If you enjoy supporting small business and great deals on unique gift items today kicks off Tampa's Holiday Gift market season with the popular Junior League of Tampa's Holiday Gift Market at The Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall.

1.  The Junior League of Tampa Holiday Gift Market Fri-Sun Nov 13 -15

100% of the net proceeds raised by The Junior League of Tampa through the Holiday Gift market support the League's charitable programs and community service projects in the areas of education and child welfare!

When it Comes to Gifts, I Need Unique and Affordable!

Presented by Publix, this year's Junior League Market features more than 135 specialty merchants from across the county selling everything from handbags, clothing, jewelry, food, art, children's items, holiday decorations, home decor, kitchen items, unique accessories and more!

You Can Touch That!

For year's I thought I could not afford this market and like an idiot, never went!  Boy, was I wrong!  The Junior League Gift Market is one of the BEST places to save on holiday gifts in Tampa Bay.  I find items here each year that cost 10 times more if I were to buy them in a local department store.

My Shopping Strategy for This Holiday Market

I grab a group of friends to go with me and pick a central place to meet; once inside and set our watches for two hours.  We separate, shopping without distraction as we explore and save.  When the first two hours are up we meet up at the designated spot, usually the food court, to see what each of us found and share where we found the best deals.  We then separate again, heading to those vendors to take advantage of great pricing.  We meet up again, eat and separate once more.  I find my best deals on Sunday, seems when faced with packing up the vendors prefer to sell than pack and will make their best deals on Sunday. Honestly though, you will be shocked at the low prices found on things you can't even imagine at this market on any of the three days! If you have never been, GO!!

Ticket and Additional Information You will Need

The Kick-Off party is tonight from 7 pm to 10 pm. General admission tickets are $30 VIP tickets are $60 and include an exclusive sneak peek of the merchandise, appetizers, a cash bar, live entertainment, gift baskets, raffles and early shopping! VIP's can enjoy a champagne toast at JLT headquarters on Davis Island, transportation to and from the fairgrounds, an amazing pre-party with an open bar and appetizers, entertainment, and a special VIP party gift!

  Doors open to the public tomorrow:

  • Friday, November 13 and Saturday November 14  from 9am to 6 pm,
  • Sunday November 15 from 9 am to 5 pm

Kids can enjoy Cookies With Santa Claus on  Saturday from 10 am to noon and on Sunday noon to 2 pm

Tickets are $8 at the gate, kids over 8 years old require a ticket and parking at the Fairgrounds is $6 

You can buy Tickets for the Kick-off, Cookies With Claus and the Market online through Eventbrite.

This year's market sponsors include:

Tampa Bay's Q105
Hyde Park Village
Beasley Media Group
Tampa Bay Times
WQYK Radio 99.5

You do not want to miss this Market! It is a tradition for many and something you will want to do year after year! I look forward to hearing about what you found at The Annual Junior League of Tampa Holiday Gift Market and hope you enjoyed reading Holiday Gift Markets in Tampa: Shop Local and Save!

2.  The Tampa Garden Club Garden Fest and Holiday Market with workshops Fri-Sat Nov 13 - 14

A unique and fun market, it's free to attend and shop and for a small fee you can attend a workshop where you MAKE something great to give this year for very little money!  Here is a listing of the workshops being offered this year:


12:00     Fun with Clay #1 - Taylor Art Studio; $13 for clay, glazing, and firing fee
 2:00     Fun with Clay #2 - Taylor Art Studio; $13 for clay, glazing, and firing fee


10:00   Holiday Crafting - Ruby Sugar; $13 fee to make 5 cards & tags
12:00    To be determined
 2:00    Paper Flower Gift Boxes #2 – Tona Bell; Paper Seahorse: $18 fee to make several boxes


10:00    Butterflies for Children – Lois McLane; free!
12:00    Vermiculture – Lisa Meredith, Extension agent; $23 for tubs /materials to make worm compost
 2:00    Organic Gardening – David Whitwam, Whitwam Organics; $23 for container and plants (herbs,veggies)

The Garden Fest is open from 9 am to 4 pm Saturday Rain or Shine!

3.  Christmas Under The Oaks in Clearwater Sat Nov 15

Plan on attending this incredible market, I went to my first Christmas Under The Oaks with my mom 25 years ago. I can tell you first-hand, it is one of the BEST! The North Pinellas Women's Club will be presenting their 39th Christmas Under The Oaks Arts and Crafts Show this year at beautiful waterfront Coachman Park in Downtown Clearwater on Sunday.

