Arts and Culture

The Best Holiday Gift Markets in Denver

Let Hijos del Sol brighten your holiday season with beautiful gifts from Latin America.
Let Hijos del Sol brighten your holiday season with beautiful gifts from Latin America. Courtesy of the Latino Cultural Arts Center

Another year, another holiday shopping season. Sigh. Thoughtful gifts from local makers, artisans and global fair-trade micro-businesses will help you along this season, as will the knowledge that you didn’t just throw your money at corporate retailers online. This year, try it our way: Have a small-scale social experience, buy well, go home and put up your feet.

Here are dozens of great holiday gift markets in December:

DAVA (Downtown Aurora Visual Arts), 1405 Florence Street, Aurora
Through January 10

DAVA’s annual holiday show blends youth and mentor artists by tradition; this year’s version, Unity, is an art-gift jamboree, anchored by student works inspired by the artists of the Bauhaus, in partnership with the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art. Guest artists Matthew Jorgensen and Liz Quan contribute functional containers and porcelain jewelry to the mix and, under the tutelage of Kate Woodliff O’Donnell, DAVA kids and drawing students from the Community College of Aurora also contribute festive drawings of candies. Gift-buying was never so fulfilling.

RiNo Holiday Bazaar
EXDO Event Center, 1399 35th Street
Sunday, December 22, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Admission: Free before noon, $5 after (good for both Sundays)

Denver Bazaar’s last holiday market of 2019 conveniently falls on the last two Sundays before Hanukkah and Christmas with another great lineup of vendors and ticketed Shop & Sip sessions for those who prefer to booze it up while they browse the merchandise. Shop & Sip is available both Sundays, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 2 to 6 p.m.; tickets are $35 in advance at Like parties? The bazaar is embedded with two of them on consecutive Sundays: An ’80s Après Ski Party and Bonfire Vintage Pop-Up on December 15 and an Ugly Holiday Sweater Party on December 22. Shop ’til you drop!

click to enlarge ARVADA CENTER
Arvada Center
33rd Annual Fine Art Market Show & Sale/ACES
Ceramic Show and Sale
Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada
Through December 22

The Arvada Center’s annual holiday one-two punch is back, with the curated Fine Art Market, a tradition for more than thirty years, and the ACES showcase of clay works by center instructors and their students. Browse both for gifts both beautiful and practical at your leisure or show up for fun events including a light brunch shopping date this weekend or an evening with personal shopper and drag queen Shirley Delta Blow. Learn more online.

Holiday Fine Arts Festival
Art Gym Denver, 1460 Leyden Street
Through December 24

More than thirty Art Gym members have affordable work in this market, which doubles as a showcase for the scope of the facility, which provides workspace and tools to metalsmiths, printmakers, painters, and mixed-media and culinary artists. Shop Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through December 24.

click to enlarge FETCH MARKET
Fetch Market
Fetch Holiday Market
Denver Sports Castle, 1000 Broadway
Sunday, December 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
$5 weekend passes

Fetch Market, formerly known as the Denver Flea, has two dates left this month at the Denver Sports Castle. The selection of rotating vendors changes weekly for a fresh look. Looking for something more leisurely? Drop by the year-round retail Fetch Shop at the Dairy Block downtown.

Sixtieth Annual Georgetown Christmas Market
Sixth Street, from Exit 228 off I-70, Georgetown, Colorado
Sunday, December 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Already a Victorian wonderland in any season, Georgetown transforms into a world from another time every December for the annual Christmas Market, laying on the old-world charm with Victorian carolers and daily Santa Lucia processions, led by a lushly costumed St. Nicholas. The artisan market carries on the theme in Strousse Park with handmade goods and hot roasted chestnuts.

click to enlarge MERCER AND JANE
Mercer and Jane
Of Mountains and Gems Trunk Show
True Boutique, Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street, Aurora
Sunday, December 15, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Some Girl Studio Trunk Show
Kismet, 200 Quebec Street
Saturday and Sunday, December 21 and 22, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

Mercer and Jayne Trunk Show
Luna and Jasper, 3640 West 32nd Avenue
Saturday and Sunday, December 21 and 22, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

Shana Colbin Dunn’s small local empire of boutiques, comprising Kismet, True and Luna and Jasper, is keeping things lively through the holiday season with a flurry of immensely shoppable trunk shows highlighting some of Dunn’s favorite jewelry artists and vendors. Pick up something for a friend — and, most likely, something for yourself.

