It might be tempting to do your Christmas shopping online while you’re sitting in bed watching Netflix and sipping a cup of hot cocoa, but it’s not as much fun as visiting the Downtown Holiday Market.
Each year, dozens of vendors set up booths at 8th and F streets NW to sell their wares, handicrafts and tasty treats throughout the holiday season.
Shoppers can buy jewelry, clothing, and art made from glass, wood, fiber and other materials. A couple of vendors were selling crafts from Peru, including knit sweaters for babies, llama figurines and brightly painted Nativity scenes.
Lots of handmade jewelry is for sale, including cufflinks. Shoppers can also find purses, hats, dog collars, soaps, paintings, maps and holiday cards.
One exhibitor, Manatho Shumba Masani, creates art out of recycled materials. His tables are filled with brightly colored wild animal sculptures, including an eye-catching green giraffe made out of an Arizona iced tea can. Masani says he makes his Canimals out of all types of cans, giving new life to what otherwise might just be thrown away. If you miss Canimals at the Downtown Holiday Market, look for Masani at Eastern Market.
Sometimes when you go to crafts fairs and festivals, you get a vague sense of déjà vu — that you’ve seen these vendors and crafts before. But you just don’t see that many chocolate gun vendors. In that way, Schokolat is unique. Not only do they sell chocolate guns, they sell chocolate watches, teapots, tools and more. The adorable creations are so realistic-looking that the vendor warns shoppers not to try to take a chocolate gun on an airplane due to the possibility it will be mistaken for an actual weapon.
As much fun as it is to shop at the Downtown Holiday Market, one of the best parts is eating there.
Migues Mini Donuts is at the end of the row of vendors, but you can smell the lovely aroma of frying dough from a block away. Fresh, reasonably priced and served with a smile, these donuts are a winner every time. If you don’t get a chance to sample these warm, tasty treats here in D.C., look for Migues Mini Donuts at farmers markets in Baltimore.
On the opposite end of the market is Alexa’s Empanadas, offering savory snacks as well as cinnamon and cream-filled churros.
The Downtown Holiday Market also has entertainment daily — check out the schedule online.
If you’re downtown shopping, ice skating, eating out or sightseeing, stop by the Downtown Holiday Market and see what the artists have to offer.
Downtown Holiday Market, 8th and F streets NW, noon-8 daily