Atlanta pop-up shops and holiday markets are the perfect way to check off all the boxes on your shopping list this season. You can:
1. Buy artsy, unique gifts and goods
2. Support local artisans and businesses
3. Avoid mall parking lots
4. Meet the people who actually create these handmade products
5. Get everyone oohing and ahhing at the next Secret Santa gift exchange
Plus, there’s a slight adrenaline boost getting the scoop on a momentary pop-up shop that will soon turn back into a pumpkin, parking lot or whatever its former self was before the holidays. Here’s the lowdown on some of our favorite upcoming Atlanta pop-up shops.
December 4-5, 2015: Decatur Holiday Marketplace and Cafe
Decatur is a playground for Atlanta’s creative folk, so it only makes sense that the neighborhood would have such a great pop-up holiday market! The Decatur Holiday Marketplace and Cafe, located at Clairemont Elementary School, welcomes shoppers to peruse the work of nearly 100 local and regional artists and artisans.
You’ll have the chance to buy some great gifts for the holiday season, but you’ll also be contributing to the fundraising efforts of Clairemont Elementary. This is the school’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and the money brought in helps pay for infrastructure improvements, supplies and social events. Stop by the school’s transformed cafeteria, buy a bowl of soup, enjoy the live music and then shop ’til you drop among the aisles of vendors.
Hours: Friday, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more at decaturholidaymarketplace.com.
December 4-6, 2015: Shoppe Artisan
Welcome to the mother lode of holiday markets! Shoppe Artisan is what can only be described as a pop-up mall in Cobb Galleria Centre. Any type of gift you need can be found in this labyrinth of home and garden goods, fashion accessories, children’s gifts, tech products, gourmet ingredients, etc.
Admission to Shoppe Artisan is $10 online and $14 at the door. Ages 65 and older are $8 online; $10 at the door; children under 12 are free. The best part? Tickets are good for all three days! Make sure you bring extra cash to actually pay for any of the cool items you find in this inaugural holiday marketplace.
Hours: Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Learn more at shoppeartisan.com
December 5, 2015: 3rd Annual PopUp Marché
Combine the trendsetting sensibilities of the world’s most stylish cities and you have the Third Annual PopUp Marché at The Solarium in Oakhurst. If you don’t have a passport, or just don’t have the time or resources to go shopping in Paris, London, Dakar, Milan or any of the other stylish fashion capitals, make a trip to this Atlanta pop-up shop. Besides selecting products from the best independent vendors, attendees will enjoy great food and drinks in a fun, lively setting. General admission tickets are $5; VIP tickets are $15 and include entry, a swag bag, one drink and one dessert.
Hours: 12 to 5 p.m. Learn more at popupmarche.com.
December 5, 2015: Back to Nature Holiday Market and Festival
Roswell’s Chattahoochee Nature Center is an awesome draw on its own — guests can follow the Wildlife Walk and see animals in their natural habitats, participate in interactive exhibits, take a tour through the many themed gardens and just take a few moments to embrace the beauty of the Chattahoochee. But once a year, the nature center offers a gift to the community — free public admission to CNC for its holiday market event. This year, nearly 50 local artisans and vendors will display their eco-friendly, fair trade goods for the masses.
Besides the great holiday gifts, attendees can also visit CNC’s Nature Store for other earth-friendly products and presents. Because this event includes free admission to CNC, make sure to get there early because of the limited parking — better yet, carpool and leave a green footprint on your way to the holiday market.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more at chattnaturecenter.org.
December 9, 2015: Georgia Crafted Pop-up Shop
We have a fondness for Atlanta businesses focused on promoting and shopping local, so Georgia Crafted holds an especially dear place in our heart. This monthly subscription box service offers a curated experience of Georgia-only products and goods. Georgia Crafted provides clever items like a Sweet as a Georgia Sunrise breakfast gift box and Explore Georgia #GeorgiaEats gift box.
Georgia Crafted outdoes itself by offering a pop-up shop at Locanda Firenze in the Smyrna Market Village. They will have various products and gift boxes on hand, as well as Stella & Dot merchandise, half-off bottles of wine and much more.
Hours: 6 to 8 p.m. Learn more at Georgia Crafted Pop-up Shop’s Facebook page.
December 12, 2015: Root City Market Holiday Pop-up
We in Atlanta are so lucky to have some really cool, outgoing proponents of the shop local movement. Root City Market is one such group shining a light on the wonderful goods and products that can be found from the people who work and live here. Root City throws a quarterly pop-up market, and the December one is the mother of all markets (as they say, “Think London weekend market meets the Brooklyn Flea”). Take a drive to Krog Street’s Stove Works, and besides all the great shopping you’ll do from more than 45 artisans, you’ll also have access to great live music, food and activities. Admission is $5, and if you come early (as in be one of the first 50 entrants), you may score a free swag bag!
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit rootcitymarket.com to learn more.
Through December 23: ICE Holiday Pop-up Shop
What’s cooler than cool?! ICE, ICE, baby! Okay, we admit that was lame, but you knew we were working in a Vanilla Ice joke somewhere. Indie Craft Experience knows the perfect way to get Atlantans ready for the holidays and impressed with the artistic talent of this local community. The ICE Pop-up Shop, which kicked off last month and is located at the ICE studio in Candler Park, offers handmade items made by more than 70 artists. This wild and weird Atlanta pop-up shop has some awesome items to get as gifts or just keep for yourself.
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 12 to 6 p.m. Learn more at ice-atlanta.com/pop-up-shop.
Through December 23: Holiday Bazaar at Westside Market
Westside Market has always been a great place to find home furnishings and decor for Atlanta homeowners. And with the company’s recent expansion to 85,000 square feet, you can find even more great pieces to complete your home’s look. This year, Westside Market is doing something special for the holidays with a pop-up bazaar featuring six merchants specializing in accessories, handmade jewelry and other unique finds. Another draw for this holiday event? Santa! Everyone’s favorite bearded cookie-snatcher will make an appearance on Saturday, December 5, from 12 to 4 p.m.
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Learn more at westsidemarketatl.com.
Just remember, these are some of our favorite Atlanta pop-up shops and holiday markets, but there are many more happening in the city during December. Churches, schools, neighborhood coalitions and other small, community-based groups are also planning some great temporary shops, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for these great ways to shop local!