'Tis the season to start making that list and checking it twice. One of the things we love about Nova Scotia during the holidays is there's no shortage of artists and artisans around to help us find the perfect one of a kind gift for loved ones on our shopping list.
Making that local shopping experience even better is the chance to meet the maker at the craft show. As you find the perfect gift, you also get talk to the artisan who created it, learning a little bit about their craft. They can tell you where the wood came from, how they stitched it by hand or what ingredients they used, giving every item at a show its own story.
It's a busy time for craft shows - some have already come and gone - but there are still quite a few between now and December to help you buy amazing, locally made gifts. Here are just a few:
Christmas at the Forum kicked the craft show season off on November 1, but even if you missed that one, there's still a show waiting for you to visit.
NSDCC Christmas Show
November 15-17, Cunard Centre
Featuring some of Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada's talented artists and artisans, the show will have plenty of unique and contemporary fine craft ready for gifting. In addition to shopping, exhibitors, local guilds and NSDCC members will be demonstrating their skills throughout the show.
DalPlex Christmas Craft Market
November 22-24, Dalhousie University
One of Halifax's favourite craft markets for 29 years, the Dalplex features vendors from the Atlantic region, and across Canada, exhibiting handcrafted pottery, jewelry, art, woodwork and more. Child supervision is available.
Halifax Crafters Society Holiday Craft Market
November 30 - December 1, Olympic Centre
Voted one the best craft show by readers of The Coast, this show aims to be a little different than the others in the city. Predominantly featuring local artisans, both established and emerging, this a show to find something new and unique - whether it's burlesque tea towels, sweater monsters, or handcrafted leather book you're looking for, you're sure to find a unique gift.
Festival of Trees and Crafts
December 6-8, Middle Musquodoboit
This event isn't just about buying local, it's also about celebrating Nova Scotia's balsam fir industry. Local businesses decorate trees while over 100 talented crafters from around the Maritimes sell unique gifts.
24th Annual Seaside Christmas
This is an event that mixes two things we love: shopping local and road trips. From Three Fathom Harbour to Jeddore, businesses and organizations along the Eastern Shore hold events and craft shows. Follow the numbered wreaths to find what you're looking for this holiday season.
Holiday Spirit Fine Craft Market
November 29 - December 1, Sydney
Some of Cape Breton's finest artisans gather in Sydney at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design for this craft market. Experience the thrill of finding that one-of-a kind item while getting to meet some of the amazing artisans from around the island.
Jost Vineyards, Christmas Open House
November 17, Malagash
If there's a wine lover on your shopping list, this might be the show for you. Winter wine specials from Jost and chestnuts roasting on an open fire always make this Christmas celebration a favourite. Along with finding delicious food and wine, there will be craft tables filled with gift ideas.
Fundy Shore and Annapolis Valley
19th Annual Maitland Christmas Festival
Along with the decorated heritage homes, a Victorian tea, and church supper, this Christmas Festival offers a charming and eclectic mix of locally made products at Gallery 215 in Selma.
Starting November 29th, one of Canada's oldest towns becomes a charming Christmas wonderland. Majestic homes and gardens are decorated for the season and craft shows and farmers markets are planned for both locals and visitors to find gifts.
December 21, Wolfville
The Wolfville Farmers Market is the place to be for holiday cheer and craft shows in mid-December. Find last minute gifts and stock up for your holiday feast while enjoying cider made from apples grown nearby.
Yarmouth and Acadian Shores
The big show of the year for this region happens early with Tooie's Annual Christmas Craft Show in late October. But that doesn't mean you're out of luck for finding locally made gift items around the Yarmouth and Acadian Shores. Farmers markets around the region have everything you're looking for, from food to gifts.
Mahone Bay Christmas Father Christmas Festival
November 29 - December 8
Get into the holiday spirit at this week long celebration of that jolly old elf. Town wide events feature life-sized, handcrafted Father Christmas figures, decorated house tours, carolers and concerts. And for the foodie in your life, the Yuletide Gourmet Market is not to be missed. The events kick off with a tree-lighting on November 29th as carollers and bell ringers ring in the season.