Christmas Markets USA
Everyone who has visited a Christmas Market in Germany knows how romantic these markets are. Of course it is cold, sometimes it snows, sometimes it rains.
But every Christmas Market has a remedy for cold hands and feet: Gluehwein or Mulled wine. For almost 1 month the Christmas markets or also “Christkindl Markets” or “Weihnachtsmarkt” are being held mostly in the center of the cities on a huge place, that used to be common market place. During the summer and fall you would buy local produce and crafts there, but before Christmas for 24 days in December you can buy local Christmas crafts and gifts and enjoy local delicatessen like Thueringer Bratwurst, Schupfnudeln, Reibekuchen and the hot wine. The flavor of gingerbread, fried bratwurst and potato pancakes is int he cold air. Some cities even have the Christmas market booths gathered around their local castle or church. That’s the scene in Germany. What about the scene in the USA?
The most popular and biggest Christmas Market is the one in Chicago. Let’s start with this one.
Chicago – November 24 – December 24
The Christkindlmarket in Chicago is the largest and most renowned Christmas market in the United States, attracting more than one million visitors annually from the Chicagoland area, across the US, and around the world. This yearly event, which has taken place since 1996, celebrates the city’s friendship with Nuremberg, home to one of Germany’s most famous traditional Christmas markets, with traditional German specialties, music, and decorations. The official grand opening festivities on November 27 even feature the Christkind from Nuremberg. (The market opens beforehand for two “sneek peak” days on November 25-26.)
Harmony, PA – November 13-14
Historic Harmony Weihnachtsmarkt
Admission includes all-day access to a market, museum, entertainment and horse drawn wagon rides. Proceeds benefit nonprofit Historic Harmony, the local historical society and preservation advocate, and its Harmony Museum operations. For a new antiques show and sale, dealers from throughout Western Pennsylvania and Ohio have come together in a Weihnachsmarkt first in 2010 to offer hundreds of extraordinary items. This market also includes a Biergarten; hot pretzels; hands-on activities and demonstrations; crafts for kids to make and take home; local spinners and weavers demonstrating time-honored arts; and a quilting program.
Visitors can find out more about Harmony’s history anytime of year by visiting the Harmony Museum. Exhibit rooms in the 200-year-old main museum building, now decorated for the holiday season, are open for self-guided tours. Museum exhibits interpret the area’s history, which includes Harmony’s 1804 founding by freedom-seeking Germans.
Cincinnati, OH – November 19-21
Presented by the Germania Society, this Christmas market celebrating its 12th anniversary in 2009 features crafts, entertainment and traditional food, including full dinners, all under a covered, closed and heated pavilion at Germania Park, as well as free carriage rides.
Akron, OH – November 26 - December 30
Akron Christkindl Market
Twelve charming cottages house some 40 vendors – including craftsmen, entertainers and chefs – from Chemnitz, Germany, Akron’s sister city, and feature handcrafted wares, including Moravian stars, Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) arts and crafts, and hand-blown glass ornaments as well as seasonal fare.
Dayton, OH – December 4-5
Celebrate Christmas at the Dayton Christmas market featuring hand-crafted ornaments and gift items, German food and beverages, a Christmas raffle, and concerts by the Dayton Liederkranz children’s, women’s, and men’s choirs.
New York City, NY (through Christmas Eve)
Union Square Holiday Market (November 25 – December 24)
Visitors are invited to linger at German Christmas stands at two holiday markets in New York City featuring imported gifts and treats from Germany, including hot winter drinks, gingerbread cookies, the famous Dresden-style Stollen cakes and chocolate advent calendars and Christmas cards. New in 2009 at the Union Square market: German Bratwurst from: German Delights
New York City, NY – December 4
Zion St. Mark’s
A one-day indoor market held at the Zion St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church at 339 East 84th Street in New York also features traditional German Lebkuchen, Christstollen, cookies, ornaments, hot beverages, including coffee and Glühwein, and more.
