The pandemic threw a wrench in many people’s holiday shopping. What used to be trips to stores and markets with the family to find the perfect gift turned into Amazon wish lists and online gift cards. This year, Kansas City is back, with holiday markets full of some of the best local artisan and crafters around bringing you unique and personal gifts for the people you love. We’ve cultivated a list for you so you can find the best of what’s local this holiday season.
Holiday Swing at Merry Market
Strawberry Swing is one of the biggest and best organizers of local arts and crafts events, and this year’s Holiday Swing at City Market features almost a hundred local makers. Plus, there will be food, entertainers and holiday lights. On your way, you can catch KC Streetcar’s Holiday Jam live music series and hop off at any of the City Market shops or meet the Kansas City Museum’s Fairy Princess.
“Shopping local and handmade is so important,” says Katie Mabry van Dieren, owner of Strawberry Swing. “Our artists are highly curated, and you’re sure to find something for everyone, including kiddos, pets and significant others.”
Weekends at City Market in KCMO, Friday, November 26 to Sunday, December 19. Fridays 4–8 pm, Saturdays 9 am–8 pm and Sundays 9 am–4 pm.
Christkindlmarkt at The Campground
The Campground in the Stockyard District is holding its second annual Christkindlmarkt, modeled on the uber-successful Chicago version. It’ll be similar to the first round of Christkindlmarkt, with hot drinks, street food, festive music and vendors. But this year, the event will feature The Campground’s latest project, their patio renovation, which they’re intending to look like an urban forest. “We rezoned our front parking lot as an official patio extension, which will be outfitted with landscaping reminiscent of a campsite a la Wes Anderson,” owner Christopher Ciesiel says.
The Campground, Thursday, December 9–Sunday, December 12 and Thursday, December 16–Sunday, December 19, 5–9 pm.
Madison Place Elementary Holiday Market
The Madison Place Elementary Holiday Market, hosted by the Olathe elementary’s PTO, aims to unite families and support local businesses. The market will feature local vendors, an auction, raffle and concessions.
“We have quite a few parents with small businesses participating and lots of local vendors offering everything from clothing to holiday items to gifts, and we’ll have hot cocoa and photo ops throughout the school during the event as well,” says PTO president Katy Porterfield. “What better way to show some holiday spirit than to support the people you and your kids interact with every day.”
Madison Place Elementary in Olathe, Saturday, December 4, 9 am–1 pm.
’Tis the Season Art & Craft Show
Hosted by Images by Davenport, this show in Lee’s Summit includes more than one hundred vendors selling art, quilts, ceramics, candles, home decor, jewelry, food and more. Santa and Mrs. Claus will make an appearance on Saturday, and customers can help spread holiday cheer through donations to the Ronald McDonald House of Kansas City.
“We are excited to give local artists and crafters the opportunity to share their passion and creations with others—especially after all five of our shows were canceled in 2020,” says Wanda Davenport of Images by Davenport.
The Pavilion at John Knox Village in Lee’s Summit, Friday, December 3, 11 am–7 pm and Saturday, December 4, 10 am–4 pm
Heritage Holiday Mart 2021
The Heritage Holiday Mart in Liberty will feature over one hundred booths with local artisans and crafters selling everything from decor, apparel and home goods to pet and baby gifts and food.
New this year is a limited-access, by-ticket-only shopping event on Friday, December 10 in addition to the free, public shopping event on Saturday. Heritage Middle School in Liberty, Friday, December 11, 9 am–4 pm. Open to the public.