Shopping local and handmade this season!
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and December is closing in. We have officially entered the ‘Holiday Season’ as the malls and local department stores amp up their cheery music and decorations. With all these festivities kicking into gear, so does the holiday presents list. Starting early is a key way to not only relieve some stress of last minute shopping, but also allows you the time to find the items that will be perfect for each person on your list. If you want a unique and creative present for your loved ones, the best place to shop are local craft and art fairs. Thankfully, the Monadnock Region has many.
Peterborough hosts the Holiday Stroll every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Last Saturday (the 19th) was their 22nd year. The Holiday Stroll starts off the season of craft fairs and events for the rest of November and month of December, and includes some great family fun such as the cookie crawl and storytelling at the Toadstool Bookshop. It’s a perfect way to begin shopping for presents and gives everyone a chance to enjoy the downtown area at the same time.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving is known nation-wide as Small Business Saturday. It’s a day that people are encouraged to purchase items from locally owned businesses and support their economy. Many shops around the area host special events for this Saturday, and it’s a great time to make gift purchases while also giving back to your local businesses. It follows after Black Friday and gives those businesses that may not have seen quite as big of a turn out the chance to still see some great shopping. New Hampshire is home to an amazing amount of locally owned businesses, particularly in the Monadnock Region itself.
Kicking off the holiday craft fairs once Turkey Day has wrapped up is the Holiday Craft Fair in Chesterfield NH. The town is just outside of Keene and borders Vermont, which means a visit here for their annual fair on Saturday, November 26th will give you lots to do afterwards. Paired with Small Business Saturday, one could get in a lot of shopping in one day and feel great about it afterwards. The fair runs from 9-3pm in the Town Hall, featuring several local artists, cooks and crafters. They even have a little café set up for snacking should you work up an appetite while you shop.
Sticking around Chesterfield will reward you with another fair: The Annual Keene Holiday Craft Fair on Saturday, November 26th as well. Held at the Keene High School from 9-3pm, crafters and artisans from all over New England will be set up with booths selling their items.
If you thought Peterborough was done with it’s craft fairs after the Holiday Stroll, you’ll be pleased to know that Saturday, November 26th the Monadnock Crafters Guild will be hosting a holiday craft fair in the Community Center in Peterborough. From 10-3pm, stop by and purchase not only items for gifts, but wreaths and wine for yourself. Along with this, on Saturday, December 3rd there is another fair from 9-2pm at the South Meadow Middle School where local artisans will be selling their wares and tasty baked goods. The craft fair will benefit the school’s drama club and dance team.
On the other side of Temple Mountain, Milford NH will have its own Annual Craft Fair Saturday, December 3rd. Taking place on the Milford Oval, several craft fairs at the churches and town hall will be going on from 9-3pm. If you aren’t able to get your fill of Milford and their festivities, Sunday, December 4th will have Santa on the oval from 12-2pm. On Wednesday, December 7th the Hampshire Dome in Milford will be hosting the Holiday Shopping Extravaganza as well. From 5:30-9pm, shop over 40 local vendors and artisans.
It’s safe to say that with all these amazing fairs happening in just two weeks after Thanksgiving, finding the perfect item for each person will be a breeze. Not only will you be supporting local businesses and artisans, but each gift will be unique and thoughtful. In case you want even more places to do your holiday shopping a la local artisans, below we compiled a list of more fairs happening in the area. Happy Shopping!
- Holiday Craft Fair, Chesterfield Town Hall. Saturday, November 26th 9-2pm
- Holiday Bazaar, Jaffrey VFW. Saturday, November 26th 9-2pm
- Annual Keene Holiday Fair, Keene High School. Saturday, November 26th 9-3pm
- Holiday Craft and Shopping Extravaganza, Wheelock School. Sunday, November 27th 4-8pm
- Holiday Faire, Keene Senior Center. Saturday, December 3rd, 9am-3pm
- Annual Craft Fair, Town Oval. Saturday, December 3rd 9-3pm
- Holiday Shopping Extravaganza, Hampshire Dome. Wednesday, December 7th 5:30-9pm
- Milford Antiques Show, Hampshire Dome. Sunday, December 4rd, Sunday, December 11th, Sunday, December 18th, and Sunday, January 1st.
- Monadnock Crafters Guild Holiday Craft Fair, Community Center. Saturday, November 26th 10-3pm
- South Meadow Middle School Craft Fair, South Meadow Middle School. Saturday, December 3rd 9-2pm
- Christmas Fair, First Cong. Church. Friday, December 2nd, 4-6:30pm