Have you been putting off your holiday shopping ’til the week before Christmas (like, ahem, some of us)? The final countdown is on, and it’s time to get shopping!
Austin makes it easy to avoid the stress of those high-traffic stores. Thankfully, we live in such a unique city with some shopping experiences that are actually rather fun. Finding the perfect gift can be tough, but with markets, bazaars, arts & craft shows (even stores that serve you wine and cookies while you shop), you can get all of your shopping done quickly so you have time to relax and enjoy that holiday cheer with the family.
— Armadillo Christmas Bazaar @ Palmer Events Center
Through Dec. 24, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily
Listen to live, local music while you shop for awesome hand-crafted items in a festive atmosphere. This is one of Austin’s longest running art & music festivals attracting around 40,000 shoppers each year. Visitors can explore an array of hand-made items from 160+ artists carefully chosen from around the country. The Armadillo stage showcases some of Austin’s most popular musical talent. Plus, there’s a full bar and food from Southside Flying Pizza. Admission is $8/day. Kids 12 and under FREE. Tickets available online here. For the full music schedule, click here.
— Blue Genie Art Bazaar @ 6100 Airport Blvd.
Now through Dec. 24, 10 a.m.-10 p..m daily
Check out this family-friendly holiday shopping event featuring handmade artwork, jewelry and gifts from more than 200 regional artists. Parking and admission are FREE. Refreshments and bar available. Take note that 10% of profits every Monday go to the Make-A-Wish charity. For more info about vendors and special events at Blue Genie, visit their Facebook page.
— Atown @ 5502 Burnet Rd.
Full of stylish women’s and men’s apparel, unique gifts, beauty products, home decor, children’s, pet goods & more, Atown is a gem in the Allandale neighborhood of Central Austin. It’s also home to the work of over 100 local artists and designers. Plus, they offer you free cookies and wine while you shop and provide free gift wrapping!
— The Burlap Bag @ 3016 Guadalupe St, A101
The Burlap Bag is a soy candle business and a retail shop which sells handmade items near the UT campus. They also have a great supply of cute pins! Their goods are handcrafted by more than 90 different artists.
— Parts & Labour @ 1117 South Congress Ave.
Parts and Labour is a fun store located on South Congress that supports hundreds of Texas based crafters and artists. Their items range from silk screened t-shirts to elaborate jewelry, reconstructed vintage clothes to handmade soaps, children’s wear, and more. (Note this store will be relocating in Jan. 2017)
— Toy Joy @ 403 W 2nd Street
An Austin original, Toy Joy has been keeping Austin fun since 1987. Know for it’s floor to ceiling eclectic collection of the fun, collectible, nostalgic and “a little bit weird” toys and gifts. They have a variety of items for kids of all ages and in all price ranges.
— Terra Toys @ 2438 W Anderson Lane
Terra Toys has been a favorite local Austin Toy shop for over a quarter of a century. They carry classic, fun and beautiful toys from around the world. You’ll find so many high-quality toys as well as great little trinkets for stocking-stuffers.
— BookPeople @ 603 North Lamar Blvd.
Giving the gift of reading is pretty terrific! Who doesn’t love a new book? BookPeople is one of our favorites not only because their shelves are stocked with a huge variety of books, but they also have some great gifts, too. Plus, you could get the kids settled into Story Time with Armstrong Community Music School at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 21 before or after some shopping.
— Museum Stores @ the Bullock, Blanton, Thinkery & Texas Memorial Museum
While you’re out enjoying some time with the kids on their days off of school, step into one of the awesome gift shops at these Austin museums. Seriously, they have some pretty cool stuff to choose from! It’s easy to pick up some gifts while you’re out having fun.
— Shops at the Austin Airport: Well, if you’re still doing your shopping moments before boarding a plane, you’re really pushing this last-minute thing. But to be honest, you can still find a few good gifts to take along to out-of-town family & friends. You’ll definitely have your pick of Longhorns gear and Keep Austin Weird t-shirts, magnets, etc. You’ll also find a BookPeople within the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. You can scoop up some local treats like Lammes candies, Berdoll’s pecan pies, and gift packs of Salt Lick products that even come gift-wrapped.
— MORE Shopping Ideas: We personally LOVE the idea of giving experiences as gifts. Check out our suggestions for Giving Experiences Instead of Stuff. We also support the idea of giving gifts from recycled or re-purposed items. Check out how you can Shop Zero Waste and support eco-friendly businesses.
Make Your Own Gifts:
— Make a Snowman Family Portrait @ North and South locations
Wednesday, Dec. 21, 12:30 p.m.
Would Grandma love something handmade from the kids? Work together on a group project at Pinot’s Palette’s Holiday Family Party where you can paint customized snowman family portraits! There will be festive music, a winter photo booth, and more! It is BYOB. Light snacks, water, and plates will be provided. Be sure to reserve your seat online here as space is limited. $25/per painter.
— Crafternoon @ Manchaca Road Branch of the Austin Public Library
Monday, Dec. 19, 3:30 p.m.
Drop by the library and make a craft while you search for books, movies and music. They’ve got paper crafts, easy sewing and more fun projects for the whole family. They provide the supplies; you provide the creativity. Free!
- Penguin Snow Globes, Monday, December 19, 5-6:30 p.m.
Spend a night with Smudge sculpting an adorable penguin family snow globe with the ones you love. If you bring a good artitude, we will provide the cocoa! Fee: $35. Sign up here.
- Holiday Splatter Painting, Tuesday, December 20, 6-8 p.m.Throw on some old clothes! Pack up the minivan and spend an evening with Smudge splatter painting the night away! Fee: $25. Sign up here.
— Christmas Baking Workshops @ Foodie Kids
Let the kids bake up something sweet to give friends and neighbors for Christmas. Foodie kids has a variety of classes for kids of all ages. Click here to view their workshops this week.
Besides next-day shipping from online stores, do you have other suggestions for last-minute shopping in Austin? Please share with us in the comments below! We’d love to hear your ideas!