One of our favorite ways to support the local community each holiday season is to visit the Christmas Markets in DC to load up on local art and edibles. There are just so many in the DC area, how do you even begin to know where to start? From DC shops downtown to Norwegian and Swedish themed markets, you really can’t go wrong.
We are rounding up our favorite Christmas Market DC experiences in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia, but always be on the lookout for new ones. The pop-up market (and bar) is quite popular in the Nation’s capitol. They like to keep us on our toes around here and create magical winter wonderlands whenever possible.
Downtown Holiday Market
Location: F St NW &, 8th St NW, Washington, DC 20004
More info: downtownholidaymarket.com
Located in Penn Quarter between 7th and 9th streets, right in front of the National Portrait Gallery, D.C.’s Downtown Holiday Market is a bustling and festive shopping forum open from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve. Hours are noon to 8p.m. daily, so don’t stress about coming on a particular day.
Browse for clothing, art, accessories, jewelry, pottery, and artisanal products as you enjoy performances ranging from jazz groups to classical duos and even Spanish rock. This market is outdoors, so make sure to bundle up. Enjoy Christmas carols while you grab a hot mulled cider or some German gingerbread and you find that perfect holiday gift.
The marketplace has been running for the past fifteen years, and is a great way to celebrate the holiday spirit in D.C. Do be aware that vendors change out throughout the season. If you don’t find what you are looking for on your first trip, pop back down. There may be someone new that has just want you need.
Unique Markets at Union Market
Location: 1309 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002
More info: unionmarketdc.com
“Part pop-up, part incubator, all fun” is the slogan of this pop-up marketplace that appears seasonally in locations such as Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and yes—Washington, D.C.! Unique Markets is geared towards helping local artists and small business owners thrive. Around Christmastime, it’s a great way to get your holiday shopping done and support local DC, Maryland and Virginia brands.
The D.C. pop-up happens the first weekend of December, at Union Market’s spacious second-floor event venue. The entrance is at the corner of 6th Street (not 5th!) at Union Market.
The lineup includes seventy-five local vendors. In the past, we’ve seen accessories by CommonRaven, Sarep + Rose and Tea Thoughts, art prints and photography by Paper Liberated and Teluna, and baby/kids items by Scout & Indiana and Yinibini Baby.
If you’re shopping for beauty products, check out vendors like Best Life Organics and The Wellness Apothecary. Need clothing or household items? You’ll find products by sellers such as Line + Tow, MADE, and Souk & Soul.
Whatever purchases you make, a free tote bag is included to help you carry them home!
Van Ness Holiday Pop Up Shop
Location: Van Ness Main Street, 4340 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20009
More info: facebook.com/VanNessMainSt
Just a short walk from the UDC/Van Ness metro exit, you will be transported to one of our favorite pop up DC Christmas markets in the city. For one weekend, normally the second in December, you can SIP & SHOP with 18 local artisans, enjoy a bit of caroling, make Christmas cards and do a few crafts with the kids. Best of all, many of your favorite local makers might be there, including Bicycle Trash, Karen Jabo Jewelry, Common Raven and the Nimble Barber.
GRUMP Holiday Market at National Zoo
Location: 3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
More info: nationalzoo.si.edu
If you love ZooLights and supporting conservation efforts, you don’t want to miss this alternative arts-and-crafts event at the National Zoo. GRUMP takes place evenings during the first weekend in December. Enter through the Zoo’s main Connecticut Avenue entrance to experience this European-style marketplace that is part of the annual ZooLights event.
It’s definitely not your typical Christmas market—here you can find gifts you won’t see anywhere else that are perfect for that hard-to-shop-for someone with an alternative style. Shop for jewelry, prints, toys, pillows and clothing from vendors such as Lil’ Fishy, I Wear Blue Tights, and The Crafty Fox.
Shop Made in DC
- Shop Made in DC DUPONT: 1710 Connecticut Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20009
- Shop Made in DC GEORGETOWN: 1242 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
- Shop Made in DC WHARF: 10 District Square SW, Washington, DC 20024
More info: shopmadeindc.com
Shop Made in DC runs throughout the year, but the holidays are a great time to put your money back into the community and browse through 200 local vendors. All products are designed, crafted, roasted, stitched, baked, welded, brewed and built by amazing artists and artisans living and working in D.C. Shop online or at the three Shop Made in DC locations.
To say we are currently swooning over the DC sweatshirts, handmade earrings and leather bags at the Georgetown location is an understatement.
Dupont Circle Christkindlmarkt
Location: 1307 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
More info: heurichchristmas.org
This German-style Christmas market is Dupont Circle’s only holiday market, and the perfect place to find local jewelry, baked goods, housewares, and ceramics, among other treasures. The Christkindlmarkt is run by the Heurich House Museum, a mansion-turned-museum that was built in the late 1800s by German brewer Christian Heurich.
