All the local artists and artisans I know are as busy as little elves right now, pouring candles, polishing jewelry, painting ornaments, baking cookies, knitting caps, firing pottery and so much more for the all the upcoming holiday markets. Holiday shopping season has begun, and the stores and markets must be stocked!
With its abundance of shops, stores and boutiques, the Outer Banks is a major shopping destination at any time of year. Add in all the outdoor holiday artisan markets, indoor craft bazaars and pop-up events at local businesses, and there is no way you can’t find something for everyone on your list this year.
The best thing about shopping local is that the goods are right here where you can touch them, see them, try them on – not some virtual idea of a product on the Internet. This is true of the goods at local markets and also, of course, of those in the local retail shops. Local artists and retailers are depending on us to buy these goods, in the holiday season and all year round. It feels good to support the local makers and store owners and return the money you spend right back into the local economy.
So, get out there and shop – for locally made jewelry, pottery, art, candles, baskets, food items, clothing and all the gifts you need. You’re going to love all the creative wonders at these holiday markets. More markets will pop up, so I’ll keep updating this list as I learn about more.
Some of the lovely locally made items you'll find at the Hatteras Island Art & Craft Guild Holiday Art & Craft Show
3005 S. Croatan Highway, Nags Head
Thursday, November 30, 4 to 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 9, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The holiday version of the summer market features more than 50 vendors including arts, crafts, food, meats, vegetables and more. Playground for the kids.
Santa makes an appearance at the Wanchese Christmas Craft Show.
Starvin' Artists Christmas Party
Swells'a Brewing, 1802 S. Virginia Dare Trail, Kill Devil Hills
Saturday, December 2, 12 to 5 p.m.
More than 20 artists set up at this market that's now in its 38th year (Swells'a is its new location). Beer makes it even more fun!
Brew and Arts Holiday Market
Outer Banks Brewing Station, 600 S. Croatan Highway, Kill Devil Hills
Saturday, December 2, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Ten vendors set up shop at the Brewing Station, and beer and food are available, of course.
Santa Dougie will make an appearance at the Soundside Holiday Markets in Nags Head.
Soundside Holiday Markets
Soundside Event Site, 6800 S. Croatan Highway, Nags Head
Sunday, December 3, 12 to 4 p.m.
Sunday, December 10, 12 to 4 p.m.
Sunday, December 17, 12 to 4 p.m.
More than 50 vendors plus photos with Santa, the Grinch, fires, holiday music and food trucks.
Goombay’s Grille & Raw Bar, N.C. Highway 12, Kill Devil Hills
Tuesday, December 5, 4 to 8 p.m.
As part of the 12 Bars of Christmas, this market features more than 16 local artists, complimentary appetizers and a cash bar and food from the kitchen from 4 to 10 p.m.
Christmas Market at Jingle 12
Lucky 12 Tavern, 3308 S. Virginia Dare Trail, Nags Head
Monday, December 4, 5 to 9 p.m.
Part of the 12 Bars of Christmas, this event has local artists and jewelers along with cheerful food and drinks.
Holiday Market at Jack Frost’s Cheer & Burger Joint
Jack Browns Beer and Burger Joint, 800 S. Croatan Highway, Kill Devil Hills
Wednesday, December 6, 5 to 9 p.m.
Wednesday, December 20, 5 to 9 p.m.
Shop with local artists and enjoy drinks and food. A portion of food and drink sales goes to Dare County Motorcycle Toy Run and SPCA.
Merry Muse Market
Cypress House Inn, 500 N. Virginia Dare Trail, Kill Devil Hills
Saturday, December 9, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Join the Muse OBX and OBX Wake and Take (baked goods to go) along with 10 other vendors at Cypress House Inn in Kill Devil Hills. You can tour the historic inn and shop for jewelry, art, photography and more while nibble tasty baked goods. Bring nonperishable foods to stuff the bus with goods for Beach Food Pantry.
3708 N. Croatan Highway, Kitty Hawk
Saturday, December 9, 2 to 5 p.m.
Sunday, December 10, 2 to 5 p.m.
Vendors will be selling jewelry, candles, home décor, bath and body products, art and more, plus you can enjoy food and wine TRiO. $1 from food and drink sales goes to Outer Banks Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund.
Merry Market at McAllister’s Corner
Two Roads Tavern, 3105 N. Croatan Highway, Kill Devil Hills
Saturday, December 9, 1 to 4 p.m.
Part of the 12 Bars of Christmas, this event features local art and craft vendors, Santa, raffles, music and kids’ crafts and activities.
First Flight Holiday Market
Aviation Park, 103 Veterans Drive, Kill Devil Hills
Tuesday, December 12, 4 to 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
More than 65 vendors with homemade and homegrown items, plus food trucks and live music outdoors in Kill Devil Hills.
Shuck Hatteras Merry Muse Market
Cape Hatteras KOA, 25099 N.C. Highway 12, Rodanthe
Saturday, December 16, 1 to 5 p.m.
Shuck Hatteras is a two-day shellabration of oysters, music, art and heritage. The Muse Originals OBX #252 art bus will be on hand, along with a lot of other vendors for a ton of shopping at a super-fun event.