With the holiday shopping season in full swing, it's hard not to visit a department store or mall to pick up something for everyone on your list. But this weekend, there are three local shopping events (in three completely different neighborhoods) that aim to redefine the term "one stop shop" by exposing shoppers to handmade and one-of-a-kind items you simply won't find anywhere else.
The Ravenswood neighborhood will be in full holiday swing thanks to the 2nd Annual Holiday Art Fair at Lillstreet Art Center. With sixty vendors taking over all the classrooms on the third floor, be prepared to do some serious shopping. Expect to find everything from ceramics to jewelry and home decor, all of which are made by hand and available at varying price points. To make things even more enjoyable (as if shopping isn't enough), music and refreshments will also be on deck at this free event. If you're feeling a little crafty, you can head right down the street to the free Holiday Workshop at Lillstreet Loft (4437 N. Ravenswood Ave) to receive complimentary instructions and materials to create your own greeting card or paper garland. Now, how's that for handmade?
While you're in the neighborhood, be sure to also stop by Orange Beautiful's Show of Hands Craft Show at the Ravenswood Event Center (4011 N. Ravenswood Ave) and the Holiday Show at the Cornelia Arts Building (1800 W. Cornelia Ave), to round out your shopping day.
1000 Lake Street (Oak Park, IL)
Every weekend until December 24
For its first holiday shop, POP UP by Design is pulling out all the stops. The trek to Oak Park won't seem bad at all once you lay eyes on the wares offered up by the local artists on the roster. Besides jewelry, ornaments and original paintings, this holiday shop will also include embellished furniture and vintage apparel. You may even discover a few artists who specialize on Hanukkah gifts.
There's no need to leave the kids at home for this shopping adventure. Weekly make-and-take workshops which include decorating cookies for Santa (on Saturdays) and creating paper mosaic ornaments (on Sundays), make POP UP by Design an all-around family affair.
340 W. Washington St
Saturday & Sunday, November 23 - 24
10am - 5pm $10 ($8 in advance)
Randolph Street Market is the monthly to-do on every shopper's list. The upcoming holiday market will be no different. There is no other place to find this many vendors (90+) under one roof, selling such a wide selection of merchandise. Antiques, vintage, collectibles, indie designer goods - you name it, it's here. You'll even find great gift ideas for the foodies on your list. More than just the shopping, this holiday market is about the experience. Pose in the Candy Cane Holiday Photo Booth with drag performers from Kit Kat Lounge, receive lipstick color consultations, massages and blowouts or pay a visit to the Little Elves Craft Tent for ornament making, hot chocolate and prizes.
Add to that a DJ, carolers, complimentary gift-wrapping, free parking and furniture delivery, and you have the most fun and convenient shopping event you'll experience all season.