Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correct the date of the ARTastic Holiday Market. It will be Dec. 3.
It’s that time of year.
Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” can already be heard surging out of stores’ loudspeakers and coffeeshops have rolled out seasonal flavors. Just when we were recovering from pumpkin spice, peppermint mochas come marching in like caffeinated toy soldiers.
You may not have hung the stockings on the chimney with care just yet, and that’s quite alright. I’m all for letting holidays each take their proper course. But it’s never too early to brainstorm what gifts you will get your loved ones.
Instead of jumping on Amazon to score Uncle Pete an air fryer or Grandma Pearl a Pandora charm, you may want to think about perusing local markets in search of presents that pack a bit more substance.
The Front Range is full of creatives that make everything from fine jewelry to essential oil-infused soaps. In the days leading up to Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, there are plenty of opportunities to shop local markets that offer some of the most unique stocking stuffers around.
Put a stop to the online searching and wow with gifts that (jingle bell) rock this holiday season.
Holiday POP! Gallery by Open Studios: In the former space of Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery, this beacon of fabulous local art — featuring jewelry, cards, photography, ceramics, sculptures — will keep you coming back for more. Located right on the Pearl Street Mall, shoppers can explore the space that features a variety of work from over 80 artists and reward themselves with a cocktail or an appetizer from a nearby eatery after scoring the perfect present; open daily from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., later on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 26-Jan. 9. Holiday POP! Gallery, 1421 Pearl St. openstudios.org.
Holiday Vegan Pop-Up Market: Stock up on items that are plant-based and cruelty-free, such as Moksha Chocolate, Black Sheep Teas, Peaceful Rebel Vegan Cheese and many more. There will be vegan food trucks, such as Saucy Cluckers, to help fuel a day of shopping; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 4; The Avalon Ballroom, 6185 Arapahoe Road; free; facebook.com/events/.
Radiance Holiday Market: This consciously curated market features local vendors with products and services including personal care, CBD products, astrology readings, jewelry, art and more. Mingle and enjoy yummy treats; 4-8 p.m. Dec. 11; Radiance Power Yoga, 2704 28th St., free; allevents.in/boulder.
The New Local: This beloved pop-up that in the past has featured jewelry by Blackbird and the Snow and a myriad of bath products, pillows, clutches and more is making a return in December. The start date and location are TBD. Female and female-identifying local creatives should be on the lookout for an open call for submissions; Opening in December. TheNew-Local.org.
Artisan Holiday Craft Fair: Visit with incredible artists, while enjoying offerings from the coffee and hot chocolate bar. This is a great event to pick up something unique for the special folks in your life. The admission fee includes one warm beverage and a custom ornament made on the museum’s Glowforge laser machine; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 5; Museum of Boulder, 2205 Broadway St.; $8-10; museumofboulder.org.
NoBo First Friday ArtWalk: This monthly staple always offers attendees a selection of art from many creatives. Enjoy live music, eats from food trucks and pop into a number of different galleries and spaces sure to provide you with something on your wish list; 6-9 p.m., Dec. 3; free; noboartdistrict.org.
BETC’s Virtual Holiday Market: This amazing auction catalogue is filled with 70 one-of-a-kind gifts and experiences. Best of all, all proceeds will go directly to Butterfly Effect Theatre of Colorado’s artists, programs and performances. From private concerts to tickets to the Wimbledon finals, this collection is sure to exceed your expectations. There’s even a chance to bid on a trip to Tuscany that includes a wine tasting and much more. Folks have the option to purchase items at a buy-it-now rate or simply bid. Bidding runs Nov. 19- Nov. 30. Betc.org.
ARTastic Holiday Market: Check out the fine work of 45 vendors, a delicious bake sale and participate in a raffle at this event taking place under tents outdoors; 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 3, Horizons K-8 School, 4545 Sioux Drive; free; horizonsk8school.org.
Boulder Holiday Gift Festival: This 17th annual event promises high-quality work from over 100 local vendors. A free concert featuring Kenny Lee Young starts at noon; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 12; Boulder YMCA, 2850 Mapleton Ave.; free; coloradoevents.org/boulder-holiday-gift-festival.
