Don’t Miss These 5 Festive Christmas Markets in the US
It’s officially that time of year again, when cities ramp up the festivities and fill squares and city streets with those tiny log cabins full of sweet surprises. Yes, it’s time for Christmas markets. It’s time for eggnog, hot mulled wine, bratwurst, strudel, and pretzels. It’s time for handmade crafts and ornaments to dress your Christmas tree, and dressing up warm to wander through these delightfully European stands. Ready to find your favorite? Don’t miss these 5 festive Christmas markets in the US.
Christkindlmarket – Chicago, Illinois
Of course we have to begin with our very own Christmas market here in Chicago. The Christkindlmarket is a yearly affair that brings joy and festivity into the city.
The market, which has been around since 1995, oozes charm and quaint European tradition, and is inspired by the Christkindlmarkt of Nurenburg, Germany which began in the 16th Century.
This year, the markets begin November 19 and last until Christmas Eve. And, they’re open daily, which means you have no excuse to miss out on the festivities.
Wander through the stalls and treat yourself to a stuffed pretzel and a steaming glass of mulled wine, and pick out a few locally created gifts for your nearest and dearest and know you’re helping a small business get through the busiest time of year.
There’s even a Kinder Club for your little ones to learn all about the spirit of the season.
Christkindlmarkt – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Another fantastic market, this time in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (of all places!), the Chrstkindlmarket in this city has been named one of the top festive markets in the whole of the US.
The market has free parking, and tickets ranging from $10 to $12 for adults (kids under 5 enter for free), and inside, you’ll find up to 60 artisinal market stalls to discover Christmas the European way.
With an opening date of November 19, Christkindlmarket Bethlehem is open Friday-Sunday throughout November, and Thursday-Sunday throughout December, giving you plenty of opportunity to visit if you can. And, with food stalls pouring hot toddies and crisp, cold beers to patrons, or serving up a jumbo slice of apfelstrudel and gigantic German sausage, how could you miss out on this?
When it comes to cute gifts, this is the place to be too, as Christkindlmarket has a huge array of stalls dedicated to homemade goods. Germany’s Käthe Wohlfahrt will be making their annual appearance, and with up to 2,000 handmade items, it’ll be tough not to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones.
Finally, Saint Nick himself will be making an appearance too, so don’t forget to wrap up your kiddos and bring them along for the ride.
📍 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, PA 18015
Old World Christmas Market – Elkheart Lake, Wisconsin
This year marks the 23rd annual Old World Christmas Market at Elkheart Lake, and over its super festive 10 days, you can find all sorts of Chrstmas delights waiting for you inside their heated tent which will be stuffed full of Christmas cheer.
Old World Christmas market takes a leaf out of Czech and Russian traditions, as well as German and Turkish traditions to bring a plethora of incredible stands and stalls to tickle your fancy. Indulge in German favorites like Gluhwein, pulled pork, apple strudel and schnitzel in the Old World food court, and browse for traditional gifts including glass blown ornaments, scarves and shawls, hand-carved nutcrackers, furs and wools, and even fine chocolates.
Bringing the whole family along? There are so many special activities available for the whole family, why not book in for a horse-drawn wagon ride, cookie decorating, or even a meet and greet with Santa and his reindeer? This market may be one of the shorter on our list, but it sure makes up for it with everything that’s on offer.
📍 Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake, WI, 53020
Georgetown Christmas Market – Georgetown, Colorado
Running between 4 and 12 December from 10AM till 4pm each day, the Georgetown Christmas Market is a week long festive event that’ll thaw out even the Scroogiest family member you’ve got. Even better, there’s free admission for all, and it’s incredibly family-friendly.
With a visit from St Nick himself, as well as streets lined with dancers and carolers full of Christmas cheer, you’ll lose yourself in the twinkling lights as you wander through the powder snowed streets making your own memories of this glorious time of year.
Nibble on roasted chestnuts and apple strudel, and wander the streets with your hot toddie warming your hands. Take a horse-drawn wagon ride through the town and take in everything on offer at this traditional market that takes its cues from the Victorian era.
📍 Georgetown Christmas Market, 600 6th, Street, Georgetown, CO 80444
Union Square Holiday Market – New York City, New York
New York’s annual Christmas market opens today as luck would have it, running from 18 November up to Christmas Eve. With over 100 booths dedicated to making your Christmas spectacular, Union Square Holiday Market always outdoes itself year after year.
This is one of the largest festive markets in New York, attracting visitors from all over the world. Alongside the plethora of New York Christmas souvenirs on display and ready to buy at many a vendor here at the Holiday Market, you’ll also find artisinal gift selections that’ll blow the socks off your family come Christmas morning.
Grab yourself a warm pretzel or a juicy bratwurst and sip on a cider as you make your way around NYC’s favorite holiday market destination, and wander through the bedecked passages that lead to each glorious little stall.
📍 Union Square Park, 14th st, New York, NY 10011
Honorable Mention – The Great Dickens Christmas Fair – San Fran, California
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is the talk of the town each year that it arrives in San Fransisco. However, last year looked pretty different, as you might have guessed, with the fair taking place online. This year, this unique Christmas market becomes even more exclusive, as Red Barn Productions, the makers of this incredible fair, are bringing a festive drive-thru to life.
Drive Thru Dickens London has limited dates, running December 4-5, 11-12, & 18-19, and tickets are currently online. If you fancy seeing Dickensian London from the comfort of your own vehicle, now’s the chance to snap up a few tickets and get comfy.
This is an incredible way to keep the magic of Christmas alive whilst taking care to follow all Covid-19 rules and restrictions. And we think it’s pretty cool.
Are you visiting any of these Christmas markets in the coming months? Let us know which one is your favorite, and add your own personal favorite in a comment below if we’ve missed it out.