The 2020 holiday season is here and this year, let’s keep it local! Find that perfect gift at one of Bellingham and Whatcom County’s unique shops and help support our community. Local stores are undoubtedly struggling, but they are still hoping they can finish the year strong. While making your family and friends’ holidays bright with a perfectly picked gift from one of our local retailers, you are also making the holidays brighter for our local artisans and merchants.
Make sure you review each individual store hours and shopping policies before heading out. For the latest guidelines and restrictions for Washington State and Whatcom County, check our Travel Advisory page. Masks are required.
The Whatcom Think Local First Gift Card is a community-based digital gift card that makes it fun and easy to spending locally! It can be purchased at thinklocalfirst.org and used at participating local merchants throughout Whatcom County like Bantam46, Hotel Leo, Flow Motion, Stemma Brewing and MORE!
Take the guesswork out of gift-giving this year with Whatcom’s Local Gift Guide! This year’s directory features over 430 locally owned businesses in Whatcom County and is the perfect way to find holiday gifts for everyone on your list.
The Gift Guide is sorted by gift type or budget. Explore gift ideas for friends and family who love the outdoors, are crafting enthusiasts, or put fashion first. From local stocking stuffers to gifts that offer unique local experiences, Sustainable Connection’s new online guide has a ton of ideas to help make sure your holiday shopping is successful and local!
Winterfest, Fairhaven’s annual holiday festival, will go on this year with a few modifications as well as a few new offerings. On November 28, head to the Historic Fairhaven District for Winterfest’s Holiday Market! Featuring a variety of small business owners and crafters, the market is the perfect place to pick up unique and local gifts for everyone on your Christmas list.
Fairhaven will be closing off 10th Street between Harris and Mill to give space to arts and crafts folks to set up tents. Booths will be spaced out and the number of shoppers limited.
Want to stay warm and cozy inside – like from the comfort of your couch? Then you’ll love the “For the Love of Fairhaven” online auction benefitting the Historic Fairhaven Association (the folks who bring us the Fairhaven Festival and Dirty Dan Day, among other community events). Fairhaven merchants have donated all of your favorite things, from spa days to art to home goods, for this auction online at EnjoyFairhaven.com. It runs from Nov. 29 through Dec. 13.
Winterfest Cocktail kits are another way to put the cheer in your holiday. These kits are on sale now, and available for pick up Nov. 27 and 28. See the EnjoyFairhaven.com website for more information about these and other Winterfest activities.
The Downtown Bellingham Partnership has been working with downtown merchants to be ready for in-store and online shopping, and they’re excited and ready to see you in person or virtually!
Shop Small Saturday kicks off the official start to the shopping season on Nov. 28. To make the most out of your visit downtown, the Partnership has created four itineraries designed to support retailers, food and beverage merchants, and public art/activities. If you prefer to stay home to do your holiday shopping, you can check out the downtown online marketplace, which is filled with gift ideas from downtown merchants.
This year, Allied Arts of Whatcom County is making it easy to shop for everyone on your list with online and in-person shopping. The 41st Annual Allied Arts Holiday Festival of the Arts features the work of over 100 local artisans and craftspeople and guaranteed you will find one-of-a-kind gifts, specialty foods, jewelry and paintings.
On December 4 and through December 24, stop by Allied Art’s Gallery for the Lite Market, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. In compliance with State Guidelines, masks are required for entry to the Lite Market.
Around the county
Shop throughout the week and post an image promoting a locally owned, small business in Ferndale using the hashtag, #ferndaleshopslocal2020 on Facebook and Instagram. Tag the business or be sure to promote them in some way with your post! Starting Sunday, Nov. 22, for four weeks, a lucky winner will be chosen at random each week and awarded a $25 Think Local First gift card.
Blaine’s Holiday Craft Market by the Sea takes place every Saturday and Sunday from November 28 – December 26 in downtown Blaine. Vendors are offering handcrafted items including candles, soap, clothing, knives and jewelry.
Celebrate all things Bellingham, this holiday season with the new board game Bellinghamopoly, produced by the Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce. Games are available online through Village Books and Paper Dreams.
Insider Tip: Learn about Bellinghamopoly with our latest blog “Bellinghamopoly: You Don’t Have To Leave Home To Explore Bellingham!”