One of my favorite things about Chicago is all the festivals and markets that always seem to be going on, especially during the summer. The great thing about the Christmas season though, is the Holiday edition of all the markets that come through the city! It’s so much fun to spend an afternoon speaking with local vendors and small business owners, and shopping handmade goods that make the cutest gifts.
In the past couple weeks, I’ve checked out the Renegade Craft Fair, the Christkindlmarket, and the Randolph Street Market. I ended up purchasing something at each, either for me or someone else…or both!
First up, the Renegade Craft Fair. This fair features the best and brightest in the DIY and Maker communities, and was the first of its kind when it originated in 2003. The Renegade Craft Fair travels across the country to several cities, and even makes it way to London.
My girlfriend, Ghada, and I had so much fun romping around for the afternoon. I walked away with a couple wall prints as gifts, some Lincoln Park post cards, and a dainty gold bar ring inscribed with “je t’aime,” or “I love you” in French. I originally had set out to purchase Christmas gifts only, but saw this and knew it was too perfect for me to leave behind – if you want to know why, you can find out here. 🙂
A week later, Eric and I visited the Christkindlmarket downtown after work. This annual Christmas fair turned twenty this December and is set up like a little German village, with vendors in timber housed shops. The fair is famous for its spiced wine that comes in a different souvenir mug each year.
We only ended up purchasing some of the delicious wine and a spinach, goat cheese stuffed pretzel, but have plans to return with guests in the coming week and make some purchases at the ornament house!
Lastly, I ventured off to Randolph Street Market this past weekend. I love this festival, check out the finds from my last visit if you haven’t yet! You do have to purchase a ticket to get in, but they are really cheap online – super cheap if you have a student ID, only $3! It’s a jackpot for antique lovers, but among those vendors are a variety of other unique shops.
Eric and I found several Christmas gifts, total score. My favorite vendor we came across though was a sweet girl selling beautiful, handmade wall decor made of stencils, wood, and windows. I wanted to walk away with all of them, but we ultimately decided on a piece that will look just perfect over Eric’s bar area – I’m happily posed with it below haha.
Hope everyone has been successful in their Holiday shopping – and you get a chance to check out these festivals in the future if you’re in town!