Sometimes the most cherished gifts are the ones you can’t find elsewhere — original artworks and handmade crafts. Here are some of the best places to find everything from textiles to toys to salad bowls to paintings, made by local, regional, and national artists.
CRAFTBOSTON HOLIDAY ONLINE The Society of Arts + Crafts’ annual blowout returns online this year. Enjoy artist demos in woodworking, glassblowing, and more from your living room, or pick up gifts such as cutting boards, bangles, mugs, and other handcrafted items by regional and national artists. This year, the event extends through January, so once the holiday frenzy has passed, you can slow down with a knitting workshop or pick up goodies for yourself. Through Jan. 30. https://societyofcrafts.org/craftboston-holiday-online-2021/
PARADISE CITY ARTS FESTIVAL Paradise City first set up shop more than 25 years ago on fairgrounds in Northampton. Soon after they came to Marlborough as well. This holiday fair with 175 artists from around the country offers gifts ideas such as paintings, handbags, handmade dolls, and furniture. Royal Plaza Trade Center, 181 Royal Plaza Drive West, Marlborough, Nov. 19-21. Admission $14, $8 students. https://festivals.paradisecityarts.com/shows/marlborough-november-show
SNOW FARM 2021 SECONDS SALE The New England Craft Program’s annual fund-raiser is a bit like the Island of Misfit Toys. These gifts are experimental and flawed works, or pieces from discontinued lines. But don’t fret, many of them are in perfect condition, and all are made by local and regional artists. Reservations required. Fridays through Sundays, through Nov. 28. Snow Farm, 5 Clary Road, Williamsburg. 413-268-3101. https://www.snowfarm.org/support/donate/2019/seconds-sale-fundraiser-2021
CAMBRIDGE ARTS HOLIDAY ART MARKET Looking for Cambridge-made? The Cambridge Arts Council’s market fits the bill. Offerings range from stocking stuffers such as soap and greeting cards to higher-end gifts including hand-dyed clothing, jewelry made from recycled computer parts, photography, quilts, and more. Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 27-Dec. 5. Cambridge Masonic Hall, 1950 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. www.cambridgema.gov/arts/Programs/creativemarketplace/ArtMarkets
deCORDOVA MUSEUM STORE The deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum’s store has long been a trove of quirky, fun, and sumptuous gifts, often made by local artists. Among the goodies on hand this year: sustainable gifts such as hemp napkins and maple light tea holders from Cold Hill Studio, socks by MaggieSternStitches, and Hetty Friedman Design’s scarves and shawls woven from bamboo and Tencel. deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Road, Lincoln. 781-259-8692. https://shopthetrustees.org/collections/decordova
ILLUMINATION This homiest of gallery settings is a Lexington house that Gillian and John Ross opened to the public in 2015 for pop-up art exhibitions several times a year. They exhibit a wide variety of works in a range of prices, and for their annual holiday show, they deck the place out with warm lights and cheery decorations. Dec. 3-Jan. 2. Gallery Twist, 1963 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, 781-698-9994. www.gallerytwist.com
2021 SOWA WINTER FESTIVAL Thayer Street will be decked out with lights as galleries and artists’ studios open their doors to holiday shoppers. If it’s chilly, stop by the hot chocolate tent or the wine truck. There are more art and food vendors over at the SoWa Power Station (540 Harrison Ave.), and an Outdoor Winter Wonderland at 500 Harrison Ave. offers a fire pit, along with food trucks and a beer garden in a heated tent. Dec. 3-12. 450-460 Harrison Ave. https://www.sowaboston.com/sowa-winter-festival