Located in the heart of Boston’s South End, SoWa is renowned for its vibrant arts community and unique shopping experiences.
Its SoWa Winter Market and Festival adds a festive flair to the district, featuring an array of handmade artwork, gifts, seasonal foods, and artisanal products.
In this article, I’ll provide you with essential details such as confirmed 2023 dates, opening times, and what you can expect to find at this special winter event.
SoWa’s South End setting, renowned for its artsy atmosphere and eclectic shops, takes on a festive character around Christmas.
The district’s regular art galleries and unique retail spaces participate in the holiday spirit, amplifying the area’s creative vibe.
SoWa Winter Market 2023
The 8th annual SoWa Winter Festival at the historic Power Station is a blend of the extraordinary and the innovative, lasting for 15 days over four weekends this November and December.
As you walk through, you’re greeted by an aromatic pine forest that segues into a shopping winter wonderland featuring more than 100 regional makers, artists, and specialty food vendors.
The Winter Market elevates your experience further with French Mediterranean cuisine at Marseille and winter cocktails at the stylish mezzanine-level Artist Loft Lounge.
Also on the agenda are unique finds such as Torre di Gamberaia olive oil from Florence, handmade doughnuts with holiday flavours, and unique, sustainable candles.
Meanwhile, the SoWa district itself continues to be a hotspot, with its renowned art galleries, vintage market, and a plethora of dining options, making your visit to the festival an all-encompassing experience.
Dates and Location
SoWa Winter Market dates: 24th November to 17th December 2023.
Week 1: 24th to 26th November.
Week 2: 30th November to 3rd December.
Week 3: 7th to 10th December.
Week 4: 14th to 17th December.
Location: SoWa Boston, 550 Harrison Avenue.
Opening times: Thursday and Friday: 4pm to 9pm. Saturday: 10am to 10pm. Sunday: 10am to 7pm.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, plenty of options.
Gluten free: Yes, some options.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
Reason to visit: Historic Power Station venue, 100+ regional vendors, seasonal cocktails, artisan gifts.
Recommended tour: South End neighbourhood food and history tour.
Specialities: Handmade doughnuts with holiday flavours, gourmet patisserie, food trucks, craft beer and gin tastings, locally produced honey, single origin chocolates.
Where to stay: The Revolution Hotel is a popular hotel, located 12 minutes walk from SoWa.
Hotels near SoWa Winter Market
The South End is an ideal area for accommodation if you want to be close to the SoWa Winter Festival. It’s a trendy neighbourhood with many dining options and is easily accessible by public transport.
I recommend staying at the Revolution Hotel, which is well-located and popular among visitors who wish to explore SoWa and the South End.
SoWa Boston isn’t the only popular winter market in Boston. Read our Boston Christmas Market guide to discover all the city’s markets, fairs and festivals.
Location of Sowa Winter Market
SoWa Winter Festival
SoWa Food Specialties
Cafe de Noël: Located within the market premises, Cafe de Noël serves local coffee with a wintry twist. It’s the spot to grab a cup of warm brew while meandering through the array of stalls. A Boston South End staple, this food truck has become synonymous with a cosy, caffeine fix.
Marseille: A recent addition to the local dining scene, Marseille Restaurant serves up French Mediterranean cuisine, igniting the flavours of the Mediterranean area. Chef Robert Fathman presents a modern choice of tapas that pairs excellently with the restaurant’s curated wine list. Situated close to the market, it’s a convenient and inviting venue for a more refined dining experience after your market visit.
Handmade doughnuts: A local bakery takes its stand to bring you handmade doughnuts with holiday flavours. Their pumpkin spice and cinnamon-infused creations are well-loved and unique to this market.
Craft spirit tastings: Enjoy some local spirit tastings that will surely warm you up. Distilled in Boston’s South End, these spirits are served in sample-size cups, letting you try an assortment of flavours.
Gourmet patisserie and baked goods: Pastries, cakes, and other baked delights can be found here, made fresh by local artisans. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill baked goods; they feature local ingredients and recipes unique to the Boston South End area.
Boston Chops, Burro Bar, Elephant Walk: These are neighbourhood restaurants not directly part of the Winter Market but worth mentioning. Each restaurant has its own unique flair and specialities, ranging from local Boston dishes to international cuisine.
Christmas Gifts and Stocking Fillers
Torre di Gamberaia Olive Oil: Sourced from Florence, this olive oil provides a unique European touch amidst local offerings. Ideal for cooking and eating enthusiasts, the product takes you on a brief culinary tour of Italy right from the South End.
