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Shop O.C. Craft Fairs for Unique Holiday Gifts

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If you're like most, you're just starting your Christmas shopping. While it would be easy to hit the mall or or big-box store for gifts, sometimes you want something a little more unique. From art shows to craft fairs, there are plenty of options for an alternative holiday shopping experience in Orange County. Here's a guide.

Sugarplum Festivals

This popular arts and craft festival features antiques, jewelry, ornaments, beads other handmade goods, is wrapping up the season with two more shows in Orange County. The last big holiday show is Nov 10-12 at the O.C. Fair Center in Costa Mesa. There is, however, one more show at the Buena Park Mall Dec 1-4. Admission is free. Visit the website for additional details.

The Christmas Company

This annual fundraiser by the Junior League of Orange County, provides a great opportunity to snag a unique gift and support a charitable organization. The "shopping extravaganza" will be held Nov 17-20 -- also at the O.C. Fairgrounds -- and features artisan retailers, a silent auction, and other special events. See the website for event details and ticket information.

Nutcracker Craft Boutique

The city of Brea hosts this craft fair featuring more than 200 local purveyors of handmade collectibles, gifts, decorations and other one-of-a-kind goods. The Boutique is open Nov 18-19 at the Brea Community Center. Admission is $2 and proceeds benefit the various community center programs. Parking is free and child care is available. See website for details.

Cypress Holiday Bazaar

This holiday shopping affair, hosted by the city of Cypress, features artisan confections at Mrs. Claus’ Sweet Shop, handcrafted jewelry and toys, live entertainment and a breakfast with Santa Claus. The Bazaar opens Nov 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cypress Community Center. General admission is free, but admission to individual events varies. For more information call (714) 226-6780.

Patchwork Indie Arts Festival

The Patchwork Festival returns to Santa Ana for its Fall show featuring clothing and accessories for men, women and children, ceramics, knits and knitting supplies, paper goods and more, from local artists and craftspeople. The Festival opens Nov 27, 11 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Buffalo/Main St. in Santa Ana, and admission is free. Visit the website for more details.

Santa Ana Artwalk

On the first Saturday of every month, the artists in the Santa Ana Artist Village open their studios. It’s too late for the November Artwalk, but there’s one more chance to explore the creative works of artists in this up-and-coming arts community on Dec 3. Admission is free.

Sawdust Winter Fantasy

The Sawdust Festival presents its annual Winter Fantasy featuring fine art and crafts from nearly 200 local Laguna Beach artists. Art and media range from woodworking, blown glass, forged metal, sculpture, jewelry and more, and provide a variety of one-of-a-kind gift possibilities. The Sawdust Winter Fantasy is open on weekends Nov 19 through Dec 11. Season passes are available for $9. See the website for additional event and ticket details.

Newport Dunes Craft Fair

Shop the wares of nearly 40 artisan retailers at the Newport Dunes Resort in Newport Beach, Dec 10, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and pick up a tree while you're there! Admission is free. Visit the website for additional details or call (949) 999-3172.

Laguna Canyon Artists Group Show

The Laguna Canyon Artists group is hosting a one-day studio opening, just in time for the holidays. Visit the Laguna Beach studios on Dec 3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and browse arts range in styles landscape and portrait paintings to glass jewelry and cast sculpture. Admission and parking are free.

Candy Caneland Craft Fair

This small craft fair in Buena Park, is a combination showcase for local artisans and fundraiser for local organizations, featuring craft goods, food booths, a petting zoo and more. The Faire opens Dec 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Elhers Community Center. For more information visit the website or cal (714) 236-3860.
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