The Best Holiday Markets in Denver in December

Hang your heart on your tree, courtesy of ceramic artist Marie EvB Gibbons.
Hang your heart on your tree, courtesy of ceramic artist Marie EvB Gibbons.
EvB Studio

If you’re having a hard time girding for holiday shopping this year, you’re not alone. The weather’s been weird and so have the politics, and it’s hard to turn your thoughts to trimming the tree and filling the space beneath it when nothing feels quite right. Here’s a secret to turn things around: Pick and choose where you shop. Think small, and choose gifts with a personal, just-for-you spirit — and give back to nonprofits and the community while you’re doing it. Support local businesses and craftspeople while you indulge in a little holiday nostalgia, too. There are plenty of places where you can shop local; here are the twenty best holiday markets this weekend.

The Best Holiday Markets in Denver in DecemberEXPAND
Fashion Denver

Frost Fashion Denver Mini Market
6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, December 8
Fashion Denver Headquarters, Green Spaces
Admission free, $35 makeover

Frost, Fashion Denver’s twelfth holiday market, will be a cozy affair at the Green Spaces co-working facility in RiNo, focused on gift-worthy items from Colorado designers, jewelry makers, entrepreneurs and artisans. But you’ll also have the option to gift yourself a makeover — courtesy of Matthew Morris Salon & Skincare and Jaded Beauty, just in time for a weekend of holiday parties — and have a portrait taken of your gussied-up self. The package will cost you $35, but you can feel good about that, too, as 100 percent of the proceeds go to benefit Warren Village, a Denver nonprofit that helps low-income, single-parent families achieve self-sufficiency. And while you’re doing good in so many different ways, delicious eats will be available from Biju's Little Curry Shop! Win-win-win and so forth: This event is an off-the-charts good deal.

The Best Holiday Markets in Denver in DecemberEXPAND
EvB Studio

EvB Studio Holiday Sale
EvB Studio
3 to 8 p.m. Thursday, December 8
Noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, December 10 and 11

Clay artist Marie EvB Gibbons celebrates the first anniversary of her Wheat Ridge studio space with an annual holiday sale showcasing her whimsical figures and lushly textured tiles, as well as a load of girly hand-sewn sleep masks, bookmarks, tote bags, clutches and wristlets from her daughter’s Brazen Threads line. Gibbons will also have a few one-of-a-kind hand-sculpted ornaments for sale, along with gift certificates good for merchandise and/or studio workshops and services, and even gift sets containing ceramic fortune cookies ready for stuffing with alternative resolutions for the new year. Shop the best selection at First Dibs Night on December 8, or drop in over the weekend.

The Best Holiday Markets in Denver in DecemberEXPAND
Andy Herod

Souvenir Shop: Andy Herod and Myah Bailey
Sally Centrigrade
1423 Larimer Street, #80
December 8 through January 31
Opening reception: 5 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, December 8

Got a lowbrow-art fan on your list? Sally Centigrade in Larimer Square will oblige with Souvenir Shop, a two-person show of mostly affordable smaller works incorporating printmaking, drawing and painting. Also in the gallery for gift-giving: collectible prints by lowbrow artists Eric Joyner, Camilla d’Errico, Tara McPherson and others.

The Best Holiday Markets in Denver in DecemberEXPAND

Sixteenth Annual Print Sale & Party
2134 Market Street
7 p.m. to midnight Friday, December 9

Master letterpress typographer and designer Rick Griffith opens up his MATTER storefront every year for a hell of a holiday dance party — and a very good fire sale of back-catalogue prints for $50 or less, as well as new work and cheeky MATTER merch you won’t see anywhere else. Come early for a less raucous sale preview and noshing, and stay after 9 p.m. for the signature fish-tank mojitos and spins by six DJs, including Griffith himself. And the party doesn’t completely shut down at the stroke of midnight; it merely moves over to Pon Pon Bar.

The Best Holiday Markets in Denver in December
Zip 37 Gallery

Holiday Art Market: Give HeART!
Zip 37
Thursdays through Sundays, December 8 through 23
Hours opening weekend:  5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

The members of the Zip 37 co-op make the business of supporting local artists easy every year with a Holiday Art Market full of sweet surprises at affordable prices. Find pieces to add to the collection of someone dear to you — or your own — as you browse through drawings, paintings, ceramics and mixed-media finds.

The Best Holiday Markets in Denver in December
Gamma Acosta

Holiday Pop-Up Show
Firehouse Art Center
December 9 through 13
Opening: Noon to 9 p.m. Friday, December 10

Firehouse in Longmont opens the floor to its artist members for a second-Friday holiday pop-up, with art for sale, refreshments and a second chance to buy prints, limited-edition spray cans and stickers by Longmont street artist Gamma Acosta, whose tenth-anniversary exhibit is on view at the gallery through December 23. Yes, Virginia, there is great art in Longmont.

The Best Holiday Markets in Denver in December
Art Gym

Holiday Fine Arts Festival
Art Gym
4 to 8 p.m. Friday, December 9
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, December 10

Artworks, handmades and good things to eat are all in the mix provided by more than twenty vendors at Art Gym’s second annual holiday sale — many of whom create work there, making use of the facility’s studios, workshops and commercial kitchen. Have a look at the co-working complex while you’re at the Art Gym and check out the member gallery, too.

The Best Holiday Markets in Denver in December
Evan Lorenzen

Les Petites Choses: an exhibit of miniature artworks
6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, December 10

Holiday exhibits of small works and miniatures are common at galleries this time of year, but here’s one that goes even smaller: Les Petites Choses at Processus, the member-driven co-working art space at the Temple in Curtis Park, offers tiny works and objects sized 2.5 inches or smaller from a dozen Denver artists. “Most of the images we are bombarded with are very small and often only seen on a smartphone. Tiny images and objects fill our lives, but who stops long enough to look at the details?” asks the exhibit statement. Slow down and try that; magnifying glasses will be provided to help you see things closer. Additionally, Processus co-founder Viviane Le Courtois will contribute a collection of minuscule objects, and the Denver Zine Library, also housed in the Temple complex, will kick in some miniature zines. Think small.

The Best Holiday Markets in Denver in DecemberEXPAND
Stephanie Stout, Native Clutter

Native Clutter Holiday Pop-Up
Svper Ordinary
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, December 10

Denver jewelry designer Stephanie Stout of Native Clutter will grab the spotlight at Svper Ordinary on December 10, bringing a trunkload of her handcrafted pieces. Influenced by her scientific background in engineering and archaeology, with results blending the stylishly modern with the timelessly ancient, Stout’s jewelry makes the perfect gift for a woman-on-the-go. Learn more about Native Clutter jewelry online.

The Best Holiday Markets in Denver in DecemberEXPAND
Courtesy of Vibrant

Vibrant Pop-Up Shop
Base Coat Nail Salon
3244 Navajo Street, #101
10 a.m, to 4 p.m. Saturday, December 10

Get over the tittering: Sex toys are just another part of life in the 21st century, so why not gift someone you love with something to spice up that thing you have going on? Denver-based Vibrant makes toys so modern they hardly seem raunchy; body-safe and created with everyone in mind, they’re even kinda cute. Vibrant will drop in for a day at Base Coat to answer questions and guide you through the buying process, and if you do buy — at Base Coat or online — a portion of your purchase will go to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.

Keep reading for ten more holiday markets.

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