Holiday shopping

Seasonal markets feature the art of giving art

by Catherine Lee
Posted 11/28/23

Nothing beats the experience of shopping for holiday gifts where you can touch and feel each object and learn about the artist who created it.

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Holiday shopping

Seasonal markets feature the art of giving art


Nothing beats the experience of shopping for holiday gifts where you can touch and feel each object and learn about the artist who created it.

Just ask Joseph Miceli, associate artistic director of Gravers Lane Gallery. The gallery is bringing that kind of experience to Chestnut Hill, displaying the works of more than 40 artisans. Luckily, holiday markets are popping up in Philadelphia, Chester and Montgomery counties, offering handmade one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list. Here’s a guide to what you’ll find in Philly and beyond:

Gravers Lane Gallery

Starting Friday, Nov. 24 and running through Saturday, Jan. 13, the gallery will host “Brilliance: Covetable Gifts of the Season,” a showcase of American Studio Craft by more than 40 artists and craftspeople from across the country, many of whom live in the Philadelphia area.

Items in the holiday gift collection, which range in price from $150 to $400, are more affordable and functional than the works typically on display at the gallery one of many places in the Philadelphia area where shoppers can find unique, handmade gifts this holiday season.

The gallery collection includes works of glass, wood, fiber, metal, jewelry and ceramics made by artists using non-traditional materials and innovative techniques. One of the featured artists is Sally Prangley, whose home-based studio in Seattle looks out on Mount Rainier. Her wire baskets blend traditional weaving techniques using an array of mixed metals along with handmade papers from Asia to achieve one-of-a-kind functional and decorative forms.

Miceli hopes the holiday gift collection will change the perception that some people may have of the gallery. “It’s not just a place for buying fine art as investment pieces. We know some folks might feel intimidated about crossing our threshold. We’re encouraging people to come inside and just browse if they’d like.”

Shopping for a craft “should be a tangible and visceral experience that’s lost when buying online,” says Miceli. “You should be able to pick up an item, hold it, and learn something about the artist, so you feel a connection to the person who made it.”

The gallery, which has a second location on Walnut Street in Midtown Village, Philadelphia, was closed in September for renovations. The wood floors of the bright and airy Chestnut Hill space have been refinished, and a seating area with comfortable chairs, an outdoor bench, new glass shelving and a new jewelry display case have been added, among other improvements.

The gallery, located at 8405 Germantown Ave., is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For extended holiday hours, call the gallery at 215-247-1603.

Artisans Market at Cherry Street Pier

On Friday, Dec. 1, you can search for wares made by local artisans at the Artist and Artisans Market at Cherry Street Pier — home to some of Philadelphia’s most intriguing artists, creatives and nonprofits. Spread out along an open-air corridor in the pier’s main thoroughfare, the market is reminiscent of a bazaar. The pier, located at 121 N. Columbus Blvd., offers beautiful views of the Ben Franklin Bridge and the Delaware River. The market runs from 4 to 9 p.m. For more information, visit

If shopping makes you hungry, you can stop for a bite to eat at The Garden at Cherry Street Pier, which serves Mexican-inspired snacks and drinks under the pier’s historic steel trusses. The Garden serves cocktails, wine, beer and non-alcoholic beverages along with casual bites like tacos, hamburguesas and nachos as well as selections for kids. For more information, visit

 Christmas Village

Through Saturday, Dec. 24, you can step into the Christmas Village in Philadelphia, one of the city’s popular holiday traditions at LOVE Park and City Hall. Modeled after a traditional Christmas market in Germany, the outdoor festival features holiday gifts, ornaments and jewelry as well as high-quality arts and crafts handmade by local and international vendors. Christmas Village is decorated with thousands of lights and infused with the smells of waffles, gingerbread, bratwurst and mulled wine. It is easily accessible on foot or by car and public transportation.

Christmas Village, which is located at 1500 Arch St., is open Sunday through Thursday noon to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 9 p.m. On Thanksgiving day, Christmas Village is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Christmas Eve, from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit Because parking in the area is tight, think about reserving a spot in advance by visiting the Christmas Village in Philadelphia SpotHero Parking Page and booking a spot with rates up to 50% off the drive-up fee.

Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market

Through Monday, Jan. 1, 2024, ring in the holiday season with local vendors from Philadelphia and the tri-state area at the 2023 Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market. 

The market is located at Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th St., on the west side of City Hall, in the shadow of the historic building. Vendors are situated around the park – home to the Rothman Orthopaedics Institute Ice Rink and the picturesque Wintergarden – transforming the area into a winter wonderland for shoppers and others in search of holiday fun. 

Feeling a bit chilly after all that holiday shopping? You can visit the Rothman Orthopaedics Cabin for snacks, cocktails, beer and hot drinks and then wrap up your visit to Dilworth Park with a stroll around the reindeer topiaries and seasonal plantings in the Wintergarden on the Greenfield Lawn. If you’re there in the evening, be sure to catch the Deck the Hall Holiday Light Show, which illuminates the west facade of City Hall through Jan. 1. 

The Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market will again feature a wide variety of local artisans, designers, crafters and jewelers offering their unique, holiday-inspired handmade goods and gifts. The market is open Sunday through Thursday from noon to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. Thanksgiving hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Christmas Eve, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

The market is closed on Christmas day. Admission to the market is free. Holiday shoppers are strongly encouraged to visit the market on weekdays to avoid the weekend crowds. For more information, visit

Christmas Market at the Mennonite Heritage Center

Over the first weekend of December, the Christmas Market at the Mennonite Heritage Center, 565 Yoder Road, Harleysville, will offer handmade holiday gifts with a Pennsylvania German flair. 

The market features crafts that hearken back to an earlier era, such as the elaborate Fraktur folk art created by the Pennsylvania Dutch between 1740 and 1860. Other crafts available at the market are needlework, wooden children’s toys and Sgraffito Redware pottery, whose design is created by applying slip or liquid clay on top of red earthenware clay. The slip, which is a different color, is then scratched away to reveal the red earthenware clay underneath. 

Hours for the Christmas Market are Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year, the Mennonite Heritage Center is partnering with four other historical institutions in the area to offer artisan-made wares, specialty foods and candlelight tours. For more information, visit and

Fiber Craft Holiday Market

On Saturday, Dec. 9, the Bok Building Gym, 821 Dudley St. in South Philadelphia opens its doors from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the first-ever Fiber Craft Holiday Market in Philadelphia. 

Hands down, the market is your one-stop shopping place for all things fiber craft. More than 66 vendors, including indie dyers and spinners, will display and sell yarn, fiber art, jewelry, textile wearables, craft kits and supplies, and more. 

Admission is free. The first 150 attendees will receive a complimentary goodie bag. For more information, visit

Holiday Craft Market at Historic Sugartown

Also scheduled for Dec. 9 is the 2023 Holiday Craft Market at Historic Sugartown, a remarkably intact and lovingly restored 19th-century village along Sugartown Road in Malvern. 

The market features the work of more than 40 local crafters and artisans. Locust Lane Craft Brewery and Chaddsford Winery will host a beer garden, where you can purchase beverages as gifts or to enjoy while you’re shopping. 

Originally known as Shugart’s Town, after tavern keeper Eli Shugart, the village served as a vital stop for weary travelers hauling wagonloads of goods to the markets of Philadelphia and other parts of the county. Today, Sugartown offers a window into American life in an early 19th-century rural crossroads village. 

The market runs from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults (18 and over), which supports the ongoing preservation of Historic Sugartown. Admission for children is free. The market will be located in the field behind Historic Sugartown’s William Garrett House, 260 Spring Road. Parking is available. Follow the signs when you arrive in the village.

Chester County Craft Guild Winter Fine Craft Fair 

On Dec. 9 and 10, take a ride out to scenic Chester County for the Chester County Craft Guild Winter Fine Craft Fair at Griffith Hall, Ludwig’s Corner Fire Company, 1325 Pottstown Pike, Glenmoore. 

The juried fair, the largest ever hosted by the guild, features the work of about 30 artisans, many of whom are master craftspersons. Their handmade pieces include jewelry, ceramics, woven Nantucket baskets, wool and silk scarves, and wooden bowls, utensils and cutting boards. Hours for the juried fair are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. For more information, visit

“We have wonderful, high-quality handmade items, beautiful things that become family heirlooms to be passed down to the next generation,” says Mary Adams, guild president and craft fair organizer.