At the start of the holiday season, Christmas markets begin to pop up across Germany. These festivities carry on a centuries-old tradition by offering delicious food, entertainment, and the sale of handicrafts like wood figurines, nutcrackers, and tin tree ornaments. One of the very first Christmas markets was held in Vienna, Austria, in 1298. Back then, the festival was called the December Market. Today, Christmas markets are held in many places around the world, including cities across the U.S., bringing joy and good cheer to families during the chilly winter months.
Chicago, Illinois (Nov. 15 – Dec. 24)
Since 1996, Chicago has hosted an authentic German-style Christmas market open to adults and children of all ages. Christkindlmarket can be found at Daley Plaza and offers everything from music and performances to bratwurst and hot spiced wine. Visitors can enjoy vendors’ products from around the world, and admission is always free.
Union Square Holiday Market
New York, New York (Nov. 21 – Dec. 24)
With so much to do and see, visitors can easily spend an entire day exploring the Union Square Holiday Market. Situated in the heart of Manhattan, the internationally renowned festival features unique gifts by artists and crafters, live musical performances, and a children’s craft studio.
Old World Christmas Market
Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (Dec. 6-15)
Each year, the Old World Christmas Market at The Osthoff Resort draws in more than 10,000 guests. Under thousands of twinkling white lights, shoppers browse specialty items like Russian nesting dolls and Czech blown-glass ornaments while enjoying tasty German fare.
Christmas Village in Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Nov. 28 – Dec. 24)
Modeled after the traditional Christmas markets in Germany, the Christmas Village in Philadelphia offers more than 80 booths that sell international holiday gifts, arts and crafts, jewelry, and traditional European food and drinks. You can find the market located at Love Park.
Denver Christkindl Market
Denver, Colorado (Nov. 22 – Dec. 23)
When you’re not at home enjoying the crisp, cool air while snuggled up near your patio heater, walk the mesmerizing streets of the Denver Christkindl Market. The annual event features a series of charming wooden huts that sell handcrafted gifts and holiday treats. Once you’re finished shopping, head over to the Festival Hall for live entertainment.
European Christmas Market
Saint Paul, Minnesota (Dec. 6-22)
The European Christmas Market takes place over three weekends in December and is located at the East Plaza at Union Depot. The free event has an open-air concept like the traditional Christmas markets in Germany. Stop by for a handmade holiday decoration or a glass of glühwein (mulled wine).
Cincinnati, Ohio (Nov. 22-24)
On the weekend before Thanksgiving, guests can enjoy one of the area’s oldest and most authentic German Christmas markets. Mark your calendar for next year to experience the holiday entertainment, traditional German food and music, petting zoo, carriage rides, and children’s lantern parade.
Texas Christkindl Market
Arlington, Texas (Nov. 29 – Dec. 22)
Each year, the Texas Christkindl Market gets bigger and better. This year, guests can expect many authentic German traditions, including handcrafted holiday gifts for sale, music, and decorations. There’s also an ice rink open to the public until Jan. 12. The free, family-friendly event hosts more than 20 holiday vendors, and opening night always features a tree-lighting celebration.