At Christmastime, popular toys, hot books and the latest heavily advertised thing always catch the public’s fancy. But the mall and Internet are not the sole options for holiday shopping. Connecticut art galleries and community centers host holiday bazaars, craft shows and art exhibits that sell one-of-a-kind, handmade treasures created by local and regional artisans and craftspeople.
We’ve gathered an extensive list of sales, festivals, bazaars and exhibits that is by no means all-inclusive. We’ve listed the longer events first, followed by chronological sales. Unless otherwise noted, admission to all venues is free.
Celebrating 70 Years of Creativity in Middletown: Through Dec. 9, Saturday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.to 9 p.m. Show and sale of artistic clay works at Wesleyan Potters, 350 S. Main St.. wesleyanpotters.com.
Holiday Show and Sale in Canton: Through Dec. 16, Friday and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gift items by Canton Artists’ Guild members and guests including fine arts, hand-turned wood, ceramics, jewelry, knitwear and crafts. Gallery on the Green, near the intersection of Dowd Avenue and Route 44 at 5 Canton Green Road. galleryonthegreen.org
Holiday Gift Market in Mystic: Through Dec. 22. Weekdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekends 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Handcrafted arts, crafts, food and holiday items from locals including Lisa Adams Art, Mystic Knotwork, Pottery Shed, Judy Flora, Turkeywoods Farm, For the Birds, Two Bees Design, Planet Sea Salt, Colleen O’Connor, Trees of Light, Scala Studios, Suzanne by the Sea, C’est Sea Bon, Frank Mason. Mary Anne Sherman, Julianna Cameron, Treefort Naturals, Flatland Alpacas, Birch Mountain Pottery, Nutmeg Naturals, Five Islands Trading, Why a Spoon?, Ouellette, Silks by Lucia, Gina Rubin Designs, River Dog Prints, Whimsical Creations and Amores Studios. Mystic Museum of Art, 9 Water St. mysticmuseumofart.org.
Celebration of American Crafts in New Haven: Through Dec. 23, Monday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. More than 125 artists at 49th annual show and sale of fiber art, sculpture, handmade books and jewelry, ornaments, clothing, prints, photographs, pottery and ceramics. Hilles Gallery at Creative Arts Workshop, 80 Audubon St. creativeartsworkshop.org.
Deck the Walls in New Haven: Through Dec. 23, Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekends 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reception Dec. 8 from 3 to 6 p.m. in conjunction with Westville’s Holiday Open House event. All 25 gallery artists showing work for sale. Kehler Liddell Gallery, 873 Whalley Ave. kehlerliddellgallery.com.
Festive Home: All that Glitters in Ridgefield: Through Dec. 23, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. Holiday market features 25 artisans selling jewelry, apparel, original artwork, home décor. Ridgefield Guild of Artists, 34 Halpin Lane. rgoa.org.
Art = Gift in New London: Through Dec. 29, Tuesday to Friday 2 to 7 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday noon to 4 p.m. Handcrafted, affordable art by local and regional artists, including paintings, prints, photographs, glasswork, jewelry, T-shirts, knitwear, drawings, woodwork, holiday cards and ornaments and more. Hygienic Art Galleries, 79 Bank St. in New London. hygienic.org.
Holiday artwork exhibit in Madison: Through Dec. 29, Tuesday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Susan Powell Fine Art, 679 Boston Post Road. susanpowellfineart.com.
Gifted in Willimantic: Through Jan. 5. Functional art pieces from area artists and craftspeople. Works include jewelry, glass, kitchen items, tchotchkes, housewares, textiles and ceramics. weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursdays open until 8 p.m., weekends 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Kerri Gallery, 861 Main St. kerriquirk.com.
Gift shop at the carousel in Hartford: Through Jan. 6, Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Woodcarvings, books, Victorian jewelry, quilts, prints, CDs, and full-size reproduction carousel pieces. At Bushnell Park Carousel in Hartford. thecarouselmuseum.org.
The Holiday Show in Old Lyme: Through Jan. 7, Thursday to Saturday noon to 5 p.m., Sunday noon to 4 p.m. Winter- and holiday-themed artwork by both contemporary and historical artists. Cooley Gallery, 25 Lyme St. cooleygallery.com.
Myths, Fairy Tales and Fantasies! in Centerbrook: Through Jan. 13, Wednesday to Saturday noon to 6 p.m., Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Spectrum Gallery, 61 Main St.. spectrumartgallery.org.
