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3 Holiday Markets in Chicago

Whether your wish list consists of bling, a handbag or a mug of mulled wine, you’ll find it at one of these three seasonal Chicago markets. Bonus: The shopping is as fun as tearing into gifts on Christmas morning.

The Urban-Chic Market

Browse products from local start-ups and artists at HoliDose, an indoor pop-up market with around 100 vendors. The selection at Morgan Manufacturing (401 N Morgan St) might include Chicago-crafted doll houses (some for decor, others for kids), men’s accessories made from vintage fabrics and poems composed on manual typewriters while you wait. Here, the thrill lies in supporting small businesses while potentially discovering the next must-have before the rest of the world. dosemarket.com

Bracelets at HoliDose

The Vintage Market

If you’re looking to buy a mink stole with a matching brooch, a concert poster from the ‘70s or a set of cuff links like your grandpa used to have, Randolph Street Holiday Market is your place. Housed in the West Loop’s restored Beaux Arts plumber’s union hall, the market consists of 100-plus mostly antiques vendors from 20 states selling jewelry, clothes and bric-a-brac. It’s not all old-school though. A few vendors refurbish antiques into creative new items, like a mirror framed with blingy women’s Christmas pins. Local gourmet restaurants serve some of their hottest-selling foods. Refuel with a Cuban pork tamale from the Pilsen neighborhood’s buzzed-about Dia de los Tamales, or try a puff pastry filled with decadent bacon macaroni and cheese at Puffs of Doom. When it’s nice out, some vendors line Randolph Street. randolphstreetmarket.com

The Old-World Market

Inspired by a crafts market in Nuremburg, Germany, that began in 1545, Chicago’s Christkindlmarket (the city’s largest open-air Christmas festival) sets up shop on Daley Plaza, a sprawling courtyard on West Randolph. More than 40 wooden booths display traditional German wares: delicate blown glass ornaments, Bavarian-made beer steins, hand-painted nutcrackers and cuckoo clocks from the Black Forest. Palm-size pretzels and boot-shape mugs filled with warm mulled wine help ward off the cold; so, too, does a stroll through one of the heated tents filled with a rainbow of ornament options, including brightly colored spheres and spindles, ballet shoes, playful pugs, sushi rolls and old Saint Nick. christkindlmarket.com

Browsing at Christkindlmarket

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