Holiday Market: Shop with local makers, artists and creatives in honor of Small Business Saturday. Among the artists offering new work for sale is Betsy Anderson, Brandy Coons and Kyra Coates. From intricate embroidery to acrylic paintings on canvas, there will be plenty of gems to buy; noon-5 p.m. Nov. 27-28; free; Firehouse Art Center; 667 4th Ave.; downtownlongmont.com/do/holiday-market.
Artists Sunday: To round our Small Business Weekend, visit Longmont Creative District to venture into galleries and explore a number of pop-ups on this day that celebrates artists nationwide. There’s nothing like buying a work of art straight from the source; all day Nov. 28; Longmont Creative District; downtownlongmont.com/do/artists-Sunday.
Holiday Makers Market: Celebrate Small Business Saturday with this event that offers dozens of booths filled with handcrafted gifts, artisan-made goods, yummy treats and delicious food from several food trucks; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 27; Altona Grange Hall, 9386 N. 39th St.; free; facebook.com/events.
Boulder County Farmers Market Winter Market: Shop from 100 local Colorado vendors selling fresh produce, specialty meats, eggs, baked goods, preserves, cheese, hot sauces, wine, prepared food, coffee, kombucha, jewelry, skincare, woodwork, home goods and more. There will also be kids activities, like DIY ornament making; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 4-5; Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Road; free; bcfm.org/home-page/wintermarket.
Old Town Artisan Gift Fair: Meet a number of artists and learn the backstory behind fiber art, photography, jewelry, ceramics and more. There will even be an interactive photo booth to commemorate the moment; 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. Dec. 3-4; Old Town Market Place, 332 Main St.; free; facebook.com/events.
Longmont Artisan Market: Over 30 amazing vendors touting everything from goat milk soap and cards to fine jewelry and photography will be set up at this event. Totes made from upcycled material and handmade ornaments await; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 11-12; The Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Road; free; longmontartisanmarket.com.
Midtown Handmade: This vending machine is open 24/7 and stocked with an array of hand-crafted wares from local artisans. From ceramic chimes by Fettle & Fire to magnets and jewelry, you are sure to find just what you are looking for. Tissue paper and gift bags are also up for grabs, making this your one-stop shop for holiday prep; 921 Kimbark St; facebook.com/MidtownHandmade.
Mollie McGee’s Holiday Craft Market: Shop over 150 booths featuring handmade crafts. From gorgeous wreaths to exquisite pottery, the offerings are diverse and beautifully crafted; 9-5 p.m. Nov. 20 and 10-4 p.m. Nov. 21; $5 covers both days, kids under 12 are admitted for free, no pets allowed, strollers are allowed at 1 p.m. on Saturday and all day Sunday;molliemcgees.com.
Maker Magic: This benefit for The Inn Between Longmont promises cocktails, cuisine and a selection of wares by local artisans and demos; 5-7 p.m. Nov. 20; The Times Collaborative, 338 Main St.; $20; eventbrite.com.
St. Nick’s Collectables Toys, Antiques & More: This festive shop is throwing a Thanksgiving turkey coloring event, where kids of all ages can bring the colored sheet back to the store and receive 25% off any item; Event held through Nov. 24; St. Nick’s Collectables Toys, Antiques & More, 337 Main St.; downtownlongmont.com.
Winter Passport: This fun program gives you an opportunity to win downtown gift cards or prizes from area shops, simply by shopping local at A’Florae, Absolute Vinyl, Cactus Coven, Cheese Importers and many others. Pick up a winter passport at participating businesses and every time you shop at one, you’ll be given a sticker to mark the experience. Once a full page of 10 stickers is collected, shoppers can turn it in to St. Stephen’s Plaza or 320 Main St. where it will be entered into a drawing; through Jan. 3; downtownlongmont.com.
Holiday Tree Lighting: Savor hot drinks and treats at this event that will also have craft activities and giveaway bags for the taking; 6:30 p.m. Nov. 26; 6th Avenue Plaza, 600 Main St.; downtownlongmont.com.
