Buy Local, Have Fun: 10 flea markets, pop ups, and other DIY spots to do your holiday shopping

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Cherry Street Pier will be the site of the R5 Productions Punk Rock Flea Market | via Facebook

Say what you will about the nature of consumerism – especially around this time of year – but giving and getting gifts really is great. And if you’re going to shop, you might as well shop local. To that end, we at The Key felt like it was important to highlight some of the various flea markets, art auctions, pop-up craft shows, and everything else along those lines happening between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

There’s just so much going on in our city that narrowing this down to ten events was the best way to go about things. The list includes everything from a traditional flea market with a punk rock bent to a vegan pop-up store to an art auction and more. This will be presented in chronological order so think of it as your calendar for the next month.

November 25th – Flea Market at Keystone 

The brainchild of t-shirt maven Perry Shall – who we profiled last year here at The Key – this is a flea market for people who love flea markets. No baked goods or crafts here! Just vintage clothes, cool records, weird junk, toys, trinkets, and more. According to Perry, “I just want people to be able to go and look through vintage clothing, toys, and collectibles and have one place to find it all. It’s an all-encompassing weird, old collection of stuff that also happens to be for sale.”

Keystone Mini Golf and Arcade
161 Cecil B Moore
10am – 4pm
Free entry with canned goods to be donated to Philabundance

November 30th – Shock Exchange Volume 3 

The vendors participating in Shock Exchange include stained glass and chainmail jewelry makers, numerous horror-themed artists and illustrators, a clothing designer called Leopard & Lace that specializes in “rock n’ roll body suits,” and Come On Strong, which makes queer and punk t-shirts too obscene for us to preview. You get the idea!

Also, quick appreciation for TMom’s and their willingness to host so many of these art shows and pop-up markets. I’m eternally grateful to the bar and those that work there. They do so much for so many groups in Philly and it’s pretty awesome.

Tattooed Mom
530 South St.
7pm – 12am
21+ / Free

December 1st – Philly Queer Zine Fest

Here’s why zines make great gifts:

  • They’re small, so you can fit five in an envelope and slap a bow on it. Instant present!
  • They’re very much fun and interesting.
  • Most importantly, they can be about anything! The Philly Queer Zine Fest is bringing together individual zine makers like Sawyer Lovett (Safe Home) and Salvatore Marrone (No More Mermaids) as well as various zine distros and collectives. Make sure to check out everything from the queer science fiction group Metropolarity and the Homos in Herstory series. Really, check everything out because it’s all going to be great.

The Book Corner
311 N. 20th St.
4:30pm – 7pm
Free

December 8th – Philly Small Press Faire + Handmade

Handmade and the Philly Small Press Faire are happening concurrently at Fleisher in South Philly. The former is full of craft vendors and other artists hawking their handmade wares. That also includes adult and teen students from the various art education programs offered at Fleisher, which is really cool. The Philly Small Press Faire, like the aforementioned Queer Zine Fest, is focused on the more DIY side of publishing.

Bonus: not only can you buy a special gift for that special someone at this joint event but Fleisher is offering three different gift-making workshops that day. More on their website.

Fleisher Art Memorial
719 Catherine St.
11am – 5pm
Free

December 8th and 9th – R5 Punk Rock Flea Market

The classic Philadelphia punk rock flea market is back from the dead! After a few years in hibernation, R5 Productions has resurrected the longtime favorite in a new location, the up-and-coming Cherry Street Pier. “The often imitated, never duplicated” event, as the tag line says, will feature 50 different vendors on each day selling everything from records to handmade goods to vintage t-shirts and more.

Cherry Street Pier
121 N Columbus Blvd
11am – 5pm
Free

December 9th – Philly Vegan Pop Flea

Philly Vegan Pop Flea has been hosting different events around the city for the last couple years. According to their website, the purpose of the organization is “to connect vegans & those interested with products and services that support compassionate lifestyles that respect all beings.” This will be their final market of the season. Vendors include food –  Du Lapin Bakery, Sweet Tea & Cornbread – cosmetics and clothes – Silently Loud, Earth Kandy –  and a lot more.

Tattooed Mom
530 South St.
1pm – 5pm
21+ / Free

December 9th – West Craft Fest

West Craft Fest returns for their annual winter market at the Rotunda in West Philly. Going strong since 2009 – you might know them a bit better under their former name Go West Craft Fair – this is very much “Local wares handmade with care,” as their slogan states. The organizers have been involved in punk for years and that DIY spirit definitely shines strong in the event.

West Craft Fair is by far one of my favorites and is definitely a great place to find lots of really fun and unique gifts.

The Rotunda
4014 Walnut St.
10am – 4pm
Free

December 14th – BloodMilk & Friends Night Market

The BloodMilk & Friends Night Market at Tattooed Mom’s is like the cool goth cousin to all these punk rock events. This event features a variety of vendors from around the city including the host BloodMilk, which has been creating Victorian-inspired “mourning jewelry” for a decade. There are a few other jewelry boutiques vending as well as illustrators, a perfumer, an apothecary, and more. Perfect for the spooky ghoul on your list!

Tattooed Mom
530 South St.
7pm – 11pm
21+ / Free

December 14th, 15th, and 16th – Captain’s Vintage Winter Punk Rock Flea Market

During the years Philly Punk Rock Flea Market originators R5 Productions weren’t doing their event, the used clothing company Captain’s Vintage picked up the slack. After a few moves around to different venues in the city, they’ve settled in the Bok Building at 9th and Mifflin. That’s where vendors will be set up for three days in mid-December.

Bok Building
1901 S. 9th St.
December 14th 4pm – 10pm
December 15th and 16th 10am – 5pm
$5 entry

December 15th – Space 1026 Art Auction

The final event on our calendar is also one of the final events at Space 1026, the fabled art collective that soon will be vacating the building in Chinatown they’ve called home for the past two decades. But before that happens there’s going to be one last and very special art auction that will benefit the fund set up to help the group move. More about that can be found over here.

Space 1026
1026 Arch St.
6pm – 10pm
Free

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