Things to do in Oakland: Indie Sales, Events, and Other Happenings

by | Aug 30, 2019

Shopping Local in Oakland on Labor Day Weekend!

Oakland has an abundance of talented, passionate, and beautiful local independent merchants. We think that they are hidden gems in plain sight. And, it means Oakland is a shopper’s utopia! So, we compile a list of Oakland indie merchant sales and events and publish them here. We hope this listing inspires you to explore Oakland and to shop local.

We continually update this listing as we get new information but our thorough updates are usually done on Thursdays or Fridays. Please check directly with the merchants for more information about the event(s) that you are interested in.

If you have any ideas about how we can improve it, please do comment!

Merchants, this is a FREE service: If you want to add a listing, you can just message us here on our website. It’s that easy!

Things to do in Oakland: Indie Sales, Product Events, and In-Store Events This Week


9/5 is Oakland First Thursdays.

9/6 is Oakland First Fridays and there are all sorts of events around the City.

9/19 – 9/29 Put this in your calendar and get your tickets early for Oakland Cocktail Week. 9/19 Kicks off Cocktail Week at 3rd Thursdays at Latham Square! Throughout the week, over 50 bars and restaurants will offer cocktail specials for the week. AND, there will be very cool ticketed events that benefit the Oakland Indie Alliance! The OIA, perhaps not surprisingly, is an organization that is very near and dear to our hearts. The OIA works hard to ensure that independent merchants can thrive in Oakland. After all, a powerful indie community: drives equitable economic growth, creates stronger communities and neighborhoods, and reduces our impact on the environment.

The Oakland Indie Alliance In Their Own Words


Merchants A through M

Experience the Oakland indie scene and find your favorite shops.

9/5 6-10pm 510 Brand is featuring the art of Michael Johnson, Stitch, and Natalina Simi as part of the Grand Lake District First Thursdays Art Walk. There will be plenty of activities and art to see all over the Grand Lake District.

8/30-9/1 Alyce on Grand is having a big SALE this weekend with 20% off entire store + 50% off rack. Look for new Fall items!

Bella Vita in Rockridge is super excited about the new merchandise today! OMG it looks Cuuuuuuuute!

9/13 4-6pm A 20th Anniversary Celebration at City Bloom Flowers in Oakland’s City Center at 1300 Clay Street, Suite 162B. OMG, it begs the question: Do they have to do their own flower arrangements for their anniversary? We don’t know. We do know that we love indie anniversaries and this is a big one. Small businesses do not typcially thrive in that area. Can you imagine all that Dan knows about the area?

Now at Claflin, Thayer & Co., Velva Sheen 2 pack crew neck tees are back in stock. If you are picky about t-shirts, you might want to check out everybody’s favorite USA made tees.

9/6 Congratulations to Creative Framing & Gallery. Heather Piazza is celebrating 10 YEARS of ownership while this institution has been serving Oakland for 44 years. First Friday part and reception for Ramon Vidali Oil Paintings. Yummy bites.

It’s a SALE at Crush on College for the Holiday Weekend. Saturday 20% off bottoms. Sunday 20% off accessories. And Monday 20% off all Free People items. A different SALE everyday!

Dress Best For Less just reminded us that buying one used item over a new item reduces its carbon footprint by 82%!  And they are having a big SALE with their 50% off Labor Day Weekend Sale on 8/31. These are two pretty good reasons to buy something previously loved this weekend in Grand Lake!

Field Day and Friends is having a SALE this weekend as well! You’ll find some 30% off their very own line. Check with them for details!

All Summer Five and Dime Vintage continues! It’s a HUGE HOT SUMMER SALE up to 50% off all vintage clothing!

9/2 Goldenbug Shoes is having their Labor Day SALE. We’ve reached out to get more details! Also, they’ve hinted that they might have something special going on this weekend. No, we don’t have the inside scoop though!

