All the delights of the winter season can be experienced at Colorado’s specialty markets, where Santa makes regular appearances, handcrafted gifts overshadow items bought at the mall and sweet treats abound. We have several versions of the holiday bazaar, including ones modeled after old-fashioned markets in Europe and others that offer modern twists on the tradition.
Enter a wonderland where vendors sell gifts in rustic wooden stalls, choirs croon joyful tunes and be-scarfed patrons sip mulled cider.
Denver Christkindl Market, Nov. 16–Dec. 23, 2018
Skyline Park is transformed into a miniature German village during this favorite Denver event, where Bavarian musicians play classic carols and dance-worthy melodies, and vendors dish up specialties served at traditional German Christmas markets, including baked apples, gingerbread biscuits, charcoal-grilled sausages and, of course, spicy mulled wine (gluehwein).
Pick up cuckoo clocks, beer steins and other imported gifts for your loved ones, and sip gluehwein (something that might result in you picking up even more clocks and steins than you originally planned) as you get lost in the twinkling landscape. For more festive fun, stroll to Skyline Park’s Southwest Rink for some ice skating.
Georgetown Christmas Market, Dec. 1-3 & 8-10, 2018
Historic Georgetown’s old-school charm is enhanced at one of the state’s most cherished wintertime traditions. At the market, horse-drawn wagon rides take patrons through snow-blanketed streets past decorated storefronts; a Victorian-robed St. Nicholas greets rosy-cheeked tots who never whine or cry, and stalls feature handicrafts by local artisans.
A giant lit-up tree, the harmonic voices of choirs and views of the snow-dusted mountains above add to the dreamy scene. For the ultimate experience, take a Christmas museum tour of the Hamill House or Hotel de Paris, or book a special holiday-themed ride on the Georgetown Loop Railroad.
Other Holiday-Shopping Events in Colorado
From winter produce to works by respected Colorado artists, these less-traditional markets boast local treasures and merry entertainment.
Colorado Springs Sugar Plum Food & Gift Mart, Oct. 20-21, 2018
At the largest gift show of its kind in Colorado Springs, adults can peruse booths selling gourmet food, artwork, jewelry, seasonal décor and more, while little ones visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus and walk through a “Winter Wonderland” display.
Holiday Art Market at Olde Golden Christmas, Nov.–Dec. TBA, 2018
More than 100 Colorado artists show off their prized works at Golden’s Foothills Art Center, where you can browse for jewelry, ceramics, glass, photography, paintings and more. Other notable festivities include a parade with Newfoundland dog-cart rides for kids (as if they were the only ones to appreciate a dog parade!), candlelight walk and more.
Boulder County Farmers Markets Winter Market, Dec. 1-2, 2018
Some of the best farmers and artisans on the Front Range bring their coolest goods to this bustling market at Longmont’s Boulder County Fairgrounds. Nibble on freshly baked cookies and other treats while you visit booths featuring works by more than 50 artists and tons of vendors selling organic veggies, honey, wine, coffee and more. Enjoy free giftwrapping, live music and kids’ activities.
Holiday Market at Durango Farmers Market, Dec. 8, 2018
Groove to live music at La Plata County Fairgrounds as you shop for locally farmed meats, produce and cheeses to spice up your upcoming holiday gorging. Then, grab some coffee and have your photo taken with performers in Victorian-era garb.
Craft-rusty individuals seeking handmade gifts will hit the jackpot at this unique Cripple Creek celebration, where shopping opportunities include the bazaar, Sugar Plum Gift Shop and Elf Emporium. Don’t miss the Gold Camp Holiday Headframe Lighting, when the headframes (towers above underground mine shafts) at area mines are illuminated.
Minturn Winter Market, Dec. 1 & 8, 2018
Crackling bonfires, s’mores and carolers add pizzazz to the Minturn Market, a summer farmers’ market that becomes a winter delight for two Saturdays in December. From woodwork to homemade fudge, shoppers won’t be disappointed with the vendors, most of which are dedicated to using local ingredients and materials.
Read more about cold-weather celebrations in Colorado, including winter festivals, carnivals and competitions and holiday-lighting fun, and view our event listings for additional ways to herald the season.
Photo Credit: Denver Christkindl Market