The Osthoff Old-World Christmas Market
My visit to the Osthoff was in late summer but, I've been told that winter, and Christmas especially, is a magical time in Elkhart Lake where they host the annual Old-World Christmas Market. Last winter, the Osthoff added one more distinguished award to their list. The resorts Old-World Christmas Market was voted the #1 holiday market in the U. S. in the 2018 Readers Choice Awards from USA TODAY and 10Best, and the resort is in the running again this year. Winners will be announced on December 13th.
General manager, Lola Roeh, has been the spark plug that keeps the Osthoff winning awards year after year. According to Roeh, everyone at the Osthoff takes pride in offering their guests a superior product, and they are continually striving to meet and exceed their expectations. Roeh created the Christmas Market idea after having lived in Germany years ago. "My husband and I loved the German Christmas markets, the way they brought people together, and put them in the spirit of the season, and I thought it would be wonderful to recreate that here in Wisconsin," said Roeh. "The original Osthoff was opened in 1886 by German entrepreneur Otto Osthoff and his wife Paulina, and I think they'd be pleased too," added Roeh.
The Osthoff continues to be up against stiff competition for the top spot. Other noteworthy competitors include markets in Denver, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and even Washington, D.C., to name a few of the twenty nominees. In addition to editors from USA TODAY and editors from 10Best.com, votes are cast by expert travel contributors, and other partner media sources. Then the contest is opened to readers for a voting period of four weeks.
The 2019 holiday market will be the resorts 22nd, with vendors and visitors from all over the world making it an annual tradition to attend the market. While other markets are open-air, shoppers to The Osthoff's market find themselves inside a heated tent, the size of a football field. The tent is decked out with traditional wooden booths, fresh pine trees, garlands of twinkling white lights, and an authentic German food court, much like you'd find in market squares in Europe.
The 10-day market is always held at the beginning of December. It features the wares of more than 70 artisans from around the world, including Germany, Russia and Turkey, and local producers too. Two German artisans, a skilled woodcarver who creates smokers and nutcrackers, and another, who bring spices from Nuremberg to make his secret recipe bratwurst for hungry shoppers, have never missed a market in all 22 years. The 2018 event drew over 14,000 visitors.
2019 Holiday Events
Old World Christmas Market - December 6 - 15, 2019
Market hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and admission is $7 per adult. Children 14 and under are complimentary with an adult ticket holder. Discounted ticket prices for groups of 20 or more are available, and parking is free. There is an overnight package during the run of the show that includes a one-night stay and two admission tickets to the Old-World Christmas Market. Pricing is from $175 plus tax for stays Sunday-Thursday, Dec. 8-12, and from $195 plus tax for stays Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6-7 and 13-14. For more details on the market, log on to www.ChristmasMarketAtOsthoff.com, or call 844.566.4392.
Other Holiday Happenings
* Children's Holiday Workshops: Dec. 7, 14, and 21, with cookie decorating and ornament-making with Santa's elves for children ages four-10.
* Holiday Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides: Dec. 7, 14, and 21, includes Christmas carols and hot chocolate.
* Breakfast with Santa Claus: Dec. 7, 14, and 21, this festive knee-high breakfast buffet includes a special gift from Santa.
* Brunch with St. Nicholas and His Reindeer: Dec. 8 and 15, this is the time to bring along your last-minute wish list and enjoy a visit with St. Nicholas and one of his trusty reindeer.
* Christmas Eve and Christmas Day December 24th and 25th: The night before Christmas is magical at The Osthoff, with complimentary horse-drawn wagon rides, hot chocolate, and Christmas cookies. On Dec. 25, youngsters wake up to stockings filled with treats, games, and a special gift from the jolly old elf himself. A one-night stay on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day starts at $159 plus tax. There's also a sumptuous Christmas Day buffet, with reservations available online. For resort guests only.
* New Year's Eve: A memorable New Year's Eve always includes fabulous food, live music, and a celebratory toast at midnight, and The Osthoff does not disappoint. An overnight package includes one night in an elegant guest room and a $25 dining credit. From $219 per night plus tax; available Dec. 27, 2019, Jan. 2, 2020, two-night minimum.
For reservations, call 800.876.3399 or book online at www.Osthoff.com.
If You GO
The Osthoff Resort is a Wisconsin tourism landmark featuring elegant suites and guestrooms, a stunning lakefront setting, three restaurants, the award-winning Aspira Spa, Lâ Ecole de la Maison Cooking School, salon, spa and gift boutiques, and grand conference rooms and meeting spaces. It is located just one hour north of Milwaukee, less than two hours from Madison and approximately three hours from Chicago.
The Aspira Spa was ranked #2 Spa in America, #1 Midwest Spa, and #1 Lake Spa in North America by Spas of America in its annual ranking last year. The Osthoff was named one of the Top Resorts in Texas and the Midwest in the 2018 CondÃ© Nast Traveler magazines Readers' Choice Awards. And, the Osthoff was selected as #5 in the Conde` Nast Traveler Readers Choice Award for 2019 in the category of Top Resorts in the Midwest.
You'll be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful and tranquil setting than the quaint little village of Elkhart Lake, which is situated along the lakeshore. The lake, rich in natural beauty, offers up a wide range of water sports and recreational opportunities for visitors such as; boating, water skiing, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, and of course, swimming and sunbathing.
There are plenty of other things to do while in Sheboygan County, as well. You can get your speed-on with motorsports galore at Road America. Play golf at Quit Qui OC Golf Club. Tour Henning's Cheese Factory famous for its award-winning cheeses. Stroll through art galleries and gift shops. Stop in for wine and beer tastings. There are many excellent dining opportunities. Take a hike on the Ice Age Trail or in the Kettle Moraine State Forest, or visit Henchel's Indian Museum and Trout Farm, to mention a few other reasons to visit the area. Special events and activities are planned throughout the year by Elkhart Lake Tourism, so there's always something going on around town.
THE OSTHOFF RESORT www.osthoff.com 800.876.3399
PO Box 151, 101 Osthoff Avenue, Elkhart Lake, WI 53020-0151, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to Elkhart Lake Tourism for introducing me to the award-winning accommodations at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake.
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