New York City, NY – November/December
Also recommend by the German General Consulate in New York:
The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park
Christmas in Little Italy
Philadelphia, PA – November 27 – December 24
Started in 2008 with some 150,000 visitors and continued again in 2009, Christmas Village is coming back to Philadelphia’s Dilworth Plaza on the west side of City Hall in 2010. Vendors in more than 50 wooden booths and timber houses which form a medieval village will sell European food, sweets and drinks as well as international seasonal holiday gifts, ornaments and high quality arts and crafts. Thousands of lights at booths and trees will integrate Dilworth Plaza into the scenery of the illuminated city hall. A central stage will be the place for live performances of local choirs, orchestras and bands. (Opens for a sneak peek on November 25, 2010.)
Leavenworth, WA – November 26-28
Leavenworth Bavarian Village
Visitors come back year after year for the famous Leavenworth Christmas Lighting Festival, held in the “Bavarian Village.” Everyone gathers at dusk to sing Silent Night and witness the lighting of the village as it is transformed into a magical wonderland of lights. Booths with holiday fare and a variety of music and entertainment round out the festival.
Helen, GA – November 26-28 and December 4-5
Helen, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the Chattahoochee River, is a re-creation of an alpine village complete with cobblestone alleys and old-world towers. Helen invites you to “come do your Christmas shopping in the festive atmosphere of our Alpine Village decorated for the season.”
Fort Wayne, IN – November 26 – December 12
Festival of Gingerbread
Held at The History Center each year during the holiday season, the annual Festival of Gingerbread features hundreds of gingerbread creations, from those made by area grade school children to master bakers. Weekend activities during the Festival include visits by Santa and Mrs. Claus, storytelling, gingerbread cookie sales and more. Closed Thanksgiving Day.
Bethlehem, PA – November 26 – December 19
This Christmas market, located in Bethlehem’s historic downtown district, is a heartwarming holiday event for the whole family. It features live holiday music, great food, and old St. Nicholas as well as vendors of exquisite handmade gifts by artisans from around the country. Open Thursdays to Sundays. Bethlehem also bills itself as “Christmas City” and features a host of related seasonal events. Weekends Only.
Christkindl Market Denver
Since 1999, the German American Chamber of Commerce of the city of Denver has held an annual Christkindl Market with a variety of concerts and entertainment as well as vendors selling holiday goodies and gifts.
Medina, NY – November 27
Old Tyme Christmas Celebration
Patterned after the historically European tradition of Christmas Markets; holiday crafters, entertainment & wagon rides are just a few of the activities around the village. Featuring a spectacular “Parade of Lights.”
Hermann, MO – November 27 – December 12
Christmas in Historic Hermann
Enjoy German Christmas traditions at this event featuring food and craft demonstrations, story telling, and a visit from Father Christmas as well as a select group of artists and crafters and a variety of food and entertainment. Two Kristkindl Markt’s are part of the program at the Stone Hill Winery Pavilion (December 4-5) and the Hermannhof Festhalle (December 11-12).
Baltimore, MD – November 27-28
Christkindlmarkt at the Zion Church of the City of Baltimore
At this annual event at the Zion church in the heart of historic Baltimore, shoppers can feast on authentic German foods and stock their pantries with imported holiday goodies including Stollen, Lebkuchen, Marzipan, and Advent calendars. Local craftspeople display their handmade snowflakes, Santas and floral arrangements along with commercial importers of smokers and steins. A model train garden is also part of the event.
Cape Coral, FL – November 27
Christmas Market in Cape Coral
The German Christmas Market in Cape Coral (December 3-5) and the German Christmas Market in Lehigh Acres (TBA) both feature European arts and crafts, holiday decorations, photos with Santa Claus and the “Christkindl”, traditional German food and drink including bratwurst, schnitzel, Glühwein (mulled win) and German beer and a variety of entertainment, including Latin and Country & Western acts. Both markets are organized by the European Business Council of Cape Coral.
Tulsa, OK – December 3-5
The German-American Society of Tulsa creates a winter wonderland which includes many crafters displaying their wares, including booths featuring nutcrackers, smoker-männle, imported Christmas tree ornaments and Germany’s famous Christmas Stollen, as well as Wurst, Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes), hot apple cider, hot chocolate and coffee. The Christkindl (Christ Child) and St. Nikolaus walk among the booths to the delight of the children, who are also entertained in a special Spielstube, or playroom.
