The holidays are upon us, marking a season of spending sprees—for our loved ones, of course.
Sure, you could buy online and risk losing your bounty to porch pirates.
Or, you could trade a little convenience for the adventure of exploring what local businesses have to offer with our guide to holiday pop-up shops around the Bay Area.
Small Business Saturday
Santa Claus will be in the Bayview this weekend to join about a dozen vendors selling artisan wares at Gratta Wines. The market will feature all sorts of handmade items, including jewelry, wine bottles, pastries and pasta sauces. You better not leave before snapping a photo with Santa.
At its inaugural holiday market, SoMa wine shop Decant SF will keep your glass full while you peruse locally made goods from eight vendors.
This market pops up just twice a year and features a carefully curated collection of modern home goods like glassware, linens and cutlery with classic French flair.
Are you a MUNI fan? If so, you’re in luck because the folks behind the Muni Diaries podcast will host their own holiday market selling art and trinkets crafted by 10 artists who welcomed the challenge of making transit-themed gifts.
Bayview Makers Mashup
📍1750 Armstrong Ave. SF
🕑 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Join Public Glass for their annual Bayview Makers Mashup Market, which will feature dozens of local makers in an interactive and dynamic local marketplace that is the ultimate example of shopping local! Live glassblowing demonstrations, pop-ups from your favorite local cafes, wine, beer, and spirit samples, and a diverse range of vendors selling everything from hats to soap makers and more!
How about shopping for a good cause? More than 85 local makers will join live musical acts and food trucks at the seventh installment of the Sunset Holiday Mercantile, which raises money for Sunset Youth Services. The fair is family friendly, but gives adults a beer and wine garden to look forward to each year.
Swing by the Portola District for FrameArt Studio’s grand opening of a framing shop and community art space. A dozen makers will join artists from San Francisco in the celebration that will showcase work from Farnaz Ceramics, prints from artist Brandi Ynocencio and vegan and keto cakes from Cathy’s Cake Salon. The holiday market will run from 2 to 7 p.m. on Dec 3 and noon to 6 p.m. on Dec. 4.
Discover holiday gifts created by local artists, artisans, and Crucible faculty. GIFTY has something for everyone on your list, from one-of-a-kind sculpture to functional pottery to locally made soaps and more. Enjoy family-friendly activities in between shopping. Then go to the bar for some drinks and snacks. All visitors ages 12 and up who enter the building will be required to show proof of vaccination.
Over 70 artists will take over Building 101 at the Hunters Point Shipyard for the annual holiday show. There will also be free parking!
5th Annual Black Sunday Holiday Expo
The Noire Wealth Xperience
📍255 2nd St, Oakland
🕑 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
The Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce is bringing back Black Sunday for the fifth time with an open-air holiday fair with Akoma Market. The event brings Black food and art to the outdoors and includes live music with special guest performers.
There should be something for everyone at this semi-annual pop-up. Some 30 local makers will set up shop at City Hall to sell handiwork such as jewelry, clothing, paintings and edible offerings like sweets and baked goods.
Stop by Clement Street in the Richmond District for the 12th Annual Clement Street Holiday Stroll! The event features over 20 shops and eateries, which will host special pop-ups, raffles, refreshments, crafts, music and more.
This is more than a marketplace. In the Black forges a path to prosperity in the Black community. To that end, the shop picked Black Friday to mark its grand opening in a celebration that will bring 20 Black-owned businesses under one roof. Shoppers will have plenty of gifts to choose from, including clothing, accessories and home goods made by sought-after vendors.
Support BIPOC women-owned small businesses while enjoying bites and drinks at La Cocina’s Municipal Marketplace, whose chefs will whip eats that complement drinks from La Paloma Bar and Fluid Cooperative Cafe. It’s a service that lets you booze while you peruse assortments of crafts. Parents with young ones in tow can rest assured that there will be activities and entertainment, including drag performances, face painting, a photo booth and raffle.
Halo-Halo Holidays: A Festive Outdoor Filipino Holiday Crawl will be hosted by the SoMA Pilipinas Cultural District. The market should be brimming with local Filipino-owned vendors. It also features a workshop to make holiday wreaths and pictures with Santa as well as plenty of chances to shop for gifts.
Crafters from all over the Bay Area will gather at the African American Art & Cultural Complex in the Fillmore District for the annual Wakanda Winter Wonderland. Together, families will make art, exchange gifts, and enjoy musical performances.
Crack open a beer and shop away at Zeitgeist, the Mission’s favorite beer garden and host to an event with a dozen or so local artists selling what would make for some very unique gifts. Live music will make for a festive backdrop and a bake sale to satisfy holiday sweet tooths.
Go to the Bayview Opera House for Winter Wonderland 2022 at the Ruth Williams Memorial Theatre, which will include a Bayview Bazaar made up of neighborhood retail vendors and food vendors from En2action. Additionally, there will be live performances, ice sculptures, snowmen-building, and a special appearance by Santa and his elves.
Visitacion Valley Holiday Light Festival + Art Show
Visitacion Valley Greenway
📍Leland Avenue and Peabody Street, SF
🕑 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Bring the family to Vis Valley’s Leland Avenue for the first-ever Holiday Light Festival, which includes a light show, live entertainment and holiday food.
An art market hosted by the Castro Merchants Association is a centerpiece of the group’s Winter Wonderland. The event offers free photos with Santa, a drag queen story time, a sexy elf contest and a backdrop of festive music. Oh, and there’s also a petting zoo and a Santa’s Little Helper contest for the wee ones.
The best part of hosting a holiday party—aside from the amazing food, of course—is getting to flaunt your fancy dinnerware. If that’s something in short supply at home, you can find some conversation-starting pieces at the annual vintage glassware sale hosted by Oakland’s Bardo Lounge & Supper Club.
Meaghan Mitchell can be reached at [email protected]