If you're looking for something to do on a Sunday, head to the St Kilda Esplanade Market for a touch of beachside retail therapy. There are no entry fees to pay. Open every Sunday from 10am to 5pm for the rest of this year, operating on daylight savings time, it's a great way to soak in the Sunday vibes.
Stretching all the way from Luna Park to The Espy, this Market boasts over 120 unique stalls of handcrafted artwork, wood products, jewellery, accessories and more. Not just for the tourists, it's a great weekly destination for the locals too.
The Market celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2020 and that speaks volumes about the quality products you'll find here that ensures the longevity of this much-loved destination. It's where new artists begin their careers and it might surprise you to know that national living treasures like James Egan and Ruth Epps were among the first 20 or so artists to display their work at the Market. Academy Award winning animator and director of Harvey Krumpet, Adam Elliot also used to be a stallholder and sold his hand-painted t-shirts for five years!
A day at the Market is filled with options for the whole family. While you're there, the kids can have fun at Luna Park, or the whole family can simply stroll down towards the beach, enjoying the views, walking past an array of restaurants and cafes, the pier, and head towards the parklands of Catani Gardens.
For a closer option, head to the O'Donnell Gardens beside Luna Park; a stone's throw from Acland Street which is the main strip full of restaurants, cafes, bars, delicious cake shops and other retail outlets. Walking from one end (Luna Park End) to the other end of the market, there are food trucks and coffee vans to enjoy, plus you could just cross the street to The Espy and enjoy what's on offer there at this vibe-y, gorgeous, iconic, newly refurbished venue that exudes personality.
If you're looking for a full, enjoyable Sunday with lots of options, look no further than this delightful destination. If you haven't been for a while, now is the time to start thinking about Christmas shopping. Find something unique; quality handmade goods for all your loved ones. Plus you'll be supporting small business, and meeting the maker face to face. Stallholders are happy to just say g'day or explain their products to you first hand. If this is going to be your first time at the Market, you'll be surprised at the quality and variety of goods you'll find there.
I personally shop here for all my body and face soaps, shampoo and conditioner bars and beauty products like lip balms, natural toothpaste, and moisturisers. Handmade soaps are a treat I afford myself, because sometimes you just have to pamper yourself. I buy all my beauty products from Big Blue Cosmetica and absolutely adore the planet-friendly skincare products and packaging. The naturally tinted beeswax lip balms and Kakadu Plum Clarifying Serum moisturiser are my favourites.
Walking past Coloured by Katherine always makes my hippy, boho, gypsy soul happy. This store keeps tie dye current and alive. Everything is tie dyed, from adult clothing, cute children's clothing, socks and sustainable, reusable shopping bags and more. March in and grab a few pieces and put some sunshine and colour in your life.
There have been guilty pleasures I'd happily admit to like shopping for gorgeous reversible cotton dresses handmade by Karyn De Jong; chopping boards exuding that beautiful smell of cedar from Sunrise Woodcrafts; so much so, I can't help sniffing it each time, before I use it. I know, a bit kray kray. Quality mixed metal bracelets by Domingo, and of course other goodies as well. I enjoy supporting handmade and small business and they're always my first option for shopping.
Senia Kazar Ceramics has the most gorgeous, unique Australiana ceramic animals at her stall. So if you're thinking of sending something truly Australian to an overseas friend where you don't have to rip off the Made in China tag, or simply buying it for yourself because they're too cute and beautifully hand shaped and made, head to this stallholder.
There's so much more to enjoy at all the amazing stalls at the Market, but too many at over 120 stalls to mention individually. You'll just have to head out there on a Sunday and explore it for yourself. Check my previous article to read more about other stallholders.
Experience the creative soul of Melbourne for a fun day out, especially now that the weather is warming up and there is more clear sky than rainy days. You can preview some of the stalls HERE on the website; though it's not a patch on seeing it all firsthand yourself. You can also check the stall location map if you're trying to remember around which vicinity the stall you were looking for, is. Clicking on the numbered green icons will bring up a list of stalls in that particular area. Make this market strip your fun destination, where there's not too much to exhaust you, but just enough to make it a fun day out with the beautiful St Kilda beach as the backdrop to soak in.