Holiday Markets Are Back! Here Are 7 to Check Out This Season

Score inspired handmade finds in the merriest of settings. From the well-loved Hover Craft to the new winter wonderland, Noel, these holiday markets make gift-hunting fun – often while supporting local makers.

1. Noel Market and Light Park

DEC. 1-JAN. 2 | STATE FAIR PARK EXPO CENTER (8200 W. GREENFIELD AVE., WEST ALLIS)

This new family- friendly event is part market, part illuminated winter wonderland, with over 1 million sparkling lights and lighted sculptures.

SHOPPING TIP: Wiki Woolz’ upcycled gloves and hats “use every part of old wool sweaters to create unique pieces, perfect for winter,” says Lori Domzil, the maker behind the brand.

2. Old World Christmas Market

DEC. 3-12 | OSTHOFF RESORT (101 OSTHOFF AVE., ELKHART LAKE)

The 23rd annual event emulates a traditional German Christkindlesmarkt. Under a large outdoor, heated tent, you’ll find everything from Russian nesting dolls and hand-carved German nutcrackers to Turkish pashmina and Polish pottery.

SHOPPING TIP: Be sure to look for the Czech blown-glass ornaments that Milwaukee couple Nadia and Vashek Cinadr have been offering here for 23 years.

3. Winter Wonderland Vendor & Craft Show

DEC. 4 | FOUR POINTS SHERATON MILWAUKEE AIRPORT HOTEL (5311 S. HOWELL AVE.)

Stop here to find a variety of both handmade and non-handmade gifts. The first 30 shoppers will receive a swag bag, and additional door prizes for shoppers will be available throughout the day.

SHOPPING TIP: Fond du Lac-based Liz Cardimona of Blooming Flatware takes plastic flatware and creates art, decor, jewelry, lawn ornaments and more. “My youngest daughter gave me the idea when she saw a rose made from plastic spoons, and it just took off from there,” she says.

4. Hover Craft

DEC. 5 | PRITZLAFF BUILDING (325 N. PLANKINTON AVE.)

This handmade holiday showcase, celebrating its 12th year, will fill its sprawling Pritzlaff Building space with housewares, apparel, desserts, art and more.

SHOPPING TIP: Becca Kacanda, the owner of Rotto Grotto, will be selling glass bottles covered in mortar and embedded with colorful, decorative objects like rocks, shells and pieces of tile. “They’re decorative, functional and amped up!” she says.

5. Merry & Bright Market

DEC. 12 | ANODYNE COFFEE ROASTING (224 W. BRUCE ST.)

Anodyne Coffee Roasting is hosting its first holiday market. Along with other local vendors, the roaster will have seasonal coffee blends available for purchase. Be sure to seek out Matilda Bakehouse and its signature holiday cookie boxes, hot cocoa bombs or Christmas DIY cookie kits.

SHOPPING TIP: Stop by Vincentia, a woman-owned business creating one-of-a-kind, gender-neutral apparel, each with a QR code that links to the story behind the item.

6. Kujichagulia Holiday Market

DEC. 19 | SHERMAN PHOENIX (3536 W. FOND DU LAC AVE.)

Kujichagulia (koo-jee-chah-GOO-lee-ah) is a Swahili word that means self-determination – very fitting for the name of a cooperative of producers that share a retail space at the Sherman Phoenix. The market features a mix of makers from the store and other local vendors. Hard-to-find Kwanzaa cards and decor will also be available.

SHOPPING TIP: Ruth Fluker, owner of Indigo Thyme, is rolling out a special soap called Champions in honor of the Milwaukee Bucks.

7. Milwaukee Maker’s Market

DEC. 19 | DISCOVERY WORLD (500 N. HARBOR DR.)

These markets evolved from a small outdoor event held six years ago in Bay View, and they’re all about supporting local talent who create everything from comfy flannel shirts to prints of iconic MKE places.

SHOPPING TIP: Jamie Andrzejewski, the founder of Nourish Natural Products, will launch a new room spray called Hoan Sweet Hoan, a nod to our iconic yellow arched bridge.


 

This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s December issue.

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Jenna Kashou is a writer, storyteller and journalist specializing in lifestyle and culture feature writing for print and web. She is a frequent contributor to Milwaukee Magazine, MKE Lifestyle Magazine, The Business Journal and more. She was chosen as the fifth writer in residence at the historic Pfister Hotel where she wrote about and photographed guests and events. A Milwaukee native, Kashou has lived abroad and visited far-flung locales like Greece, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, and Argentina. She has always had an enormous sense of pride for her hometown and spreads this Milwaukee love everywhere she goes.