30 November 2023

11 Christmas markets in the Illawarra this festival season

| Dione David
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Gingerbread Christmas Ornaments at the Christmas Market.

Ready or not, the festive season is upon us, with the Christmas market season kicking off this weekend. Photo: File.

November is charging full steam ahead and before you know it, ’tis the season to shop. The Illawarra is flush with the full spectrum of market opportunities, from small community-run garage sale-style ones to full-blown school-run fete-like markets, and finishing with the Illawarra “All I Want For Christmas” Market swooping in to rescue you in your last-minute scramble.

Here’s our guide to getting your retail on this festival season.

Flyer for Civic Centre Market at Shellharbour

This market celebrates the talents of Shellharbour’s young makers, creators and performers. Image: Shellharbour Civic Centre.

Shellharbour Civic Centre Market

When: Saturday 11 November, 10 am to 1 pm
Where: Shellharbour Civic Centre, 76 Cygnet Avenue, Shellharbour City Centre
Cost: Free entry.

The Civic Centre Market is back and is bigger and better than ever, with an event billed as “a fun-filled day with a range of things happening including live music, entertainment and awesome stuff to buy”. This is the chance to be organised with your Christmas shopping while supporting Shellharbour’s young makers, creators and performers.

More than 30 young entrepreneurs will showcase their handmade wares including artworks, earrings, plants, scented candles, textile pieces, clothing, personalised specialty items, fashion and accessories for dogs and much more. There will also be live music from local performers, roving entertainers and face painting.

Flyer for Score a Christmas Gift! Stanwell Park Vinyl & Vintage Sale

Score a Christmas gift at the Stanwell Park Vinyl & Vintage Sale. Image: Allevents.

Score a Christmas Gift! Stanwell Park Vinyl and Vintage Sale

When: Saturday 11 November, 10 am to 4 pm
Where: CWA Hall Stanwell Park, 15 The Drive, Stanwell Park
Cost: Free entry.

A few Stannie locals are getting together to host this pre-Christmas garage sale-style vintage and vinyl sale. There will be thousands of preloved vinyl and vintage gems priced from $2, alongside collectables, secondhand clothes, small furniture, glassware, art and prints, figurines, linen and quirky stuff.

Expect a fun atmosphere with music and outside seating provided. EFTPOS will be available, but cash is preferred. Please note there are no ATMs nearby.

Santa will be paying a visit to Kiama for these markets supporting local small businesses. Image: The Pavilion Kiama.

The Pavilion Kiama Christmas Markets

When: Thursday 16 November, 1 to 7 pm
Where: The Pavilion Kiama, 2 Bong Bong Street, Kiama
Cost: Free entry.

The Pavilion Kiama Christmas Markets provide the chance for the local community and visitors to support Kiama’s small businesses this Christmas. Expect an abundance of local market stalls with a wide variety of goods including hampers, chocolates, clothes, toys, jewellery and much more.

There will also be face painting, henna tattoos and lots of yummy food, plus a visit from Santa, with photos from 2 to 3 pm and 5 to 6 pm.

You'll discover a range of beautiful handmade items at this market for women, by women.

You’ll discover a range of beautiful handmade items at this market for women, by women. Image: Illawarra Women’s Health Centre.

Illawarra Women’s Health Centre Outdoor Christmas Market

When: Wednesday 22 November, 10 am to 1 pm
Where: Illawarra Women’s Health Centre, 2/10 Belfast Avenue, Warilla
Cost: Free entry, book here.

Illawarra Women’s Health Centre invites you to get into the festive spirit, discover a wide variety of unique gifts, indulge in a delicious spread of food, connect with women in the local community and join in on holiday crafts and activities.

Promising a lively atmosphere and plenty of stalls to explore, you’ll find the perfect gift among the handmade items created by women. Please note: the Illawarra Women’s Health Centre is a women’s only safe space (children are welcome to attend).

Flyer for Thirroul Public School Christmas Market

The Thirroul Public School Christmas Market is set up as a community event with full-blown fete vibes. Image: Thirroul Public School P&C.

Thirroul Public School Christmas Market

When: Saturday 25 November, 10 am to 3 pm
Where: Thirroul Public School
Cost: Admission by $1 donation payable upon entry.

Thirroul Public School’s P&C has organised an epic Christmas market with full-blown fete vibes. Think rides, retail stalls from local vendors and live entertainment including Santa photos all day on a walk-in basis.

There will be around 20 stalls from fantastic businesses including Twig & Bo, Nourish & Nest, Wolf & Cub, MadDog Ink, Dave’s Comics Australia, Bodyshop at Home and Yum Yum Chilli. Food trucks will include everything from Il Nido Pizza Truck to 2 Smoking Barrels, Ken’s Cones, Mini Donuts 4U, Murphy’s Coffee and more plus a sausage sizzle and cake and lolly stand run by the P&C. All profits will go back to the school.

