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Never has Small Business Saturday been as crucial as it is now, so forgo the Black Friday greed and shop where it will make a difference — at artisan markets, favorite local shops, and museums and galleries. Some are going virtual, while others will be open for business with secure social-distancing protocols.
Either way, you should be able to get all your shopping done in one weekend, with ease and a full heart. Let’s keep our small businesses open and thriving. Here are some options:
Shop Local: Garage Sale Denver
Garage Sale Denver, 1460 Larimer Street
Through November 29, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
RSVP for timed-entry slot in advance at Eventbrite
Garage Sale Denver, one of Larimer Square’s edgy new businesses, is a hybrid hipster funplex of sorts: a taco bar that’s a vintage store that’s a vinyl-record shop in a space that’s been a repertory cinema, a kitchen store and a Latin club. Things change: For its first holiday season on the block, Garage Sale has devised a donation-based, timed-entry shopping system in a space across the street at the Farmers Market LSQ. There’s also a paid option to reserve an outdoor table and cocktails for four people and make it a night on the town.
BETC’s Virtual Holiday Market Auction
Through 8 p.m. November 30
Register in advance to bid and preview items
The Boulder Ensemble Theater Company’s holiday market is a fundraiser for the future. Like most theater companies struggling to survive after canceling whole seasons, BETC is hoping to resume doing what it does best when the pandemic “all clear” sounds. It could be a while, but in the meantime, this online site gives you a safe way to shop for silent-auction packages and gifts while benefiting BETC.
Let there be lights!
American Field Après Holiday Market
Dairy Block, 1800 Wazee Street
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, through December 20, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Free, RSVP in advance for timed-entry slot at Eventbrite
Slip on your Sorels, make a reservation, and head to the Dairy Block any weekend before Christmas for an outdoor European ski-village experience in the Alley, with a dozen vendors ready to serve you with something for everyone, from doggie treats to CBD-infused coffee. You’ll find a lot more to enjoy around the block, where a Parade of Lights float will be parked for 2020 and holiday carolers will sing every Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.
Downtown Boulder Partnership
Small Business Saturday, Boulder
Pearl Street Mall, Pearl Street between 11th and 15th streets, Boulder
Through November 29
Businesses along the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder (more than 70 percent of which are locally owned and operated) are welcoming Small Business Saturday shoppers throughout the weekend, with smiles and deals and special promotions, not to mention lovelies for everyone on your list.
Small Business Weekend
Cherry Creek North, Steele Street to University Boulevard, between First and Third avenues
Through November 29
This year, Small Business Saturday is turning into a full shop-local weekend in many shopping districts, which are disregarding Black Friday altogether — a mindful trend toward supporting the economy in our own neighborhoods. This is true, for instance, in Cherry Creek North in 2020, where participating businesses are offering deals and giveaways, plus a chance to win one of three prize packages valued at $400 or more each. And if you happen to still be strolling through the neighborhood after dark, take some time to trek through the Winter Wanderland Light Walk for a twinkly post-shopping reverie; find a map online.
Winter Aglow on Glenarm
500 16th Street
Through December 19
In honor of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, the Denver Pavilions will be offering free parking from 5 to 7 p.m. those days. But those are hardly the only amenities: This weekend, you can catch the stationary floats from the Parade of Lights, hear live carolers starting at 5 p.m., and take photos with Santa from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday with any Denver Pavilions receipt. And yes, there’s shopping, including the Holiday Pop-Up Shop presented by Colorado Artisans, which is full of art and gifts from Colorado artists. Find out more here.
YouthBiz Holiday Online Marketplace
Through December 6
YouthBiz, the entrepreneurial wing of the Young Americans Center for Financial Education, encourages kids to start their own businesses, including making and selling beaded jewelry, greeting cards, bath products, home-baked goodies, artwork and other surprises. The youth enterprise is hopping online in 2020, like so many other groups; bring up the marketplace on your computer and start buying.
Fifth Anniversary Online Sale
Ritualcravt, 7700 West 44th Avenue, Wheat Ridge
Through November 29
As a favorite occult shop in the metro area, Ritualcravt has a narrow but enthusiastic clientele interested in the weird and arcane. Curious? Now’s the time to scratch that itch. Owner Missy Rhysing is bundling the store’s fifth anniversary with Small Business Saturday weekend by throwing a big, storewide sale online. There’s no longer the chance that you’ll feel weird about perusing Ritualcravt’s oddities, crystals, jewels and tarot decks in-person, and you might even end up joining the ranks of Rhysing’s dedicated regulars.
Courtesy of the Cat Care Society
Santa Paws Festival
Cat Care Society, 5787 West Sixth Avenue
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, through December 20, 1 to 4 p.m.
By appointment only, RSVP for timed-entry slot online
Here’s where the cat people shop, with a craft fair and jewelry boutique loaded with purr-fect gifts. If you’re looking for holiday surprises for your furry friends, you can visit in person or take advantage of the society’s year-round Meow Mart, which is up online for your virtual-shopping pleasure. You can also vie for other pet-friendly goodies by entering a raffle. All proceeds benefit the nonprofit.
Art Parts Holiday Bazaar
Bricolage Gallery, Art Parts Creative Reuse Center, 2860 Bluff Street, Boulder
Through January 2, daily except Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Since Boulder’s Art Parts Creative Reuse Center is all about upcycling materials, that’s the obvious focus for the center’s holiday bazaar, which features fun handmades, jewelry and other sustainable examples of creative reuse. What could be better than supporting local artists and saving reusable refuse from the landfill? It’s a start.
Raices Holiday Market 2020
Raices Brewing Co., 2060 West Colfax Avenue
Through December 24, 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, 3 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.
