Hale 12 Week Masthead

In the market for some merry-making?

Emma Macdonald

Mark December 8, 9 and 10 in your diaries to shop Christmas at Handmade Markets.

It may feel like markets are popping up everywhere these days. But one continues to draw the largest crowds of local and interstate shoppers – transforming itself from a simple stall set-up to a major tourist drawcard.

Handmade Markets are the biggest and – for a large contingent of an estimated 30,000-plus shoppers who frequent them each quarter – best markets of all.

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Christmas shopping made easier with a sugar hit.

And the next event is timed to take the stress out of your Christmas by allowing you to indulge your inner-shopper over three days – for the first time opening on Friday afternoon between 5-9pm for those who cannot get there on Saturday or Sunday between 10-4.

Meanwhile, many people relish the chance to support local craftspeople this Christmas and stay away from the bedlam of the big shopping centres.

That’s not to say there isn’t a little bit of bedlam involved at Handmade. Indeed, deciding whether to fill up on Bellerophon Coffee, Endeavour Tea or a Krave juice before starting to attack your naughty and nice list can leave you a little conflicted and keen to go in two directions at once.

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The Little Flame Co, Christmas candles are great stocking fillers.

Add to that your desire to soak your beverage of choice up with a Krofne doughnut or Cannoli Brothers treat to increase your energy levels, and it might actually be a while before you leave the food hall.

But that’s OK because a lot of Christmas shopping for foodie friends and relatives can be knocked off here. And the more organized of us will also be able to purchase necessary ingredients and delicacies to put on the table for the Christmas Day feast itself.

For Instance, the Pialligo Estate Smokehouse will have tonnes of produce to purchase over the weekend, or pre-order your specialty items and larger hams to pick up closer to the 25th.

Jasper and Myrtle chocolates make great stocking fillers, as do Poetry Fine Foods, while Misty’s Salted Caramel’s gingerbread caramel could add something to any Christmas pudding. And if you haven’t got one of those handy, you can grab a delicious specimen from Cookies & Co. So easy!

Misty's Salted Caramel_preview

Misty’s Salted Caramel.

A market of such size can cater for literally everything required for a Christmas feast – even the table itself.

If some long-lost relatives are planning on making an appearance, perhaps it’s time to see Naturally Ingrained for a larger table to seat them at, or boyandgirlco for sustainable recycled furniture.

Spread over three large buildings at EPIC, Handmade covers off both the food and merchandise separately so you have some hope of finding some focus.

After nine years, the markets is now drawing 266 stall-holders to the event, including newcomers Earthwares ceramics, bespoke Cut Throat Knives, Jenny Reid vintage and handmade jewellery, and Herbs and Heart skincare, among a long list of others.

Emby Love 1_preview

Emby Love picnic rugs come in Christmas versions.

If you want something completely different for that special someone, consider a BassCase speaker. Using vintage suitcases and speakers, these guys take upcycling to extremes to make high-quality Bluetooth suitcase stereos.

If art is your thing, Irish printmaker Bridget Farmer creates beautiful etchings and linocuts, mainly of Australia’s native birds.

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BassCase upcycled speakers.

Because kids get the most out of the whole gift shebang come daybreak, we highly recommend you consider a JillyJunior teepee (you can choose your own fabric) or a name artwork by Makers and Merchants or a Welly’s Wonders illustration of a family member – two or four-legged.

Finally, a word of warning, Kingfish & Co usually sell out of their perfect little wooden Christmas trees, so if you are in the market for one of these, best you order here first.

the essentials

What: Handmade Christmas Market
When: Friday December 8, 5-9pm, Saturday and Sunday 10-4pm.
Where: EPIC , Flemington Road Mitchell
More information: handmadecanberra.com.au

This is a sponsored editorial but the opinions are the author’s own. For more information on our sponsored editorials, click here.

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Emma Macdonald

Emma Macdonald has been writing about Canberra and its people for more than 20 years, winning numerous awards for her journalism – including a Walkley or two – along the way. Canberra born and bred, she’s fiercely loyal to the city, tribally inner-north, and relieved the rest of the country is finally recognising Canberra’s cool and creative credentials.

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