Shoppers have the chance to buy original gifts from local craftspeople at a Christmas Artisan Market being held at Reaseheath College, Nantwich, on Saturday December 2. The college’s mini zoo, complete with Father Christmas, is also open for the weekend, giving families the opportunity to enjoy two festive events.

The market is being supported by over 50 South Cheshire members of Etsy, the online community which enables crafters and designers to sell their handmade or vintage goods. A wide range of handmade gifts will be on offer, such as sculptures, paintings, prints, clothing, jewellery, cards and Christmas decorations.

There will also be edible presents for sale including dairy and bakery items made in Reaseheath’s industry standard Food Centre, and small xmas trees and seasonal containers from the college’s horticultural department.

The Christmas market is being organised with the help of the college’s event management students and coincides with Small Business Saturday, a national day celebrating independent entrepreneurs. It follows a very successful inaugural event last year which attracted over 1,000 visitors.

This year the market is being held in Reaseheath’s Centre for Horticulture, the Environment and Sustainable Technology and will run from 10am to 4pm. There is no charge for entry or for parking, and the first 50 adults to arrive will receive a goody bag.

Savvy shoppers can take a look at what stallholders have to offer on Facebook and pre-order and pick up their purchases at the market, avoiding postage costs.

Reaseheath’s mini zoo is also open, giving families the chance to meet Father Christmas in his grotto and to see how the animals are preparing for the festive season. The college’s collection includes ring tailed lemurs, meerkats, spider monkeys, cotton top tamarins, birds of prey, rabbits, guinea pigs and a variety of fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects.

There is an entry fee for this attraction. Visit the zoo webpages for more information.