10 Great Christmas Markets In North America

10 Great Christmas Markets In North America
European holiday river cruises showcase enchanting Christmas markets in a number of Europe’s most beautiful cities and towns. These relaxing cruises are a wonderful way to get into the spirit of the holidays. If you're considering taking a European holiday season river cruise - or just can't travel to Europe this year, try sampling the Christmas markets in North America. A simple taste of this magical holiday experience will have you hooked.

Here are ten top Christmas markets in North America to visit this holiday season:

1. Christmas Village - Baltimore, MD. Located in Baltimore's Inner Harbor area, Christmas Village features over 50 wooden booths with vendors selling items such as Kaethe Wohlfahrt Christmas ornaments, handmade jewelry, toys, apparel, and crafts from around the world. There's plenty of delicious European food, too. 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 wine and cheese tasting and other activities are also held throughout the holiday season. The market is open from November 22 to December 24.

2. Texas Christkindl Market – Arlington, TX. Stretching from late November to December 23, this German-inspired holiday market is designed to be similar to the Christkindlesmarkt in Rothenberg ob der Tauber, Germany. 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. A variety of craft making demonstrations, children's parades and other events are also featured here.

3. Christkindlmarket Chicago - Chicago, IL. This large open-air Christmas market was launched in 1996 and 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, roasted nuts and more. Children can join the Kinder Club and receive a passport and Advent Calendar, plus participate in a scavenger hunt. Christkindlmarket Chicago is open daily from before Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve and admission is free.

4. Union Square Holiday Market – New York City, NY. 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 items, 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 area of jewelry, art, crafts, artisan gifts, and more. Delectable food and drink items are available as well, including German Gluhwein and bratwurst. The Union Square Holiday Market is open from November 15 to December 24 and the Columbus Circle Holiday Market is open from November 28 to December 24.

5. Christkindl Market - Denver, CO. Organized by the German American Chamber of Commerce and the German Cultural Foundation, Denver's 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 16 through December 23.

6. Christmas Village – Philadelphia, PA. Philadelphia’s Christmas Village features thousands of sparkling lights, a huge Christmas tree, and a multitude of vendors set up in over eighty wooden booths in Love Park. 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 also served. The market is open from November 22 through Christmas Day.

7. Vancouver Christmas Market – Vancouver, BC. Vancouver is one of Canada's most popular travel destinations and the annual Vancouver Christmas Market provides another good reason to visit. Open daily from before Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve, the Vancouver Christmas Market offers a total of more than 80 vendors selling handcrafted jewelry, gifts, Christmas decorations, clothing, and handmade items for the home. Traditional European foods and beverages such as mulled wines, German beers, pretzels, bratwursts, roasted nuts and other delectable treats are available for purchase.

8. Downtown Holiday Market, Washington DC. Each year, this holiday market brings the Christmas spirit to the heart of Washington, DC. Stretching along F Street 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 60 different exhibitors each day. The market opens right after Thanksgiving and runs continuously through December 23.

9. Christkindlmarket – Bethlehem, PA. The town of Bethlehem celebrates Christmas with a large Christkindlmarket that stretches over five weekends from November 16 to December 23. Vendors stock over 150 stalls with a wide range of gifts including jewelry, pottery, candles, art, handmade Kathe Wohlfarht ornaments and collectibles, gourmet food and more. There’s plenty of live Christmas music and entertainment here as well.

10. Old World Christmas Market - Elkhardt Lake, WI. Named as one of the Top 100 Events in North America by the American Bus Association, this traditional Christmas market opens for ten days 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 also served. In addition to the market, this event features kid-pleasing activities such as holiday hayrides, breakfasts with Santa Claus, storytelling and craft workshops.

Once you've experienced the magic of a European-style Christmas market, it's likely you'll want to book a European Christmas markets river cruise. Holiday river cruises aren't just about the shopping, though. There are so many historic sites and cultural attractions to explore, plus the culinary treats are incredible. Sailings are available on a number of European waterways, including the Rhine, Main, Seine and the beautiful Danube River.

Every holiday river cruise itinerary has its own special charm. AmaWaterways’ Christmas Markets on the Danube river cruise travels between Budapest, Hungary and Vilshofen, Germany, calling on a variety of enchanting cities and towns along the way. Magical Christmas markets sailings are available along the Rhine River, too. AmaWaterways has also partnered with Adventures by Disney to cater to families and multigenerational groups and bring unique family-friendly experiences to selected Christmas markets sailings.

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