This holiday season, be kind to yourself: Shop before you’re half insane with the double whammy of post-election depression and the holiday blues. Throughout November (which includes Small Business Saturday on November 26), there are plenty of options for leisurely and off-the-wall gift shopping that won’t break your budget — or your brain. And shopping local is easy: We're showing you where to get started without ever setting foot in a mall. Keep reading for ten holiday markets (and watch for updates)...
Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday Deals
Aillea, 1408 Larimer Street and 3000 East First Avenue, #203
Willow, 2595 Canyon Boulevard, Boulder
November 25 through 28
Three area boutiques — the iconic Highland fashion temple Goldyn, chemical-free beauty products emporium Aillea and Boulder contemporary womenswear shop Willow — will offer storewide discounts (30 percent at Goldyn, 20 percent at Aillea and 25 percent at Willow) over the post-Thanksgiving weekend and right on through to Cyber Monday. The discounts extend to online purchases at Goldyn (use discount code ALLBLACKEVERYTHING) and Aillea (discount code 2Thankful). You might just have something left over to buy something nice for yourself.
Horseshoe Holiday Market
Highlands Masonic Temple
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, November 26, and Sunday, November 27
After going single-day last year, the Horseshoe Market re-expands to two days for Small Business Saturday and then some, bringing its hyper-creative signature mix of vintage and handmade-craft vendors back to the Highlands Masonic Temple for another great year. This is one of the best markets in town in any season, and founders Amy and Doug Yetman really know how to put the sparkle into the task of holiday shopping: You can explore 100 vendors, indoors and out, enjoy food-truck fare and, new this year, live music. The lucky first fifty early birds to walk in the door each day will receive swag bags full of treats and merch. It’s all free, so make a day — or two — of it and finish all your shopping in one place.
Small Business Saturday Market at GRACe
Globeville Riverfront Arts Center
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, November 26
Local artists and artisans with studios at the Globeville Riverfront Arts Center have declared their newly renovated facility open for business, after many of them lost their spaces at Wazee Union to new development. GRACe will carry on where Wazee Union’s traditional Small Business Saturday sale left off, offering great variety and the novelty that only a close-knit, co-working creative community can generate. Choose from fine art, jewelry, wearable arts, home decor, beauty products, artisan foods and handmade holiday decorations, and stave off your hunger with eats out front from Wong Way Vegan and Food To Truck.
Craftsman & Apprentice
4 to 9 p.m. Saturday, November 26
Throughout the year, Craftsman & Apprentice, in City Park West, opens its doors to people of all ages for hands-on workshops covering everything from how to make a perfect pie crust to basic woodworking for adults, and embroidery to imagination-building tinkering for kids. But when the holidays roll around, the space pays tribute to a handful of entrepreneurial makers of all kinds by hosting the Prototype Market, which, unlike most fairs you’ll encounter during the gift-buying season, focuses on one-of-a-kind experiments and exclusive works that you won’t see anywhere else. The variety is stunning: Choose from Strange Dirt’s beautiful decorative prints, holiday pies by Long I Pie Shop, hand-screened T-shirts and merch from the Moore Collection and much more.
Small Business Saturday on Tennyson Street
Tennyson Berkeley Business District
7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, November 26
All of the businesses along the Tennyson Street retail drag join forces annually on Small Business Saturday to celebrate neighborhood commerce and creativity, but it’s more than just a shopping crawl. Events kick off bright and early with a family-style pancake breakfast, hosted by Midwestern Saloon from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. Photo ops with Santa are part of the morning menu, along with a yummy square meal that will prepare you for a long, productive stroll (please RSVP so the ’cakes don’t run out!). The stalwart and local-leaning craft boutique Jolly Goods will again be organizing a streetwide Holiday Passport Crawl; pick up a card and get it stamped by participating merchants, and you can enter a big giveaway drawing. To top off your day, congregate at Cesar Chavez Park after 4 p.m. for hot chocolate, cookie decorating, high-fives with Santa and a community tree-lighting at dusk. Visit the Facebook event page for a list of businesses taking part in the festivities.
Small Black Business Marketplace
Smoky Hill Library, 5430 South Biscay Circle, Centennial
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, November 26
Local black-owned small businesses get some love in Centennial on Small Business Saturday at this market hosted by LoveLoc’d. Meet metro area craftspeople and entrepreneurs of color offering natural hair-care products, inspirational books and music, story jewelry, Afrocentric accessories, hand-knit caps and more.
Holiday Hullabaloo: A Small Business Saturday Market and Potluck Gathering
Fort Greene Bar
3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, November 26
Fort Greene’s Holiday Hullabaloo turns shopping local into a house party with an invitation to bring your holiday leftovers to share with other like-minded gift-seekers, seasonal cocktails from the bar and a post-market campfire and movie screening. Meet the makers, all Colorado-based, and be part of your community on a small, friendly scale while taking care of your gift-giving obligations.
HaHo Holiday Pop-ups
Denver Bicycle Cafe
3 to 8 p.m. Saturdays, November 26 and December 3, 10 and 17
Denver’s Handmade Homemade Market is shaking up its usual holiday agenda with a round of four-part harmony — a weekly Saturday series of pop-up markets through mid-December, each featuring a changing roster of ten vendors, along with beer specials and door prizes. Beer sales benefit Metro Caring and Denver Food Rescue; vendors for the first round on Small Business Saturday include JayBird Body Shop, Breckenridge Candle Cabin, Flora's Mercantile & Hemp Emporium, the Navigator Handmade, CalimiD, Dr. Seth's Mustache Wax, Fancy Boheme, Tactile Studios Ltd. and Pearl Street Lights. Come back in the following weeks for a whole new batch of unusual goods.
Holiday Art Market
Foothills Art Center
Open daily, now through December 30
One of the largest and longest-lived holiday craft markets in the region, HART at the Foothills Art Center keeps on truckin’ in its 42nd year with a time-tested selection of handmades in all price ranges that makes shopping easy, and a slate of special events and family workshops scattered throughout its run. Men in need of shopping advice will appreciate a man-friendly Stress-Free Shopping event with beer, pretzels and idea elves to help from 6 to 8 p.m. December 15, while bargain hunters will want to return December 25 through 30 to take advantage of a 20 percent discount on all leftover merchandise.
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Now through December 23
11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thanksgiving Day
Extended weekday hours December 19 through 23
The holiday season officially arrives in downtown Denver when the Christkindl Market opens for business on the mall in Skyline Park, as it did this past weekend, and it’s a tradition that you have to experience firsthand to truly appreciate. The family-friendly holiday shopping valhalla is all fairytale sparkle, oompah bands and old-world eatertainment, with huge pretzels, stollen and strudel, warm Glühwein, beer and other Germanic treats to munch on and sip while browsing through matryoshka dolls, wooden Santas and other Christmasy merch. Want to live dangerously? Visit the market on December 5 for Krampus Night, and mind your manners.