Christmas shopping doesn’t have to be a frenzied, joyless experience. Instead of sprinting from store to store or fighting shopping centre crowds, get it all done at a merry market or two. These pop-up and special holiday edition markets are bursting with gifts that are clever, creative and often unique.
The Big Design Market
Over three days, with more than 250 stallholders under the Royal Exhibition Building’s massive roof, The Big Design Market lives up to its name. On 6-8 December, this market established in Melbourne in 2012 is back just in time for festive shopping. Find unique presents made by independent local designers, from fashion to stationery.
Arts Centre Melbourne’s Saturday Christmas Market
One of the city’s most popular markets doubles down just in time. On 30 November, 7 and 14 December, Arts Centre Melbourne’s Saturday Christmas Market brings together all the stalls that have become Sunday institutions. Their fine food and handmade arts and crafts, like silk scarves and heavenly-scented soap, will mark you as a gift-giver of distinction.
Christmas at Queen Victoria Market
From presents to party food, one of Melbourne’s most iconic shopping destinations has everything you need for the holidays – including Santa himself! He’s visiting the Queen Victoria Market on 21-22 December (plus the 18th for the Summer Night Market). Kids will also love the Christmas Trail available from 1 December.
In addition to the new regular hours, the market’s also open on the six days leading up to the big one. Sign up now for the sustainable Christmas workshops, including beeswax-wrap making on 6 December. Two days later it’s time to learn how to make the most of festive leftovers and create foodie gifts like flavoured salts.
On Wednesdays from 5pm, the Vic Market also hosts the Summer Night Market. It’s just returned for another season of international street food, cool drinks, live local entertainment, pretty party lights and curated stalls perfect for fun Christmas shopping. From Ellen Walsh’s elegant hand-painted cards and stationery and Intone Photography’s stunning Melbourne photographic prints, to several unique jewellery stalls, you’ll want presents for yourself too!
Rialto Christmas Creators Market
Forget spending your precious weekend time hauling bags around the shopping centre car park. The Rialto Christmas Creators Market is on for two massive days this December, with awesome post-work hours for busy shoppers. Find handmade treats, local designers, quirky stocking stuffers and more. The market is on from 11am – 7pm Wednesday 11 December, and 8am – 7pm Thursday 12 December.
The Victorian Christmas Gift Fair
The Pop Up Collective’s designers, makers and vendors of unique products are gathering once again, for The Victorian Christmas Gift Fair on 7-8 December. It’s all happening undercover but it’s a shopping experience very different to malls and department stores, because you’re supporting very small businesses offering ethical and hard-to-find treasures. Plus it’s a rare chance to look inside the city’s art deco Drill Hall.
Kimono House Christmas Pop-Up
Add some exotic elegance to your festive celebrations with a visit to the annual Kimono House Christmas Pop-Up. Browse exquisite fabrics and DIY kits imported from Kyoto for your Christmas craft projects, or simply snap up handmade Japanese gifts and Yuletide trims. It begins on 12 December with twilight shopping, then continues 10am-6pm until the 18th.
Nicholas Building Christmas Makers Market
Melbourne’s legendary vertical village of creative studios and boutiques is throwing open its doors on 12 December from 5 to 8pm. The Nicholas Building Christmas Makers Market promises lots of temptation from the residents, including milliners, illustrators and jewellers, plus live local entertainment and yummy food and drinks.
The Make It Collective Market
It’s back in the Melbourne Museum foyer on 14 December, so you can make a day of it with history and science followed by some choice purchases. Everything offered by The Make It Collective Market’s artists and designers is handmade, from quirky homewares to natural bath products.
Another Artist Market
For one night only on Thursday 19 December, No Vacancy Gallery presents Another Artist Market. Enjoy a drink amongst the live music, wander through the stalls from printmakers to ceramicists, jewellers and more, and escape the stress of high street Christmas shopping.
Boho Luxe Market
Some of the coolest local jewellers, fashion designers, illustrators, artists and makers come together on 1 December to solve your Christmas shopping crisis. Don’t stress about hard-to-buy-for friends, the Boho Luxe Market has a special, stylish gift for everyone. Even those who say no to animal products, because it includes a dedicated Vegan Christmas Market.
The District Makers Market
Brought to you by Fitzroy’s famous Rose Street Market, Docklands’ own arty-crafty market offers an ever-changing line-up of creative, colourful, tasty stalls. Usually monthly, The District Makers Market pops up twice during December, on the 8th and 22nd, making it easier to tick everyone off that shopping list. From jewellery and homewares to artisanal food, plus workshops, giveaways and live entertainment, delightful discoveries await.
More merry markets
Other top gift-shopping options include the German Christmas Market (28 November), River Studios Christmas Market and Exhibition (1 December) and another Vegan Christmas Market (15 December). December editions of the monthly Kensington Market and Docklands Sunday Market also promise to be extra special.