Last Chance Gift Fest: Find the ideal gift at this huge sale that features an assortment of art, crafts, toys, home décor and more from over 150 Colorado-based vendors; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 18-19; Boulder County Fairgrounds; 9595 Nelson Road; free; coloradoevents.org.
Lyons Holiday Artisan Market: Shop bowl cozies, jewelry, bags, handwoven goods and more. Santa Claus will also be making a visit on both days from 2-4 p.m.; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 4-5; Lyons Elementary School, 338 High St.; free; townoflyons.com.
Niwot Holiday Market: Shop over 30 pop-up vendors located at businesses throughout town. Enjoy mulled wine, hot apple cider and eggnog. Festive food hall, offering gingerbread, roasted chestnuts and more, will be at Left Hand Grange. Carolers, horse and carriages and ice sculptures are also part of the day’s festivities; 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., Dec. 4; Niwot, 2nd Avenue and Cottonwood Square; free; niwot.com/events.
WINC Holiday Craft Fayre: Shop over 20 hand-picked local businesses, selling jewelry, skin care, books, apparel, accessories, candles and sweet and savory specialized foods and more. Santa and Mrs. Claus will pay a visit from 1-3 p.m. The bake sale includes treats from around the world, including gluten-free options. Proceeds benefit local charities; 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 14; Left Hand Grange,195 2nd Ave; free; niwot.com/events.
Applewood Festival: Shop fine art, photography, ceramics, vintage and repurposed home decor at this event now in its 44th year; 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 19 and 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 20; The Ranch Events Complex, 5280 Arena Circle; $7 for both days, kids age 12 and under get in free; applewoodfestivals.com.
Loveland Downtown Festival of Lights: In addition to dazzling onlookers with gorgeous, illuminated displays, this event also offers a holiday market featuring art by local creatives. Get some shopping done while enjoying live music, carriage rides and a visit from the man in red himself; 5-8 p.m. Nov. 19; 119 E. 4th St.; free; visitlovelandco.org.
Shop Local Saturdays: On the last Saturday of every month, participating retailers — including Boutique by Sonja, Canyon Collectables, Little Piece of My Heart, Skate Ratz and many more — offer discounted products, or even a free gift with purchase.; Nov. 27 and ongoing dates; Downtown Loveland; downtownloveland.org.
Jingle Bell Market Craft Fair: Explore five rooms filled with work by local crafters from Colorado. The Ninth Reindeer Cafe will be open during the Craft Fair from 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. to provide shoppers with delicious fare; 8 a.m.- 3 p.m. Nov. 20; Broomfield Community Center, 280 Spader Way; free; broomfield.org.
Firefly Handmade: Buy unique work from over 80 artisans and enjoy hot chocolate, cider and more. Music by a rotating selection of bands, such as Sturtz, is also part of the mix; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 20-21; free; 1000 Block of South Gaylord St., Washington Park, Denver; fireflyhandmade.com.
Georgetown Christmas Market: Get a taste of Christmases long ago with this European-inspired outdoor market place that boasts hot roasted chestnuts, horse-drawn wagon rides, folks dressed in Victorian-era garb, carolers and more; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 4-5 and Dec. 11-12; Georgetown; historicgeorgetown.org.
Chriskindl Market: Explore this authentic German Market where a number of vendors set up in wooden huts in alleys. Sip on traditional glühwein (mulled wine) and shop artisanal gifts; open daily Nov. 19-Dec. 23; Civic Center Park, 101 West 14th Ave., Denver; free; christkindlmarketdenver.com.
Horseshoe Holiday Market: Check out vintage and antique pieces in addition to one-of-a-kind work by over 100 local creatives. Savor cuisine from food trucks, participate in creative workshops. There will be live music, cocktails, hot drinks and more. Shop sustainably and locally made this season; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 27-28; free, but ticket registration and $5 donation encouraged; 4751 N. Broadway, Denver; horseshoemarket.com.