We saw a sign at KOSA ARTS that all Denim is 25% off. You have to check them out. If you are in gift buying mode for a friends, family, or for yourself, this is the place to shop!

9/8 Town Crafters is hosting a dope Pop Up event. Lots and lots going on. We mean a lot. They’ve got some more information on instagram here.

Merchants N through Z

Now at Oak Common is THE BIG SALE. You’ll find up to 50% off area + 30% off pre-Fall items. Love the Holiday Weekend. And then head over to Alyce on Grand and check out their sale too!

Pegasus Books is having a Labor Day Weekend SALE. They are celebrating with a 20% off all USED BOOKS from Saturday-Monday! Buying previously loved items reduces our carbon footprint. So, there are two good reasons to go to Pegasus this weekend!

To 9/2, Rare Bird is having an END OF SUMMER SALE WITH 25% OFF EVERYTHING.

And not far from Rare Bird is Resurrect and they are having a Labor Day SALE! Take an additional 15% off all SALE items! Piedmont Avenue definitely has some fantastic sales this weekend!

HUGE Labor Day Sale at Rhythm Bikes. All 2019 Bikes are 15%-20% off. Rental bikes are 35% off and SO MUCH MORE!

Sale on now at Rockridge Furniture and Design  Save 30% on all sleeper sofas!

SF Funky Furniture is celebrating Labor Day Weekend by offering FREE delivery to Oakland and San Francisco and 10% off floor models!

Now to 9/8 SOBU is having a SALE and taking 20% off your purchase.

Now to 8/31! Of course SoleSpace is having a major Labor Day Weekend Sale. It’s 25% – 50% off everything in store.

Mika at Spoiled Boutique is very excited about her latest NEW ARRIVALS. If you are in downtown Oakland, it is very much worth taking a peak. Plus Mika is awesome. She will style you up.

To end of August, Tech Exchange is having their ANNUAL BACK-TO-SCHOOL SALE! Bring your student ID or class schedule and get 25% OFF! Visit the Tech Hub on International Blvd.

Tootsies Rockridge is getting into the Labor Day Weekend SALE action too with Buy 1 get the 2nd 50% OFF!

8/31 – 9/2 Urbanity Style Sharing is having a SUMMER’S END SALE at their Solano location only.

Uhuru Furniture is in their last week of their Back to School Sale so you better get there fast to save 20% on all furniture including desks, office chairs, dressers, and more!

9/6 6 – 9pm is @wildchildoakland is hosting a First Friday Pop Up event! Celebrate the new exhibition featuring Allison Marie Garcia @blindthesun. Also, @shopbohime will be there with jewelry. And so much more. Complimentary beverages, groovy tunes and lots of friendly faces. We love our indie merchants!

Things to do in Oakland: Indie Workshops, Classes, and Events

Bay Made Craft Classes

Bay-Made hosts amazing craft classes for kids.

Every single week our Oakland Indies host valuable events for creative and active souls who want to broaden their knowledge, discover new talents, or hone their skills! They teach usand they entertain us. You know what we alway say: #youcantbuythatontheinternet.

Regular Events

Every week, many local independent wine merchants host WINE TASTING EVENTS. Wow! It’s better than having to  drive 2 hours ++ and you get to experience more variety. Check with a shop near you like: Bay Grape, Downtown Wine Merchants, Farmstead Cheeses and Wines, Minimo Wine Shop, Oakland Yard Wine Shop, and Wine on Piedmont.

Merchants A through M

Alchemy Bottle Shop has some amazing classes and events for those who want to learn or perfect the art of Cocktail making. They also do regular tasting events on Saturdays from 2-5pm! So, a lot is happening there. Best to check out their calendar!

Bay-Made: They are very excited about their September classes. They have beginner Screen Printing, a succulent plant workshop, and kids classes coming up. They load their calendar with events so check them out and see what’s inspires you!

Multiple events Blue Door Beads on Piedmont Ave. Are very excited about there September workshops and classes. Sign up in store, on their website, or over the phone.  

