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Holiday Shopping

Fun, Festive Events

With the mayhem that is the holiday season upon us it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed. That’s why we’ve compiled a neat, approachable list for tackling your holiday shopping while keeping things festive, local, and stylish.

Accessorize with Toys Party
San Francisco artists Emiko Oye and Shana Astrachan will teach you how to breathe new life into your Hot Wheels, Transformers, Tech Decks, and other toys as jewelry and holiday ornaments on December 2nd at Workshop. You’ll learn how to reuse these items to make bangles, earrings, brooches, and more using basic jewelry techniques and simple craft tools. $15 for adults, $10 for 16 and under, includes all supplies.

Holidays with 18 Reasons
Nonprofit 18 Reasons has planned a cornucopia of events for the holidays. Kick off December 1st with a holiday bazaar of food/kitchen-based gifts and art opening for Maria Schoettler’s exhibition A Year of What’s to Grow. Other events include a DIY holiday cheese platter class with Bi-Rite cheesemonger Anthea Stolz (Dec 6), DIY Gifts from the Garden demo (Dec 7), a holiday cookie exchange (Dec 9) and Non-Disposable Wrapping and Gift Workshop (Dec 12).

Arts & Crafts at the Contemporary Jewish Museum
The Contemporary Jewish Museum’s casual Thursday drop-in craft sessions take on a holiday twist in coming weeks. Winter/Hanukkah lanterns and linoleum-cut greeting cards are just a few and perfect for the whole family. Pop in on December 2nd for a special Hanukkah edition of RitLab (CJM’s “After-Work DIY Art-Making”) where you’ll get a chance to compete against Major League Dreidel’s 2009 National Champion Johnny Hei’z, sample Fair Trade Hanukkah gelt and enjoy artisanal chocolate-making demos by Sweet Earth Chocolates.

Winter Wonderland Craft Bazaar
Join the SF Etsy team at Urban Bazaar in the Inner Sunset on December 4th for locally designed and handmade gifts. A fantastic way to support the local artist community while purchasing handmade and enjoying $2 happy hour drinks (6pm to 9pm).

20th Annual Union Street Fantasy of Lights
On December 4th, head over to the Marina for cupcake decorating courtesy That Takes The Cake, photo sessions with Santa and his elves, ponies dressed as reindeer, face painting, juggling, and balloon artists. Classic Victorians draped in holiday lights serve as the beautiful backdrop, and merchants are open until 9pm all November and December for your holiday shopping.

SF Bike Coalition Winterfest
Every year the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition hosts Winterfest, its annual member party and fundraiser. This year, the event will take place December 5th at SOMArts Gallery. A $40 entrance fee gets you a one-year membership while entry fee for members is $10. Imbibe New Belgium beer and live music with a silent auction and art auction while screen printing t-shirts, customizing bike pins, or making spoke cards.

Indie Mart Holiday Show: Nightlife at The Academy of Sciences
Kelly Malone brings back one last Indie Mart for the year on December 9th at the Academy of Sciences’ Nightlife. Say hi to the albino alligator and penguins while you shop 50 meticulously selected vendors and enjoy beats from bands and DJs. Gift-making demos include how to mount bugs and craft beer koozies with your favorite element from the periodic table. Since alcoholic libations are served, this event is for the 21 and over crowd.

La Cocina Gift Fair
A must-visit for foodies! The second annual fair happens December 10th at the Mission Cultural Center and features only the most delectable goodies from local food-focused entrepreneurs. In addition to all kinds of food and drink gifts, you’ll find bath and body products from Rubber Ducky Soap Co., kitchenware, and much more.

Bazaar Bizarre
It’s become a tradition: the holiday edition of Bazaar Bizarre happening this year at Fort Mason December 11th and 12th. There will be one hundred fifty “carefully juried artists and designers” selling everything from handmade pottery, letterpress stationary, handbags, pillows, baby clothes, body products, and much more. Gourmet food carts will be available for your noshing pleasure. A plethora of exciting workshops include laser cutter, vinyl cutter, and embroidery machine demos by TechShop, how to silkscreen, make hand warmers, soap, crochet ornaments, and more. Check out the Cocktails and Crafts party for additional exclusive workshops.

Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Sale
Last-minute shopping won’t be as fun anywhere else; Renegade Craft’s 2nd annual holiday sale goes down the weekend before Christmas at the Concourse with “200 of the nation’s finest indie-craft talents.” The ubiquitous Kelly Malone will lead hands-on crafting workshops. Meanwhile, the Museum of Craft+Design, in conjunction with FLAX, will also lead workshops to make pop-up greeting cards and paper ornaments. Take a breather at the free photobooth.

Local Patron Pop-Up Shop
The Local Patron seasonal pop-up shop is back in North Beach. Visit to support and learn about the local artist and designer community; you’ll find the works of over fifty locals ranging from clothing to jewelry to books, handbags, and cards. Local Patron closes January 10th.

Reindeer Romp
Considering the bleak budget issues plaguing the San Francisco Zoo, it’s a small miracle the annual Reindeer Romp is back! Live reindeer Holly, Velvet, Peppermint, and Belle traveled from Oregon’s Reindeer Ranch and call the Zoo home through January 1st. This year the Zoo is also hosting two Santa & Friends gatherings (December 12th and 18th), featuring brunch, ornament-making, gingerbread cookies, visits with critters, and, of course, Santa.