Scott and I spent last Friday at Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art for their annual holiday shopping event ArtScape. The last time we visited MOCA was for a Tri-C JazzFest concert. This time, their versatile lobby was transforrmed into a pop up shop of jewelry and design gifts.
We also had a chance to look at the museum’s current exhibits, Simon Evans’ Only Words Eaten by Experience and Michelle Grabner’s I Work From Home. We particularly liked Evans’ work, which consisted of small pieces of paper, tape, and white-out compiled into diagrams, maps, flowcharts and diary entries cataloging his day-to-day life.
MOCA features many other events throughout December to enjoy the museum’s space and the current exhibits, including Free First Saturdays (Dec. 7), One Hour One Work (Dec. 11), and a concert with Daniel Lippel co-presented by the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society (Dec. 12).
If you missed your chance to start your holiday shopping at ArtScape, though, don’t worry. I have 10 events to help you shop local in November and December.
Check them out and if you have any suggestions of other holiday shopping events, leave a comment below.
I-X Christmas Connection (Nov. 22-24): A 28-year tradition returns to the I-X Center this weekend, Nov. 22-24. At the I-X Center’s Christmas Connection, 600 booths, including 140 new vendors, will feature plenty of gifts for family and friends, while free gift wrapping and a shop-n-drop make your shopping experience easy. Other highlights include kid-friendly shopping in the Sugar Plum Shoppe, pictures with Santa, holiday window displays, and a Christmas Wine Cellar. You can learn more about the event and buy tickets at ixchristmasconnection.com.
Collective Upcycle (Grand Opening Party Nov. 22; but open Thursdays through Sundays): The Collective Upcycle Pop-Up celebrates its grand opening at 6202 St. Clair on November 22. From 5-8pm, enjoy live music from Ansambel Dvojčki, local food from Impassioned Baking and Catering, and Slovenian cocktails. Then shop handmade items from area artists – all of whom use recycled and reclaimed materials for their art. RSVP at facebook.com/events/711099568903043 and learn more about the shop’s regular hours at collectiveupcycle.blogspot.com
Cleveland Flea (Nov. 23 and 24): The next Cleveland Flea will take place this Saturday and Sunday at the Slovenian National Home. Part urban treasure hunt, part culinary adventure, part maker center, this month’s Cleveland Flea focuses on vintage and handmade holiday gifts. Find jewelry, art, crafts, clothing, and food from the city’s local talent. You can also register for workshops from a few of the makers at the Flea. More info at theclevelandflea.com
Made in the 216 (Opening Night Party Nov. 29, Holiday Shoppe open through Dec. 24): Skip the mall on Black Friday and go to R/S Boutique instead for their 6th annual Made in the 216 Holiday Shoppe. Apparel, home goods, cards, jewelry and kids gifts, all made in the 216, can be found at the shop between Nov. 29 and Christmas Eve. Their Opening Night party starts at 4pm on Nov. 29 and features music from DJ Peter Pleasurecruise, their very own MADE brew on tap, wine and hot toddy’s, as well as treats from Becca Ritterspach of the newly launched Cleveland Confectionery. Hours and other information for the Holiday Shoppe are available at facebook.com/events/240093742813286.
Winterfest and Cleveland Gift Box (Nov. 30): Kick off the holiday season on Nov. 30 in downtown Cleveland’s Public Square. Winterfest features entertainment and activities all day long, food trucks, free horse-drawn carriage rides, and Public Square’s holiday lighting ceremony and fireworks show. The Winter Wine & Ale Fest takes place after the fireworks and a holiday pop-up shop can be found in the Square from 2-7pm. Other events will take place around downtown including the 5th Street Arcade’s Cleveland Gift Box. From 11am-6pm, peruse a holiday market featuring downtown retailers and pop-up vendors. Check out Winterfest’s schedule and Cleveland Gift Box’s current vendors list.
Pop Up Shaker (starts 11/30; various other dates): Take a short trip to Shaker Heights’ Van Aken District for Pop Up Shaker. Indulge in handcrafted foods by the Cleveland Culinary Launch & Kitchen at Juma Gallery. Learn to make craft jewelry, a crochet necklace, and more when Cleveland Craft Connection teaches DIY classes and hosts a handmade market at Lucy’s Sweet Surrender. And take window-shopping up a notch with Upcycle St. Clair’s Shop the Window event. Upcycle St. Clair will fill a vacant Shaker storefront with gifts that shoppers can purchase by scanning a QR code with their phone. Celebrate Small Business Saturday at Pop Up Shaker’s Nov. 30 opening, or stop by one of the 7 other days they’re open throughout December. Full schedule and vendors list at tackk.com/popupshaker.
Holiday CircleFest (Dec. 8): Experience Cleveland’s cultural treasures free of charge at the 20th Annual Holiday CircleFest on December 8. From 1:00-5:30 p.m., more than a dozen of University Circle’s museums, gardens, galleries, churches, and schools will be open for free and offer an afternoon of activities, music, food, fun, and shopping. For instance, experience Glow at the Cleveland Botanical Garden where you’ll find holiday shopping in their Treetop Shop and the Garden Store, as well as beautifully decorated grounds, a hall of trees and gingerbread displays. Read my review of last year’s Glow and learn more about this year’s Holiday CircleFest.
Tremont Holiday BrewHaHa (Dec. 13-15): Celebrate all that’s brewing in the Tremont neighborhood on December 13, 14 and 15 at the Tremont Holiday BrewHaHa. Before Saturday’s Santa Shuffle and the Snow Days concert on Sunday, BrewHaHa kicks off with a Pop Up Shop and Party on Friday, December 13. Lolly The Trolley will provide free transportation throughout the neighborhood as you participate in the Tremont BrewHop and Holiday ArtWalk. The BrewHaHa Holiday PopUp Shop & Party will feature over 25 artisans, music and a cash craft beer bar at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. Details for all three BrewHaHa days are available at tremontbrewhaha.com.
Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show (Dec. 15): Head out to Solon on Dec. 15 for the next Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show. From 12-5:30pm, this show at the Terry Macklin Entertainment & Event Centre will feature artists, crafters, and a full bar. Admission costs $3 and a portion of proceeds will go to the Northeast Ohio Make-a-Wish Foundation. It’s an excellent way to give back while stocking up on holiday gifts. You will find their full list of upcoming shows at avantgardeshows.com/#!events/cwvn.
Last Minute Market (Dec. 21): I normally don’t advise waiting til the last moment to finish your holiday shopping; however, if you do, you’re in luck with the Last Minute Market and Screw Factory Open Studio on December 21. Over 100 jury-selected artists and craftspeople from Cleveland and the rust belt region will have gifts for sale between 10am and 6pm. In addition, artists whose studios are in Lakewood’s Lake Erie Building will open their doors for a peek at their workspace and an opportunity to purchase their work. More info: lastminutemarket.blogspot.com.