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Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

Shopping Planner: Handbag bingo, holiday markets, save the skirts




Are you, like us, abnormally eager to deck your halls with boughs of holly? Julie’s Cottage at Provence has our backs, hosting its 15th annual Christmas Open House and Holiday Marketplace. Stop by this weekend to find a wonderland of fall designs and Christmas decor. From wreaths and floral arrangements to ornaments and trees, Julie’s Cottage caters to every celebratory style: rustic, refined, traditional and trendy. The event will also feature more than 30 local vendors and artists. Hunt through handmade jewelry, vintage clothing, hand-poured soap and more to spot that perfectly unique gift you never knew your loved one always needed. Food and drinks will be available, and parking is across the street at Anona Methodist Church. Free. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 13128 Indian Rocks Road, Largo. (727) 517-8102.

Support some of Florida’s most talented artists while getting a jump on your holiday list. The opening reception for this year’s Florida CraftArt Gallery Holiday Boutique is Friday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Swing by to ogle handcrafted fine jewelry, clay, glass, ornaments and more. The boutique runs through Dec. 31. 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 821-7391.

Hyde Park’s annual Alternative Christmas Market is back for its 10th year. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Sunday at the Harnish Activities Center at Hyde Park United Methodist, browse gifts such as jewelry, hand-woven baskets and nativity scenes crafted locally and globally with proceeds benefiting missions. If by some strange chance you don’t find the perfect item, you’ll still have the opportunity to donate. For example, you can purchase Christmas dinner for three local families in need or school supplies for troubled girls, or donate to the mission of your choice in a loved one’s name. It’s about the goods and the good.  “The Alternative Christmas Market reflects the true spirit of Christmas,” market chairwoman Gwen Lindsey said. “We can celebrate our loved ones by giving a gift of meaning to those in need.” 500 W Platt St., Tampa. (813) 253-5388.

Help beautify Tampa while finding that special garden accent, gift or plant, as Tampa Garden Club’s annual garden-themed Holiday Garden and Market Fest expands to three days, with workshops on topics including floral design, mosaics for the garden, plus exhibits and holiday shopping opportunities for garden enthusiasts, handmade items, homemade treats, goodies and food trucks. Proceeds are used for beautification and preservation projects at schools, charitable organizations and public agencies in Hillsborough County. There will be a wine and cheese party at 6 p.m. Wednesday to kick off the event  (40-$150, all ages allowed). Market hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 13 and 14. Tampa Garden Club, 2629 Bayshore Blvd., Tampa. (813) 251-5059. 
Peruse a collection of handmade crafts and baked goods at the Holiday Craft and Food Fair. This shopping spree is guilt-free because proceeds benefit the restoration of the St. Petersburg Woman’s Club clubhouse. Free. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. 40 Snell Isle Blvd. NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 674-3484.

It’s time to freshen up your wardrobe with some super-affordable, abandoned apparel. Sun Country Cleaners has donated thousands of freshly cleaned unclaimed clothing items in need of a good home — think business suits, dresses, men’s shirts, sweaters, sport shirts, skirts, ties and trousers of all sizes. Everything is $5 per item, you guys! That is a serious steal. Proceeds from this event will benefit PARC, which helps children and adults with developmental disabilities. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. PARC Thrift Store, 5825 66th St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 345-9111.

Everyone deserves an afternoon of fashion, friends, food and designer purse bingo, right? We knew you’d agree. Benefits from this weekend’s Fall Into Fashion event benefit the Junior League of St. Petersburg’s school readiness community projects. It’s $50 admission, which includes one bingo card. Additional cards will be available for purchase, and valet is only $6. Can’t pass this one up. 11 a.m. Sunday. St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 11 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 272-0781.

[Last modified: Wednesday, November 4, 2015 3:57pm]


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