Raíces Brewing Co. is all about community, culture and cerveza, and this holiday market will celebrate Latin American, Caribbean and Latinx cultures with authentic art and crafts made by artisans for the community to buy and enjoy. Each day, one to two artisans will be on hand to display their artwork or products; other pieces will be available, too. Space is limited owing to COVID regulations; make free reservations here.
Jackalope Virtual Holiday Market
Through December 18
Meet the Makers: Noon MST, December 6 and December 13 on Instagram @jackalopeartfair
Jackalope goes virtual with goodies from more than 100 hand-picked indie vendors both local and national, helping you stay away from the big crowds while still having a good time at home shopping for special gifts. You can even have the experience of meeting makers in person, at least in cyberspace, during Meet the Makers online sessions on Instagram and Zoom scheduled throughout the run of the virtual market. With so many artisan markets on hold this year IRL, this alternative is a welcome opportunity.
Shop Small Boutique
Firehouse Art Center, 667 Fourth Avenue, Longmont
Sunday, November 29, noon to 5 p.m.
Firehouse hosts seven artists and artisans for your shopping-small pleasure with a gift boutique that will take over the entire gallery space to make room for adequate social distancing. If you need to keep little hands busy in December, Firehouse is offering DIY Ugly Sweatshirt kits for a $35 fee, which includes fun materials, a live-stream Ugly Sweatshirt decorating class on December 10, and access to the Zoom link for a December 17 fashion show. Just do it. You can thank us later.
Tennyson/Berkeley Small Business Holiday Passport Crawl
Jolly Goods, 4020 Tennyson Street
Through December 5
Longtime Tennyson Street small business Jolly Goods is once again hosting the Passport Crawl, a neighborhood shopping spree that encourages folks to get acquainted with the local shops and eateries by sending them out on a quest to get five or more stamps on a printed passport available at participating businesses, all while enjoying discounts and perks. That entitles patrons to turn in their tickets for a chance to win a gift basket stocked by Tennyson Street retailers. Passports should be returned to Jolly Goods by December 5.
Holiday Bazaar at Belleview Station
Belleview Station, 6785 East Chenango Avenue
Through December 20, every Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission $5, RSVP in advance for timed-entry slot at Eventbrite
The Belleview Station Bazaar is putting on its holiday duds on weekends through Christmas, bringing more than forty artisans, vendors and fashion trucks to the Belleview Station dog park for shopping and — courtesy of the Jingle Bell Bar — cocktails, beer and wine. Reserving your time slot online is a safer tactic, but first come, first served walk-up entry is allowed, though there might be a wait to enter the bazaar. Note that a five-person-per-party limit will be enforced.
Small Biz Saturdays at Stanley
Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street, Aurora
Through December 19, Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
You can always count on Stanley Marketplace in Aurora to have something going on for Small Business Saturday, because small, local businesses are exactly what the Stanley is all about. To that end, the Stanley will continue celebrating the local-shopping day every Saturday until Christmas, with special offers from certain businesses, live entertainment by the Beverly Belles at 10 a.m. weekly, free totes and more. Plus, for your convenience, the marketplace has instigated StanleyDelivers.com, a service that will bundle your online purchases from more than one shop for curbside pick-up or home delivery. It’s almost too easy.
Clyfford Still Museum Store
Clyfford Still Museum Store Sunday
Through 5 p.m. Sunday, November 29
Museum nerds, take note: The Clyfford Still Museum Is taking advantage of Small Business Saturday, as well as what’s now been dubbed Museum Store Sunday, by offering a 15 percent discount on everything in the gift shop when you shop online; you can also choose to pick up your purchase curbside instead of having it shipped. Gifts galore, without the fuss!
Holiday Rustic Market
Just Rustic, 25 West Bridge Street, Brighton
Sunday, November 29, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Just Rustic in Brighton hosts an open-air market with a real emphasis on “small.” The local vendors will be hawking handmades, home decor, furniture, antiques and Christmas trees; while you shop, enjoy hot cocoa, food-truck fare and live music. Movement through the market will be limited for social distancing; RSVP in advance on the Facebook event page.
Arvada Center Virtual Fine Art Market
November 30 through December 18
It would be too sad to cancel the Arvada Center’s Fine Art Market in a year when we’re all searching for something to do after Thanksgiving. So the sale of upper-level fine-art ceramics, jewelry, woodworking, ornaments and paintings from more than seventy Colorado artists is on, though it will all be online. If you can’t wait until November 30 for it to start and you’re in the giving mood, the center is offering early-bird shopping on Black Friday in return for becoming a donor in this difficult year.
ColorFields Jewelry, Longmont Artisan Market
2020 Longmont Artisan Market Handcrafted Holiday Directory
Online, throughout the holiday season
This year’s Longmont Artisan Market canceled its annual event in downtown Longmont, but all is not lost: Longmont businesses, many of which are offering special holiday-season discounts as an incentive, came together to build an online directory that can reach all the way around Colorado, if not the whole wide world. It’s a trend in retailing this year that could score a win for small businesses battling Amazon for holiday shoppers.
Cottonwood Center for the Arts Holiday Art and Gift Market
Online now at CCA website
The Cottonwood Art Center will bring Colorado Springs a little closer to Denver by holding its annual holiday market online, with an introductory virtual tour and a well-arranged catalogue of works — including paintings, art glass, jewelry, sculpture, crafts, prints and pottery (and much more) for sale. If you’re in the Springs area, home delivery is available for $5; shipping is available on request if you’re farther away.
Do you have holiday markets you’d like for us to write about? Send the details 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.