1 Renegade Craft Fair
December 1 to 2
What it is:A showcase for emerging and established artisans alongside immersive experiences like motivational-tinged tarot readings
Why visit:Part community gathering, part entrepreneurial incubator, the fair transforms the Bridgeport Art Center into a celebration of craftsmanship, with mood-enhancing drinks and tracks spun by local DJs.
Don’t miss:Baseball bats as works of art from Pillbox Bat Co. (from $100)
Details:Free. 1200 W. 35th St., Bridgeport
2 Sauced Night Market Before X-mas
What it is:The “not a craft market” market says no to monogrammed stockings, offering instead sure-fire gifts that your buds will actually want, such as food and liquor.
Why visit:Inspired by the night markets of Southeast Asia, the bazaar vibe is undeniably festive, with cocktails pushed out of pop-up bar the Tank.
Don’t miss:Hot sauces (one is ominously named Omen) from Soothsayer for those on the naughty list ($8)
Details:Free. 12 S. Michigan Ave., Loop
3 Randolph Street Market
December 15 to 16
What it is:Think of it as a collection of upscale antiques stores buoyed by live acoustic music, high-end snacks like peppermint marshmallows, and a full open bar.
Why visit:Vintage estate pickers and global artisans bring literally one-of-a-kind treasures. Look for deadstock designer goods, as well as elegant stocking stuffers, like sterling martini shakers.
Don’t miss:Mint-condition vintage Hermès scarves from Swell Stuff (from $45)
Details:$10 to $12. 1341 W. Randolph St., West Town
Through December 24
What it is:The classic Bavarian-village-style fair with nutcrackers and cuckoo clocks
Why visit:The candy-cane-striped wooden huts at this 20-plus-year-old Chicago tradition are signs of the season. Daley Plaza will be abuzz with twinkling lights, flowing Glühwein, and sausage- and strudel-scarfing families.
Don’t miss:A Stammtisch table in the heated Grand Timber Haus. Reserve one (from $200, including food for eight people) for two hours.
Details:Free. 50 W. Washington St., Loop
3 days ago