The Grassroots Twilight Market that occurs just in time for Christmas is something I look forward to every year in November. Run by the friendly volunteers of Coonara Community House, I find this market is always well planned out with a tonne of original and one-of a kind stallholders to see and buy from. There is nothing better than buying local, it creates a lovely community based atmosphere that you would never get from shopping at a large retail chain and on most occasions the stallholders are also the talented makers so you get to meet the person behind the product and hear their stories.
At Upwey there is a long driveway filled on both sides with market stalls, and if that wasn't enough there is also a large hall where there are more stalls indoors in case the weather decides to not behave (typical of Melbourne weather).
Unlike other markets where it might be only about retail therapy, Grassroots Market is a place that you can shop, eat and be entertained. In between shopping make sure you spend some time enjoying breathing in the fresh air up at the Dandenong Rangers which some delicious food. I suggest visiting the Falafel ladies, even with a line their service is speedy and the servings are generous. For $5 you can get a satisfying Falafel wrap that can feed you and a friend if you are willing to share. The organisers are considerate enough to provide plenty of places for you to sit and eat your food while being entertained by live music, with a special space for kids to colour and make their own crafty creations to take home. Also for those pet owners, this is a dog friendly market so feel free to bring the whole family and make a night of it.
Of cause once you are done continue on with shopping, and make sure you stop off at the baked goods stores to satisfy your sweet tooth. There are always a decent handful of stallholders specializing in lovely dessert that can be eaten right there at the market if you cannot wait or provide sweets that can be taken away.
So this Christmas consider supporting the raw talents of Melbourne by shopping at Grassroots Twilight Market because it's nice to know you are helping a person make a living doing something they are truly passionate about.