The Christmas shopping frenzy has begun. Department stores are opening early, staying late and hosting sale after sale to pull in as much business as possible this season.
But the big box stores aren’t the only options out there for shoppers. A variety of jewelers, crafters and other artists are also ramping up their efforts to prepare for arts and craft fairs that will pepper the region over the next month.
For the shoppers who prefer the handmade, rather than mass-produced, there are many options in cities throughout the Southwest region. Wineries, churches, schools and more will hold events displaying the work of local artists, often in conjunction with holiday themed celebrations.
Temecula resident Gessica Doughty will host her first Inland region craft fair from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 15 in a banquet room at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula.
A military wife, Doughty has traveled quite a bit and hosted craft fairs at her last residence in North Carolina.
“I have 34 vendors … we’ll have a little bit of everything,” Doughty said. “I have a lady who makes tutus, stained glass, leather, jewelry and much more.”
Art and craft items come from local producers, provide unique gifts for loved ones and keep funds within the community, Doughty added.
“I get tired of the big stores taking over everything,” she said. “You don’t usually get what you pay for. People like things that are unique. A lot of vendors do this for a living. Hopefully, this will help them get their products out there and help the local economy as well.”
In addition to fairs, many farmers markets in the area have vendors offering unique, handmade gifts for the holiday season. For example, farmers’ markets in Temecula are held Saturday mornings in Old Town Temecula, as well as Wednesday mornings at the Promenade Temecula.
Here are some arts and crafts options coming soon. Check with area schools, churches and other community groups for detailed listings throughout the region:
Farmers Market and Craft Fair
Fridays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
The Art Center at Fallbrook
103 South Main at Alvarado, Fallbrook
Art Campus at Fallbrook
310 E. Alvarado Street, Fallbrook
Hemet West Craft Faire at Hemet West Mobile Home Park
Nov. 17 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
5001 W. Florida Ave., Hemet
Venture Christian Church First Annual Holiday Boutique
Nov. 17 9 a.m.-2p.m.
40515 California Oaks Rd, Murrieta
Holiday Gift Boutique at Temeku Hills
Nov. 17 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
41687 Temeku Dr., Temecula
Mount Palomar Winery Temecula
“Very Dickens Victorian Christmas Faire and Christmas Tree Lighting”
Dec. 15 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
33820 Mount Rancho California Rd., Temecula
Maurice Car’rie Winery Arts and Craft Fair
Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
34225 Rancho California Road, Temecula
Pechanga Resort and Casino
Arts and Craft Fair
Dec. 15 from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
45000 Pechanga Parkway, Temecula
Bates Nut Farm
Santa’s Coming Arts and Crafts Fair
Nov. 23-25 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Jennifer Dean is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.