Every 2nd Sunday there’s a Plant Sale Fundraiser at Free Oakland Up. Go support this amazing business with a mission. It is a Thrift Store with a twist. All items are mostly free. Learn more about them here.

It’s Your Move is the place to be if you are a gamer. They have so many event nights so it is just a matter of your gaming preferences. They even have a summer camp for teenagers.

It’s best to check out Maker’s Loft Calendar of Events as they have so many different kinds of workshops. They often bring in the makers and designers that they feature in their store to lead classes.

OMG! Mischief hosts one of the most cutest events ever: Little Folkies on Thursdays at 11:30am. OMG, parents bring their 0-5 year-olds and enjoy live music together. And they have another event on Sundays from 3-5pm called Babies + Beers Family Happy Hour(s)! OMG! Please let them know your going so they can plan appropriately!

Merchants N through Z

Rent Event Space! Yes, you can rent the beautiful backyard oasis at Neighbor for your special occasion. They’ve hosted baby showers, birthday celebrations, and engagement parties. They’ve even held a wedding!

Multiple events for Preserved. Workshops all summer from cheesemaking to pickling, jam making, and fermenting, and more! Check with Preserved for their calendar of events. 

Rare Bird always has creative workshops and classes for you to learn new things or hone your already awesome skills. They host parties and corporate events as well. They do it all!  It is worth checking out their calendar!

The Raven’s Wing Magical Co. hosts A monthly Astrology Salon every fourth Thursday from 7-9pm.

First Fridays of every month, Ruby’s Garden hosta a Bunny Party and there are often other surprises to enjoy too.

Weekly Sundays 10am Tip Top Bike Shop Meet at the shop and take a ride with them on their weekly group ride. All abilities welcome! All abilities and experience levels welcome.

Wednesday Warrior Runs are every week at 6:30 sharp by Transports. Check with them for locations as they change from week to week. P.S. They like to drink beer after the running events!

Wolfman Books in Downtown Oakland always has intriguing events. It is best to check out their calendar for details!

Upcoming Merchant Events September 2019 and Beyond

9/6 at Mise En Place Gallery hosts NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL ANOTHER ALL GIRLS ART SHOW. Lots of artists. Lots of badass talent as part of First Fridays events in Uptown Oakland. See 8/6 girlmobb post on Instagram for info.

9/8 2-5pm Hand on Citrus Tree Grafting for locals only at Pollinate Farm and Garden. Discover the art and science of citrus tree grafting. Learn about how to make new citrus trees, and how to add or change varieties on the older trees in your backyard orchard.

9/21 Dandelion Post and Gather Workshop share a space! And Gather hosts A LOT of workshops. Today’s is SANDAL MAKING.

9/23 Rare Bird always has creative workshops and classes for you to learn new things or hone your already awesome skills. Have you ever wanted to create your own natural indigo dyed fabric? Well today you can with Scrambles Quilts. Ensure to book your space on the Rare Bird website!

9/27-11/28 Manna Gallery will present Serendipity 2: New Watercolors by Elaine Maute. Reception 10/4 from 6-8pm. Elaine will give a brief talk at 7pm. 

9/28 Dandelion Post and Gather Workshop share a space! And Gather hosts A LOT of workshops. Today’s is MODERN CALLIGRAPHY

9/29 Dandelion Post and Gather Workshop share a space! And Gather hosts A LOT of workshops. Today’s is Tarot Card.

The Notice Board: Retail Space Available in the Flax Building!

Artists, makers, craftspeople, indie merchants, and independent brand designers that dream of having a retail space in Oakland. Howard Flax of Flax Art and Design has a beautiful vision. He is planning to transform his downtown Oakland 14,000 sq ft. retail space into a dynamic shared marketplace destination. So, he is seeking like-minded creatives and business people who dream of opening their own shop or office to lease space at the Flax Building.