Saturdays with Santa & Holiday Market
Olde Town Arvada Square, 5726 Olde Wadsworth Boulevard
Weekly on Saturdays through December 21, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Olde Town Arvada gifts shoppers with an all-in-one holiday experience where you can keep the kids in line with visits with Santa, tap your toes to live music and browse an outdoor market with food and gifts galore. In a partnership with Olde Town’s summer farmers’ market by Mudd Markets, the sale is as heavy with cookie pies, all-natural beef and floral arrangements as it is with old-timey handmade plush toys, jewelry and stocking stuffers.

click to enlarge Let Hijos del Sol brighten your holiday season with beautiful gifts from Latin America. - COURTESY OF THE LATINO CULTURAL ARTS CENTER
Let Hijos del Sol brighten your holiday season with beautiful gifts from Latin America.
Courtesy of the Latino Cultural Arts Center
Holiday Mercado
Hijos del Sol, 2715 West Eighth Avenue
Saturday, December 21, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

As the Latino Cultural Arts Center in Sun Valley continues to raise money for a new home, the museum's retail shop, Hijos del Sol, puts a beautiful face on the institution’s mission by offering quality, hand-selected, handcrafted textiles, jewelry, accessories and home decor created by Latino folk artists from across the Americas; sales support both LCAC and fair-trade artisans. Now Hijos del Sol, a 2019 Westword Best of Denver winner, is kicking off its Holiday Mercado with several weekend shopping days ahead of Christmas. Go find something exquisite por tu familia y amigos.

Holiday Pop-Up Shops
Hooked on Colfax, 3213 East Colfax Avenue
All pop-ups, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., unless noted
Sunday, December 15: Magnolia Designs
Friday, December 19: Multi-artist Holiday Bazaar, 6 to 9 p.m.
Saturday, December 20: Cordial Is Candles
Sunday, December 22: Shannon G Bowers, Curio Cabinet Denver

Hooked on Colfax will host weekly pop-ups showcasing different artists and makers every weekend through Christmas at a brunch-ish affair that goes perfectly with a big cup of java and something sweet from the pastry counter. Shopping was never so painless — one vendor at a time, and a cheerful, stress-free spot to spend your Saturday and Sunday mornings.

click to enlarge Shop for fair-trade treasures and learn about the makers at Stanley Marketplace. - RON WILCOXSON, VILLAGE FACES
Shop for fair-trade treasures and learn about the makers at Stanley Marketplace.
Ron Wilcoxson, Village Faces
Village Faces: A Journey to the Artisans of Latin America
Community Room, Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street, Aurora
Through December 30, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Traveler Ron Wilcoxson ventured from his home in Wheat Ridge to scour nine Latin American countries for fair-trade artisans he found tucked away in tiny villages and faraway cities. Along the way he purchased a treasury of museum-quality handcrafted goods, while documenting the makers in photos and on film, and brought it all back to the states for Village Faces, an exhibition and market, where you can shop and learn. Find the community room by Stanley Marketplace’s south entrance, directly across from Velvet Wolf and Cheluna Brewing Company, and dive in.

click to enlarge The holiday shop at the Center for the Arts Evergreen opens for - business on November 15. - CENTER FOR THE ARTS EVERGREEN
The holiday shop at the Center for the Arts Evergreen opens for business on November 15.
Center for the Arts Evergreen
2019 Holiday Show and Gift Shop
Center for the Arts Evergreen, 31880 Rocky Village Road, Evergreen
Through December 24
Once Winterfest is over, the Center for the Arts Evergreen goes upscale for a retail display of handmade gift and holiday items from more than fifty hand-picked artisans and artists. Drop in any time; it’s free, and the pickings are lovely.

Horseshoe Craft & Flea Market Shop
Edgewater Public Market, 5505 West 20th Avenue, Edgewater
Through December 31

The Horseshoe Market’s hallowed annual weekend holiday market won’t pop up in northwest Denver until after Thanksgiving. But there is an alternative way to shop curated wares from more than thirty of the market’s best vendors: at the Horseshoe Shop retail space in the brand-new Edgewater Public Market. Like Stanley Marketplace, the market has plenty of other dining and shopping options to keep you busy for hours. Watch the Facebook page for updates.

click to enlarge HART is back at the Foothills Art Center. - FOOTHILLS ART CENTER
HART is back at the Foothills Art Center.
Foothills Art Center
45th Annual Holiday Art Market
Foothills Art Center, 809 15th Street, Golden
Through December 29
Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.

You can’t go wrong shopping at the Foothills Art Center’s Holiday Art Market: The selection, fully stocked by more than 100 vendors, is vast and wide, and the shopping experience, just a few steps from shops and eateries in downtown Golden, is pleasant. Take your time and choose from a full array of ceramics, fiber, glass work, jewelry, paintings, woodworking, photography and more, and you might finish your holiday shopping chore in one day.

click to enlarge The Denver Christkindl Market will glitter and glow through December 23 in downtown Denver. - DENVER CHRISTKINDL MARKET
The Denver Christkindl Market will glitter and glow through December 23 in downtown Denver.
Denver Christkindl Market
Denver Christkindl Market
Skyline Park, 1515 Arapahoe Street
Through December 23
Open daily at 11 a.m., including Thanksgiving Day; close times vary

The Christkindl Market has brought annual holiday cheer to the heart of downtown Denver for nearly twenty years, complete with oompah bands, Glühwein, Bavarian-style biers, hot pretzels, fresh salmon right from the smoker and the not-to-miss arrivals of St. Nikolaus, Krampus and the angelic Christkind spirit. The rustic vendor booths shine with glass ornaments, nutcrackers, beer steins, cashmere scarves and German goodies. Make a day or night of it, and visit the Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park, just a stone’s throw away, in the shadow of the D&F Tower.

Send information for any upcoming markets to [email protected]
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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd