Think of Small Business Saturday as a kinder, gentler version of Black Friday, minus the frenzy of door-busters and blind consumption, and with the added bonus of supporting Denver’s mom-and-pop retailers. On Saturday, November 25, you can support your commercial community by taking a walk, and your wallet, through your own neighborhood — or other neighborhoods where small businesses abound, full of the thoughtful, whimsical, useful, unexpected and one-of-a-kind gifts you won’t find at your local big-box store. Get a start on your holiday shopping at these ten Small Business Saturday hotspots (and don’t forget your favorite book store: It’s also Indies First Day, with similar promotions for bookworms).
I Heart Denver Stores
Denver Pavilions, 500 16th Street, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Southwest Plaza, 8501 West Bowles Avenue, Littleton
Saturday, November 25, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
I Heart Denver’s two metro-area stores are stepping it up for the holiday-shopping season by adding more than 100 new items by Colorado artists and designers to their shelves just in time for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. A true Colorado independent, I Heart Denver supports local talent all year round with its focus on original art and affordable merchandise celebrating the Colorado vibe. If you’re heading to the pavilions, also home to such local businesses as the Colorado Artisan Center, Rosey’s and Jerri's Tobacco Shop & Fine Wines, parking is free all day on Small Business Saturday (first-come, first-served).
Small Business Saturday on South Broadway
South Broadway and Jewell Avenue
Saturday, November 25, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Businesses adjacent to the 1800 block of South Broadway are banding together for Small Business Saturday with a block-party flair, holiday shopping and deals at Spectra Art Space (freebies with purchases, door prizes, vendor booths, glass-ornament workshops, live music and more), Cabal Gallery (see below for details), Colorado Vape & Glass Co. (holiday discounts), Euro Crepes (free mimosas with purchases of $10 or more), Black Heart (deep storewide discounts) and BOARDLife. Dig Antique Row’s funky addendum and take care of some underground holiday giving.
Cabalidays Art Market
Cabal Gallery, 1875 South Broadway
Saturday, November 25, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, December 9, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, December 16, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Cabal Gallery crew invited forty or more of their best and most creative friends — and their old buddy, Krampus, a now-traditional Cabal visitor — to join in for an affordable holiday art market aimed at a hipper DIY-art crowd. Running for three Saturdays, beginning on Small Business Saturday and ending on December 16, Cabalidays is a stocking-stuffer’s paradise, with jewelry; wacky T-shirts, cards, stickers and magnets; coloring books; and hand-screened posters and prints. Cozy up to Krampus with your anti-holiday gift list and expect the unexpected — not to mention free coffee, cocoa and candy canes.
Small Business Saturday at Stanley
Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street, Aurora
Saturday, November 25, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The long-awaited Stanley Marketplace market hall, now going full-blast with an array of cool, independently owned eateries, food counters and boutiques, celebrates its first real holiday season this year, kicking off with a snowstorm of Small Business Saturday discounts, giveaways and swag, as well as an opportunity to give back through charitable donations at Stanley’s Giving Wall. As Stanley’s sworn “Stanifesto” notes, “A store is a place people go to buy things; Stanley is a place people go to live: to eat, drink, work, play, learn, grow, gather and explore.” It’s not just a playground for Stapleton families: Stanley welcomes everyone into its retail world.
Small Business Saturday at the Source
The Source, 3350 Brighton Boulevard
Saturday, November 25, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Source, another popular Denver market hall in RiNo, gets in the swing of Small Business Saturday on a cozy, up-close-and-personal level. Shop small (and taste Nova Chocolate from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) at Mondo Market and benefit from foodie deals and other goodies to taste and buy; pick up some manly gifts at a weekend-long Armitage & McMillan pop-up and support artists living and working in the RiNo Made Holiday Pop-up Market. Good eats and drinks are also within browsing range of the shopping at Acorn, Comida, RiNo Yacht Club and Boxcar Coffee.
Fort Greene Bar, 321 East 45th Avenue
Saturday, November 25, 5 to 9 p.m.
Mix cocktails, gift-hunting and DJ spins at Fort Greene’s annual after-dark holiday shopping soirée, with seasonal drink concoctions, select local handmade and vintage-clothing vendors, and yummy pies and pastries from Long I Pie. Look for hand-turned wood and horsehair-tassel jewelry from Olio Goods, cheeky holiday cards from Craft Boner and Mountain vs. Plains, flower- and fern-embedded glass pendants from Planthaus — and more — as you sip and sidle up to the bar.
Fourth Annual Tennyson Holiday Passport Crawl
Tennyson Street, between 38th and 46th avenues
Saturday, November 25, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Independent local stores and eateries all along the Tennyson Street Business District drag in northwest Denver will swing open their doors, offering deals to crawlers all day (and into the evening), for the Holiday Passport Crawl, an event now making gift-buying more fun and less harrowing for four years in a row. Here’s the drill: Pick up a passport card at any participating business and collect stamps as you make purchases or redeem passport deals along the street. Once you’ve gotten at least five stamps, drop the card off at Jolly Goods, 4020 Tennyson Street, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a grand gift basket with a $500 value. And, just like that, half or more of your selective, shop-local gift hunt is taken care of. Bonus for families: Stick around in the evening for hot chocolate, caroling and all the good stuff at the Tennyson Tree Lighting, 5 p.m. at the corner of Tennyson Street and 38th Avenue.
Grand Opening/Small Business Saturday
Mod Livin’ RiNo/Modern Nomad Home, 2936 Larimer Street
Saturday, November 25, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Mod Livin’, the longtime East-Colfax mid-century furniture emporium, is movin’ on up to a second location, as part of Modern Nomad Home, a home decor-oriented retail warehouse and design collective now sprucing things up on Larimer Street in RiNo. The collaborative businesses chose Small Business Saturday to make their dual debut. Dream a little home-makeover dream and stop by for beats and treats, mimosas and plenty of fresh coffee for power-shoppers on the weekend after Thanksgiving.
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Gypsy Farmhouse Holiday Market
Jefferson County Fairgrounds
15200 West Sixth Avenue, Golden
Saturday, November 25, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tickets: $5 in advance; $6 at the door
Like your markets homey, old-fashioned and just the right size? Have merch, will travel: Gypsy Farmhouse, an itinerant market that travels around, is making a special Small Business Saturday stop at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, with fifty vendors, swag bag giveaways at opening and again at 4 p.m., and kids’ activities galore, including the Little Market, where children can conquer their own gift-shopping lists. Can’t make this one? Check the Gypsy Farmhouse Facebook page for more markets in November and December.
Small Business Saturday in Cherry Creek North
Cherry Creek North, First and Third avenues, between University and Steele streets
Shop hours vary by business
Want to shop and rub elbows with the chic and tony crowd? Cherry Creek North does up Small Business Saturday with a big, golden bow — and throws in a chance to win big-buck CCN gift cards. Just make a purchase at a locally owned CCN business on November 25 and bring your receipt to the Small Business Saturday Headquarters at Second Avenue and Fillmore Street from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and you’ll be entered in the drawing. Learn more about CCN events and small-business-owners online.
See Westword’s 2017 November Holiday Markets list for more late-November shopping spots.