You can go to the mall. No one's going to stop you, if you're so inclined. And some people really do like the camaraderie of burning off Thanksgiving dinner by freezing to death in line to get into some big-box store and grab a doorbuster deal. But in the interest of thinking small in the most wonderful way -- by shopping local and supporting your neighborhood small businesses -- here's where to do it. Read on for a comprehensive list of markets, shows and Small Business Saturday deals.
This Belmar artist-run gallery and studio will roll out the red carpet for Black Friday patrons weary of shopping for socks and gadgets, greeting all with a blast of fresh affordable art, handmade ornaments and greeting cards, and more. Expect a festive and welcoming atmosphere, and cocoa will be served. Sold!
Should you be saddled with friends and family in town for the long weekend, MCA's blockbuster show Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia is a must-see look into the mind of a pop-cultural genius and a great diversion from buying stuff. But you can so that, too, at MCA's shop, where you can buy highbrow gifts and books, including the excellent Myopia catalog. And on Black Friday, MCA will extend special discounts on books, MCA heart totes, high-tech gadgets and best of all, memberships, which will go for half-price for one day only. Gift yourself -- or the art lover in your life.
Boxed Wine and Cheap Cookies Black Friday Sale ArtsMyths Studio and Gallery 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. November 28 and 29
Though it sounds low rent, the holiday sale at ArtsMyths is anything but: The shop and studio where artisans Tiffany Smyth and her mother, Lynn Burtle Smyth, create one-of-a-kind leather masks and costume accessories is downsizing and offering special deals for the next two weeks on everything from fixtures to belly dance sets. Today and tomorrow only, a fifteen percent discount will also extend to any item in the store, meaning deals on what can only be thought of as costume heirlooms -- exquisite handcrafted pieces that will transform the wearer into a pretty convincing fairy, elf or dragon.
Black Friday Record Store Day Friday, November 28
April seems so long ago, but record collectors needn't fear: For the first time, a Record Store Day holiday edition will brighten Black Friday with dozens of special releases offered only at participating indie retailers. Different record stores offer different selections, but do your homework online before you go; find such treasures as a Miles Davis's "Blue Xmas" on a seven-inch blue platter or a ten-inch vinyl release of St.Vincent's "Pieta." Oh, and much, much more. Check the selection at any of these participating stores:
Wax Trax 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Albums on the Hill 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Twist and Shout! 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Cherry Creek North businesses say they've taken a beating in 2014 -- first, because of the recently completed road project at Speer Boulevard and University Boulevard, and now, thanks to new-building construction and load and sidewalk improvements-in-progress throughout the tony shopping district. But the holidays are here, and because the show must go on, CCN is fighting back with offers of free valet parking, $5 ParkSmart parking meter cards with the purchase of a CCN gift card, gift-wrapping courtesy of the Ross Cherry Creek Branch Library and a holiday ticket office for shows at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. If none of that entices you back, several CCN businesses will be represented at a series of Friday-morning Holiday Trunk Shows, starting on Black Friday, where you shop the district in one stop.
World Threads IV TACtile Arts Center Daily, November 28 to 30 Noon to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday Free
TACtile's annual World Threads show and sale, which focuses on handcrafted fair-trade goods from around the world, from paper beads from Uganda and coffee in handwoven bags from Cielo Maya to silk pajamas by Happy Family PJ and Vietnamese embroidered-silk textiles from Bridging Hope. The show ends Sunday -- catch it while you can, and check out TACtile's year-run shop while you're there.
Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods gets into the Black Friday fray with a laid-back evening alternative that spills into Small Business Saturday. 25 local vendors will fill CHUN's headquarters in the beautiful old Tears-McFarlane House on the edge of Cheesman Park with jewelry, knitted goods, art prints and more, hosted by Moon(lab). Festivities will include raffles, pizza and a limited bar; proceeds from these extras will benefit the MaxFund no-kill animal shelter.
Pandora celebrates shopping local on Small Business Saturday with a Crow Jane Jewelry trunk show. For every Crow Jane item you buy, both the artisan and the store will each kick in ten percent of the purchase toward a donation to the MaxFund animal shelter. Need any further incentive? Giveaways galore and a festive atmosphere, courtesy of Pandora, will sweep away your holiday-shopping jitters. Think big, shop small.
Small Business Saturday/The Gold Bug Etsy Trunk Show Soul Haus 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. November 29
Pandora's sibling store, Soul Haus, will also get into the spirit of Small Business Saturday with an American Express gift card drawing and a trunk show featuring the Gold Bug, a local jewelry line known for its steampunk-inspired pendants and pins.
Extraordinary Things Start Small/& the People Trunk Show Rakun 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, November 29 Free
Shop-local retail maven Meghan Throckmorton is celebrating Small Business Saturday by welcoming the community to her sweet little boutique Rakun for snacks, a gift-card drawing and a coloring contest for the littles. & the People Candles will also be in the house for a cheery trunk show of new candles and solid scents.
