Christmas In October – Shop Local!

Christmas junkies of T&T – rejoice for it is October! Forget Halloween, forget thanksgiving, forget whatever other American tradition that has trickled down to our little island. We’ve only got 70-something days until Christmas!

And, you know what that means, right? Christmas light will slowly but surely be nailed, hung, and strung from every post and banister, radio stations will be torn between playing parang or the latest Soca releases for Carnival 2019 and everyone and their uncle will be studying exactly 3 things:

  • what color to paint their houses,
  • which stores have sales on curtains and
  • where they should hide their ‘good rum’ when families inevitable show up unannounced.

In Trinidad, the entire year is often mistaken for one, big, long public holiday with paid days off popping up almost every month of the year. This year however, October to our horror and dismay has no public holidays; and while I’m sure many Trinis are experiencing increased levels of holiday-tabanka at the thought of having to work for 4 weeks straight, others (like myself) have decided to start Christmas festivities extra early.

Over the past few years many artisan markets have popped up in Trinidad which offer patrons a whimsical and relaxed alternative to rushing around at the mall for presents. Now, I don’t know about you, but strolling from stall to stall laden with locally made art, cosmetics, food (of course), handbags and clothes is a much-needed escape from the hustle and headache that Christmas shopping usually brings. The innovation, warmth and dedication that these local entrepreneurs bring to patrons is unparalleled.

Here are a few of our top pics! Shop local this Christmas – you won’t regret it.

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(Source: ThingsTT & UpMarket)


  1. UpMarket – Home to various locations in Port-of-Spain, UpMarket is a staple for local crafts, food and unique finds. In the past they’ve hopped around to a few locations with both indoor and open-air options. To name a few locations, UpMarket has had pop-ups at NAPA (the National Academy of Performing Arts), the Trinidad and Tobago Country Club and the Woodbrook Youth Facility. No matter the location though, this market is always packed, so arrive early and follow their social media pages to find out when you can visit next!
  2. ThingsTT – This pop-up artisan market is most often found at the J.F.K. Auditorium at our very own University of the West Indies in St. Augustine Trinidad. The auditorium is very spacious and fully air-conditioned so you can browse in leisure. It’s free entry, with the entire University’s grounds open to the public. You can shop around at the auditorium and have some outdoor family fun with the family all in one! While it’s usually a smaller setup than UpMarket, you’ll definitely get your fill of local vendors.
  3. South Market – With a trip down the highway, you’ll find South Market: an open air set-up on the Naparima Boys’ College grounds in San Fernando. This market boasts of over 80 local merchants and draws crowds from all over the country. Arrive early to secure parking on the premises and we guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
  4. Bits and Pieces – This market pops up at the glamorous conference room at Movie Towne, Invaders Bay, Port of Spain and often carries higher-end artisan vendors. From wood crafts to artisan chocolates, local painters and designers, an entire section dedicated to local food and Christmas delicacies to hand crafted jewelry – Bits and Pieces will has something special for you.