Christmas shopping doesn’t have to be a frenzied, joyless experience. Instead of sprinting from shop to shop 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.
Square up to that Christmas shopping
The biannual Markit is back just in time for Yuletide, for one day only at Federation Square on Sunday 17 December. From jewellers to ceramicists, the 89 stall holders have been selected for their originality, focus on quality, and commitment to sustainability. The icing on this market’s cake are tasty stalls by the likes of All Day Donuts and St Ali coffee.
For Fed Square regulars, a December outing could be your last-minute Christmas shopping saviour. Under the motto ‘Melbourne made, indie design, ethical production’, The Thread Den Market gathers 60+ innovative designers, artists and makers. Clothing and accessories are the focus, so you’re bound to find something special for the fashionista in your life. It runs 5pm to 10pm on Friday 22 December.
Looking for bespoke or handmade gifts this Christmas? Boho Luxe Market at Federation Square has a curated selection of bohemian style clothing, jewellery, candles, artwork, children’s wear, men’s grooming products and much more! Once you have crossed everyone off your Christmas list, unwind with fresh juice or delicious vegan baked treats and enjoy the live music at Federation Square. Free entry from 10pm to 5pm on Sunday 10 December.
Christmas shopping by design
With more than 230 stallholders under one roof at the Royal Exhibition Building from Friday 1 to Sunday 3 December, The Big Design Market lives up to its name. Local designers are to the fore, but there’s new talent from as far away as the Kimberley, China and Japan. From homewares to stationery and innovative technology, there’s something for everyone, plus refreshments (including a cocktail bar!) and an outback-themed kids zone.
Blender Artist Market is back, at its new home in The District at Docklands, Friday nights from 17 November. This weekly art and design market promises creative gift ideas galore, plus live music, open artists studios, food trucks and a licensed bar.
Christmas shopping classics
Christmas Glistens at Queen Victoria Market. From gifts to party food, one of Melbourne’s most iconic shopping destinations has everything you need for the holidays – including Santa himself! In addition to the usual market hours, the market is open on the six days leading up to Christmas. There’s also The Night Market which starts its summer season Wednesdays from 15 November. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, it features more than 60 global street food stalls and festival bars and more than 130 artisan fashion, homewares and general merchandise traders.
Another Melbourne icon, the Town Hall, hosts a German Christkindlmarkt on Thursday 30 November. For one day only, discover traditional handcrafted Christmas decorations and food, including stollen and lebkuchen. SBS provides music to get you feeling festive, German-style.
Southside Christmas shopping
One of Melbourne’s most popular markets doubles down just in time. The Arts Centre Melbourne Saturday Christmas Market brings together all the stalls that have become Sunday institutions on the CBD’s southern edge. Their handmade arts, crafts and tasty treats will mark you as a gift-giver of distinction. It runs Saturdays 10am to 4pm from 18 November until 2 December.
Metres away, A Night at the Nicholas: Summer Edition promises lots more gift ideas with a difference on Thursday 7 December. From the arcade to the ninth floor, the Nicholas Building’s mysterious warren of studios and boutiques will throw open their doors. Get ready for a pop-up shopping adventure!
More Christmas shopping ideas
Other top options for finding that one-of-a-kind gift include the creative Guild Christmas Market, running from Saturday 25 November until Sunday 24 December, and the Collins Place Design Market on Friday 15 December. December editions of Kensington Market and Docklands Sunday Market promise to be very merry, as will the Kimono House Japanese Festive Market. The latter begins with a twilight shopping event on 1 December, and continues 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday until Friday 22 December.