Holiday Boutique and Craft Fair in Simsbury: Nov. 29, 5 to 9 p.m. Artisan items including holiday decor, organic health care, crystal and handmade jewelry and more. Hop Meadow Country Club, 85 Firetown Road in Simsbury. facebook.com.
Gaylordsville Christmas Holiday Show in Old Lyme: Nov. 30 to Dec. 10, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Baked goods, holiday crafts, jewelry, ornaments. Merwinsville Hotel, 1 Brown's Forge Road, Gaylordsville section of New Milford. merwinsvillehotel.org.Deck the Walls: Nov. 30 (opening reception 5 to 7 p.m.) to Jan. 4, Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Annual holiday-themed exhibit of work by members of the Lyme Art Association, 90 Lyme St. lymeartassociation.org.
Holiday Market in West Hartford: Dec. 1, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Artisans and crafters selling jewelry, clothing, soaps, pottery, accessories, textiles, original artwork and specialty foods. West Hartford Town Hall, 50 South Main St. facebook.com.
PopShop’s Annual Holiday Market in Fairfield: Dec. 1, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sixth annual gathering of artisans and crafters. The Warehouse at Fairfield Theatre Company, 70 Sanford St. facebook.com.
Holiday Craft Fair in Bristol: Dec. 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Bristol Historical Society, 98 Summer St. Crafts, baked goods, vintage items. bristolhistoricalsociety.org.
Artists' Open Studios of Northeastern Connecticut: Dec. 1 and 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Seventy-one studios in the Quiet Corner. The 30th annual show and sale features painting, pottery, oils, watercolors, acrylics, woodcarving, furniture, sculpture, weaving, quilt-making, jewelry, fiber art, drawings, photography, glassworks, metal works, pyrography and mixed media. Map: aosct.org
Dirty for a Reason in West Hartford: Dec. 1 to 9. Hartford Art School clay club’s 21st annual holiday ceramics sale. Also prints and photographs for sale. Thirty percent of proceeds benefit students’ trip to the National Council for Education in the Ceramic Arts conference. Free. Dec. 1, 6 to 8 p.m.; Dec. 2 noon to 5 p.m.; Dec. 3 to 7 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Dec. 8 and 9 noon to 5 p.m. Silpe Gallery, Hartford Art School, University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Ave. in West Hartford. hartford.edu/hartford_art_school
Scandinavian Holiday Gift Sale in Washington Depot: Dec. 1 to 24, Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., closing earlier on Christmas Eve. Washington Art Association & Gallery, 4 Bryan Plaza. washingtonartassociation.org.
An Artful Season in Salisbury: Dec. 1 (opening reception 5 to 7 p.m.) to Jan. 13, weekends only 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Annual group show with new work from David Dunlop, Ira Barkoff, Sarah Martinez, Kathy Wismar, Debra Losada, Avery Danziger, Betsy Podlach, Joan Jardine, Kate Stiassni and John Belardo. The White Gallery, 342 Main St. in the Lakeville section of Salisbury. thewhitegalleryart.com
Holiday Bazaar in Middletown: Dec. 2, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Items from Adelbrook Barkery, Bahh Boots, Beach House Glass, Cold Goats Farm, Flash & Fire, Hartford Prints!, Jamie’s Organic Candles, Meriano’s Bake Shoppe, Middletown Garden Club, New England Alpacas, Now and Then, Our Kids Farm, Purseabilities, Quilibet, Quilting After Dark, Saltbox Press, Silver Mood Herbals, Simpson Design Stained Glass, Sugar Maple Farms, The Jobs Hill Provision Co, The Olive Oil Factory, Ursel’s Web, Whole Harmony, Why a Spoon?, Winding Drive, Woolen It Be Nice and Zachary Bloom. Admission $2. Wadsworth Mansion, 421 Wadsworth St. in Middletown. wadsworthmansion.com.
Holiday Fair in Norwich: Dec. 2, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Goods from Athena’s Home Novelties, Heavenly Goddess Spa Products, Partylite, Healing Hands, Touchstone Crystal, Landscape and Planter Decor, Paparazzi, 31, Lularoe, Lipsense, Thrive and 313 Leggings and more. Knights of Columbus Hall, 47 South 2nd Ave. in the Taftville section of Norwich. facebook.com.
Connecticut River Artisans in Essex: Dec. 2 and 6. Co-op shop selling items by local artisans and craftspeople. On Dec. 2 starting at 1 p.m., the shop will hold a holiday reception. On Dec. 6, the shop will be open late in conjunction with the town’s First Thursday events. 55 Main St. Regular hours are Monday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. ctriverartisans.org
Connecticut Christmas Gift Show in Southington: Dec. 2, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., More than 250 vendors selling handmade items, jewelry, stocking stuffers, electronics, games, apparel, collectibles. Advance admission is $5, 12 and younger free. Aqua Turf Club, 556 Mulberry St. in the Plantsville section of Southington. facebook.com.
