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. 26, 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.

local holiday shopping with Santa in downtown Colorado Springs
Downtown Holiday Stroll with Santa. Photo by Allison Daniell, Stellar Propeller Studio, courtesy 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.”

Jack Denton Art Exhibit & Book Signing

Nov 25 – Dec. 24
The painter of “Pikes Peak, America’s Mountain” will set up shop at 31 E. Bijou in Downtown to celebrate the holiday season with an art exhibit and book signing. So if you’re looking for some original local art or a one-of-a-kind signed book from the artist himself, you might want to head on over to Jack Denton’s pop-up.

Downtown Small Business Saturday

Nov. 26
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. And, if you need some gift-giving inspiration, check out our Downtown Colorado Springs gift guide.

Cottonwood Center for the Arts Holiday Art & Gifts Market

Nov. 26
The artists of Cottonwood Center for the Arts will host their ninth annual Holiday Art & Gift Market in conjunction with Small Business Saturday, from 1a 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.

Browsing local shops Downtown. Photo courtesy of Downtown Colorado Springs.
Browsing local shops Downtown. Photo courtesy of Downtown Colorado Springs.

Shop Local, Win Local

Nov. 11 – Dec. 11
Give a little and get a lot when you spend at least $50 shopping local downtown. Downtown will host four weekly drawings for a gift basket and gift card valued at over $250. Plus, there will be a grand prize drawing for a $1,000 gift card. Learn more about the rules on the Downtown Colorado Springs website.

2nd Annual EaDo Christkindl Market

Dec. 3
From 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. head on over to 1350 Distilling and Mash Mechanix Brewing Co. to enjoy festive cocktails, seasonal beers and food trucks while you peruse over 30 local artist and vendor stands. Entry is free but you can purchase a commemorative glass to mark the occasion and get some free drinks.

Downtown Holiday Stroll

Dec. 7
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. 7 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.

Old Colorado City

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

Holiday Bazaar

Nov. 26
Get your family and friends gifts you won’t find anywhere else at Old City’s Holiday Bazaar market. Located inside the History Center, you can browse and buy from your favorite local artists, crafters, and vendors before they close up shop for the season.

OCC Christmas Stroll

Nov. 26
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. 25
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. 26
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. Be sure to stay until the evening so you can see the town light up with festive holiday lights displays.

Manitou Christmas Parade

Dec. 10
Head over to Manitou Springs for some holiday shopping along the brightly lit Manitou Ave. and catch the Manitou Springs Christmas Parade with special guest appearance from Santa.

Holiday Market at Commonwheel Artists Co-Op

Nov. 4 – 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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