If you're looking for some great gift ideas for the holidays, skip Black Friday and forget about Cyber Monday. In the Chicago area, you can find some unique gifts and cool presents at the many area bazaars, gift shows and shopping events that have been set up to support local animal rescue. There's lots of hand-crafted items, cool art, jewelry, fun gently used items and so much more that can help you wrap up your Christmas shopping without getting into a frenzy.
Here's a peek at some places that will give you some unique gifts while you help cats and dogs in need.
Through Christmas Eve
Online - Downers Grove-based Wet Nose Pet Food Pantry will be holding an online fundraiser for the pantry that features wreaths, swags, garland and baskets. If you use the club code WNPET at check out, the Pantry will benefit. This fundraiser runs through Christmas Eve.
Through December 31
Chicago – This event extends way past Black Friday and to the end of the year. Shop until you drop for the benefit of the animals rescued by Famous Fido Rescue and Adoption Alliance at 5430 North Clark Street in Andersonville. From now until the end of the year, the rescue will have a Holiday Shopping and Gift Bazaar just inside the front of the store with proceeds benefiting the medical bills of the animals in their care.
Through the holidays
Online - Looking for some great wine to serve during your holiday entertaining? Toast the holidays with some great, organic vegan wine that also supports animal rescue. Benefit wines is hosting a fundraiser for Lulu’s Locker Rescue. Each of the wines has a photo of one of the pets rescued by Lulu’s Locker on the bottle. A percentage of the proceeds benefits Lulu's Locker. (If you do tackle Black Friday, some wine afterwards does come in handy.)
Saturday, November 30
Evanston – Time to shop until you drop while helping the animals in need at the Evanston Animal Shelter at the Holiday C.A.R.E. Faire. Bring your pet to have their photo taken with Santa, stock up on home baked goodies, join the cooking walk and buy gifts for your friends.
Sunday, December 1
Chicago - This is a yummy way to help the animals. Famous Fido Rescue is holding an old fashioned Holiday Bake Sale and pet photo event to help raise funds for their veterinary fund. The event will be at Unity Lutheran Church at 1212 West Balmoral from 1 to 4 p.m. Pet photos will be taken by Petraits Pet Photography
Friday, December 6 – Sunday, December 8
Chicago – Check out some of the unique shops in Bucktown/Wicker Park for holiday shopping and help raise money for Tree House Humane Society at the same time. Look for participating Shop for Good businesses. Shop for holiday gifts. Ask for a duplicate receipt and write – Tree House Humane Society on the receipt before dropping in the Shop for Good receipt box and they’ll get 10 percent of the proceeds.
Friday, December 6 – Saturday, December 7
Oak Park – This is the grand-doggy of all pet holiday bazaars – the 28th Annual Holiday Bazaar for the Animal Care League at 6930 Roosevelt Road. This is the must go to shopping even for pet lovers. There are great gifts – a little of something for all – a bake sale and photos with Santa. Friday’s event is from 3 to 9 p.m. and Saturday is 9 to 3 with photos with Santa from 10 to 2. Unwind after Saturday's event at the First Annual Night Lights event at the 2nd Chance shop at 808 Harrison from 7 to 9. Shop at the store and unwind with hot cocoa and music.
Saturday, December 7 – Sunday, December 8
Green Oaks - If you’re looking for some true one of a kind gifts for the holidays, check out some of the cool artwork available at Artists for Animals. The show benefits Orphans of the Storm featuring glass, jewelry, fabric, photographers and more runs from 10 am until 5 pm at 14084 Glenwood Court.
Naperville – More shopping fun with lots of hand-crafted items, jewelry, scarves and more at the Naperville Humane Society’s Third Annual Bazaar and Open House. The event will be at the shelter at 1620 West Diehl Road from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and noon until 3 on Sunday.
Friday, December 6
Chicago – Eat, Drink and Shop until you drop at Late Night Andersonville and stop by Tree House for Holiday Meows. There will be great shopping and dining deals in the neighborhood. Visit Tree House in uptown for tours, treats and drinks, shelter tours and reduced adoption rates of $50 help decorate for Lights of Love.
