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December Arts + Crafts Markets: Boston + Providence

[updated on 11/30 to add rag + bone and the wears + wares events, both on dec. 2nd. see below for details.]

Before I get started, this post isn’t just for the locals — all can benefit. How? By being nosey, of course! Click around on all the links below and browse each website because tucked away in many of them, you’ll find links to vendors that often have online stores. Cha-ching!

Looking to shop ’til ya drop this month, but cringe at the thought of taking on another (deadly) shopping mall experience? Try these friendly marketplaces packed with fresh finds from affordable art to home accessories + so much more! Here’s your handy guide, complete with dates, times, links, admission fees, and complete addresses so you can map out your course and set sail!

TIP: Print this out and keep it on you during the month!

Boston Public Library Holiday Sale
Dec. 1, 10-5
Johnson Lobby, 700 Boylston Street, Boston.
Rain or shine. Free admission.

Crafts at the Castle
Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston Street (first floor), Boston.
Dec. 1, 10-8 pm
Dec. 2, 10-6 pm
Dec. 3, 10-5
Rain or shine. $15.00 for adults. $12.00 for seniors. Children under 12 are free.

Rag + Bone Factory Sale
Rag + Bone Bindery, 1088 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI (near Providence)
Dec. 2, 10-4 pm
Rain or shine. Free admission.

Wears + Wares pre-Holiday Market
Downtown Crossing, on Summer Street (past Filene’s) in the lobby of 101 Arch, Boston.
Dec. 2, 11-5 pm
Rain or shine. Free admission.

Cultural Survival Bazaar
Two locations. December 2-3, 10-6 pm at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge.
Dec. 9-10, 11-7 pm at the Hynes Convention Center 900 Boylston St, Boston.
Rain or shine. Free admission.

MassArt’s Annual Holiday Sale*
MassArt, Tower Building (lobby), 621 Huntington Ave. (corner of Huntington Ave. and Evans Way), Boston.
Dec. 4-9, 10-7 pm
Rain or shine. Free admission.

School of the Museum of Fine Arts December Sale*
SMFA, 230 The Fenway, Boston.
Dec. 6, 12?8 pm
Dec. 7, 12?8 pm
Dec. 8-11, 12?6 pm

RISD Alumni Holiday Art Sale*
Rhode Island Convention Center, One Sabin Street, Providence.
Dec. 9, 10-5 pm
Rain or shine. Admission is $5; children under 14 or current RISD students (with ID) get in free.

Union Square Winter Craft Market
Union Square, Somerville where Washington Street, Prospect Street and Somerville Avenue meet. Additional vendors will showcase their goods inside Toast Lounge, located directly off the central plaza.
Dec. 9, 11-5 pm
Rain or shine. Free admission.

Fort Point Holiday Sale
Artists’ Building at 249 A Street, Boston.
Dec. 9, 11-7 pm
Dec. 10, 11-5 pm
Rain or shine. Free admission.

Sowa Holiday Market*
Cathedral High School Gym, 74 Union Park Street (South End), Boston.
Dec. 9, 10-8 pm
Dec. 10, 10-6 pm
Rain or shine. $5 admission. Free for children under 12.

Bazaar Bizarre*
Cyclorama (Boston Center for the Arts) at 539 Tremont Street (South End), Boston.
Dec. 16, 10-7 pm.
Rain or shine. $1.00 Admission.

Month Long Markets

Harvard Square Holiday Craft Fair
First Parish Church, on the corner of Mass Ave. and Church St. in Harvard Square, Cambridge. This fun fair runs for 12 days, Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 15-17, and 19-23.
Sats: 10-7, Suns: 12-6, Weekdays: 11-7.
Rain or shine. Free Admission.

Craftland Show (month long!)
70 Eddy Street (near city hall), Providence.
Friday Dec. 1st until the 23rd, open five days a week, Wednesday – Sunday 11-6, and Thursdays from 11-8 pm.
Note: The storefront retail area is the back of the Peerless Building behind City Hall at the corner of Fulton Street.
Rain or shine. Free admission.

Whew! (wiping forehead) What a list! If I’ve missed a venue for Boston or Providence, please comment below with the scoop.

*Events that rock it like your momma, grandma, and little sister Sally!

[Stay tuned, tomorrow decor8 west coast contributor Anh-Minh Le features the best markets in the Bay Area! If you feel like writing about markets in your neck of the woods, contact me at decor8blog AT yahoo DOT com for specifics. But for now, decor8 is only covering Boston, Providence and San Francisco.]

(images from risd)

Posted by decor8 in Arts + Crafts, Events + Markets, Shopping + Products, Travel on November 29, 2006

Your comments...

  1. Anonymous commented
    November 29th, 2006 at 3:36pm

    Tens coisas muito giras
    You have very funny things Congratulations

  2. Gradon commented
    November 29th, 2006 at 5:51pm

    Holly, thanks for the heads up on these great events.

  3. mark commented
    November 29th, 2006 at 6:41pm


    Thanks for the complete schedule of events. We were planning to hit Craftland this weekend, and will be sure to see the Mass Art and Museum School shows…Last year I bought my wife a painting at the Museum Xmas show…And my favorite illustrator, Mr Ruesch, was at the Mass Art event !!!

  4. Nightfall commented
    November 29th, 2006 at 8:37pm

    Hm, I guess logging in means my original comment got eaten (so lost with technology… haha)

    Anyway, I wanted to say that I know of one other area show – I’ve never been, but I just picked up a flyer today for a craft benefit for the Newton High Schools. It’s this sunday from 10-4.

    Thanks for the great list! I knew about many of these, but it’s nice to have them compiled so neatly!

    Also, since I have never commented before, I have to say thanks for the great blog! I come here all the time now that I have discovered it!

  5. elissa commented
    November 30th, 2006 at 1:59am

    Who did that cupcake painting? I’m absolutely infatuated with it.

    By the way, I dont know if I’ve posted here before, but I love this blog.


  6. Anonymous commented
    November 30th, 2006 at 4:04am

    The cupcake painting is by “Gregory Poulin”, former Rag & Bone Journal maker and RISD grad who showing at the RISD alumni sale December 9. Also check out his PEEP painting. [Jason from the Rag & Bone Blog]

  7. karin commented
    November 30th, 2006 at 4:37pm

    Holly – who is the designer behind the fabric in the top left hand image? it looks great!

  8. elissa commented
    November 30th, 2006 at 6:50pm

    Thanks Jason! I must have it. Haha.

  9. decor8 commented
    November 30th, 2006 at 7:11pm

    Hi Karin! :) That is from RISD alum Ritsuko Hirai, who majored in printmaking.

  10. karin commented
    December 2nd, 2006 at 7:02am

    thank you!

  11. decor8 commented
    December 4th, 2006 at 6:51pm

    Of course,Karin!

  12. Colin commented
    July 26th, 2007 at 9:32pm

    For the upcomming holiday season, don’t forget Sign of the Dove-a great artisan’s co-operative. They have a year ’round store in Porter Square, and operate a seasonal store every year in either Harvard or Porter square.

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