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Tis the Season! Shop Portland’s Local Makers

Rose City’s Got Makers Markets, Holiday Lights and Seasonal Sips Galore

Winter in Portland is magical, as the rain-slicked streets quiet and locals linger in the city’s buzziest bars and restaurants. Couple that with off-season hotel prices and some festive, holiday cheer from a well-made spirit drink, curated makers markets and dazzling light displays – well, how can you resist?

Holiday Shopping & Festive Market Feels

Avoid any supply chain mishaps this holiday season by shopping local in a city where the spirit of collaboration, craft and DYI culture reign supreme. From original works of art, hand-crafted ceramics and trendsetting jewelry to edible gifts, Portland’s bevy of independent artisans, entrepreneurs and makers markets should be the first stop on your gift buying list – tax free no less! Starting with Portland Saturday Market, which has a standing residency on the Willamette waterfront each weekend (from April to December 18, 2021), check out these shops, pop-ups and fairs for wares this season.

My People’s Marketplace brings together our vibrant multicultural community of entrepreneurs, makers, epicurean innovators, and performers for a bi-annual, three-day showcase of locally made, shoppable wares. This season, you will be able to peruse the vendors in person during a special holiday market held over three consecutive Sundays starting on December 5th. You can also find products from some of these makers illuminating the windows at the 10Y building downtown right now at the My People’s Market Window Shop, a program co-founded by Portland Made and Makers Union PDX who have several window shops set up across the city. Passersby will be able to scan the QR code directing to PDW Window Shop website where shoppers can purchase the items available in each window. Past participants have included Mimi’s Fresh Tee’s, Aesthete Tea, Nomadic Vintage Rugs, Blendily, Fei Goods and more.

Portland Indigenous Marketplace was founded in 2018 by Lluvia Merello aimed to create a barrier-free, inclusive space for businesses of color and indigenous origin to share their heritage through cultural arts and honed craft. More than 75 businesses are represented here from art and jewelry, wellness, food, fashion and more. Find intricate beadwork pieces from 3WS Generations Beadwork and Dempsey Designs or woven wire jewelry from Asdzaa Olta. Mark your calendar, the next in-person markets will be held on November 26 and December 11.

Shopping small and local makes a big impact. Skilled artisans and Portland entrepreneurs gather in the hundreds at both the Portland Bazaar in Southeast Portland (and also a new location at Pioneer Square this year taking place on Small Business Saturday, November 27) and the Unique Markets Holiday Pop-up. Happening across three consecutive weekends in December, you’ll have plenty of time (and places) to find the perfect gift.

This holiday season from November 16 through December 31, 2021, PDX Pop-up Shops – an initiative supported by the Portland Business Alliance – will once again creatively activate vacant storefronts centered in the downtown hub of Portland, displaying local independent design talent and emerging retail entrepreneurs. This year’s line-up will includes seven pop-ups including Indigenous Come-up and Ceramic NW, with free parking on Sundays with Smartpark to boot. Grab a famed Spanish Coffee at Huber’s (Portland’s oldest bar), snap pictures in front of the towering tree in Pioneer Square, as you stop from shop to shop.

Stop at the biggest arts and craft fair in the city, Crafty Wonderland, which takes over the Oregon Convention Center on a bi-annual basis in May and early-December (ahead of the holidays). They also have a brick-and-mortar set up in the artsy Alberta district in Northeast Portland you can visit anytime.

Feeling Portland from afar? These shops are rounding up products from local makers that can be shipped to your (or loved ones) front door from a ‘treasure box’ by greenHAUS gallery, art gallery and purveyor of artisan crafts; some of Portland's more adorned artisan brands wrapped up into one from With Love, From PDX; or a JorneeBox from Portland-based Kevia, a sustainable jewelry and apparel brand, packages up $250+ worth of sustainable, fair–trade and ethically made goods, starting at $54.99.

Also, Small Shops Big Hearts PDXSOS gift card can be used at more than 100 small Portland businesses.

Cozy Up This Season with These Winterized & Spirited Suggestions Around Portland

Light-peeping activities are fun for the whole family. The Christmas Ships Parade has been a longstanding Portland tradition, dating back to 1954 where one lone boat wrapped in sparkling lights sailed from the city Yacht Club. Today, on-lookers can marvel at a fleet of up to 60 brightly lit boats floating along the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Other notable awe-inspiring experiences include the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in Portland’s Living Room – Pioneer Square – taking place on November 26 and televised for all to see; Zoolights at the Oregon Zoo; a drive-through Winter Wonderland experience at the Portland International Raceway, recognized throughout the Pacific Northwest as the ‘largest holiday light show West of the Mississippi’; and a stroll along famed Peacock Lane in Southeast Portland’s Belmont Neighborhood held from December 15-31.

Sing along to the sounds of the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus during their Gather performance at the Newmark Theatre in downtown Portland on December 10th and 11th. Their mix of holiday favorites and winter tunes are sure to get you into the seasonal spirit.

Coffee and a show! A tried-and-true tradition, the interactive, tableside service delivered by Huber’s Café isn’t one to miss. The seasonal Spanish Coffee brings all the warm holiday feels. Follow that up with dinner at one of Portland’s many Pho and Ramen shops like crowd-favorite Afuri Ramen, newly-opened Friendship Kitchen, Ramen Ippo in the Nob Hill food carts, or Kayo’s Ramen Bar in N. Williams Avenue in NE Portland.

For the ‘of age’ crowd, prep for (multiple) wintery pints from some of Oregon’s top craft breweries. While the Holiday Ale Festival traditionally held in December is postponed this year, you can get hoppy on your own DIY tour of some of the city’s buzziest brewery’s from Breakside Brewery and 10 Barrell to Assembly Brewing, Wayfinder, Lucky Labrador, the newly-opened Steeplejack Brewing Company in Northeast Portland, housed in a former beautiful church, and many more.