Buying thoughtful holiday gifts for friends, family and co-workers can be a daunting task. Who has time to travel from store to store with locations in multiple neighborhoods? Online shopping can be tricky and lead to buying the wrong item. Thankfully, those in Washington, D.C., can potentially get all their shopping done in one unique, festive shopping place.
The annual Downtown Holiday Market features more than 160 small, local businesses selling a variety of handmade products all in one convenient location: the F Street sidewalk in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery, between 7th and 9th Streets NW.
Opening this year on Black Friday, Nov. 28, the market runs until Tuesday, Dec. 23, with daily hours from noon to 8 p.m.
Patrons take in the vendors at the annual Downtown Holiday Market — Photo courtesy of Downtown Holiday Market
Does your shopping list include art fans? Collages, paintings, photography and printmaking booths will be on-site. For the fashion conscious, multiple clothing and accessories exhibitors are ready with products.
Meanwhile, craft lovers will have different types of handmade items to peruse, including ceramics, glass, imported items and woodworking creations. Other products include jewelry, antiques, collectibles, gift foods, soaps and candles.
Vendors do rotate daily, so go to the market's website to see a full list businesses with the day(s) of their visit and booth location. The market, which has taken place annually since 2005, is put together by the DowntownDC Business Improvement District and Diverse Markets Management.
The event is not just about crossing off items from your shopping list. After meandering through the shopping village, make sure to save some time to watch live entertainment on the market's stage.
Every genre of music – including jazz, folk, R&B, blues, rock, classical and gospel – will be performed. Don't be surprised if some holiday song favorites are thrown in, too.
Shopping can be hard work, so make sure to refuel with some on-site food and drink. Since temperatures will most likely be chilly, warm up with tasty beverages from the Vigilante Coffee Co. and hot cinnamon-dusted, cream-filled churros from Alexsa's Empanadas.
If your sweet tooth is aching, check out Miguel's Magnificent Mini Donuts, which you can watch come fresh out of the oven. For those with dietary needs, the event offers Sexy Vegie, an eatery with vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.
This market offers a convenient, fun and time-saving solution to all of your holiday shopping needs. So prepare your arms and wallet for all those goodie bags.