. Garden art, tools and live plants also are available.
  • 06 of 09
    Dozens of local artists fill First Unitarian Society's Meeting House, a Frank Lloyd Wright structure and National Historic Landmark, to sell origami cranes to photography from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Also look for an old-fashioned bake sale.
  • 07 of 09

    Local Products Expo: Nov. 25

    Forty vendors sell recycled art and other locally made gifts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum's Visitor Center. In the mix are edibles: honey, chocolates, preserved foods. Look for the silent auction; proceeds benefit arboretum work.
  • 08 of 09
    Many churches present holiday craft sales, but this one long ago was dubbed the queen of all church bazaars. Books, crafts, a cookie walk, kids' shopping area and tidy artisan products are plentiful. Just as popular as the cinnamon bread from the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters is the array of chow at the annual salad luncheon (Nov. 30). Shopping starts at 9 a.m.
    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09
    Sew what? Anything goes at this seasonal gathering of local craftspeople, who work with fabric, felt, wire, wood and much more to create jewelry, gifts for pets, tote bags, toddler outfits and a lot of attractive whimsy. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Madison Masonic Center.