Ceramics sale in Danbury: Dec. 6 and 7. Western Connecticut State University’s art department will sell functional ceramics made by students, including plates, bowls and other pieces. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. White Hall on the Midtown campus, 181 White St.. Proceeds will support the art department ceramics program. A tour of the ceramics studio will be available. wcsu.edu.
ACE Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair in Vernon: Dec. 6 to 9 and 13 to 16, Thursday, Friday and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Soap, jewelry, candles, textiles, stationery, ceramics, wood crafts and other hand-made crafts. Arts Center East, 709 Hartford Turnpike. artscentereast.org.
Farmington High School Madrigals and Holiday Makers Market in New Britain: Dec. 7, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Vendors market part of First Friday event at New Britain Museum of American Art, 56 Lexington St. $12, $7 members. nbmaa.org.
Know Good Holiday Bazaar in Hartford: Dec. 8, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Vendors fair. 30-50 Bartholomew Ave. in Hartford. facebook.com.
Christmas Town Festival on Bethlehem town green: Dec 7, 5 to 10 p.m. and Dec. 8, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Vendors, book sales, cookie sales, face painting, fife and drum band, music, hay rides, Santa. On the town green. christmastownfestival.com.
Winter Festival in North Haven: Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Local vendors and crafters are part of second annual festival, which also will feature decorated trees, gingerbread houses, caroling, lights, Santa. Admission is a donation of toys and food for local charities. North Haven Fairgrounds, 290 Washington Ave. (Route 5). northhaven-fair.com/winter.
Holiday Show and Sale in Windsor: Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Dec. 9, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Twenty-five members of the Women Artists Collective will present their annual holiday show and sale. Windsor Art Center, 40 Mechanic St. womenartistscollective.com.
12 x 12 Beauty in Canaan: Dec. 8, 5 to 7 p.m., then until Jan. 5, during library hours. Eighth annual exhibit of 12-inch-by-12-inch artworks all on sale for $100. David M. Hunt Library, 63 Main St. in the Falls Village section of Canaan. huntlibrary.org.
Art + Soul Hartford: Dec. 9, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Holiday market to benefit Protectors of Animals spaying program. Artworks and crafts by Tao LaBossiere, Avé Rivera Studio, Black Orchid Skincare, Cinder + Salt, Chalk Art New England, ColeMama Creations, FallenpeachLane, Hartford Prints!, Iris Creek Farm, Island of Misfit Crafters, Jenny Fields Fiber, Kate Stephen Jewelry, Lisa Maree Designs, Lets Start From Scratch, Mariposa Mittens, Marni Designs, Ritual Earth Tea, RiverDog Prints, Speckles and Petals, Stock the Bar Candles, The Cottage Potter, The House She Loved, The Pink Sheep Boutique, Timeflies by Lauralie and Verdilune. Music by Bill Benson. ArtSpace Gallery, 555 Asylum Ave. facebook.com.
Winter Art Show in Branford: Dec. 9 (reception 1 to 3 p.m.) to Jan. 30, during Art Center hours. All artworks for sale. Branford Art Center, 1229 Main St. branfordartcenterct.com.
Winterfest Market in Hartford: Dec. 15, noon to 5 p.m. Pump House Gallery in Hartford’s Bushnell Park will house craft and food vendors. winterfesthartford.com.
Love Local Presents Holiday Jubilee in Windsor: Dec. 15 and 16, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fifth annual gathering of artisans and craftspeople. Co-presented by Nutmeg Collective. Get Baked, 25 Central St. facebook.com.
District Night: ChristmaHanuKwanzaaKah: Dec. 16, noon to 6 p.m. Music, photos with Santa and a holiday market featuring Able Mable, Daswani Clothiers, The DNA Shop, Flocco Designs, Hardenco, Juniper Village, Let’s Start From Scratch, Osmusono, Ritual Earth Tea, Space Dog Scientific and Tainted Inc. TheatreWorks, 233 Pearl St. in Hartford. facebook.com.
Doll Clothes Extravaganza on Tolland green: Dec. 30. Diana Terban will sell her original designs of dresses, coats, nightgowns, bathrobes, karate gis, costumes, backpacks, mittens, carriers and shoes, sized to fit American Girl-sized dolls. 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Hicks-Stearns Family Museum, exit 68 off I-84. facebook.com.