I love the Winter Fantasy Festival at Sawdust more than our summer affair, the Sawdust Art Festival (which I happen to like a lot). Aside from 170 artists’ booths in this cool outdoor setting, you have a “Towne Square (sorry grownups, this is kid-size only), live bands and chorales, wandering carolers, plenty of hot, steamy drinks (along with quality beer and wine) and, of course, Santa for all those last-minute requests.

Dates are: November  17th, 18th, 23rd, 24th & 25th from 10am-7pm – note it’s open on just one Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.
December  1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th & 16th from 10am-7pm

For me, the Winter Fantasy Festival is most memorable because the majority of artists focus on gift-giving items. You’ll still have gargantuan paintings and sculptures here and there, but you’ll see a greater supply of handmade jewelry, scarves, reasonably priced framed photos and paintings, pottery and Raku, garden accessories and everything else gifty-minded.