Every winter, many travelers’ thoughts turn to Europe and the traditional Christmas Markets that dot the map from Finland to the Mediterranean, and from the Baltics to the British Isles. But where is the American Christkindl Market? As immigrants settled in the United States, they naturally brought traditions with them. Somehow, though, the Christkindlmarkt didn’t quite catch on like it did in the homelands. At least, not at first.
An American Christkindl Market
For several years now, many American cities have been bringing a little bit of Europe home for the holidays. When you’re ready for festive holiday cheer and a warm mug of Glühwein, without the cost of transatlantic air fare, we have just the ticket: An American Christkindl Market! While there are many holiday celebrations and markets around the country, these are our favorite traditional Christmas Markets. They’re also some of the country’s largest and, best of all, they all have the very affordable admission price of free!
Arlington (Dallas-Fort Worth)
Get a Texas-sized helping of holiday cheer this year at the Texas Christkindl Market! Since its inception, the Texas Christkindl Market has been one of the few American pop-up locations for Kathe Wohlfahrt stores, making it a destination for collectors. The Market also features a Kinder Club, with activities for the small ones, along with live entertainment nightly, and dozens of artists and vendors from across the country. The festivities take place daily in the North Plaza of Globe Life Field.
2022 Dates: 25 November through 23 December 2022
Website: Texas Christkindl Market
Nearby Attractions: AT&T Stadium, Texas Live!, Arlington Esports Stadium and Six Flags over Texas
Closest Hotels: Live! by Loews is the on-site hotel for events in Arlington’s sports/entertainment district. The Sheraton Arlington Hotel is within walking distance.
Chicagoland’s own Christmas Market celebrates its 26th Anniversary this year! Christkindlmarket Chicago welcomes revelers to Daley Plaza to wandering amongst the shops, explore vendors’ products from all around the world, and enjoy authentic German fare with a reservation at the Stammtisch in the Heated Timber Haus. The beloved Kinder Club festivities also return.
The Christkindlemarket’s satellite location in Wrigleyville returns also, as part of Winterland at Gallagher Way. Enjoy ice skating, holiday movies, and much more for the whole family.
This year, a third Christkindlmarket opens in Aurora, in RiverEdge Park. Additional details will be available in November.
2022 Dates: 18 November through 24 December
Website: Christkindlmarkt Chicago
Nearby Attractions: Magnificent Mile, Millennium Park, Navy Pier
Closest Hotel: The Cambria Hotel & Suites Chicago Magnificent Mile is almost literally across the street from the Daley Plaza market, though almost any hotel inside the Loop would be in walking distance.
Wrigleyville Winterland at Gallagher Way
2022 Dates: 18 November through 31 December
2022 Dates: 18 November through 24 December
Denver’s Authentic Christkindlmarket has won the Denver A-List Award for Best Festival every year it’s been open. It’s easy to see why! The annual Market offers a wintery dose of Gemuetlichkeit: fun, festivities, and holiday cheer, complete with food, entertainment, and plenty of “shopportunities.” Exploring the market, with gifts and goods from across Europe and Colorado, is a highlight of the season. Then there’s the food, with everything from gourmet German dishes to sweets and treats, and even Kinderpunsch, a non-alcoholic Glüwein, for the kids.
2022 Dates: 18 November through 23 December
Location: Civic Center Park on 14th Avenue, between Bannock and Broadway in the Capital Hill neighborhood.
Website: Christkindl Market Denver
Nearby Attractions: Denver’s Christkindlmarket is adjacent to the Colorado State Capital, and across the street from the Denver Art Museum. The Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, and the History Colorado Center are also nearby. The “Do Not Miss” Money Museum at the Federal Reserve is a 15 minute walk away.
Closest Hotels: Hilton’s Curio Collection Art Hotel Denver is the closest hotel to the Christkindl Market. Sheraton Denver Downtown is also about two blocks away.
New York, New York
The city so nice they named it twice is home to at least four great holiday markets that have become local traditions and international attractions. You’ll find the markets sprinkled amongst iconic holiday sights like the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center, window displays on 5th Avenue, and the Radio City Rockettes.
Union Square Holiday Market
Begun in 1994, the Union Square Holiday Market has become a holiday institution in the Big Apple, drawing more than a million visitors every year with the promise of unique gifts, festive foods, and holiday cheer. Grab a warm beverage and some tasty treats to enjoy as you stroll among the rows of candy-cane striped tents filled with decorations of every description, and more gift ideas than you can imagine. Some are imported from around the world, others crafted by the very merchant you’re talking to, ranging from home beer brewing kits to handmade scarves and accessories to…well, with 160 vendors, there is too much to list here! Look with vendors with the Artisan’s Pledge, meaning goods are 100% handmade in the USA, organic-certified, Fairtrade-certified, or recycled, reused, or vintage items.
2022 Dates: 17 November through 24 December
Website: Union Square Holiday Market
Columbus Circle Holiday Market
Nearby at historic Central Park, the Columbus Circle Holiday Market has earned a reputation as one of the most elegant and beautiful places for holiday shopping. Within it’s striped stalls are gourmet bites from around the world, and handmade gifts by some of the city’s finest designers and artisans, all in one of the most iconic New York settings: Winter in Central Park. Need more? The market is just across the street from even more incredible shopping at Time Warner Center and the Shops at Columbus Circle. One could easily knock out all of their holiday shopping, get an eyeful of people-watching, and see some of the city’s best decorations, and all in one place. (Holiday Under the Stars features a dozen 14-foot stars hanging from the ceiling of Time Warner Center’s 150-foot Great Room). You’ll find vendors displaying the Artisan’s Pledge here, too.