Small Business Saturday/B. Buttons & CO Etsy Trunk Show People's Market West 29th Marketplace, 29th Avenue and Depew Street in Wheat Ridge 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, November 29 Free
People's Market, a community marketplace where you'll find locally sourced foods and handmade gift items, will showcase handcrafted soaps by B. Buttons & CO. and offer a drawing for a grand gift basket filled with Colorado-made goods, as well as food samples and festive beverages.
Small Business Saturday Indies First Saturday, November 29 Free
Tattered Cover Colfax Avenue 303-322-7727
Indie bookstores all over the nation march into Small Business Saturday under their own banner this year, and Denver's most iconic indie, the Tattered Cover, will be awarding giveaways and noshes at all of it metro-area locations. But at the Colfax Avenue outpost, members of the 460th Spacecom Squadron will be providing a gift-wrapping service to raise donations for shipping packages to deployed soldiers, holiday parties and other morale-boosters at Buckley Air Force Base.
This little Tennyson Street treasure where you can peruse your purchases over a glass of wine will keep things lively with book signings by Colorado authors all day long. It's also a stop on the Tennyson Street Small Business Crawl; get your card stamped for change to win a streetwise gift basket.
First Anniversary Celebration Mago's Magic Shoppe 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, November 29 Free
The mysterious shop at 11th Avenue and Cherokee Street is mashing up its first anniversary with Small Business Saturday with a hatful of fun, including a free magic show with Mysto the Magi at 2 p.m. Throughout the day, enjoy magic demos, giveaways and yummy, disappearing treats. There's magic int he air!
The Holiday Krampus Market Town Theater, Main Street, Silver Plume 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, November 29 Free
Bundle up for a drive west to Silver Plume's quaint Main Street, where the local business Dram Apothecary is hosting a holiday craft market at the town theatre, where you can shop for goods from Colorado vendors and belly up to the bar for cocktails and pie. Cocktails and pie! May all your dreams come true.
Downtown Boulder Celebrates Small Business Saturday Downtown Boulder Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday November 29 and 30
Do the countless boutiques and shops along Boulder's walkable Pearl Street Mall and its neighboring downtown streets and finish your shopping in one fell swoop: Businesses throughout the district will participate in a sidewalk sale on Saturday and Sunday, along with special in-store events, savings and incentives. Find out who's offering the best deals online.
Arvada Center Holiday Craft Fair 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 28 and 29 Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Arvada $5 entry per day (free for patrons attending theater productions and "Friends of the Center")
The first of two annual holiday shows at the Arvada Center, the Holiday Craft Fair is quick and big (150 artists are featured). But the center likes to brag that its craft shown is a stress-free breeze for buyers, far from the madding crowd. It also helps that the selection is thoughtfully juried, so you can't go wrong, whatever you pick.
Down in RiNo by the railroad tracks, Wazee Union is a little off the beaten track, but as a thriving community of artists and small creative businesses, the warehouse and its maze of studios is well worth checking out. Artisans from inside and outside alike will be hawking their wares at this one-day open-entry market, and you can feel good about patronizing the market to support National Small Business Saturday. It's the new Black Friday, without the unpleasant hassle.
Tennyson Street Small Business Saturday Passport Crawl Tennyson Street Business District 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. November 29 Some deals offered through December 6
Participating businesses up and down Tennyson Street from 38th to 46th avenues will celebrate Small Business Saturday with temporary deals and even freebies. For added incentive, pick up a passport to be stamped at every store you frequent, and be automatically entered in a drawing to win a street-wide gift basket. Turn in passports at Jolly Goods by December 6 to be eligible.
Small Business Saturday Jolly Goods 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, November 29
As the center of the action for today's Small Business Passport Crawl, Jolly Goods is going a step further by serving goodies and hot chocolate, offering small bags of Helliemae's addictive salted caramels with purchases of $25 or more and donating five percent of every sale to the National Mill Dog Rescue. Shop well and do good.
Christmas in the Carousel Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, November 29 Free
Drop by the site of the original Elitch Gardens at 38th Avenue and Tennyson Street for outdoor family-style fun in the carousel shell: Take photos with Santa and his sleigh and shop for trees, poinsettias, wreaths, garland, baked goods and handmade gifts to the tune of a live string quartet.
The merchants of Downtown Littleton invite you to shop the eclectic street on Small Business Saturday, but then you can kick back afterward at local eateries and drinkeries on the costumes-encouraged Elf Crawl. $20 gets you free drinks, commemorative cup and an elf hat, something you'll surely need as the holiday season progresses. Advance reservations are a must.
Good Thieves Press, the little collective that could, opens its doors for a holiday sale of artwork, hand-screened t-shirts, handmade sketchbooks, jewelry and other artful gift items. The emphasis is on the affordable here, and the atmosphere is homey and friendly.
Boulder's Firefly is a powerhouse of a craft market, with nearly 100 artisans hawking handmade everything. And this tight ship makes certain that its guests a well-looked-after, with a Kids Creation Station to keep the little ones busy, a gift-wrap station, food trucks for eats and even adult beverages. Can't make it to Boulder? This year, Firefly is coming to Denver, too, on the first weekend in December.
Stay tuned to Show and Tell in December for a second round of holiday markets. For more shopping opportunities visit Westword's Shopping listings online.
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