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by Lydia Krupinski

I’m going to come right out and say it: There’s nothing better than handmade for the holidays. Sure you can go out and buy the newest mp3 player or another equally calculatedly obsolescent piece of technology. But there’s simply no greater gift than that made by you or a creative crafter.

In case you don’t have the time or talent to conceive your own project, we’ve  put together the following list of upcoming holiday fairs that showcase handmade and local artisans and their wares. Please feel free to add more through the comments box below!

+Loyola University Alternative Gift Fair

December 2nd & 3rd, 2009 Loyola University Chicago

+One of a Kind Show & Sale

December 3rd-6th, 2009 Merchandise Mart

+Old Town School Holiday Craft Bazaar

December 4th, 2009 River East Arts Center

+Clever Crafter + Pierogi Picnic

December 5th, 2009 Lenny & Me

+Renegade Holiday Craft Fair

December 5th, 2009 Pulaski Park Fieldhouse

+WomanCraft Studio Sale

December 11th & 12st, 2009, WomanCraft Studios

+Bucktown Holiday Art Show

December 12th & 13th, 2009 Holstein Fieldhouse


The big kahuna of food festivals, The Taste of Chicago, is approaching its final days.  For those brave enough to face the 4th of July crowds, here’s a list of our favorite green and veg-head friendly booths:

#2: Soul Vegetarian East

The name says it all…You can’t go wrong.

#51: Arya Bhavan

One of our favorite Indian restaurants in the city, Arya Bhavan is 100% vegetarian.

Chef’s Table: Lovely: A Bake Shop

The sweetest cafe in town, the folks at Lovely are sure to bake up some treats.

Chef’s Table: Tipsy Cake

More sugary goodness!

For more information about The Taste, visit the city’s website, or check out this user-friendly interactive map.

green festival

What: Green Festival

Where: Navy Pier

When: Saturday – 10am – 7pm
Sunday – 11am – 6pm

The Green Festival is an all-out eco-living convention for consumers and businesses alike. There will be local and national green businesses and presentations by Amy Goodman, Alice Waters, Jim Hightower and more. To get more info about the Festival visit their website here.

Neither Irena nor I have attended in the past, but we’ll be taking a peak this weekend…and we encourage you to as well! Grab your bike and ride down this Saturday and Sunday and you’ll receive $5 off of admission. And if you do attend, please share your Green Festival discoveries with us at and we may feature them in our Festival write up next week!


We at Sprout Chicago know that Earth Day is Every Day…but for those of us looking for events to attend to commemorate the occassion, look no further than Sprout Chicago.  To see a list of local events click here.


Pierogi Picnic

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