The holidays are fast approaching, and you haven’t started shopping yet? You’ve definitely come to the right place, as this is a judgement-free zone, and a helpful one at that. Below you’ll find five of the best holiday markets in Pittsburgh, sporting custom, locally crafted items for you and yours, and tons of great gift ideas for even the most particular recipient on your list.
Peoples Gas Holiday Market
24 Market Sq.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Date: Now through Dec. 23, 2014
A unique holiday shopping village brings to Pittsburgh the old world charm of international markets. Stroll through dazzling Market Square, and visit Alpine-style wooden chalets that are positively brimming with holiday gifts that are appropriate for every cultural background. Vendors this year offer an eclectic mix of ethnic food items, including Yule Haus, offering a delicious menu of haluski, bratwurst, sweet crepes and strudels. Stop by Women of the Cloud Forest, which offers holiday products from fair-trade artisans in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and Cha Ching Coin Jewelry, which features jewelry handmade from tokens. Additionally, 20 other delightful permanent and visiting vendors will also be present and showcasing their handmade wares.
I Made It! Market
623 Smithfield Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Date: Throughout Dec. 2014
Catch this one-of-a-kind market in three different locations this season to gather all of your favorite local artisans’ wares. Imminently, 40 local artisans will be traveling to the Boyd Community Center, featuring all manners of crafts, glass, furniture, clothing, soaps, jewelry, pottery, good things to eat and much more. Find something unique for just about everyone on your shopping list or something special just for you – either way, you’re guaranteed to walk away with a gorgeous, locally-crafted item that supports local business and keeps your dollar directly in the community. In addition, activities abound at this festive event, such as the Make and Give Back Workshop.
Holiday Giving Gift and Craft Expo
8000 McKnight Rd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
Date: Through Dec. 2014
At the Shoppes at Northway Mall, keep your dollar local and shop Miller Promotions annual holiday market. This event is a fabulous opportunity to stock up on that much-needed holiday shopping, and you can do it all without elbowing through droves of other shoppers. You can expect to see unique gift items and handmade crafts lovingly created by artists all throughout the tri-state area. This year’s lot currently include candles, handmade jewelry, wreaths, delectable candies, embroidered gifts and perfumes. Best of all, this event is free to attend, and also includes hassle-and fee-free parking.
Spotlight 88 Flea Market
802 Mercer Road
Beaver Falls, PA 15010
Date: Saturdays and Sundays
Twenty-one acres of lush landscape house a gargantuan and eclectic mix of vendors and items in Beaver Falls’ Spotlight 88 flea market. This open-air shopping extravaganza is one of the largest in Western PA, which means there are plenty of antiques, tools, crafts, housewares and produce to peruse. Spotlight 88 has gotten into the holiday spirit, and while the flea market does close after Christmas, there are plenty prepared to bring their “A” holiday game with fresh-cut trees, gifts and food galore.
Pittsburgh Public Market
2401 Penn Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Date: Every day now through Dec. 23, 2014
Shop local on your way home from your work day. Everything from fresh produce, pasta and cheese to beer, wine, dessert, clothing and everything in between is available for purchase at this fine establishment. With new holiday hours, the Pittsburgh Public Market should be the first stop on your shopping journey. Why buy high-priced retail garbage when you can support local business and buy responsibly? Consider handmade foods instead of electronics, local wines as opposed to gift cards, and locally crafted textiles over ugly sweaters. Check the website for holiday hours, as they are open seven days a week until December 23.
Nikki Tiani-Moroney is a full time mum of two boys, wife of a professional poker player/photographer/amateur pencil-sharpening competitor and writer from Pittsburgh, PA. When she isn’t studiously neglecting her housework in favor of a good book, she’s out simultaneously fighting crime and picking up sidewalk litter while savoring an occasional cigarette. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.