'Tis the season for mulled wine and markets. Here's our roundup of where to find holiday cheer and great gifts.
L‘Avenue Christmas Market
Take a stroll in L’Avenue’s ‘magic forest’ Christmas market and fill your shopping basket with artisanal gifts from Paris. In collaboration with Le Bon Marché, the market offers 25 Parisian indie designer brands such as Macon&Lesquoy and Lola James Harper, as well as Le Bon Marché exclusives for L‘Avenue. Part of the profits will be donated to 150 children with special needs at Chunhui Children, so you can do good while looking good.
> Nov 16-Jan 3, free entry. L'Avenue.
Merry Kissmas at Xintiandi
Visit Xintiandi’s Kissmass tree for an alternative to mistletoe. Following stints in Milan and London, Paul Cocksedge's Kissmass tree is back in Xintiandi for the third time. Every kiss lights up the tree and raises education funds for young children. After a socially acceptable display of PDA, make sure to visit the market for festive essentials like Christmas decorations, handicrafts and treats, including cupcakes that look like succulent plants.
> Nov 23-Jan 3, free entry. 123 Xingye Lu South Plaza Xintiandi, by Madang Lu 新天地南里广场, 兴业路123弄, 近马当路
Shanghai Creatives Christmas Market
More than 90 of Shanghai’s best designers will take over the Shanghai Centre offering their newest products. A great chance to pick up a truly one-of-a-kind present for those unique people in your life.
> Nov 26-27, 10am-5pm (Thurs), noon-8pm (Fri), RMBTBA. Shanghai Centre Theatre, see event listing.
Christmas Fantasy at Jing’an Kerry Center
Jing’an Kerry Center presents the second Christmas Fantasy on its piazza. Come devour some seasonal treats in a real holiday atmosphere featuring a four-story-tall Christmas tree and arrays of wooden huts. It is also not a bad idea to get drunk on Glühwein and revisit your childhood Santa horror afterwards at the Santa VIP house. There is a lighting ceremony on December 2nd, Christmas party on the 24th and 25th, and New Year's Eve countdown party on the 31st.
> Nov 27-Jan 3, 12pm-8pm (Mon-Thurs) 10am-10pm (Fri-Sun and Dec 24-25), free entry. The Piazza, Jing An Kerry Centre, see event listing.
Kerry Parkside Santa Park
Childhood dreams come true this year at Kerry Parkside's Santa Park, where kids get the chance to meet and pose for pictures with Santa, and parents can even pass him gifts they’ve bought for their children, for an extra-magical Christmas treat. Entertainment in the form of singing and dancing elves, activities such as gingerbread making and cupcake decorating, as well as traditional Nordic games add to the festive cheer.
> Nov 27-Dec 31, 11am-9pm, Kerry Parkside, see event listing.
WISStival Winter Bazaar
The Western International School of Shanghai (WISS) holds their annual WISStival. More than 70 vendors will be on site peddling a variety of goods. A variety of live performances will add to the festivities with huge prizes up for grabs in the Grand Raffle.
> Nov 28, 11am-3pm, RMBTBA. Western International School of Shanghai, see event listing.
French Christmas Market
The Pearl hosts the second edition of this Christmas market boasting a classy Parisian theme. 40 vendors will be peddling unique handmade products that will make the perfect holiday present. Enjoy French Christmas specialties like traditional hot wine, foie gras and delicious waffles. There will be live music and other performers, as well as a visit from Père Noël. Vive la France.
> Nov 28-29, noon-10pm, RMB20. The Pearl, see event listing.
Shanghai Medieval Christmas Fair
There’s another reason to visit the West Bund this month. After holding a German Christmas Market last year, Xuhui Binjiang will host a Medieval Christmas Market. Expect a range of stalls selling artisanal crafts and a number of food and drink vendors. Live entertainment like theatrical shows and a cosplay competition will add to the festivities.
> Nov 28-Dec 27, RMB50 (Mon-Thurs) RMB70 (Fri-Sun), RMB120 (Dec 24-25). Xuhui Binjiang, see event listing.
Movember’s Magnificent Manly Moustache Market
Doc Guthrie’s is celebrating Movember with the Manliest Market in town. This fundraising event features barbers, tattoos, classic cars, custom motorbikes, antique straight razors, menswear and food pop-ups. A few good men can also sign up for a Movember shave during the first week of the month. Leave it on and receive specials from a number of Jing’an businesses. All proceeds will go to the Movember Foundation, which has raised USD650 million to fund over 1,000 programs focusing on men’s health issues. Read more about the Manliest Marke here.
> Nov 29, 11am, RMBTBA. The Garage, 399 A1 Huangxiang Lu, by Shenlan Lu 华翔路399号A1, 近申兰路 (docguthries.com)
Paulaner Bräuhaus on Fenyang Lu hosts its ninth annual German-style Christmas market. The Shanghai holiday tradition will feature 70 seasonally decorated wooden huts including a newly added Candy Hut full of traditional treats that will be a guaranteed hit with the kids. Holiday essentials like Danish Christmas trees, wreaths, ornaments and decorations will be available. Choose from a number of artisanal products and handicrafts for a truly unique gift while gorging on Bavarian favorites like sizzling sausages and hot spiced Glühwein.
> Dec 4-6, 11am-10pm (Fri-Sat) 11am-9pm (Sun), RMB60 (RMB30 on Fri). Paulaner (Fenyang Lu), see event listing.
Kempinski Hotel Suzhou Christmas Charity Bazaar
Experience the magic of Suzhou’s biggest Christmas bazaar with a wide range of vendors offering unique accessories perfect for one-of-a-kind gifts. There will also be plenty of ornaments, decorations and other holiday essentials available. Food stalls will span the globe offering the finest in Western and Eastern cuisine.
> Dec 5, 11am-4pm, free entry. Kempinski Hotel Suzhou.
KTGA Winter Festival
The always-innovative Kick the Gong Around crew take over Hubindao for their fifth annual Grand Bazaar. The modern glass palace located in chic Xintiandi is the perfect canvas for this year’s Tales from the Palace themed proceedings. As with past KTGA events like this year's Tribal Fest (pictured above), over 3,500 of the city’s hippest are expected to attend each day. Expect the unexpected with pop-ups from some of Shanghai’s best designers and vendors plus film screenings, dance performances and live music.
> Dec 5-6, noon-9pm (Sat) noon-8pm (Sun), RMB50. Hubindao, see event listing.
> Check the event listings for more Christmas events in Shanghai. See more Christmas 2015 articles here.