Arts and Culture

Seven Great Holiday Markets for Shopping Small on the Front Range

Give Hygge a chance at the Hygge Life pop-up at the Source.
Give Hygge a chance at the Hygge Life pop-up at the Source. Hygge Life
Yup, you knew it had to happen. The merciless clarion call of holiday shopping is here, whether we like it or not. The best advice we have for managing those nagging, wallet-emptying vibrations — short of making every gift yourself or claiming an outright moratorium — is this: Be mindful of what you buy and where your purchases come from in the first place. Look for quality and originality in handmades, steer clear of those pesky big-box stores and, most important, track your dollar flow. Is it rushing toward small businesses or cottage industries in your community? All the better.

Step into the fray at one of this weekend's holiday markets; we’ll be posting new lists weekly through December.

click to enlarge Find something elegant for your mom or your BFF at the JLD Mile High Holiday Mart. - LULA DESIGNS
Find something elegant for your mom or your BFF at the JLD Mile High Holiday Mart.
Lula Designs
Junior League of Denver 2018 Mile High Holiday Mart
Gates Field House, University of Denver, 2201 East Asbury Avenue
Private VIP Shopping Event: Friday, November 9, 10 a.m. to noon, $40
Public shopping hours: Friday, November 9, noon to 8 p.m.; Saturday, November 10, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
Sunday, November 11, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
$10 general admission

The Junior League of Denver is no stranger to putting on a market — this one’s been around since 1980, which is a long time to hone an event that really is tailored for everyone. Close to 150 vendors will be ready and waiting to ply you with handmade jewelry, clothing and accessories, a tasting trove of small-batch food items and more, with a spread of gifts suitable for your six-year-old niece, your crotchety great-aunt, and everyone in between. Proceeds benefit the league, which supports literacy programs for kids, so you’ll also be doing a good deed by going.

click to enlarge Support volunteer firefighters at the Boulder Mountain Handmade Market. - BOULDER MOUNTAIN HANDMADE
Support volunteer firefighters at the Boulder Mountain Handmade Market.
Boulder Mountain Handmade
Boulder Mountain Handmade Market
Boulder Elks Lodge & Pool, 3975 28th Street, Boulder
Saturday and Sunday, November 10 and 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This folksy fair supports the volunteer firefighters of the Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District with an old-fashioned bake sale, sixty local artisan vendors and live music; fire truck tours and free all-ages maker stations will keep the kids in line.


click to enlarge Has Rayback got a chicken for you! - LEO'S DRY GOODS
Has Rayback got a chicken for you!
Leo's Dry Goods
Rayback Collective Holiday Pop-Up
Rayback Collective, 2775 Valmont Road, Boulder
Saturday, November 10, 1 to 6 p.m.

Shopping at Boulder’s Rayback Collective comes automatically with flowing taps, good eats from an armada of food trucks and a backyard party atmosphere. But for at least one afternoon, Rayback will also welcome holiday shoppers inside the gate to hunt for curated treasures and wares from a band of local makers. Bring the family.

click to enlarge Find gifts for your littles at the Starlight Market pop-up. - HAZEL VILLAGE
Find gifts for your littles at the Starlight Market pop-up.
Hazel Village
Starlight Market: A Holiday Pop-up Shop for Families
The Kitchen Denver, 1560 Wazee Street
Saturday, November 10, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Free, RSVP at eventbrite.com

Children are the twinkling stars (and eventual gift recipients) of the Starlight Market. Bring them with you for hands-on holiday crafts and complementary noshes courtesy of the Kitchen, and shop on the sly for cute-as-a-button kids’ clothing, girly hair bows and snuggly handmade cotton animal dolls. Things might get a little tight in the Kitchen; organizers request that you leave strollers at home and wear your baby in a carrier inside.

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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