Handmade Single Origin Chocolates: These chocolates don’t just satisfy your sweet tooth; they are also ethically sourced. Each piece is made in small batches and carries its distinct flavour profile depending on its origin, making for a thoughtful gift or personal treat.
Sustainable Candles: Mindfully created with natural ingredients, these candles offer a cosy feeling without any of the typical synthetic scents. They make for a calming and responsible choice for gift-giving during the holidays.
Unique Artwork Prints: Featuring works from local artists, these prints showcase the creative culture of the South End. They serve as more than just decoration; they are slices of Boston’s artistic community that you can take home.
Locally Produced Honey: In glass jars with minimalist labelling, this honey not only sweetens your day but also supports local beekeepers. Its rich, nuanced flavours elevate simple breakfast items to a new level.
Vintage Market Finds: The Vintage Market in SoWa is a trove of unique, hard-to-find items that make for special gifts. From antique jewellery to retro home decor, these are items with history and character.
Craft Beers and Microbrews: Given Boston’s rich brewing history, it’s not surprising to find a selection of craft beers and microbrews produced locally. These make excellent gifts for those looking to explore Boston’s brewing culture from the comfort of their home.
Designer Notebooks and Planners: A beautifully designed notebook or planner stands out in an age where everything is digitised. These practical yet aesthetically pleasing items offer a blend of function and form as a gift.
Events and Attractions
SoWa Art Galleries and Artist Studios: Head to the nearby art galleries for a break from the Winter Market. The South End is a hub of artistic activity, and a quick tour can offer an enlightening reprieve.
Artisan ice sculpting displays: This attraction adds a chilly thrill to the atmosphere. Sculptors showcase their skill by turning blocks of ice into intricate artworks, which adds to the overall atmosphere.
Local Boston Bars: Close to the market are a variety of bars where you can enjoy local beers and craft cocktails. These venues serve as good spots to end your market visit, perhaps with a locally crafted winter cocktail in hand.
Things to Do in Winter
For a complete list of winter activities and the latest events in the South End, you might find the city’s official website, Visit Boston, to be an invaluable resource.
Sustainable Holiday Tips
Here’s some guidance on how to navigate Boston’s South End and SoWa market sustainably this Christmas.
Eco-friendly Hotels: When visiting Boston, opt for accommodations committed to sustainability. Many local hotels in the South End are making efforts to reduce their carbon footprint by using renewable energy sources like wind and solar. These eco-friendly establishments often have water-saving initiatives and waste reduction programmes, contributing to Boston’s more sustainable tourism industry.
Mindful Eating at Markets: When enjoying the culinary delights of SoWa Christmas Market and other South End markets, try to minimise food waste. Many vendors at SoWa use compostable plates and utensils, but you can go one step further by bringing your own reusable food containers and cutlery. If you do end up with leftovers, consider sharing them with others to prevent unnecessary waste.
Ethical Consumption: As you explore the shops and stalls of SoWa, think twice before making a purchase. Boston’s South End is renowned for its locally produced and handmade goods. Opt for these over mass-produced items, and try to buy only what you truly need or will use, thus supporting local artisans while also being mindful of waste.
Sustainable Diets: Boston has a growing number of eateries that focus on organic, locally sourced, plant-based ingredients. These establishments often have a lower environmental impact due to their commitment to sustainable farming practices. When dining out in the South End, seek out these restaurants to support a more eco-friendly food industry.
Greener Transportation: Boston is a walkable city, especially in the South End, which is home to historic sites, parks, and other attractions that can be easily accessed on foot. Public transport, including the T subway system, is another eco-friendly way to get around. Boston also has numerous bike-sharing stations, providing a low-impact mode of transport that allows you to see the city at a leisurely pace.
By adopting these practices, you contribute to the sustainability of the city, making it a better place for locals and visitors alike.
The Sowa Winter Market 2023 takes place from 24th November to 17th December 2023. Week 1: 24th to 26th November. Week 2: 30th November to 3rd December. Week 3: 7th to 10th December. Week 4: 14th to 17th December.
The SoWA Winter Market and Festival is held in the historic Power Station in the South End of Boston, a location easily accessible by public transport and rich in local history.
SoWA Winter Market opening times are Thursday and Friday: 4pm to 9pm. Saturday: 10am to 10pm. Sunday: 10am to 7pm.
Given its popularity, the Sowa Winter Market and the surrounding area can get busy during Christmas. Early mornings and weekdays are generally less crowded if you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere.
If you want to leave a SoWa Christmas Market review, comment below.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Boston, United States. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.