Shop Local Holiday Markets
One of my favourite things to do when gearing up for Christmas is to attend local craft fairs and markets. Shopping local is so important, especially at a time when our economy hasn’t been thriving the last couple years.
Lots of studies tell us that when we buy from an independent, locally-owned business versus a large retailer or box store, more of our money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers, and farms which in turn continue to strengthen the economic base of our community.
Some benefits to shopping local are:
- Creates more jobs
- Puts our taxes to good use
- No hidden agenda, buy what you’re actually interested in
- Support local groups
- Keep our community unique
- Reduce environmental impact
- Better service
- Encourage passion and local prosperity
There are so many talented individuals and businesses in Alberta, and throughout our country. And now, more than ever, it’s important to come together and shop locally for the holidays and support these creative people so that we can give back to our community.
Favourite Christmas Markets
I’ve compiled a list below of popular fairs and markets to attend in Calgary between now and Christmas. Calgary also offers smaller shows in popular neighbourhoods like Lake Bonavista, Mahogany, Ranchlands, Marda Loop, Auburn Bay, Harvest Hills, Scenic Acres, New Brighton, etc.
Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market
18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW, Calgary, AB
Friday, November 18th – Sunday, December 4th (Fridays – Sundays)
Friday – 9am-8:30pm
Saturday – 9am-7:30pm
Sunday – 9am – 5:30pm
General Admission – $10 (online), $12 (at the door)
Kids – <12 are free
Seniors – 65+ are free
The Spruce Meadows Christmas Market is by far one of my favourites. Its’a must-see every year. I love the layout of the grounds and how you can go from indoors to outdoors with ease. It just feels like Christmas with the barns, stables, and all the animals. There’s the Spruce Meadows Marketplace, Equi-Plex, and Horizons Pavilion featuring over 200 hundred vendors. They sell everything from world-imported items to hand-crafted gifts. They have ice sculptures, fire pits, food vendors, and holiday entertainment. I even love attending just to hear the children singing in the choir. The pony rides and petting zoo is also fun for kids. The whole event really puts you in the holiday spirit and it’s a fun family outing on the weekend.
Advance Ticket Purchase: Visit here to get $2 off your ticket.
Little Modern Market (Holiday Edition)
Rally Point (1151-35th St. SE, Calgary, AB)
Saturday, November 26th, 10am-6pm
General Admission – $5 (cash at the door only)
Kids – <14 are free
A smaller, trendy and modern one-day event that takes place 3 times a year (spring, fall, and Christmas). Lots of clothing, fashionable baby attire, modern prints and home decor. You’re bound to find great gifts and won’t have any problem shopping for yourself. The Little Modern Market Team is always finding the best talent in the community to showcase. It’s a fave for sure! Grab your girlfriends, sisters, or mum and go! I wish I could attend this season, but I’ll be in Toronto with my family celebrating the holidays early.
Calgary Christmas Market
Calgary Farmers Market (510-77th Ave SE)
Friday, November 18th – Sunday, December 11th (Thursday to Sunday), 9am-5pm
Admission – Free
This is one of Calgary’s newer markets which I’ve never attended but look forward to trying out this year. It’s all your favourite Calgary Farmers’ Market vendors with special holiday vendors offering locally made jewelry, decor, food, and more. This will be a good one to pick up some delicious food if you’re hosting a holiday party.
Christmas Gift Market
Symons Valley Ranch (14555 Symons Valley Road NW)
Friday, November 25th – 10am-5pm
Saturday, November 26th – 10am-5pm
Sunday, November 27th – 10am-3pm
Admission – $5
Over 50+ gift vendors; everything from handmade products to Christmas themed items, clothing, and art. Santa will be visiting each day from 12pm to 2pm along with live music. There is also a colouring station for the kids! Make it a fun little outing…
Chinese Cultural Centre (197 1st St. SW, Calgary, AB)
Friday, November 25th – Sunday, December 18th (Fridays – Sundays)
Friday – 4pm-9pm
Saturday & Sunday – 10am-6pm
General Admission – $5
Kids – Free
Market Collective is an independent market that exists to promote culture and hundreds of local artists, designers, and musicians. It’s all about empowering our community towards positive growth and development. A must-see for sure!
Christmas Market @ Azuridge Estate Hotel
178057 272 St. W, Priddis, AB
Sunday, December 11th – 11am-5pm
Part of the ’12 Dates of Winter’
There are lots of markets outside of the Calgary area as well. Places like Airdrie, Banff, Canmore, Millarville, and Priddis. If you haven’t had a chance to visit the Azuridge Estate Hotel then this is the perfect excuse. This year they’re hosting a Christmas Market as part of their ’12 Dates of Winter’ program. It is the most beautiful boutique hotel nestled in the woods of the Rocky Mountain Foothills. You don’t want to miss it. Here’s a quick glimpse at how gorgeous this place is but my pics don’t do it justice.
Again – these are just some of my favourite holiday markets. There are so many good ones to get to that it makes it challenging to attend all of them every year because the usually fall on the same weekends.
Happy Holiday Shopping!