Smile Politely

Holiday Market premiere 2015

The warm days of summer are rapidly becoming just a memory as fall has taken hold in Central Illinois, but the days of fresh market produce are far from over.  Market at the Square ended last week, but C-U is committed to year round markets! So, this weekend the Urbana Business Association’s Holiday Market will premiere indoors at Lincoln Square Mall. This market will run 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. November 14th through December 19th. Holiday Market is kind of a misnomer as a title, because when I hear holiday market I think craft fairs and cinnamon scented pinecones, not farmer’s market produce. But this holiday market is actually a mash up of both. You can find produce, handmade goods, and local artisan produced goods. While smaller than the Market at the Square, the Holiday Market is still worth a look. In the past the market was pretty small, but it has grown quite a bit in recent years so it might be worth a second look if you haven’t been in a while. For opening week, the market is anticipating 60 vendors, so it is worth going to check out.

The Holiday Market generally has quite a bit of produce in the earlier weeks before the winter frost sets in, so you can still get all the seasonal items featured at Market at the Square last weekend. This week will feature sweet potatoes, winter squashes, cabbage, lettuce, and cauliflower. Winter favorites such as kale and swiss chard should also be available, along with pumpkin and other cold weather crops. Local meat, egg, and cheese vendors from Prairie Fruits Farm and Triple S Farm also are for sale at the holiday market, so there are lots of choices for upcoming holiday feasts. One of the best parts of the Holiday Market is the variety of baked goods. The summer market does have baked goods, but the indoor market has lots of seasonal yummies and sweet treats for holiday parties and occasions (or just because you feel like it!).

The market also features many vendors who sell handmade items and crafts.  Some of the things I like to shop for at the holiday market are one of kind toys and items for kids. In past years, the sock monkeys and felted animals have been a big hit, as well as unique cold weather clothes items in bright kid friendly patterns. The market also features some photography and art vendors who are local artisans and are worth a look.  I always look forward to seeing the variety of vendors each year, as there is usually something new, and some old favorites.

One of the special features of the holiday market is that Santa comes to visit the every year. Starting the weekend after Thanksgiving, Santa will be available for photos from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market will also feature Christmas carols sung by local community groupse very weekend in December. If you are a Christmas music aficionado, this is definitely the place to be. I was hoping to see some other winter holidays incorporated into the events schedule, but perhaps the sponsors will add some events as the season goes on. 


Payments: Similar to the Market at the Square, most vendors accept cash. A few may take personal check or credit cards, but that is less likely. There is an ATM in Lincoln Square Mall if you run out of cash.

Parking: Parking is available for free at all the lots surrounding Lincoln Square Mall. 

For more information about the Holiday Market, visit the Urbana Business Association’s website

C-U at the Market!

The Holiday Market runs from November 14th to December 19th from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine, in Lincoln Square Mall.

Related Articles