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To Market We Go

Spend a day sifting for everything under the sun at the Mile High Marketplace.

If bargains and browsing are your thing, head to the gigantic Mile High Marketplace in Henderson, a 15-minute drive north of downtown Denver, for enough merchandise hunting to keep you occupied all day. Since 1986, the bazaar has been buzzing with more than 80 acres (streets are numbered and lettered) of antique booths, food stalls, craft vendors, and entertainment. Stop by any weekend—it’s open year-round—but mark your calendars for August 7 and 8, when the second annual Mile High Blues Festival ($25 to $40 general admission) takes the stage with acts such as Rick Estrin & the Nightcats and Grammy nominee Ruthie Foster. What to do during intermission? Here, our guide to the best of the marketplace.

  • Snack time
    You’ll need some fuel to cover the massive marketplace grounds, so grab a legendary turkey leg ($5.25) from Turkey’s Last Stand (which hands out more than 7,000 drumsticks every weekend) or treat yourself to a sugar-topped funnel cake ($2.50) from Delectable’s. find it: Turkey’s: 3rd and L, by music stage; Delectable’s: 1st and C
  • Film freaks
    Ramp up your DVD collection with a few minutes at one of the three Game Force locations. Find new movies and classics for around $5. find it: Various locations between 1st and 2nd
  • Take a spin
    Need a new two-wheeler? Colorado Cruisers carries a colorful array of GreenLine beach bikes for laid-back summer ridin’. find it: 1st and A
  • Throwback thrills
    Local collector Brandon Hamilton’s set of 343 vintage metal lunchboxes is a flashback to Baby Boomer childhood. Check out the exhibit through the end of September to see old favorites such as Dick Tracy and Dr. Seuss. find it: 1st between C and D
  • Shop for dinner
    Colorado’s only year-round outdoor farmers’ market offers local and imported produce—think serrano chiles, bell peppers, and tomatoes—plus ready-to-plant herbs, fresh flowers, artisanal baked goods, and exotic finds like papayas and cactus leaves. Bonus: Get your green chiles roasted on-site. find it: 3rd to 5th, G to H
  • Oldies but goodies
    Indulge your inner interior designer and check out A Paris Apartment, the newest antique shop in the marketplace. The furniture and accessories, such as chandeliers and room screens, are shabby-chic at its best. find it: 1st and E
  • Browse the art
    Find the perfect Colorado-style artwork to complete your home at the Casa de Art stall. Search through nature and Native American watercolor scenes by painter Bev Doolittle, and don’t miss Russell Houston’s paintings if you’re more of an American cowboy aficionado. find it: 3rd and I
  • For the fun of it
    When the kids get antsy, give ’em a break in the carnival area, where they can race down the three-story super slide, scream on the dragon coaster, or, for the little guys, drive their own colorful mini-cars. find it: L between 3rd and 5th

Getting There: Take I-25 north to I-76 east (Exit 216A). Exit at 88th Avenue and turn right. The marketplace will be on your left. Entry fee: $2 to $5/adults, free for kids under 12. 7007 E. 88th Ave., Henderson, 303-289-4656, www.milehighmarketplace.com

This article was originally published in 5280 August 2010.

Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer

Daliah Singer is an award-winning writer and editor based in Denver. You can find more of her work at daliahsinger.com.

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To Market We Go

Get your good tidings in Georgetown this month.

It is a mountain-town tradition nearly half a century old: At noon on the first two weekends each December, the old Alpine Hose firehouse bell rings to mark St. Nicholas’ entrance to the Georgetown Christmas Market, and the hamlet of just more than 1,000 residents erupts with old-fashioned merriment. Bundled children tumble down Sixth Street following the robed St. Nick in a classic Santa Lucia procession that winds past Victorian homes, warm stalls of roasting chestnuts, and carriage horses waiting for Christmas revelers to hop aboard. The booths on Sixth and Rose streets are bright and fragrant with the handcrafted goods of artisans, bakers, and knitters, making for a festive way to check off items on your gift list. A leisurely stroll through the market will let you take it all in—just don’t forget about the tucked-away storefronts, museums, and eateries that give Georgetown its year-round charm.

49th Annual Georgetown Christmas Market, Dec. 6-7, 13-14, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sixth Street in Georgetown, 303-569-2840

Explore
The Hotel de Paris Museum, replicating the 1875 original, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Railroad mogul Jason “Jay” Gould once stayed here. 409 Sixth St., 303-569-2311

Indulge
The Georgetown Valley Candy Company still makes its caramel corn and rich fudge the old-school way—in copper kettles and on marble tables. 500 Sixth St., 303-569-2778

Browse
Western artists stock the upscale Stonehenge gallery. Next door, the Grizzly Creek Gallery displays Coloradan Gary Haines’ nature photography. Stonehenge: 514 Sixth St., 303-569-2153. Grizzly Creek: 512 Sixth St., 303-569-0433

Eat
An authentic tribute to Czech cooking, New Prague Restaurant serves up a spicy goulash stew and tender, breaded Wiener Schnitzel that evoke the spirit of Vánoce (Czech for Christmas). 511 Rose St., 303-569-2861

Tour
Georgetown’s most famous silver baron, William Arthur Hamill, built his home in 1879. With plenty of original features still intact, the Hamill House Museum today showcases a Victorian-era lifestyle. Visit at night (Dec. 13, 19, 20, 6 p.m., $75) for a traditional Victorian Christmas reception. 305 Argentine St., 303-569-2840
Refuel
Built in 1870, Georgetown’s oldest church, Grace Episcopal, holds a high tea (1-4 p.m., $20) during the Christmas Market. 408 Taos St., 303-569-2790

Get there
I-70 West to Exit 228 (about 45 minutes from Denver); left at 15th; right at Argentine; continue on Brownell until you reach Sixth.