March 3, 2024

Let the Local Cash Registers Ring

One-stop virtual and in-person holiday shopping
By Lynda Wheatley | Nov. 25, 2020

If you love the look and feel of the North’s quaint downtowns, skip shopping at the Big Box stores and online behemoths this year. Instead, spend your hard-earned holiday money supporting our local shops, artists, and community gathering places. Here, a short list of virtual and in-person holiday shopping opportunities coming your way.

Northport Holiday Arts Market Online
If you aren’t able to mask up and set out to shop our local boutiques for one-of-a-kind goods for your Christmas list, you can still shop online in a way that supports local makers. One of our recommended picks: The Northport Arts Association Holiday Arts Market. Until Dec. 13, you can shop for a huge variety of fine arts and crafts created by very talented local artists. Think: bright and exciting glasswork, fiber arts, natural stone items, paintings, unique jewelry, photography, woodwork, fragrant essential oil blends, and even gift certificates for pet paintings. Head over to

Harbor Springs Merchants Holiday Open House
Harbor Springs’ annual Merchants Holiday Open House is happening this year, but to spread out the shoppers — and the holiday love — village retailers and restaurants will offer their specials over four days instead of two. The deals and delights kick off Dec. 3 and go until Dec. 6. (While you stroll the streets, singing loud for all to hear, keep your eyes peeled for Buddy the Elf, who is bringing his holiday cheer to dozens of downtown windows.) Learn more at

Gallery of Shops’ Shop ’Till You Drop
Kill several (proverbial!) birds with one stone: After a quick peek inside, drop the kids’ letters to Santa in Grand Traverse Resort & Spa’s North Pole-direct mailbox, then go and fulfill some of those requests — for less. Just shop the resort’s indoor Gallery of Shops on Black Friday (Nov. 27) or Small Business Saturday (Nov. 28), and you’ll get 20 percent off all full-price merchandise. Can’t make it? Don’t sweat it. A special shopping and gift-wrapping day is in the works for December. Stay tuned:

Virtual Glen Arbor 2020 Holiday Marketplace
The Glen Arbor Holiday Marketplace, which normally hosts 1,700 shoppers and 25 to 30 artists inside its town hall, is pivoting to connect the Northern community and artists by way of the “Glen Arbor Holiday Marketplace” on Facebook. Instead of just one day of in-person shopping, this year shoppers can peruse the artisans’ goods for a month, and trust us — with artists of this caliber, you’ll need that long.

Holiday in the Village of Suttons Bay
On Saturday, Nov. 28, visit the picturesque village of Suttons, Bay where the magic of the season is captured perfectly. The stores are adorned with lights and holiday finery, a truly special place to spend Small Business Saturday. You’ll find curated collections and a personal shopping experience, all in a safe environment with smaller crowds and easier parking!

Santa will be riding through the village on a firetruck at 5:30 to wave to kids big and small. He will hop off to light the village tree then resume his route. There will be a small gift for the children to pick up and they can drop their letter to Santa in the mailbox in front of Bahles store. Bonus: Downtown merchants will have extended hours, and then grab takeout out from your favorite Suttons Bay restaurant.

TC Church Cookie Sale — Curbside
The 22nd annual Trinity Lutheran Christmas Cookie Sale isn’t canceled; it’s going curbside. This year the faithful aproned ladies of Trinity Lutheran are offering a variety pack of 28 festive home-baked cookies — and a variety of ways to order them: Online with a credit card at or in-person with cash or check at the Trinity Lutheran Church office, housed inside the Trinity Lutheran Church and School at 1003 South Maple St. in Traverse City. You’ll be able to pick up your order at the curb outside the church between 10am and 2pm, Dec. 12. For more information about ordering in person, call the Trinity Lutheran Church Office at 231-946-2720.

Know of a town or organization hosting a holiday open house or market in December? Let us know at, and we’ll add it to this list.


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