This Christmas, get a head start on your shopping, skip the mall and support entrepreneurs. Oh—and take the whole family along for a fun and festive time while doing it. How is that possible, you ask? Buy a ticket for a Tampa tradition that’s philanthropic retail therapy designed to save you a TON of dough on unique items all in one place. There's no better place for Christmas shopping in Tampa thanks to the Junior League.

The Junior League of Tampa’s 14th Annual Holiday Gift Market presented by Publix returns Nov. 9-12, and it’s twice as big as it was last year, spilling into the Entertainment Hall of the Florida State Fairgrounds. This year the Market will accommodate more than 80 new vendors, while favorites return with the goods we love!

More than 180 merchants from around the country will present their unique, quirky, high-quality wares for sale, ranging from jewelry, art, crafts, kids items, food, and handbags. Expect to see local favorites such as Toffee to Go, Seventh Avenue Apothecary and Southerndoe (who will also sell a line of Messy Ma t-shirts with inspirational sayings for moms!).  As well as newbies such as Lisbeth Pacheco, owner of Ethos Coffee in Lakeland, who won The Junior League of Tampa’s fourth Young Entrepreneur Program award for her craft roastery.

While you shop, there’s plenty to keep the whole family occupied. For just $15, get a professional photo with Santa and Santa Snaps, or decorate cookies with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Although Breakfast with Princesses is sold out, kids can enjoy making toys with Bricks 4 Kids and Kraftologee at Santa’s Workshop, and parents can stay late Friday for local craft beer tasting and live entertainment at Hoppy Holidays.   

Holiday Gift Market is one of The Junior League of Tampa’s most significant fundraising events of the year. A full 100 percent of ticket sales goes back to the organization to fund the League’s mission of promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Founded in 1926, The Junior League of Tampa, Inc. has a membership of more than 1,900.

You can go Christmas shopping in Tampa Friday, Nov. 10, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 11, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 12, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

On Thursday, Nov. 9 from 7 p.m.-10 p.m., a ticketed HGM Preview Party will take place. 

"I save money through the year for this event and finish ALL my holiday shopping at the Market. I never miss it! People have no idea how cool this Market is.  The prices and selection are phenomenal, there's nothing like it in Tampa."  -  Carlyn Bullock, Managing Editor

The event is at Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall and Entertainment Hall, 4800 U.S. highway 301 N. Tickets are $8 at the door or online. Preview Party is $35 general admission and $65 VIP at the door or online. Parking is $6 (cash only paid to the Florida State Fairgrounds).

If you're looking for more Christmas shopping in Tampa ideas or want to get a jump start on ThanksgivingChristmas and New Years Eve - register with us on 813area or 727area for everything Tampa Bay!  Cover photo is from the Holiday Gift Market Facebook page