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SHOP LOCAL: 4 CHICAGO MUST-VISIT HOLIDAY MARKETS 

Here’s your ultimate guide to finding that one-of-a-kind Chicago gift.

 

Chicago plays host to so many fun holiday markets that showcase the works of local artists. If you’re looking for that perfectly unique Chicago gift, these are the places to be.

 

1. RANDOLPH STREET HOLIDAY MARKET 

Randolph Street Holiday Market - Image

Whether you’re on a budget or ready to go all out, you’ll discover more than 125 vendors selling everything from vintage pieces like estate jewelry to indie fashions and modern housewares (plus free gift wrapping!). Randolph Street Holiday Market is held in the West Loop at Plumbers Hall over two weekends: November 18-19 and December 16-17, 2017.  

Explore the West Loop

 

2. RENEGADE CRAFT FAIR 

Renegade Craft Fair

2017 marks the Renegade Craft Fair’s 15th year in Chicago, presenting a showcase of curated craft and design that celebrates both the creative and entrepreneurial spirit. More than 250 emerging and seasoned independent makers sell their unique wares, which include one-of-a-kind clothing, handmade jewelry and cool home accessories. Renegade Craft Fair is held at the Bridgeport Art Center from December 2-3, 2017.

Explore Bridgeport

 

3. ONE OF A KIND HOLIDAY SHOW

One of a Kind Holiday Show

Head to the mammoth Merchandise Mart in River North and check out the works of more than 600 talented artisans from across North America—which translates into thousands of original handmade gifts to tempt you. Peruse everything from fiber art to photography and pet products. Then catch a fashion show or live music (sponsored by the Old Town School of Folk Music), and nosh on delicious nibbles at one of the gourmet cafes. The One of a Kind Holiday Show is held December 7-10, 2017.

Explore River North

 

4. HOLIDOSE

HoliDose

You’re sure to find a gift for that special someone (and maybe a few for yourself, too) at HoliDose, held on December 10, 2017 in the West Loop at Morgan Manufacturing. More than 100 Chicago small businesses create a fun marketplace, selling everything from cutting-edge fashions to holiday decorations and sweets. Don’t miss the live music performances and festive cocktails that make this market feel like one big party.

Explore the West Loop

 

3 ILLINOIS MAKERS TO GET TO KNOW

 

KATHERINE ANNE CONFECTIONS

Katherine Anne ConfectionsLooking to gift your sweetheart with some sugar for the holidays? At Katherine Anne Confections in Logan Square, owner Katherine Anne Duncan makes her exquisite chocolates and caramels using cream sourced from a herd of Jersey cows in Central Illinois, and substitutes corn syrup with local wildflower honey. Classic truffles, including lemon poppyseed and toasted coconut rum, are rolled and dipped by hand in an open kitchen. While you’re shopping, be sure to try the European-style hot chocolate topped with pillowy homemade marshmallows, named one of the best in America by Fodor’s Travel

 

OPTIMO HATS

Optimo Hats

Inspired by Hollywood’s Golden Age, owner Graham Thompson uses old-world craftsmanship to create his designs, right down to the vintage Singer sewing machines used to achieve the perfect stitch. The hats are named for Chicago neighborhoods and sights, and have been seen on chapeau-loving celebrities such as Johnny Depp. Styles range from derbies to fedoras, and if you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for in the downtown Loop store, Optimo will custom design a hat for you.

 

VICE DISTRICT BREWING

Vice District Brewing

Curtis Tarver II and Quintin Cole, two friends and former home brewers from Chicago’s South Side, founded this welcoming South Loop  brewery named for the notorious Red Light districts that thrived in the city in the late 1800s. Visit the taproom and try one of their rotating selections of craft beer that are brewed on site, including staples like the Pleasure Trip blonde ale or Everleigh English bitter. Pick your favorite and get a growler to go for the beer lover on your holiday list.

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