2022 Dates: 28 November through 24 December
Website: Columbus Circle Holiday Market
Holiday Shops at Bryant Park
Fancy a stroll through a European-style open air market? The Winter Village at Bryant Park is home to the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park starting on Halloween. The Holiday Shops feature more than 170 shopping kiosks and food vendors offering exquisite gifts including local foods, distinctive apparel and jewelry, and decorative arts from international artisans. Take a break from shopping at the free, 17,000-square-foot ice-skating rink (skate rentals are $20). Or grab a pint and a meal, and warm your bones, in the food hall.
2022 Dates: 28 October through 2 January 2023
Location: Bryant Park on Sixth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets.
Website: Holiday Shops at Bryant Park
Grand Central Terminal Holiday Fair
“Meet me at the clock” has been a common invitation in New York for generations. During the holidays, that’s where you’ll meet the city’s longest-running indoor holiday markets, the Grand Central Terminal Holiday Fair. Every year, the market takes over half of the historic Vanderbilt Hall with artwork, clothing and accessories, toys, and home goods. If you’re arriving in New York by train, this is a great first stop for holiday spirit. Don’t miss the towering, bejeweled Christmas Tree, and the New York Transit Museum’s Holiday Train Show in the Transit Museum Gallery & Store. Perhaps best of all, this Christmas Market is indoors, so you can warm up after visiting some of the city’s other markets.
2022 Dates: 14 November through 24 December
strong>Location:Grand Central Terminal on 42nd Street at Park Avenue, in Vanderbilt Hall
Website: Grand Central Terminal
All of these markets are centrally located in Manhattan. That means you can mix your Christmas market visits with all of the city’s sightseeing, fun, shows and shopping! See Hotels.com accommodations in Manhattan for some ideas on where to stay.
Pittsburgh puts on a holiday spectacular that rivals pretty much any display! Light Up Night kicks off the holidays with lights, trees, festivities, and fireworks! Then the Peoples Gas Holiday Market in Market Square takes over with outdoor holiday shopping in an illuminated Market Square. The Christmas Market is open seven days a week until Christmas Eve (except for Thanksgiving Day), featuring local artisans and vendors from around the world in charming wooden chalets.
2022 Dates: Dates pending; usually near Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve.
Location: PPG Place, downtown Pittsburgh on Stanwix Street between Third and Fourth Avenues
Website: Light Up Night Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown Pittsburgh Holidays
Nearby Attractions: The Pittsburgh Creche is the only authorized, full-sized replica of the Nativity Scene at St. Peter’s Bassilica. It is on display at the US Steel Tower from Light Up Night until the Epiphany (January 6th, 2021). Nearby, at Point State Park, are Fort Duquesne, Fort Pitt Blockhouse, and Fort Pitt Museum, at the confluence of the Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongahela Rivers. The Andy Warhol Museum is just across the Allegheny (on the Andy Warhol Bridge) from the Downtown Cultural District. The famous Three Rivers Stadium (now Heinz Field) is nearby also.
Closest Hotels: Town Place by Bridgestreet and Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh Downtown are both within a block of PPG Place, and are convenient to downtown and the Three Rivers area.
There’s already a lot to see and do in DC. During the holidays, you can do a different sort of sightseeing at the Downtown Holiday Market in Penn Quarter, between the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. It’s a unique and festive shopping “village” with more than 180 regional artisans, crafters, and boutiques. Fabulous food and live entertainment make for a fun, festive atmosphere for the whole family. Many publications have named this market as one of the top Christmas Markets in the USA!
2022 Dates: 18 November through 23 December
Location: Penn Quarter: F Street NW in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery, between 7th and 9th Streets, NW.
Nearby Attractions: The Downtown Holiday Market is just off the National Mall, and less than a mile from the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse across from the White House.
Closest Hotels: While there are plenty of great hotels in DC, the Kimpton Hotel Monaco is literally across the street. Can’t beat a short walk during a Washington winter!
Ready for a southern Christkindl Market? Atlanta celebrates the holidays at the Buckhead Village District, the new home for Atlanta’s Christkindl Market. While it may be as Southern as it gets, it is still has very German roots, complete with authentic German food and beverages, seasonal sweets, artisan gifts, and a Kathy Wohlfarht pop up store.
2022 Dates: 25 November through 24 December
Location: Buckhead Village District at Bolling Way and, you guessed it, Peachtree Road
Website: Atlanta Christkindl Market
Nearby Attractions: Buckhead Village District is a destination in itself, with high end shopping and establishments. Lenox Square is just a mile-and-a-half away on Peachtree Road. It’s a ten-minute drive to the Atlanta Botanical Garden or High Museum of Art. A little further, the Martin Luther King Jr National Historical Park is just under 10 miles away.
Closest Hotels: There are dozens of great hotels in the Buckhead area. Two of the closest to Atlanta Christkindl Market are the St. Regis Atlanta, and our favorite in Buckhead, the Kimpton Sylvan Hotel.
Where are your favorite holiday markets and festivals? Please let us know with a comment below, or link to your favorite holiday market blog post. Happy Holidays!
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