It’s the second day of November, and the holiday shopping season is officially underway as signaled by the piped-in fa-la-las at nearly every store you visit from now until the end of December. Sure, you could fight it…or you can fully embrace the holiday shopping spirit by visiting one of the many Denver holiday markets that start popping up as of today.
One of the things I love about a local artisan market is you just can’t shop any more local than buying something directly from the hands that created it. And, judging by the number of holiday markets that are scheduled, we’ve got more than our fair share of talented artists, artisans, crafters and makers. Not only that…we’ve got a holiday market to suit every type of shopper. We’ve got the traditional holiday markets (like Christkindl and the Country Christmas Show). We’ve got the hip, not-your-grandmother’s craft fairs (like Friday Night Bazaar, The Flea, Horseshoe, Jackalope, and Starlight). We’ve got world marketplaces highlighting international artisans and fair-trade goods (like World Gift Market and International Folk Art Market). We’ve even got the Young Entrepreneurs Marketplace, where artisans are as young as 6.
And, it’s just more fun to shop at a holiday pop-up market than it is to brave the mall crowds. (It’s not necessarily because a lot of these markets have on-site bars, but that sure doesn’t hurt.) So, go ahead and pick your favorite holiday market. With so many to choose from, who knows…you might just knock out that shopping list before December.
November 2 – 5: Handweavers Guild of Boulder, Boulder County Fairgrounds. Local artisans will be showcasing and selling their work, including hand-dyed, hand-knit clothing, scarves, hats, jewelry, baskets, and wall art.
November 3: Colorado Country Christmas Gift Show, Denver Mart. A more traditional holiday craft market with 450 vendors. $15.50/adults; 10 and under, free.
November 3: Lakewood Arts Gallery Holiday Craft Market, Lakewood Arts Gallery. Showcasing art, jewelry and crafts and featuring live music. Free admission.
November 4: Home(made) for the Holidays, Washington Street Community Center. This neighborhood craft fair and bake sale supports the WSCC children’s program. Free admission.
November 4: Boulder Holiday Market, Central Park. Held side by side with the Boulder Farmers Market, this holiday market features seasonal items and handcrafted goods by local artisans and artists.
November 9 – 12: Boulder Potters Guild Fall Show & Sale, Boulder County Fairgrounds. More than 50 Boulder Potters Guild members will present and sell their finest ceramic wares and sculptures.
November 10: The Pancakes & Booze Art Show, Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom. Breakfast for dinner with booze and art! One part party, one part art show, the Pancakes & Booze Art Show will carry the work of more than 75 local Denver artists and photographers against a backdrop of live music and body-painting until 2am. $10/door; 21 and over only.
November 10 – December 30: 43rd Holiday Art Market, Foothills Art Center. The annual Golden event features the work of more than 100 local artists. Free admission.
November 11: Starlight Market: A Holiday Pop-Up Shop for Families (Note the venue change: Blanc, 3150 Walnut St.) Featuring favorite local indie, family-friendly brands like Winter Session (love these bags!), Wunderkin (adorable clothes for the littlest littles), Artifact Uprising (photo books that blow Snapfish away) and more.
November 16: Gypsy Farmhouse Market Sip N Shop, Union 27 (3275 W. 14th Avenue) This Denver-based pop-up market “with a gypsy soul” includes handmade/homemade items, mobile boutiques, and a little market for the kiddos. Other dates and locations: November 25: Golden; November 30, December 7: Denver; December 8 – 10: Stapleton; December 15 – 16: Aurora.
November 18 – 19: World Gift Market, First Plymouth Congressional Church (3501 S. Colorado Boulevard, Englewood). Shop these fair-trade, eco-friendly gifts and support artists in extreme poverty around the world. Market will include olive oils, soaps, clothing, jewelry, scarves, artwork, home decor, food items and toys.
November 24; December 1 and 8: Friday Night Bazaar: Denver Shop and Mingle Market, RiNo (1717 E. 39th Avenue). Shop, sip, dance and mingle with more than 50 local makers, Colorado tasting room and bottle shop, live gypsy jazz music, and the Colorado creative community. Free admission, 4-7pm, OR if you RSVP here. $5/advance or $7/door, 7-10pm. $20/Tasting Room, 4-7pm; $25/advance or $30/door.
November 10: Junior League of Denver Mile High Holiday Mart, University of Denver. First launched in 1980, the JLD Holiday Mart is a Denver tradition and features more than 100 merchants. All proceeds support the Junior League’s missions of developing the potential of women and improving literacy rates of area children. $10/door; 12 and under free. $40/VIP private shopping (Friday morning).
November 9 – 11: Winter Gift Market, Denver Botanic Gardens. Vendors will sell one-of-a-kind crafts, bath and body products, gourmet foods, jewelry and clothing.
November 17 to December 23: Denver Christkindl Market, Skyline Park. Held seven days a week into the evening hours, the 17th annual Christkindl Market follows the historic German Christmas market tradition of craft vendors, authentic German fare and music.
November 17 – 19: Holiday Food & Gift Festival, National Western Complex. This festival returns for its 31st year and offers homemade gourmet food, arts and crafts, jewelry and woodworking, music and photography, toys and holiday decor.
November 18 – 19: Sugar Plum Bazaar, Wings Over the Rockies. This makers’ market highlights 130 vendors’ mostly handcrafted items. Free downloadable ticket here or $1 minimum donation to enter. (All donations go to Rocky Mountain Foundation of Hope.)
November 24 – 25: Park Hill Holiday Handmade Gift Market, Park Hill Masonic Lodge. An offshoot of the Park Hill Art Festival, the holiday market will host 65 artists selling paintings, ceramics, jewelry, photography.
November 25 – 26: Horseshoe Holiday Market, Highlands Masonic Temple. Named Denver’s best flea market by Westword for four years running, the quarterly Horseshoe Market showcases an assortment of handmade and vintage vendors with more than 100 planned for the holiday show. Free admission.
December 1 – 3: The Flea, Sports Castle (100 Broadway) Everyone’s favorite hipster artisan market returns for the holidays featuring craft cocktails, food trucks, and live music as a backdrop to the hippest handcrafted items around. This is not the market to take your grandmother to.
December 2: Young Entrepreneurs Marketplace, Cherry Creek. Handmade and sold by young entrepreneurs ages 6 to 21. Also December 9: Belmar.
December 2: Holiday Handmade Artisan Fair & Spa Day, The Freyja Project (LoHi). Get pampered while you shop at the yoga/dance studio/spa when 10 spa healers provide free mini-sessions as you browse two dozen local artisan vendors.
December 9 – 10: Jackalope Art Fair, McNichols Building, Civic Center Park. This “indie artisan fair” will showcase 150 artisans selling fashion and jewelry, ceramics and paper goods, housewares, art, photography and more. Free admission.
December 16 – 17: Firefly Handmade Market, Boulder. A marketplace for handmade-only artisan goods in Boulder and the Front Range, Firefly has been showcasing handcrafted, local and small-batch goods since 2010. The holiday market features more than 80 vendors, including home decor, jewelry, fashion, ceramics, art, and artisanal food.
December 12 – 22: International Folk Art Market, Tansey Contemporary (1743 Wazee St) Featuring the work of more than 30 selected artists and artisans, the market will include wool and silk scarves from Kyrgyzstan, embroidered textiles from India, jewelry from Kenya, Ecuador, Spain, and Kazakhstan, peace baskets from Rwanda, and painted egg ornaments from the Ukraine. Free admission.