Proceeds from this show benefit community grants, projects and scholarship programs.  Gates open at 9 am and close at 4 pm.  Arrive early, people line up to get in this one!  Cost to get in is a $2 donation at the door, kids under 12 are free and please leave your pets at home.

Here is the Exhibitor List for 2015 and where to find them. My tip:  Plan ahead and bee-line to the vendors you want to see first before they sell out, then wander, explore and enjoy this amazing event:

4.  Tampa Bay Holiday Gift Market @ St. Pete Coliseum Sat-Sun Nov 21 - 22

Admission and parking are FREE at the Tampa Bay Times Tampa Bay Holiday Market and Expo in St. Petersburg.  Here you will find specialty boutiques and shops, jewelry, home and holiday decor, candles, gifts, and strolling musicians as you peruse potential presents for your friends and loved ones. Saturday and Sunday Nov 21st and 22nd from 10 am to 5 pm at the beautiful St. Petersburg Coliseum.

5.  4th Annual Holiday Gift Expo and Cookie Festival in Plant City Sat Nov 21

The 2015 Holiday Gift Expo and Cookie Festival is fun, with more than 100 merchants all the cookies you can eat, Santa and a few Frozen friends you want to be sure and bring your camera to this cookie crazy festival! Want to know about the cookies right?  The Cookie and Milk buffet starts at 11 am followed by cookie eating and cookie decorating contests.  There will be raffles, and other food and drinks on sale.  

Live Entertainment includes:

  • 10 am to Noon- Kris Pierce - Country Christmas Songs
  • 1 pm - 2 pm - Local chorus kids

The event takes place at the Plant City Strawberry Festival Fairgrounds, tickets are $5 for the Expo and an additional $8 for the Cookie and Milk buffet, tickets can be pre-purchased through Eventbrite.


6.  Downtown Tampa Holiday Market Sat-Sun Dec 5 - 6

Brought to you by Friends of Tampa Recreation the Holiday Market is part of several exciting events taking place in the downtown corridor this year.

Festivities start Friday night December 4th in Curtis Hixon Park when the countdown begins with the dynamic sounds of the Late Night Brass including a Secrect Santa Giveaway with Magic 94.9. Mayor Bob Buckhorn will light the tree followed by a free movie in the park featuring A Christmas Story

Admission is free for these events, blankets, low back chairs, coolers and dogs on leashes are allowed. Concessions will be available. Glass and alcohol are prohibited.

Santa Fest kicks off Saturday with a parade. The route starts at Morgan and Madison Streets, heads west on Madison to Ashley, turns north and ends at Ashley Drive and Cass Street. Activities for Santa Fest include photos with Santa, Make-and-Take crafts, games and other activities. Tampa's Downtown on Ice will be open, ice skating will be $5 per person during Santa Fest.

The Holiday Market is held under a big red and white striped tent, I believe vendors are still being accepted if you would like to apply.

  • Holiday Tree Lighting:  begins Friday Dec 4 at 6 pm followed by a movie
  • Santa Fest: Saturday December 5th from 11 am to 4 pm
  • Holiday Market Shopping Hours:  Dec 4,  5 pm - 9 pm and Dec 5,  noon - 4 pm


7.  Westchase Holiday Market 2015 Sun Dec 6 @ Westchase Golf Club supporting Autism Speaks

The Westchase Artists Society invites you to their 6th annual Westchase Holiday Market from 10 am - 5 pm at the Westchase Golf Club  on 11602 Westchase Golf Drive.  Proceeds from this event, including ticket sales, raffle and silent auction items, will be donated directly to Autism Speaks.  Last year this group raised and donated over $1000 to Autism Speaks!

An exceptional show, this one is juried.  Juried prizes include Best of Show, 1st and 2nd place. This is the Market to attend if you are looking for original artwork, paintings, photographs, ceramics, and sculpture as a gift.  Handmade items like cork work, jewelry, crochet, glass and woodwork.  Unique food items will also be available.

Santa will be there!  How about you? 

8.  Great Explorations and Sunken Gardens Very Merry Market Thurs Dec 10

Great Explorations and SUnken Gardens host a very special night of shopping in the lobby with all your favorite vendors!  Come and see the discounts while you sip champagne, enjoy holiday treats and more. Gift Wrapping will be FREE that night.  Market Hours are from 4 - 8 pm.  You want to leave the little ones home for this one!  Check the ever growing list of Wonderful Vendors like Dolly & George and Slip Knot, Cerulean Blu and Choobilie attending the event, you do not want to miss it!


Connect with me on 813area.com to me and stay in the loop about upcoming holiday gift markets in the 813! An please, let me know if I have missed one of your favorites in comments below. 

Happy shopping and happy saving!