In my day-to-day life, I love lists. I love making work to-do lists; grocery lists at home, music playlists, and even lists of my favorite brunch spots. But the one time of year I’m not so into lists is the Holiday Season. I don’t like making gift lists for my friends and family. Sure, there will be a thing or two I’ll plan ahead. But overall I like to see where the season takes me. Going with the flow is made even easier with the help of the arts and shopping fairs happening around the city.
One of my favorite seasonal events in town is the Cherrywood Art Fair. Since 2002 the Chula League has organized the Cherrywood Art Fair, but I first learned about it about five or six years ago. Hosted at Maplewood Elementary School, the fair is half shopping experience, half family-friendly afternoon.
It’s not an Austin event without live music and the Austin Chronicle Music Stage will not disappoint. This year’s performers include Taylor & the Wild Now, Waking Fable, Sons of Santos, Michaela Kahn and tunes from teen bands Band of Griffins, RILL Chemistry and School of Rock’s B team. If 12 bands were enough, trapeze artists and flamenco performances will up the ante. The Subuaru’s Kids Art Corner is led by Catherine Prystup, with face painting and hair makeovers by Ruth Mendez and Braid Babe. And of course, remember the day with a Lumiere Tintype Photography souvenir.
While you absolutely should come for the entertainment, don’t miss out on the shopping. Local artists bring out their best for this annual event. Pick up something for the dapper guy in your life from Land of the Thread. Little Skunk Co. has a plethora of pennants, pillows, and other screen printed home goods for those on your list with a fun sense of style. Any piece from Lemonglaze Ceramics will impress the person-who-has-everything while the jewelry from Poppy & Fern will actually make the impossible-to-please teenage girl on your list smile. And while you’re there, don’t forget to pick something up for yourself… I personally have my eye on a hand-forged choker from Slantt Studio.
That’s just a small sample of the seemingly endless, talented artisans and vendors who will be showing of their unique and locally made gifts to finish off your holiday shopping. There’s unique wall art, all-natural bath and body products, hard-to-kill mini gardens, and twee toys for the little ones. With all these endless options, you’re guaranteed to find everything you need here.
Rain or shine, Cherrywood Art Fair is free and open to the public. Take advantage of cheap valet parking ($5.00) and make a day of it. Do a little shopping, grab a snack from one of the many local food vendors, see a few cool local bands and don’t worry about parking or carrying the kids 3 blocks to the car. In addition to being your holiday saving grace, Cherrywood Art Fair benefits East Austin elementary schools and nonprofit Chula League’s, Little Artist BIG ARTIST program, which provides opportunities for 5th and 6th grade students to celebrate creativity, develop personal expression and produce some truly amazing art.
If you want to give back even more, don’t miss out on their Silent Auction. Tons of local services, tickets, gift baskets, and gift certificates donated by sponsors will be up for grabs—winning something will just be another spring in your holiday step.
When: December 12 – 13, 10am – 5pm
Where: Maplewood Elementary School, E. 38 1/2 St. & Maplewood Ave.