CHRISTMAS MARKETS TAKE PLACE ACROSS THE UNITED STATES EACH YEAR, PROVIDING A FESTIVE WAY TO SHOP FOR HOLIDAY GIFTS AND CELEBRATE THE SEASON
Christmas markets are traditionally held in some of Europe’s most enchanting cities and towns. Americans can also enjoy this festive yuletide experience closer to home. Strolling through these U.S. Christmas markets is a wonderful way to get in the holiday spirit while shopping for unique gifts and sampling delicious foods from around the world.
Christmas markets are held in cities and towns across the United States each year. Often designed to be similar to European Christmas markets, these popular holiday events feature beautifully decorated vendor booths, mulled wine, local and international arts and crafts, holiday foods, twinkling lights, glass ornaments, handmade gifts and toys, and much more. Some of these European-style Christmas markets also include entertainment, children’s activities, visits with Santa, carolers and holiday parades.
Families can enjoy the festive atmosphere at these Christmas markets in the U.S. from November through the holiday season. Here are 15 of the best Christmas markets taking place in the United States this year:
Christmas Village – Baltimore, Maryland
Located in Baltimore’s popular Inner Harbor area, Christmas Village features over 50 wooden booths with local and international vendors such as Kathe Wohlfahrt selling Christmas ornaments, handmade jewelry, toys, apparel, and arts and crafts from around the world. There’s plenty of delicious European food, too. Christmas market visitors can sample Lebkuchen, Stollen, bratwursts, German mulled wine and traditional beers, roasted nuts, French crepes, holiday chocolates and other treats. Special events such as beer flight tastings, wine tastings and other activities are also held throughout the holiday season. Baltimore’s Christmas Village is open from November 18 to December 24, 2023, and admission is free of charge to the public on the weekdays. There is a small charge for adults to enter the heated festival tent area on some weekend days.
Christkindlmarkt – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Often known as The Christmas City, Bethlehem celebrates Christmas with a large Christkindlmarkt that takes place on weekends from November 17 through December 17, 2023. Bethlehem’s Christkindlm
Texas Christkindl Market – Arlington, Texas
Stretching from November 24 through December 23, 2023, this German-inspired holiday market is designed to be similar to the Christkindlesmarkt in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Arlington’s partner Christmas city. Christmas market visitors can enjoy authentic German fare, holiday drinks, an appealing Kinder Market for children featuring puppet shows and gingerbread house decorating, and shopping for handmade gifts and holiday home decor items. The Texas Christkindl Market also features a variety of craft-making demonstrations, children’s parades and other events.
Union Square Holiday Market & Columbus Circle Holiday Market – New York City, New York
New York City’s massive Union Square Holiday Market features over 150 vendors selling all kinds of gift items including jewelry, handbags, candles, gourmet food products, artwork, food and drinks. There’s something for everyone here and at other Christmas markets around New York City. Set at the entrance to New York City’s Central Park, the Columbus Circle Holiday Market offers a wide array of jewelry, art, crafts and artisan gifts. Delectable food and drink items are available as well, including German Gluhwein and bratwurst. The Union Square Holiday Market is open from November 16 to December 24, and the Columbus Circle Holiday Market is open from November 28 through December 31, 2023.
Cambria Christmas Market – Cambria, California
The Cambria Christmas Market is modeled after the open-air “Weihnachtsmarkts” that are held in Germany and Austria. The festive event features over two million Christmas lights, vendors selling locally made artisan gifts and imported German handcrafted items, musical entertainment, visits from Santa, German dinners and holiday treats. Sanitation stations are located throughout the property. The Cambria Christmas Market is open from November 24 through December 23, 2023. Special overnight Cambria Christmas Market packages with local hotel partners are available.
Christkindlmarket Chicago – Chicago, Illinois
Celebrating its 26th anniversary in 2022, this large open-air Christmas market has become a popular Chicago tradition. Visitors will enjoy shopping for traditional German products, handmade ornaments, jewelry, wooden handicrafts, toys, clothes and other items. Foods and beverages are a hit here including Gluhwein (hot German spiced wine), candies, pastries and roasted nuts. Children can join the Kinder Club to receive free Kinder Club passports and participate in on-site activities. Christkindlmarket Chicago is open daily from November 17 through Christmas Eve, and admission is free. There are three locations for this Chicago Christkindlmarket in 2022 – one at Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago, the second in Aurora, and the Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville at Wrigley Field, home of baseball’s Chicago Cubs. The Aurora Christkindlmarket is open from November 17 through December 24, and Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville is open from November 17 through December 31, 2023.
Christkindl Market – Denver, Colorado
Organized by the German American Chamber of Commerce and the German Cultural Foundation, Denver’s Christkindl Market has been operating for more than 20 years. This traditional Christmas market features live music, craft vendors from Germany and other parts of Europe, demonstrations and events. Authentic German foods are offered such as rostbratwuerste, Lebkuchen, roasted chestnuts and almonds, baked apples, Stollen, marzipan bread and other items. The nation’s largest digital Christmas tree, the Mile High Tree by VISIT DENVER, is located at the Denver Christkindl Market this year. The Denver Christkindl Market is open from November 17 through December 23, 2023.
