This weekend: Iowa City hosts more craft fairs and holiday markets than you can shake a (beautifully decorated) stick at

Craft Fairs
This Saturday, stock up on textiles, jewelry, ceramics and more. — photo by Rachel Jessen

Each year, the season of conspicuous consumption reaches its inevitable anticlimax when we gather around and, regardless of our individual traditions, realize in unison that all our gifts look the same, have the same disposable smell, make the same dumb noises and come from the same wretched factories. This year, be the exception to the rule: Make your list, check it twice and head down to any of these events to find quality gifts, crafted by artisans you can meet, talk to and encourage with your thanks and patronage.

Downtown District Holiday Market

Black Hawk Mini Park — Dec. 12, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Free

The Iowa City Downtown District and members of the local business community are coming together this Saturday to host the 2015 Downtown Holiday Market in Black Hawk Mini Park. This day-long event will feature wares from popular local businesses like Raygun, Prarie Lights Bookstore, Beadology, AKAR and many more. A cash bar will be available throughout the day, with hot cocoa to boot!

December Holiday Farmers Market

Robert E. Lee Recreation Center — Dec. 12, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Free

The 9th annual Holiday Farmers Market takes over downtown Iowa City’s Robert E. Lee Recreation Center this Saturday. Featuring popular vendors from the Iowa City Farmer’s Market, this year’s celebration will occupy the recreation center’s lower-level lobby, gym and upstairs social hall.

Iowa Fashion Project Pop-up

Merge/Former Wedge Space — Dec. 12, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Free

Learn about local designers, shop and discover new brands in the Iowa City area at this all-day pop-up showroom. This Saturday event precedes the Iowa Fashion Project’s Frost the Runway event (set for Friday), and will feature many of the same looks that were displayed on the runway.

Not your Mother’s Craft Fair

Old Brick — Dec. 12, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Free

With Not Your Mother’s Craft Fair, an annual DIY celebration hosted by Iowa City’s {made} community, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better selection of locally produced, hand-made products — and at Old Brick, no less! Now in its second year, Not Your Mother’s Craft Fair features works by groups and creators like Decadence, Iron Leaf Press, Red Piglet, Briggs Shore Ceramics and many more. All drink proceeds from this event will go in support of the fair’s non-profit partner, Local Foods Connection.