Put a dent in the Christmas shopping and have a lovely evening to boot in the tiny South Gippsland town of Meeniyan. Held in the village’s new open-air cultural precinct, the community gathering attracts mightily talented local craftspeople, designers, providores, street-food vendors, brewers and winemakers.
From humble hippie origins in 1975, the iconic Red Hill Community Market has grown into Craft Markets Australia, with multiple statewide locations offering handcrafted wares and seasonal produce at fair prices. In the lead-up to Christmas, markets run throughout December, including a Mornington Racecourse Market at twilight on 15 December.
Artsy little Castlemaine shows off its skills at these popular makers’ markets, with a special twilight edition on December 14. More than 60 Central Victorian artisans including silversmiths, illustrators and ceramicists will display their creations, while roving performers entertain and food stalls entice. If that’s not enough market for you, Castlemaine’s Wesley Hills Community Market pops up every Saturday throughout December with all-local goods.
Popping up in the pretty Goldfields town of Creswick each month, this self-described “happy small-town market” offers nearly 100 stalls. Snap up produce plucked from nearby fields and edible finds for foodie friends, and peruse the makers’ and artisans’ hall for bespoke textiles, cosmetics, jewellery, furniture and more. Live entertainment and tasty food stalls round out a market day with bucket-loads of local flavour.
Craft Markets. Image supplied by Craft Markets.
Torquay Cowrie Market. Image supplied by Torquay Cowrie Market.
The quirky Emu Plains Market brings Mornington Peninsula’s best creators and makers together under a canopy of stringybarks in the Emu Plains Reserve in Balnarring. From fashions for hounds and tots to handcrafted homewares, all-natural beauty buys and living greenery, you’ll find the perfect gift for even the fussiest character. December’s market will feature a full day of live music and great eating and drinking, along with a special appearance by Santa himself.
The Surf Coast Arts Collective’s crafty little market takes over the Torquay Esplanade on the third Sunday of each month from September to April. Championing handcrafted goods and eco-friendly products, with local musos performing over two stages plus all-ages activities, the Cowrie Market is a beloved fixture in the Surf Coast’s cultural calendar and just the place to unearth one-off gifts.
An appearance by Santa at Emu Plains. Image supplied by Emu Plains.
A stop on the Moorabool Valley Taste Trail, the farmers market at Bannockburn, just north of Geelong, gathers passionate local growers, provedores and makers. The special December evening edition falls just in time to prep for festive entertaining, with last-minute gift ideas such as glass ornaments, hand-printed cards and gourmet stocking stuffers. Swing past the retro caravan “Fran” for a cheeky cocktail and bite of tapas as you roam.
Golden Plains Twilight Market. Image supplied by Golden Plains Shire Council.