Saturday, December 7
Grayslake - Stop by Save-A-Pet between noon and 4 p.m. for their 41st annual holiday open house. Lots of Crafts, bake sale items, pet gift baskets, raffles and pet photos with Santa. Also, a pet blessing at 2 p.m.
Waukegan - Join local artisans at the Karcher Art Lofts for the 1st Annual Karcher Kinder Fest from noon until 6 at 405 Washington. There will be lots of local hand-crafted gifts, music, creative craft workshops for the kids and pet photos with Santa Paws. Waukegan Animals Getting Saved (PAWS) will be handling the pet photos.
Chicago - CARF will hold it's Holiday Boutique at the West Village Veterinary Center at 840 North Western from 3 to 5 p.m. Items available include pet beds, wine glasses, pottery, stockings, handmade beauty products and more. And, there will also be an adoption event for the cats and kittens at the same time.
Chicago Heights - Stop by the South Suburban Humane Society for an open house. There will be lots of great merchandise on sale to benefit the rescue. Don't forget - pet photos with Santa. The event is from noon until five at the shelter at 1103 West End Avenue.
Wednesday, December 11 and Thursday, December 12
Chicago - BMO Harris Bank at 111 West Monroe is hosting a Holiday Bazaar from 11 to 2 p.m. Lots of great holiday gifts at this celebration to support local non-profits. The Anti-Cruelty Society will be there to sell merchandise including pet toys, holiday cards and more.
Saturday, December 14 and Sunday, December 15
Chicago - Friends of Chicago Animal Care and Control (FCACC) are hosting a Happy Howlidays Boutique featuring high fashion dog and cat accessories and lots of great pet toys. The boutique will be located at Chicago Animal Care and Control, 2741 S. Western Avenue from noon until 5 both days. There will be photos with Santa until 3 and fellow ChicagoNow Blogger and pet expert Steve Dale will be there from noon until 2 on Saturday.
Chicago - Found Chicago is going to be the recipient of the 15th Annual Bucktown Holiday Artshow's silent auction! Held at Holstein Park Field House from noon to 5pm at the Bucktown Holiday Artshow is full of one-of-a-kind gifts and original wrks of art. More than 100 artists participate using all kinds of media so you are sure to find the perfect holiday gift for that someone special.
Saturday, December 14
Chicago - Many years ago, this little animal shelter in my old neighborhood had this lighting ceremony a few weeks before Christmas that was really fund to attend. Well, Tree House Humane Society has grown leaps and bounds and the Lights of Love is no longer a little event - it's the organization's biggest fundraiser that includes a holiday bazaar, bake sale, shelter tours, food, entertainment and a lighting ceremony (and a reading of the rainbow bridge in honor of our pets that have left us). It's still very fun to attend and admission is a suggested donation of just $5 (or a bag of food for the pantry) and the event is from 4 to 8 p.m. with the lighting at 6 p.m. Donate in honor or memory of your pet here.
Friday, December 20
Chicago – Do some last minute shopping at the second Late Night Andersonville and stop by Tree House for Holiday Meows. There will be great shopping and dining deals in the neighborhood. Visit Tree House in uptown for tours, treats and drinks, shelter tours and reduced adoption rates of $50 and to check out all the great decorations from lights of love.
The Elves from The Anti-Cruelty Society will be at the Barnes & Noble at Webster Place again this holiday season to help you wrap up your great holiday presents. Mark Saturday, December 7 and Monday, December 23 from 9:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. on your calendar. Then, stop in, make a donation to The Anti-Cruelty Society and have the elves do the hard work while you shop some more or enjoy a hot drink.
Oops did I miss your group? If your group has a holiday shopping event planned this month (online or in person), feel free to email me the info at email@example.com. Subscribe below and you'll get an update Sunday of all the great holiday pet events slated for next week. And, you'll be able to see some of the other holiday stories as well.