Elkhardt Lake, WI – December 3-12
Old World Christmas Market
The Osthoff Resort’s annual traditional European Christmas Market, reminiscent of the centuries-old German Christkindlesmarkt, features authentic gifts, toys, ornaments and food specialties from international and regional artisans in timber booths adorned in fresh greens and thousands of twinkling white lights.
Potomac, MD – December 4
The nation’s largest German School serving the greater Washington DC area holds a big popular annual Christmas bazaar offering homemade authentic Christmas cookies and cakes, original arts and crafts, as well as German and Swiss style sausages and meat products.
Austin, TX – December 4
Every December, on the first Saturday of the month, the German-Texan Heritage Society puts on a Christmas festival at the German Free School in Austin, with hand-made crafts items imported from Germany. Shoppers can choose from imported German craft items such as nutcrackers, pyramids, smokers, and arches, plus a variety of other gift items, books, and ornaments. Live performances of German Christmas music take place throughout the day, plus a special visit from St. Nikolaus. Visitors can also browse our used German book selection, enjoy complimentary treats, and sip on some Glühwein.
Coral Gables, Fl – November 27
Christmas Church Bazaar
A traditional Christmas Bazaar will be held on November 27 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Coral Gables, Florida, featuring arts and crafts, German books, music and DVD’s, childrens’ games and entertainment, traditional Christmas food and drinks and Christmas music.
San Antonio, TX – December 4
San Antionio’s Kristkindlmarkt is a traditional German outdoor market with hand crafted gifts, decorations, gingerbread houses, pottery baskets, ornaments, quilts, clothing, crafts, jewelry, floral arrangements and more. A few days later, on December 8, the Bazaar Sabado features wearable textiles and jewelry from Central and South America as well as various other one-of-a-kind gifts from alcoves across the globe. For more information, go to: San Antonio Holiday Season
Christkindl Market Mifflinburg – December 9-11
Mifflinburg’s version of an authentic Christmas Market, inspired by the 700-year-old traditional German Christkindl Markt, or Christ Child Market, is a festive event prepared by various churches, organizations, schools, and residents. For three days, Mifflinburg’s Market Street, with its many churches, is lined with festive outdoor huts featuring unique handmade crafts and traditional Christkindl treats.
Tomball, TX – December 11-12
Weihnachtsmarkt Texas Style
Some 80 vendors will sell German Christmas items, arts and crafts, and more at this seasonal music/street festival and open air market set amid antique shops in the old town area and featuring hay rides and Christmas lights tours. Get into the festive spirit with Christmas musical acts and bands including Das ist Lustig and visit the German Tent featuring a beer garden serving Dunkles Bier (dark beer) and Glühwein (mulled wine). A Kinderfest including bungee-jumping and a petting zoo will provide fun for young visitors. Tomball’s sister city in Germany is Telgte: Tomball Sister City Organization
Lovettsville, VA – December 4-5
Coordinated by the Lovettsville German Society, this Christmas market celebrates both the town’s and Loudon County’s more than 250-year-old German heritage. All cultural activities organized by the Lovettsville German Society also aim to strengthen the relationship between Loudon County, VA, and its sister county of Main-Taunus-Kreis near Frankfurt in Germany’s central Hesse state.
Enjoy a traditional German Christmas market and a tour of seven houses. The Markt will include music, crafts, and Father Christmas. More information, visit the official St. Louis, MO, website or call 636-239-2715.
Christmas in Carlinville IL
The Carlinville Christmas Market takes place on the first full weekend in December – Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We hosted our first Christmas Market festival on the town square in December 1990. The Market has retained its earlier romance by presenting bright, white tents lined with the arts and crafts of talented artisans, food vendors, trolley tours, horse-drawn carriage rides, costumed carolers and street performers, children’s activities, and other holiday attractions – all set amid the charm of Carlinville’s historic town square and its own special shops.
While it retains its focus on family fun in a romantic, small-town setting, the festival has grown in variety and reputation. The Christmas Market attracted nearly 11,000 visitors in 2010 and generates close to $1 million in local revenue.