‘Tis the season to get a jump on holiday gifting at a plethora of local craft fairs. Get into the year-end spirit with a visit with Santa, a brisk Thanksgiving run, a hike up to Horsetooth Rock, and the sight of twinkling lights everywhere.
Gift ideas, fairs abound
The first of the many holiday craft sales on tap will be the 31st annual Hall of Gifts, in the Lincoln Center’s newly remodeled Canyon West and Columbine rooms, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins, Nov. 4-6. The artisan-packed affair opens at noon on Friday, and continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Proceeds benefit the Lincoln Center Support League, www.lincolncentersupportleague.org
In addition to a festive holiday craft fair on Saturday Nov. 12, Peace With Christ Lutheran Church, 1412 W. Swallow Road, Fort Collins, will be serving its popular homemade soup and pie luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The craft fair is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Proceeds support Concordia Theological Seminarians Brandon Ross and Andrew Walker. Info: 970-226-4721.
If you’re the book-giving type, Jax Mercantile is where you want to be Saturday, Nov. 12 for Local Author Day, Different writers will be at each Jax location at different times — North Forty News nature and science columnist Gary Raham, who has written a series of science books for young readers, will be at Jax Ranch and Home from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Info and full schedule: 970-488-3250, ext. 707.
Wellington United Methodist Fellowship’s second annual craft fair, planned for 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19 in the new church at 8251 Wellington Blvd., will feature delicious baked goods, too. Info: 970-227-7893.
Holiday greenery and living plants as well as handmade items from local artisans will be available on Dec. 2 and 3 at the annual Gifts from the Gardens in the Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., Fort Collins. Members of the Gardens can shop early, 3 to 5 p.m. on Friday; the sale is open to the public from 5 to 8 p.m. both Friday and Saturday, when the Gardens will twinkle with tens of thousands of LED lights. Gardens of Light continues throughout the month of December, donations accepted. Info: 970-416-2486.
And on Dec. 3 and 4, Red Feather Lakes goes green with more than 40 booths selling holiday crafts, food and beverages and baked goods. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, the Village will be alive with children’s activities, including Santa Claus for visiting, and a historic cabin tour, Proceeds benefit Red Feather Lakes Historical Society. Info: 970-495-0560.
Give thanks with running, hiking
Before you slip into that annual turkey-and-football coma, work up an appetite at the Fort Collins Thanksgiving Day Run. The 4-mile run/walk and kid’s fun run kicks off on Nov. 24, Thanksgiving morning. This year’s race day headquarters is The Beach House, 125 S. College Ave., where registration starts at 7:30 a.m., run at 9 a.m. Registration $20-$30 in advance; $30-$40 on race day. Online registration at virtualroster.com. Info: 970-224-2582.
If you’d rather work off the candied yams later, sign up for the Thanksgiving Tooth Climb, a moderate hike up to Horsetooth Rock with a Larimer County volunteer naturalist. The free hike begins at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 9 a.m.; $6 entrance fee per vehicle. Registration required at www.larimer.org/naturalresources/registration. Info: 970-679-4489.
Santa, trees arrive mid-month
Old St. Nick makes his first appearance at Fort Collins’ Old Town Square in a horse-drawn carriage at noon on Saturday, Nov. 19, and will be in his cozy workshop from noon until 6 p.m. every Wednesday through Sunday through Christmas Eve. Santa will also be skating on the ice rink next to the workshop every Saturday at 11 a.m., and reading stories for kids at 11:30 a.m. every Thursday and Friday at the Clothes Pony, 111 N. College Ave. Of course, Kris Kringle also speaks Spanish and sign language so he can hear everyone’s secret wish. The jolly old elf’s appearance is sponsored by the Fort Collins Downtown Business Association.
The annual Gallery of Trees fills the new Art Gallery at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins with twinkling tannenbaum Nov. 18-27. Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving Day, this year’s event features a silent auction of the decorated trees donated by local businesses and organizations, to benefit the Lincoln Center Support League.
Light up the brass
Ring out the month with a sneak peek of the Denver Parade of Lights. The CSU Marching Band, in full uniforms complete with twinkle lights, will march counterclockwise around the University Center for the Arts (corner of Pitkin and Peterson), Fort Collins, from 5 to 5:45 p.m. on Nov. 30. Hot drinks and dessert will be available inside the UCA following the parade. Info: 970-491-5529.
Look for more holiday happenings on the North Forty News online calendar at northfortynews.com.