a guide to holiday shopping in Western massachusetts

We love to shop local in Western Mass, especially during the Holidays.  The festive decorations in our downtowns create the perfect backdrop for exploring the variety of unique shops.  Within a few blocks you can find art galleries, used books and records, rare antiques, high fashion clothing, handmade goods, toys, and so much more.

We also buy direct from our friends and neighbors at craft fairs and open studios. A gift means all the more when you can tell the recipient the story behind it.

Shopping local doesn’t have to break the bank either.  There are community wide discount days and plenty of sales at individual stores.

No matter what kind of gift you’re looking for you will find it somewhere in Western Mass.

 

Craft Fairs

Western Mass is full of craftspeople working in a diverse array of media. We’ve got blacksmiths, glass blowers, wood workers, printmakers, potters, and oh so many fiber artists.

Once in awhile these folks join together at the many craft fairs throughout the region.

You probably know the big ones: Historic Deerfield and Paradise City but there are tons of smaller ones throughout the year.

We also like to sneak craft fairs into other events like music festivals, agricultural fairs, and anywhere else we can fit a table and a tent. 

Open Studios

All the artists and artisans of Western Mass have to work somewhere.  Studios are scattered throughout the region in sprawling old mill buildings, historic barns and bucolic cabins in the woods.

Sometimes they’re kind enough to invite us in for a first hand look.

Get a sneak peek at works in progress, learn about their processes and buy direct from the source.

Retail Sales

You don’t have to brave the crowds of a craft fair or go from studio to studio to shop local.

Believe it or not Western Mass still has a wide selection of “brick and mortar” and “mom and pop” shops.  Our downtowns and backroads are full of stores where you can find quirky vintage items, fine jewelry, books and music, toys and much more.

There are new stores opening all the time and long time favorites are marking stuff down for the holidays.

Community Shopping Events

Western Mass is home to many traditional downtown shopping areas.  Stores, restaurants, galleries, music venues, and parks are all within walking distance of each other. Several of these towns organize community wide discount days during the Holidays.  You can enjoy the festive decorations and explore at your own pace. 

Participating stores offer a set discount on a single item and often they can also be used for gift certificates to restaurants. Live music, performers and other entertainment throughout the downtowns really make these events special.

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