Fifteen stalls will feature at this twilight community market.

Fifteen stalls will feature at this twilight community market. Image: The Heights Collective/Facebook.

The Heights Collective Twilight Market

When: Saturday 25 November, 3 to 7 pm
Where: The Heights Collective, 255-259 Farmborough Road, Farmborough Heights (top of the hill in the car park)
Cost: Free entry.

The Heights Collective hosts 20 local small businesses, offering the community the opportunity to support creators, producers and sellers from Helensburgh to Kiama. There will be 15 stalls at this twilight community market selling everything from candles and giftware to jewellery and handmade crafts for Christmas, including personalised Christmas tree baubles. There will also be a food truck onsite.

Illawarra Lapidary Club Open Day Christmas Market

When: Sunday 26 November, 9 am to 2 pm
Where: Club rooms, 51 Meadow Street, Tarrawanna
Cost: Free entry.

If your loved one’s tastes err towards the shiny, sparkly, precious, semi-precious and rare, you may find the perfect Christmas gift at this special Christmas market hosted by the Illawarra’s own lapidary club. There will be stalls selling crystals, minerals, fossils, lapidary materials and handcrafted jewellery and books.

Morning tea (homemade cakes and goodies) and a sausage sizzle lunch will be available for purchase.

Little girl with Reindeer face paint and Santa Claus sitting next to a Christmas tree

There will be face painting and a visit from Santa at the Roo Theatre’s Christmas markets. Photo: iStock/fotostorm.

Shellharbour Christmas Market

When: Sunday 3 December, 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Roo Theatre (The Harbour Theatre), corner Wentworth and Addison Streets, Shellharbour Village
Cost: Free entry.

Small and unique, The Roo Theatre’s Christmas market might be among the most unique in the region, and ideal for kids. Not only will there be face painting and a visit from Santa, but they’ll also be selling costumes.

So far about 16 stalls have signed up, with lots of locally made and sourced items. The canteen will be selling drinks and snacks, operated by Roo volunteers.

Flyer for Bulli Village Christmas Market

Bulli Village Market is set to take on a Christmassy vibe. Image: Hiviz Markets.

Bulli Village Christmas Market

When: Sunday 10 December, 9 am to 3 pm
Where: Bulli Showground, Grevillea Park Road, Bulli
Cost: Gold coin donation for Men’s Shed, payable upon entry.

Specialising in handmade quality items, Bulli Village Market will turn up the festive vibes on 10 December. Among the dozens of stalls you can expect artisan-made market cheeses, olives, award-winning honey mead, gin, pasta, salamis and doughnuts to die for, as well as a diverse range of artisan-made items that will make for beautiful Christmas gifts. Greyhounds As pets will have some beautiful greyhounds looking for a forever home for Christmas.

There are both indoor and outdoor seating areas including great stretches of floorspace, and plenty of food to choose from. Grab a picnic rug and lunch, seat yourself near the live music and soak in the market vibes. There is also a great play area for kids with a sandpit, pony rides, face painting, hair braiding and a henna tattooist and Santa will be popping in around 11 am to say hi to the kids.

Flyer for Crown Street Christmas Markets

Crown Street Markets invites you to “jingle all the way to the most festive event of the year”. Image: Crown Street Markets.

Crown Street Christmas Markets

When: Thursday 14 December, 11 am to 9 pm and Friday 15 and Saturday 16 December, 8 am to 3 pm
Where: Crown Street Mall, Crown Street, Wollongong
Cost: Free entry.

For three days the Crown Street Markets will adopt a distinctly Christmassy vibe. Billed as a “magical shopping experience that will get you into the holiday spirit”, live music performances will set the tone for this fabulously festive shopping experience.

You’ll discover unique, handcrafted gifts and support local artisans, makers, and small businesses. Find one-of-a-kind decorations, jewellery, art and more and enjoy delicious local food, treats and festive goodies.

Flyer for The Illawarra All I Want For Christmas Market

If you’ve left your Christmas shopping late, this epic market might be just the ticket. Image: Eat Shop Love Markets & Events.

The Illawarra “All I Want For Christmas” Market

When: Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 December, 2 to 8 pm
Where: Groundz Precinct Dapto, 89-99 Princes Motorway, Dapto
Cost: Free entry.

Between the beautiful boutique stalls, delicious food offerings, live music, photo opportunities and a visit from Santa, this epic market event promises the chance to check the last items off your Christmas shopping list – and have a good time doing so.

Boutique retail shopping offers a range of carefully curated stalls offering everything from candles to jewellery, artisan foods to toys. There will also be food trucks, activities, and live music, including a Saturday evening “Carols & Covers” performance, a visit from Santa and friends, photo opportunities and more.

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