Written By: Jessie White
For a city that has been timelessly defined by its brisk winters and chilly winter winds, Chicagoans sure know how to make the most out of its holiday season. With warm drinks, tasty indulgences, and seasonal spirits out in full force in the Windy City, it should come as no surprise that one of Chicago’s most popular annual events is the Christkindlemarket.
The Christkindlemarket is Chicago’s very own open-air German Christmas festival packed with countless reasons to pull out your favorite pair of gloves and journey to Chicago’s Daley Plaza in the Loop. Inspired by the Christkindlmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany and then enhanced with local traditions and flair, the Christkindlemarket is easily the largest open-air market of its kind in Chicago. Holding the German and European tradition strong since 1996, this year will be the market’s 24th year of bringing smiles to any interested partakers.
Perfect for a family outing, a first or hundredth date, or an easy kick-back with your friends, the Christkindlmarket is perfect for getting even the grumpiest Scrooge into the holiday spirit. Make sure you check out a few highlights of the event below to make the most out of your Christkindlemarket experience!
Hungry? No Problem!
One of the best parts of attending the Christkindlemarket each year is making sure that you head to the market with an empty stomach so that you can get a taste of all of the amazing flavors that the event has to offer. Based on numerous traditional German holiday favorites market attendees have the chance to get their hands on bavarian pretzels, fresh potato pancakes, smoked sausages and sauerkraut, and more dessert options to even name (spoiler: all delicious and made fresh to order). If you weren’t craving holiday flavors before attending you will certainly leave the market full and content having gotten a chance to taste all of your holiday cravings before the season ends.
Dress the Part!
Feeling a little cold out there while shopping for your loved ones? No problem at all, and why don’t you treat yourself while you’re at it? The Christkindlemarket will have countless vendors and local shops represented at the market that will feature holiday trinkets, hand-crafted scarves and blankets, and countless items to help warm yourself up this winter season.
Even better, the majority of these vendors are representing local businesses in the Chicago area so you’ll be supporting Chicago businesses and checking items off your gift shopping list at the same time!
Don’t Forget the Souvenir Cup!
The age-old tradition of attending the Christkindlemarket is that you go home with your stomach full and a souvenir mug from one of the many stands that sell the market’s classic mulled wine and warm drinks. The cups change every year so by attending the market you’ll be taking home a little piece of that year’s holiday season. Locals love to collect these adorable mugs and it’s not just because of the delicious flavors that they contain. Perfect for warming yourself up while perusing the market’s many gift stands, you’ll love this Chicago tradition as much as any Chicagoan attending the Christkindlemarket.
Between Dearborn, Washington, and Clark Street.
November 24th – December 24th
Sunday-Thursday: 11am to 8pm
Friday & Saturday: 11am to 9pm
*** On Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, the market will only be open till 4 pm. ***
Need Hotel Accommodations?
The Majestic Hotel
Located in the heart of Wrigleyville, accessible via Red Line train
The City Suites Hotel
In the heart of Boystown, accessible by the Red Line train
The Willows Hotel
Located at the edge of Lakeview and Lincoln Park, accessible via Brown Line train
The Ivy Hotel
Located near the Magnificent Mile in Chicago’s Loop