Reason 16,235 to love Portland? Art festivals and sales are as much a holiday tradition here as the outrageously lit up homes on Peacock Lane. (Reason 16,236.) Whether you’re in the market for one-of-a-kind stuffed animals, hand carved block printed notecards, or locally-made, small-batch chocolate truffles, we’re betting you can knock out the majority of your Christmas shopping by visiting the destinations below. And these events are all family-friendly so you might just start a new holiday tradition: shopping that’s actually fun.
Dec. 6-8: Camp Cactus Holiday Sale
What you’ll find: Fairy couture (think teeny-tiny gowns and boots painstakingly crafted from the likes of rose petals and gingko leaves), ceramics, hand-crafted jewelry, ornaments, photos, accessories, kid stuff and more.
What’s in it for kids: Because the sale is held in artist Jane Russell’s home studio, your excursion will be blissfully free of traffic, parking woes, or overwhelming crowds.
NE Brazee between 44th and 45th Avenue
6 pm – 9 pm (Friday), 10 am to 6pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Dec. 7: Holiday Market
What you’ll find: French linens, bamboo clothing, soy candles, bonsai, pastries, wines and gourmet cheeses. as well as jewelry, ceramics and crafts. Choral groups will play throughout the day and baguettes can be had at the café.
What’s in it for kids: One word: crepes.
French American International School at 8500 NW Johnson St.
9 am – 4 pm
Dec. 7-8: Keep da Vinci Weird Arts Fair
What you’ll find: More than 70 juried artists selling sculptures, paintings, pottery, jewelry, ceramics, and clocks. Da Vinci student artwork will also be for sale.
What’s in it for kids: The opportunity to check out some amazing artwork done by other kids. (Plus small-batch edibles in this year’s new “food court.”)
Da Vinci Arts Middle School, 2508 NE Everett
10 am to 5 pm (Saturday) and 10 am to 4 pm (Sunday)
Dec. 8: Laurelhurst School Winter Artisan Bazaar
What you’ll find: Origami crane ornaments, handmade clothes for American Girl dolls, small-batch hot sauces, crocheted hats and scarflettes, and DIY kits for making your own queso del blanco.
What’s in it for kids: Kid-friendly activities will be offered throughout the day. Depending on when you go, your offspring will be able to stencil a t-shirt (bring your own), learn the basics of making wire and bead jewelry, and use decorative tape to create their own holiday ornament.
Laurelhurst Elementary, 840 NE 41st Ave
9 am to 4 pm
Dec. 14: 4th Annual Seasons Eating Benefit for Oregon Food Bank
What you’ll find: An impressive display of local food and drink artisans. And as all Portlanders know, food and drink are absolutely an art form! Shop for Pok Pok drinking vinegars, Water Avenue coffee, and Alma chocolate.
What’s in it for kids: A great lesson about helping others: Admission is one non-perishable food item per person (other donations are gladly accepted) so this event is an opportunity to give hundreds of pounds of food to families who need it. That said, since alcohol will be served to those of age, kiddos are expected to be supervised.
New Deal Distillery, 900 SE Salmon St.
Noon to 6 p.m.
Dec. 14-15: Crafty Wonderland’s Super Colossal Holiday Sale
What you’ll find: Over 250 vendors, selling things like kids aprons, wooden toys, crocheted pet cacti, raw honey tonics, organic kids’ socks (and sock monkeys), and handmade bags.
What’s in it for kids: Each day, the first 150 shoppers will get a goodie bag. (Arguably, every kid’s two favorite words.) Plus, free craft activities will be offered by Collage, one of Stumptown’s most addictive arts and craft supply stores.
Oregon Convention Center, Exhibit Hall C, 777 NE MLK Blvd
11 am to 6 pm
Do you make it a point to attend a kid-friendly craft and art sale? Tell us which one in the comments section below!
Photo credits: Mark Bouschert/FAIS; Camp Cactus/Jane Russell/Siri Schillios/Da Vinci Arts Middle School; Crafty Wonderland/Heidi Hoffman Photography