Finding the perfect gifts for the holidays doesn't have to mean long lines, crowded shops and impossible parking lots. There are countless craft festivals in the DMV area where you can find handcrafted gifts and also enjoy music, refreshments and other events as you shop. Here are seven to check out this holiday season:
Maryland Christmas Show
Frederick County Fairgrounds (797 E. Patrick St., Frederick, Maryland)
The Maryland Christmas Show will be returning to the Frederick County Fairgrounds for its 33rd season. The show brings together artisans and merchants in seven buildings and under a big top tent to sell handcrafted pottery, Christmas ornaments, wreaths, toys and more. Admission is $4 for children and $8 for adults.
Thanksgiving Art and Craft Show
Spring Hill RECenter (1239 Spring Hill Road, McLean, Virginia)
While you browse the Vienna Art and Craft show looking for that perfect gift, feel free to ask the artisans the inspiration behind their work. They'll all be on hand at this show featuring 80+ vendors showcasing their pottery, stained glass, silk, woodwork and more. The event is put on the Northern Virginia Handcrafters Guild. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children. Parking is also free.
Downtown Holiday Market
F Street NW between 7th & 9th streets
Nov. 25-Dec. 23
The 12th Annual Downtown Holiday Market this year will include more than 150 local artisans and boutique businesses. Browse through gift items including jewelry, pottery, paintings and textiles. Exhibitors and goods rotate daily, and you'll also find festive treats such as hot donuts and cider, plus live seasonal music.
Swedish Christmas Bazaar
The House of Sweden (2900 K St. NW #503)
Join the Swedish Women's Educational Association for their festive bazaar. In addition to gifts and crafts, the event at the House of Sweden will include Swedish foods and caroling.
Falls Church Community Center (223 Little Falls St., Falls Church, Virginia)
The Falls Church Community Center will be holding their annual holiday gift shop Dec. 3-4. More than 50 vendors will be selling handmade items and baked goods.
1750 Crystal Drive, Arlington, Virginia
Known as an "alternative arts and crafts show," GRUMP will be taking place again this year at the Shops at Crystal City. Not only can you shop for handmade crafts, but you can also take photos with the GRUMPY yeti herself.