How to Shop Local for the Holidays

You can make a big difference by shopping small businesses. And you can make holiday shopping a fun and social experience with these seasonal shopping festivities.

Colorado Springs is home to charming boutiques and restaurants, and there’s no better time to explore those local businesses than during the holiday season. Doing your holiday shopping locally helps support your community, local artisans and small businesses, and it can even help protect the environment by reducing the impacts of shipping and manufacturing.

Although local businesses exist all over the Pikes Peak region, several shopping districts offer a high concentration. Downtown Colorado Springs, Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs are all home to boutiques, galleries, shops and local services, and during the holidays each hosts special shopping events where you can gather and celebrate and buy unique gifts for everyone in your family.

Small Business Saturday, Nov. 30, the day after Black Friday, is a great chance to shop locally, but it’s only the beginning. Here’s an overview of the fun and festivities you can enjoy while shopping local.

Making holiday shopping social at Holiday Stroll, downtown Colorado Springs
Making holiday shopping social at the Downtown Holiday Stroll. Photo by Allison Moix / Stellar Propeller Studio, courtesy of Downtown Partnership, Colorado Springs.

Downtown Colorado Springs

“More than 90% of downtown businesses are locally owned, so it’s a great place to support small businesses,” says Laurel Prud’homme, vice president of communications for the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs. “There are around 50 retailers and galleries downtown, plus all the coffee shops and restaurants.”

Downtown Small Business Saturday

Nov. 30
Stop by the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs’s booth on Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday, at Acacia Park to pick up your holiday coupon book, as well as a free tote bag, balloons and stickers while supplies last. Nearly all of the downtown boutiques and shops offer special deals, so you can pick up unique gifts for reasonable prices.

Cottonwood Center for the Arts Holiday Art & Gifts Market

Nov. 30
The artists of Cottonwood Center for the Arts will host their ninth annual Holiday Art & Gift Market in conjunction with Small Business Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More than 40 art studios will be open to the public and offer handmade pottery, jewelry, textiles, painting and accessories all made by local artists. You can also enjoy sweet and savory treats and local craft coffee.

Holiday shopping at the Modbo Small Works Show, Colorado Springs
The Modbo Smallworks Show. Photo courtesy the Modbo.

Small Works Show at the Modbo and S.P.Q.R.

Dec. 6 – Jan. 3
There is perhaps no gift more unique or heartfelt than a one-of-a-kind piece of art purchased from a local, community artist. Around 150 local artists will contribute approximately 500 original artworks to the Modbo’s 12th annual Small Works show, all of which are available for purchase and all of which are less than 18 x 18 inches. The show kicks off with a reception on Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m. “This is our only community call for artists every year, so our goal is to give people the chance to display and sell their art, as well as give the public the chance to buy art for holiday gifts,” says Lauren Ciborowski, owner and impresario, of the Modbo.

Downtown Holiday Stroll

Dec. 11
Grab a coffee or hot cocoa from one of the hot beverage stations, and take advantage of some amazing sales during the Downtown Holiday Stroll on Dec. 11 from 5-8 p.m. Carolers will be spreading holiday cheer as they make their way through downtown, and kids will have an opportunity to visit with Santa.

Elf on a Shelf Scavenger Hunt

Dec. 11-18
Want to make shopping extra fun? Go on the Elf on a Shelf scavenger hunt, Dec. 11-18. Explore shops you might not otherwise consider. Search for hidden elves and check off your scavenger hunt card. And then turn in the card at your last stop to be entered to win a gift card to spend at all the downtown shops you’ve just discovered.

Downtown Holiday Pop-Up Shops

Open through Dec. 31
Only available for the holiday season, three new pop-up shops will give new and expanding retailers a temporary brick-and-mortar storefront on Tejon Street through the end of the year. Fair Finds Home Décor offers high-end furniture and home décor for discounted prices at 104 N. Tejon St. At 9 E. Bijou St., the Local Honey Collective provides trendy yet affordable clothing for every occasion while also empowering women. And Luneiva sells handmade cotton and wool clothing and accessories from Nepal; find it at 226 N. Tejon.


Holiday Shopping at Vintage Market Days Colorado Springs
Holiday Shopping at Vintage Market Days. Photo courtesy of Vintage Market Days.

Vintage Market Days

Nov. 22-24
At the Norris Penrose Event Center, Vintage Market Days will host its Deck the Halls holiday market, featuring vendors and artisans from all over Colorado. This is an excellent opportunity to pick out vintage clothing, jewelry, handmade treasures, home décor and original art while supporting Colorado-based small businesses.

Old Colorado City

Old Colorado City holiday shopping scene
Photo courtesy Shop Old Colorado City

OCC Christmas Stroll

Nov. 30
From 5-8 p.m. on Small Business Saturday, make your way from shop to shop on Colorado Avenue alongside Dickens Carolers for Old Colorado City’s evening Holiday Stroll. Take advantage of special deals offered by the many unique shops and restaurants. Meet Comet the Reindeer, and visit Santa’s cabin to get a picture with Victorian Santa.

Manitou Springs

santa in manitou springs
Manitou Santa and Tree Lighting. Photo courtesy Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau.

Santa and Tree Lighting

Nov. 29
The holiday shopping season kicks off in Manitou with the 5 p.m. tree lighting at the town clock. Santa will be there, ready for photos. And make plans to enjoy the festive spirit of the spirits as you shop among strolling musicians on the streets every weekend from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Manitou Small Business Saturday

Nov. 30
Take a stroll through Manitou’s Downtown Historic District for Small Business Saturday. Pick up one-of-a-kind gifts from more than 90 locally-owned businesses, most of which will offer special deals to kick off the holiday shopping season. Stop by the Spa Building to get pictures with Santa from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Then be sure to stay until evening so you can see the town light up with festive holiday lights displays.

Holiday Spirits Festival

Dec. 14
Do some shopping, and pop into 12 locations with live music and free spirits from 1-7 p.m.

Holiday Market at Commonwheel Artists Co-Op

Nov. 15 – Dec. 30
Browse handcrafted paintings, pottery, ceramics, jewelry and more, all made by local artists. Meet some of those artisans at the First Friday ArtWalk reception, Dec. 6, 5-8 p.m.

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