Think: art supplies, art, handcrafted jewelry, home goods, decor, clothes, apothecary, health & beauty, and pretty much any category combined with theater troupes and pretty much anything else you can think of. Then imagine the power of a complementary merchant community all under one roof. It will be the Swan’s Market or the San Francisco Ferry Building of hard goods. Here in Oakland! A local shopper’s dream space!

Other Things to do in Oakland: Local Events and Festivals

Check with hosts for more information.

Regular Events

Monthly 1st Fridays: Multiple events in Oakland:Friends of Lincoln Square Park Lincoln Summer Nights 2019, June-October 5-8pm.

First Sundays Indigenous Red Market at the Fruitvale Cedar Center. Plenty of activities. Featuring indigenous artists, vendors, performances, and so much more!

Also Monthly on 1st Fridays, Oakland Art Murmur hosts the Art Walk and it’s happening on 8/2 from 6-9pm. Galleries are open and then again on Saturday for the Stroll from 1-5pm. Studios 11 has a new show beginning tonight The Surreal Works of Bill Sala with Artist Reception! Get connected into Oakland’s art scene.

Monthly, 3rd Thursdays 4-9pm May-Oct Laurel Evening Market at Communite Table. A curated artisan and vintage market. Plus, the Laurel District has some great independent shops that are a must to check out!

Also on Monthly on 3rd Thursdays, Oakland Central at Latham Square, chill time, chill vibes in downtown Oakland!

Indigenous Red Market Every first Sunday of the month at the Fruitvale Cedar Center. Plenty of activities and features indigenous artists, vendors, performances, and so much more! Next event is 8/4.

And Toddler Gardens Lake Merritt hosts a variety of FREE activities and demos monthly. Email them at toddlergardens@gmail for list of events. For example, 8/18 is Compost and Worms!

Upcoming Events September and October 2019

9/8 Oakland Pride Sure to be bigger and better than ever so Save the Date.

9/22 Women’s March Oakland is hosting a Gender-Based Violence conference. Islamophobia is a gender-based violence issue. Silence feeds violence. Supporting marginalized youth. What is commercial exploitation of youth? Gender Justice. Get more information and sign up from Women’s March Oakland.

10/5-10/6 12th Annual Dimond District Oaktoberfest! Family-friendly Craft Beer and Music.

Upcoming Events November 2019

11/2 10am – 5pm Dia De Los Muertos Festival in Fruitvale district. The Unity Council Día de Los Muertos Annual Festival is a free, outdoor festival that brings over 100,000 people to the vibrant, culturally-rich Fruitvale neighborhood to enjoy world-class live music, family-friendly games, rides and activities, traditional Latin American artisans, and the stunning altar artistic installations created by community members paying homage to los Muertos.

Plaid Friday Weekend! A can’t miss local shopping celebration in Oakland. It includes: shopping, music, food, kids activities, and adult beverages. Oakland will be lit! Skip the nightmare that is Black Friday and go local. You will have the best time ever!

11/30 Headwest Marketplace in Old Oakland. More info to come.

Upcoming Events December 2019

12/8 9-4pm 4th Annual Dimond Lights ARTISAN MARKET AND PANCAKE BREAKFAST! DIMOND PARK RECREATION CENTER. PANCAKES are being served to 11am by Ann’s Cafe. Arts, crafts, food, music, fun!

12/8 Temescal Holiday Fair

12/21 Headwest Marketplace in Old Oakland. More info to come!

Upcoming Events in 2020

2/23 The Third Annual Black Joy Parade. It’s going to be bigger and even better. More to come but get this event in your calendar!

Did you know?

Shopping local has almost limitless benefits? For example, it: reduces our impact on the environment, generates equitable and sustainable economic growth, and strengthens our communities. In short, it enhances our own lives and the lives of those around us! A vibrant indie scene ensures that we have an interesting, enjoyable, and vital city in which to live!

What is your favorite reason to shop local? Please share!

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