Finding that perfect gift for the hard-to-shop-for people on your Christmas list can be exhausting. Gift cards are so impersonal and you never really know what gifts everyone really wants. Instead of playing the guessing game at your local big box retail store, why not shop local and find some very thoughtful, handmade items at one of the many holiday markets that pop up all over the state this time of year? You’ll get to meet the artists that make these thoughtful gifts, and you can load up on items that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s a wonderful way to support local commerce while you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list.
Denver Christkindl Market
16th St. and Arapahoe St.
Denver, CO 80202
Date: Now through Dec. 23, 2014
One of the best markets for finding very special gifts in Denver is the annual Christkindl Market, a German tradition that lights up Skyline Park every holiday season. You’ll find everything from glass artisans to cashmere, hand-carved wood toys and jewelry, German lace, traditional Christmas ornaments, pottery, German sausages and more. It’s a great place to find imported German foods and gifts that you truly can’t find anywhere else. Plus, you can enjoy some Gluehwein (a hot spiced wine,) bratwurst and many other delicious German foods while you shop. You’ll also find lots of music and other entertainment throughout the holiday season, providing just the right amount of merriment for all of your shopping needs.
Related: Top Holiday Celebrations In Denver
Denver Handmade Homemade Market
Denver Art Society
734 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, CO 80204
Date: Dec. 13-14, 2014
The annual Handmade Homemade Market features all local artisans selling their homemade foods, crafts and other great gift ideas. Everything is unique as you browse the huge market, meeting the people behind all of the goods and exploring everything they have to offer. You’ll find lots of one-of-a-kind items as you enjoy live music and lots of local food (including a full vegan food buffet) and browse more than 60 different artists. The Handmade Homemade Market also features workshops on various skills and crafts, making the entire market a full day-long event. Shop the Handmade Homemade Market to support Denver artists and find the perfect gifts.
Holiday Fair and Artisan Show
Adams County Regional Park and Fairgrounds
9755 Henderson Road
Brighton, CO 80601
Date: Dec. 13, 2014
Head up to Brighton for this fun holiday fair and you’ll get a lot more than just a craft show. In addition to the huge vendor marketplace selling lots of local and handmade crafts and goods, you’ll find lots of other fun ways to celebrate the holiday season. The kids can get their pictures taken with Santa, and you can enjoy some live music or even win some door prizes, as there will be giveaways every hour throughout the afternoon. Make sure to bring a new, unwrapped gift with you to donate to Toys for Tots while you are there and don’t forget to check out the silent auction as well.
Young Entrepreneurs Marketplace
401 S. Pierce St.
Lakewood, CO 80226
Date: Dec. 13, 2014
How about purchasing a very special gift from some of the youngest artisans in Colorado? The Young Americans Bank presents this annual marketplace to show off the creative genius of all of its members. These young entrepreneurs are all ages six to 21 and you just may be surprised at how creative and special these items can be. You can find lots of great gifts including beaded jewelry, home-baked goods, artwork, greeting cards, bath products and more, all made and personally sold by the kids themselves. It’s a very fun way to find some special gifts while supporting the future businesses of Colorado. Bring the kids to this one and they may even be inspired to create some of their own handmade items for gifts.
Holiday Horseshoe Market
Highlands Masonic Center
3550 Federal Blvd.
Denver, CO 80211
Date: Dec. 13-14, 2014
Since 2010, the Holiday Horseshoe Market has been the perfect place to load up on the indie-craft, vintage-inspired gifts that are so popular right now. More than 60 different vintage and handmade vendors will fill the hall, featuring everything from jewelry to tea, preserves, clothing and more. You can also fill up at one of the many local food trucks that will be at the market, or purchase some yummy treats at the artisanal food vendors inside. Live music completes the shopping experience at this huge annual event, so grab your shopping list and head over to the Holiday Horseshoe Market.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.