Peoples Gas Holiday Market – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Modeled after traditional German Christkindlmarkts, the People’s Gas Holiday Market in downtown Market Square runs from November 17 to December 23, 2023. The People’s Gas Holiday Market has been voted the Best Holiday Market in the U.S. in the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. This holiday market features live entertainment and Alpine-style wooden chalets brimming with artisan-made gifts, ornaments, and traditional food and drink items. Celebrating its 12th anniversary this year, the Christmas market features an ice skating rink, the world’s only approved replica of the Vatican’s Nativity Scene, and a Holiday KidsPlay Selfie Garden and a Santa Zoom experience for kids.
Downtown Holiday Market – Washington D.C.
Each year, this holiday market brings the Christmas spirit to the heart of Washington, D.C. Stretching along F Street NW near the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, this Christmas shopping village features artisans, businesses, crafters and more. Offerings include textiles, jewelry, pottery clothing, gifts and delectable food items from more than 70 different exhibitors. The Downtown Holiday Market opens on November 17 and runs continuously through December 23, 2023.
Carmel Christkindlmarkt – Carmel, Indiana
Designed as an authentic open-air German Christmas market, the Carmel Christkindlmarkt has been visited by over half a million people since its opening. The Carmel Christkindlmarkt was named the Best Holiday Market in the 2019 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. The Christkindlmarkt features wooden huts with vendors selling products and handcrafted gifts sourced from Germany and other German-speaking European nations. German mulled wine, German beers and delicious foods are served. The Carmel Christkindlmarkt traditionally hosts renowned woodworkers from the Ore Mountains region of Germany who provide demonstrations of their craft. Character appearances and special events are held at the Carmel Christkindlmarkt throughout the yuletide season. Carmel’s holiday market is open Thursdays through Sundays from November 18 through December 24, 2023. Some special hours of operation are available on certain dates this year. Check the event’s website for more details.
Old World Christmas Market – Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Named as one of the Top 100 Events in North America by the American Bus Association, this traditional Christmas market is held at The Osthoff Resort – an elegant family-friendly AAA Four Diamond property. Visitors can shop for authentic European gifts and ornaments, toys and a wide variety of handicrafts. Traditional German foods are served. In addition to the market, this event features kid-pleasing activities such as horse-drawn wagon rides, ornament making, cookie decorating, Breakfast with Santa Claus and Brunch with St. Nicholas and his Reindeer. The Old World Christmas Market is open daily from December 1 through December 10, 2023.
Atlanta Christkindl Market – Atlanta, Georgia
Hosted at The Buckhead Village District, this traditional Christmas market features authentic German food and beverages, unique holiday gifts and yuletide activities including pictures with Santa. There’s space for more than 50 vendors to participate in the Atlanta Christkindl Market, and admission is free of charge. The Christkindl Market is open from November 17 to November 19, and daily from November 24 through December 24, 2023.
Christmas Village – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Stretching from mid-November through Christmas Eve, Philadelphia’s Christmas Village features thousands of sparkling lights, rides, a huge Christmas tree, and around 80 vendors from all over the world set up in wooden booths at Love Park and City Hall. Visitors can shop for handmade gifts, jewelry, pottery, apparel, crafts, Christmas decorations and ornaments from Germany and around the world. Gluhwein, hot cider, hot chocolate, and an extensive variety of German foods and delicacies are served. Philadelphia’s Christmas Village has a popular German Beer Garden as well. The Christmas Village Christmas market is open from November 18 through December 24, 2023.
GREAT DICKENS CHRISTMAS FAIR – DALY CITY, CALIFORNIA
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is a different type of Christmas market, immersing visitors in the sights and sounds of Victorian London. This holiday event takes place in over 140,000 square feet of space at the Cow Palace Exhibition Halls, located just outside San Francisco. Guests will have fun strolling through the quaint city streets, interacting with hundreds of performers and Victorian characters, and shopping for unique treasures at the Holiday Handcraft Marketplace. There are also English pubs, music halls, family-friendly activities, performances and dining venues to enjoy. The Great Dickens Christmas Fair will be held on five weekends from November 18 to December 17, 2023. See the event’s website for complete details on times and ticket details.
In addition to these fifteen events, there’s a brand-new U.S. Christmas market that’s perfect for families and multigenerational groups. Set in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, iconic Mountain Lake Lodge is transformed into a “Magical Christmas Village & Marketplace” from November 24 through December 29, 2023. This festive holiday attraction at the beautiful mountaintop resort where Dirty Dancing was filmed more than 35 years ago features holiday gifts from over 75 vendors, special fare, entertainment, live music, dazzling holiday lights, ice skating, and more. In addition, Mountain Lake Lodge features a beautifully decorated Santa’s Cabin, where families can meet Santa and take family photos. Special Magic Christmas Packages are available at the resort, offering families more time to make memories at this special holiday event.
By Nancy Schretter, Contributing Editor
Header Christkindlmarket Chicago Photo Credit: Abel Arciniega