The mansion is worth touring for its own sake, and the Christkindlmarkt offers the perfect occasion to get your holiday shopping done and also wander through the festively-decorated house. Take a break from browsing for Yuletide gifts to explore the home’s impressive technological advancements, such as metal speaking tubes, electric lighting, and even burglar alarms.
For more information and to purchase advance ticketing (or tickets to the VIP preview which includes craft cocktails and a raffle), click HERE.
Upshur Street Craft Fair
Location: 800 Upshur St NW, Washington, DC 20011
More info: upshurcraftfair.com
Check out this holiday craft fair the second Sunday in December on the 800 block of Upshur Street NW. The more-than-fifty local vendors make everything themselves. Ask questions about their process, take home one or five of each item. Shopping local was never easier.
If you need a break from shopping, participate in the gingerbread house contest or duck into the pop-up holiday lounge! There are also children’s crafts to amuse your little ones.
Maryland Christmas Show
Location: 797 E Patrick St, Frederick, MD 21701
More info: marylandchristmasshow.com
The Frederick County Fairgrounds hosts this annual holiday fair that happens the last two weekends in November. Hundreds of vendors set up across seven buildings and a large tent. Pick up a special piece of fine art, pottery or furniture, or even some garlands and wreaths to get a head start on your December decorating.
Make sure to dress warmly and wear good walking shoes so you can easily traverse the entire area of the market. Be advised that there are small admission and parking fees and that no pets are allowed (except service animals).
Alexandria’s Holiday Market
Location: 300 John Carlyle St, Alexandria, VA 22314
More info: visitalexandriava.com
This bright and cheery market is just a short drive away from Washington, D.C. Located in Alexandria, VA, this annual market runs the first week of December at John Carlyle Square. Kids will love a visit with Santa and Mrs. Clause as you browse through holiday goodies. Admission is free.
Winterfest at Wunder Garten
Location: 1101 First St NE, Washington, DC 20002
More info: winterfestwg.com
This pop-up market takes place at the Wunder Garten bier garten during afternoons the last three weeks of December. All 13,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor space is packed with holiday decorations. Enjoy a spiked cider in the main pavilion or explore the “Polar Tunnel” interactive art installation. Stop by Little Stable, the new pop-up restaurant for some traditional cheese fondue. Winterfest even has its own Christmas tree lot where you can pick out your tree and feel good about your purchase—proceeds benefit Pathways to Housing D.C.
In addition to your holiday shopping, enjoy special events such as “Night of 1,000 Santas,” Santa-Paws Helpers and Costume Contest, and an ‘80s dance party.
Janney Winter Market at Tenley WinterFest
Location: 4130 Albemarle St NW, Washington, DC 20016
More info: tenleywinterfest.org/winter-market
This yeti-themed holiday fair began ten years ago as a student craft market. Since then, it has grown to more than 30 businesses and community partners, and has nearly 100 vendors of all ages. Pick up some handmade art, crafts, jewelry and sweet treats made by kids and adults alike.
Add some local artisan teas and honey to your stocking stuffers, or support marginalized youth by taking home a book by Shout Mouse Press. Look out for the adorable Tenley Yeti, who makes an appearance at the holiday festival!
The market takes place at Janney Elementary School (4130 Albemarle St.) from noon to 4pm the first Saturday of December.
Norwegian Holiday Festival and Bazaar
Location: 3810 Meredith Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030
More info: norwaydc.org/events/bazaar
Check out this fun Norwegian Bazaar the first Friday in December, featuring live music, imported food, jewelry and baked goods. Pick out a Nordic sweater or two, or perhaps a Scandinavian Christmas heart chain for your mantel? The festival is held in Fairfax, VA, at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church. Admission is free!
SWEA D.C.’s Swedish Holiday Market
Location: House of Sweden, 2900 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
More info: washingtondc.swea.org/bazaar
Why stop at one Scandinavian Christmas Market when you can go to two? The Swedish Women’s Educational Association hosts this day-long market and celebration the first Saturday of December at the House of Sweden in D.C.
This event is worth attending for the views alone—enjoy panoramic vistas of the Kennedy Center, the Potomac River, Air Force Memorial and the Watergate Complex from this stunning event venue that is home to the Swedish Embassy.
Shop for Nordic gifts and art from 10am until 4:30pm, and stick around for the mesmerizing Swedish candlelit Lucia procession at 5pm outside. Kids can visit Santa and stop by the face painting booth, and adults can participate in the annual silent auction.
The holiday fair features all sorts of Swedish culinary delights, including glögg, Swedish fika (coffee, gingersnaps, and mini cinnamon rolls), and Swedish sandwiches (“smorgas”) with herring, salmon, and meatballs. One fika and one cup of glögg is included with each holiday market ticket.
Be sure to reserve tickets early—they go on sale right after Halloween! Online is best as there is a small surcharge at the door. Children under 10 can attend free (but you still need to register them for free tickets), and adults need to purchase tickets for a small fee and present them for admission.
This event promises to be fun for the whole family, but be advised that no strollers are allowed in the building.