15 Best Christmas Markets in the USA
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 Christmas markets also include children’s activities, visits with Santa, carolers and holiday parades.
Many Christmas markets in the United States are open this year. Here are 15 top U.S. Christmas markets taking place throughout the holiday season:
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 20 to December 24.
Christkindlmarkt – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Often known as The Christmas City, Bethlehem celebrates Christmas with a large Christkindlmarkt that takes place on weekends from November 19 through December 19. Bethlehem’s Christkindlmarkt was twice named as one of the best holiday markets in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure. Christkindlmarkt vendors stock their stalls with a wide range of gifts including jewelry, pottery, candles, art, handcrafted Kathe Wohlfahrt ornaments and collectibles, gourmet food and more. There’s plenty of live Christmas music and entertainment at this Christmas market as well. It’s wise to purchase tickets for Bethlehem’s Christkindlmarkt online on the event’s webpage in advance. While you’re in Bethlehem, check out the downtown Christmas City Village holiday market located along Main Street as well. Admission to the Christmas City Village Christmas market is free of charge.
Texas Christkindl Market – Arlington, Texas
Stretching from mid-November to January 2, this German-inspired holiday market is designed to be similar to the Christkindlesmarkt in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany. 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 18 to December 24, and the Columbus Circle Holiday Market is open from November 29 through December 24.
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 26 through December 23. Special overnight Cambria Christmas Market packages with local hotel partners are available.
Christkindlmarket Chicago – Chicago, Illinois
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, 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 before Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve, and admission is free. There are two locations for this Chicago Christkindlmarket in 2021 – one at Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago and Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville at Wrigley Field, home of baseball’s Chicago Cubs.
Charlotte Christmas Village – Charlotte, North Carolina
Returning for the sixth year, this Charlotte event provides guests with unique Christmas market shopping opportunities, fabulous European fare, and a walk-through holiday experience complete with Christmas trees, a snowy winter wonderland, Christmas displays and tens of thousands of twinkling lights. Santa can be found in the Christmas Village at Truist Field every day. The Charlotte Christmas Village is open from November 24 through December 23.
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 Denver Christkindl Market is open from November 19 through December 23.
People’s Gas Holiday Market – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Modeled after traditional German Christkindlmarkts, the People’s Gas Holiday Market in downtown Market Square runs from November 19 to December 23. 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 10th 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 19 and runs continuously through December 23.
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 Wednesdays through Sundays from November 24 through December 24.
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, Breakfast with Santa Claus and Brunch with St. Nicholas and his Reindeer. The Old World Christmas Market is open daily for 10 days from early to mid-December.
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. More than 20 vendors participate in the Atlanta Christkindl Market, and admission is free of charge. The Christkindl Market is open daily from November 26 through January 2; it is closed on Christmas Day.
Christmas Village – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Stretching from Thanksgiving Day to the Sunday after Christmas, Philadelphia’s Christmas Village features thousands of sparkling lights, a huge Christmas tree, and nearly 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 two German Beer Garden areas in 2021. The market is open from November 25 through December 24.
By Nancy Schretter, Contributing Editor
Header Christkindlmarket Chicago Photo Credit: Abel Arciniega