It's that time of year again. You know, when we all struggle to find The Perfect Present for so-and-so. You know, the one that strikes the balance between stylish and sentimental; the one that suits them just right; the one that shows just how thoughtful you really are.
You could scour the web for literally days. Or you could brave the crowds and support Bay Area makers by shopping locally created wares at any of several lovely makers markets and pop-up shops. Take your pick of 10 events below, starting the Friday after Thanksgiving and into mid-December.
Etsy Holiday Emporium
When: Saturday, November 24th and Sunday the 25th, 11am to 5pm
Where: Pier 35, 1454 The Embarcadero
Why: Find your best indie gifts or make them yourself—Etsy's local crafters will be offering crafting workshops and art demonstrations at the Embarcadero's cruise terminal. Didn't get enough grub on Thanksgiving? Snack on some Bay Area eats while jamming out to live music while shopping. // Free to attend; more info can be found on eventbrite.com.
Bayview Makers Market
When: Saturday, November 24th, 11am to 4pm
Where: Public Glass, 1750 Armstrong Ave (Bayview)
Why: It's also Small Business Saturday, so do your local entrepreneurial makers a solid by shopping locally made ceramics, glassware, and other unique gifts at the Bayview Makers Market. For extra flavor, learn to make tamales and more in one of several food and craft demos. // Free admission; more info can be found at facebook.com.
Holiday Artisan Market
When: Wednesday, November 28th, 9am to 8pm
Where: Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St (Civic Center), asianart.org
Why: If you want to knock your shopping out before the holiday rush starts but can't stand the idea of shopping on Black Friday weekend, swing by the Asian Art Museum mid-week to catch hundreds of handmade goods. Don't worry about eating before you come: the museum's new cafe, Sunday at the Museum, serves food and boba cocktails until late. // Free admission, more information at facebook.com.
City Hall Pop-Up Shop
When: Tuesday, December 4th, 11am to 6pm
Where: San Francisco City Hall, North Light Court (Civic Center)
Why: City Hall sets a splendid backdrop for this indoor market showcasing more than 40 vendors from SF's various neighborhoods. Show your hometown love while scooping up presents for all your peeps. // Free admission, more info at shopdine49.com.
When: 1pm to 7pm weekends, Nov. 23rd through Dec. 8th
Where: 436 Historic Central Building (Oakland)
Why: Supporting Oakland-based nonprofits at this market featuring local, independent boutiques and community organizations. Shop till you drop? Enjoy a Mexican hot chocolate in the lounge. // Free admission, more info at eventbrite.com.
Snovember Holiday Market
When: Saturday, Nov. 24th and Sunday the 25th, 10am to 4pm
Where: 500 Avenue N. (Treasure Island)
Why: Bars, food, shopping, and 20 tons of fake snow? Hello! Dive into some snow angels, hang out with Santa, build a snowman, donate to the toy drive, and shop clothing, antiques, accessories, and more from 400-plus vendors. // Tickets ($5 for adults) can be purchased online or at the event.
Etsy Pop-up at Maker's Workspace
When: Weekends, Friday, Nov. 30 through Sunday, Dec. 16 (4 to 9pm Fridays; noon to 6pm Saturdays and Sundays)
Where: Makers Workspace, 1150 6th St. (Berkeley)
Why: Give 100 percent unique gifts by buying handmade goods. This second annual winter pop-up shop put on by Etsy's SF team is the place to pick up trendy art pieces and hip graphic tees. // Free to attend, more info at facebook.com.
Evening Eco Marketpace
When: Friday, Dec. 7th, 6pm-9pm
Where: Ecology Center, 2530 San Pablo Ave. (Berkeley)
Why: Looking for a way to combine gift-giving with sustainability this holiday season? At the Evening Eco Marketplace, you'll find the best variety of zero-waste gifts and services. // Free admission, more info at facebook.com.
Dance Palace Artisan Craft & Holiday Market
When: 4pm to 9pm, Friday, Nov. 30; 10am to 5pm, Saturday, Dec. 1; 10am to 4pm, Sunday Dec. 2
Where: Dance Palace Community and Cultural Center, 503 B Street (Point Reyes Station), dancepalaceholidayfair.wordpress.com
Why: If you're looking for the perfect excuse to escape downtown holiday madness, cruise up north to Point Reyes' 48th annual holiday crafts fair. Don't miss the tree lighting on Friday, as well as live entertainment and Straus organic eggnog throughout the weekend. // Free admission, more info at dancepalace.org
Wine Country Holiday Marketplace
When: 11am to 5pm, Friday, Nov. 23rd and Saturday, Nov. 24th
Where: CIA at Copia, 501 1st St. (Napa), ciaatcopia.com/event
Why: Eat, drink, and shop area vendors including Napa Cookie Company, McEvoy Ranch, K+M Chocolates, and more. // Free to attend, more info can be found online.