We’ve seen the adverts, the decorations are out, and shops are full of Christmas TAT. I mean, does anyone really want socks? Actually, sometimes socks are a blessing. But if you are looking for something a little different, something creative, then read on. We have complied a list of arty places you can go to get some pretty decent Christmas presents. From art prints, to unique jewellery, to Frida themed ornaments, check out the list below and get shopping!
Based in Northern Quarter (of course) we literally love this shop. Any birthday or Christmas we are there. It’s got such an eclectic mix of stocking fillers, decorations and present ideas. It’s got a mix of toys and treasures for the kids, books, jewellery and ornaments for the adults. If you want something different and quirky, definitely head to Oklahoma.
Address:74-76 High St, Manchester M4 1ES
Hours: Every day 10:00am – 6:00pm (Open till 7:00pm Friday and Saturday)
Find out more: www.okla.co.uk
There are a few fairs coming up in November – one being Manchester Print Fair held at Manchester Central Library. ‘…a platform for independent artists and designers and a unique retail experience for visitors.’ The fair will feature a huge lists of artists, including new and talent from across the North West too. Give someone a truly unique and different gift this year and buying them a one-off print! I’d be pretty happy with that.
Address: Manchester Central Library, St. Peters Square, M2 5PD
Hours: Saturday 24th November – 10.30am – 4.15pm
Parallax Art Fair
Another of the art fairs in Manchester that weekend is Parallax Art Fair, open all weekend, held at Sachas Britannia Hotel. (I don’t think the hotel has the best reputation in the world, but hey, at least its central!) This will be the first time the fair has been held in Manchester (usually in London) and there will be ‘thousands of works of fine, decorative and applied arts from around the world.’
Address: Britannia Sachas Hotel, Tib Street, Back Piccadilly, M4 1SH
Hours: Friday 23rd November, 7.30pm – 9.30pm. Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th November, 11:00am – 5:00pm
Find out more: www.parallaxaf.co
Etsy are hosting another arts and craft fair, the ‘Craftmas Market by Etsy Made Local. This will be held at The People’s History Museum for a third year running. ‘With over 40 stalls full of unique, handmade gifts and cards from independent retailers, makers and artists’ you will have plenty to choose from. These fairs are the best way to stay away from the common high street gifts, to buy something unusual, different, unique and hand-made.
Address: New Ct St, Manchester, M3 3ER
Hours: Friday 30th November – 5.00pm – 8.00pm. Saturday 1st December – 10.00am – 5.00pm and Sunday 2nd December 10.00am – 4.00pm
Find out more: www.phm.org.uk/events
Yule Do – Sale Arts Trail
You are literally spoilt for choice with these art fairs! “Yule Do’ (hilarious name) is run by Sale Arts Trail, and this year’s event will be held at St Paul’s Church. ‘It should be a festive treat with work by nearly 30 artists and makers, Christmas music being piped across the church and mulled wine and festive fayre being supplied by the brilliant people at Charlie’s Corner Cafe.’ Expect paintings, ceramics, jewellery and more!
Address:St Paul’s Church, 15 Springfield Rd, Sale M33 7YA
Hours: Saturday 17th November – 10:00am – 5:00pm
Find out more: www.saleartstrail.com
Salford Makers Pop Up
Enough of the fairs for now. Instead why not head to Salford Makers Pop Up Shop? Inside you’ll find ‘products made by established independent artists and makers from Islington Mill.’ They’ll be a hug mix of textiles and clothing, jewellery, accessories and more. You may even get a chance to meet some of the makers too. This pop up shop will be ope till Christmas Eve so there is plenty of time to visit.
Address: 311 – 313 Chapel Street, Salford, M3 5JU
Hours: Wednesday to Friday 11:00am – 7:00pm. Saturday 11:00am – 6:00pm. Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm.
Find out more: www.islingtonmill.com
Piss up at the Brewery
If you love art, beer, and helping people, then this is the event for you! Head to Alphabet Brewery for a ‘free night of music and art to raise money for Manchester’s homeless.’ Manchester Field Notes are hosting ‘Piss up at the Brewery.’ This night sounds pretty sweet, who doesn’t want to drink craft beers, listen to music and buy some art! Also, any artists reading this post donation are needed! Please feel free to donate a piece of art, original or print to help raise some money for Manchester’s homeless.
Address:Alphabet Brewing Company, 99 N Western St, Manchester M12 6JL
Hours: Friday 23rd November – 18:30 till late
Find out more: www.facebook.com/groups
Situated in the Northern Quarter you will find Magma, an electric art-come-book shop. You’ll find books on fashion, graphics, fonts, art, music and more, independent publications sit next to establish titles. There is also a rage of cards, including arty Christmas designs, tote bags and toys for the little and the big kids. Magma is perfect for all those art and design books, prints, magazines, cards and stationery.
Address: 24 Oldham St, Manchester M1 1JN
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10:00am – 6:30pm, Sunday 11:00am – 6pm.
Find out more: www.magma-shop.com
Manchester Craft and Design Centre
Full of quirky little stores, rented by independent makers, this place feels like one of those art markets you find on the continent. Paintings, jewellery, accessories, sculptures, clothes, you’ll find them all inside. The building itself is Victorian and ‘once the home of the city’s retail fish market – now features two floors of contemporary craft studios but is still complete with many of its original and quirky fixtures and fittings.’ I’d highly recommend visiting the Manchester Craft and Design centre this Christmas!
Address: 17 Oak St, Manchester M4 5JD
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10:00am – 5:30pm
Find out more: www.craftanddesign.com
As well as a great place for cafe culture drinks and freshly made street food, Hatch hosts a bunch of independent retailer stores. Here you’ll find Nordic inspired jewellery from those at Nordic Muse – ‘expect minimalist necklaces, stacked rings and geometric pieces…’ Are we not a nation of dog lovers? Head to Betty & Butch for all your Christmas doggy needs! They have brought ‘sparkle, amazing doggy gifts for hounds & humans.’ I don’t even have a dog and I want to check this place out! You’ll also find unique streetwear, sneakers and vinyls.
Address: Oxford Road, Manchester, M1 7ED
Hours: Monday to Friday: 10:00am – 6:00pm, Saturday: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Find out more: www.hatchmcr.com