The holiday shopping season is in full swing. And if you are like me and did not use Black Friday as the day to shop for everyone on your list, your procrastination shall be rewarded. Over the next couple of weeks, there will be several opportunities to purchase unique, one-of-a-kind items all while supporting independent businesses and emerging designers. So, check those credit card limits and start transferring money across accounts because these holiday markets will have you reevaluating your shopping budget.
Metal scupltures by Dick Cooley, at One of a Kind Show
One of a Kind Show
December 6 - 9
Held only once a year at the iconic Merchandise Mart, the One of a Kind Show is as anticipated a holiday shopping event as you'll find in Chicago. With over 600 artists, from around the world, selling everything from sculptures and wall art to clothing and handbags, you can expect to find gift ideas for that person on your list that has everything. While you're there, stop by the Etsy Online Pavilion to see and shop the wares of some of Etsy's best online vendors; enjoy the daily fashion shows featuring the wares of some of the clothing, jewelry and accessories designers; and check out the one of a kind musicians, handpicked by Potbelly to help you unwind after all of that good shopping. The One of a Kind Show starts Thursday and runs for four days, which still may not feel like enough time to peruse all of the vendors. But we'll do the best we can, right?
River East Art Center
435 E. Illinois
Admission: $10 ($8 in advance)
This month's installation is appropriately named "Holidose" and will provide attendees with the perfect blend of food and fashion vendors, per usual. This is the ideal market to find gifts for the foodies and fashionistas on your list. Plus, where else can you shop Jepsen Leather Goods iPad cases and Drift Eyewear while munching on cinnamon sugar Do-Rite Donuts? Exactly.
Vintage Garage Chicago Holiday Trunk Show
1134 West Granville
December 8 - 9
Who doesn't love a good garage sale? Well, multiply that by 50 and you'll have Vintage Garage Chicago. This fairly new outdoor market will be moving indoors for their two-day holiday event. Expect to find a plethora of vintage jewelry, clothing, furniture and home decor. Not only can you shop for gifts, but you may also find items to create a fancy table setting for that holiday dinner you're hosting. Admission is only $5 and if you stalk their Facebook page often enough, you can find out how to get in for free.
Jewels at the Randolph Street MarketRandolph Street Holiday Market
1340 W. Washington
December 15 - 16
Admission: $10 ($8 in advance)
Chicago's most well-known market returns this month with part two of their Holiday Market. The vintage dealers will showcase their well-curated collections, while the talented indie designers provide consumers with handmade items so good you'll wonder why you ever shopped at a department store. With free parking, free gift wrapping and food vendors on hand to help you refuel, this market provides a wealth of amenities for the $10 ticket price ($8 online). And if you bring a toy to be donated to Toys for Tots, you'll get free admission all weekend and have $10 of wiggle room in your shopping allowance.