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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Womxn of the Future Fall Pop-Up Market
Pikes Peak Market, 315 East Pikes Peak Avenue, Colorado Springs
Saturday, November 10, 2 to 8 p.m.
Entrepreneurial women of color, folks from the LGBTQ community, women with disabilities, single mothers and allies to all are served on both sides of the counter at this pop-up celebrating women-run Colorado Springs micro-businesses. Look for jewelry, T-shirts, linocut prints, handmade cards, pottery, body products, scarves, food items and more, and give your support to underserved and misunderstood communities.
Center for the Arts Evergreen Winterfest
Evergreen High School, 29300 Buffalo Park Road, Evergreen
Saturday, November 10, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Nothing will get you into the holiday spirit quicker than Winterfest, a one-day craft market with seasonal music provided in the background by the Evergreen Chorale and Evergreen Children’s Chorale. The kids will have plenty of make-and-take crafts to keep them busy in Santa’s Workshop while you shop for fine handmade gifts.
Hygge Life Holiday Market at the Source
Source Hotel and Market Hall, 3350 Brighton Boulevard
November 11 through December 24, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily
Holiday Market Launch Party: Thursday, November 15, 6 to 9 p.m., RSVP on the Facebook event page
Even if you feel like the Danish concept of the Hygge home, designed for coziness and conviviality, has been shoved down your throat by overzealous decorators, you have to admit that it does, in fact, look really cozy and convivial in real life. Colorado-based Hygge Life will come down from its brick-and-mortar shop in Vail to pop up at the Source through the holiday season, bringing a touch of hospitable Nordic design to Denver in order to convince the city folk to hop onto its simple, rustic and comfy bandwagon, without the Hygge hype. Shop and then stop for a winter cocktail at the RiNo Yacht Club. That’s right: Get relaxed. Aren’t you a quick study!
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