15 Best Christmas Markets In The United States

15 Best Christmas Markets In The United States
Christmas markets river cruises along Europe's waterways have become popular in recent years. Visiting these fabled Christmas markets is a fantastic way to celebrate the season. These festive outdoor markets in many of Europe's cities feature beautiful holiday decorations, a wide variety of local crafts and treasures, and delicious foods to sample. You don’t have to travel all the way to Europe to enjoy this magical experience, however. There are plenty of wonderful holiday markets to sample closer to home.

If you’re looking for a great way to get in the holiday spirit, here are fifteen of the best Christmas markets to visit in the United States:

1. 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 November 15 through Christmas Eve and admission is free.

2. Christmas Village - Baltimore, MD. Located in Baltimore's popular Inner Harbor area, Christmas Village features over 50 wooden booths with vendors such as Kaethe Wohlfahrt selling Christmas ornaments, handmade jewelry, toys, apparel, and arts 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, bratwurst eating competitions, and other activities are also held throughout the holiday season.

3. Old World Christmas Market - Elkhardt Lake, WI. Named as the best U.S. holiday market in the 2018 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice awards, 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. The Old World Christmas Market is open from early to mid-December.

4. Texas Christkindl Market – Arlington, TX. Stretching from late November to December 22, 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.

5. Christkindlmarket – Bethlehem, PA. The town of Bethlehem celebrates Christmas with a large Christkindlmarket that stretches over five weekends from November 22 to December 22. Named as one of the best holiday markets by Travel + Leisure magazine, this event features over 150 vendor stalls filled 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.

6. 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.

7. Union Square Holiday Market – New York, NY. New York City’s massive Union Square Holiday Market features over 150 vendors selling all kinds of gift item including jewelry, handbags, candles, gourmet food items, artwork, food and drinks. There’s something for everyone at this market in Union Square Park 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. Another popular European-style holiday market in New York City is the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park, which features a popular ice skating rink.

8. Christkindlmarkt – Helen, GA. The annual Christkindlmarket is held during the first two weekends in December in Alpine Helen, Georgia. The mountain village’s lovely Bavarian styled buildings are a perfect backdrop for this traditional German market complete with food, music, entertainment and stalls featuring a wide variety of handmade decorations, toys, artisan-crafted holiday gifts, baked goods, local and imported foods, and more. Fun children’s activities are offered as well.

9. 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.

10. Christkindlmarket – Milwaukee, WI. Milwaukee’s Christkindlmarket offers 40 days of fun from before Thanksgiving through December 24. Located at the Plaza at Fiserv Forum, this traditional German holiday market is filled with stalls offering traditional gifts, crafts, collectibles and a wide variety of food and drinks. Folk dancing shows, musical entertainment and other events are featured as well.

11. Germany Pavilion at Epcot World Showcase – Orlando, FL. Walt Disney World goes all out in celebrating the holidays, transforming the entire property into a magical festive wonderland. During the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays from November 29 through December 30, guests can enjoy a traditional German Christmas market shopping experience at Epcot’s Germany Pavilion. Check out Die Weihnachts Ecke - The Christmas Corner, for authentic German holiday ornaments and gifts. The Bavaria Holiday Kitchen offers a selection of traditional food items as well. In addition, guests can enjoy all the holiday festivities at Walt Disney World including the Candlelight Processional at Epcot, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, incredible fireworks shows, holiday parades, and much more.

12. Georgetown Christmas Market – Georgetown, CO. This mountain town’s annual outdoor European Christmas market is held during the first and second weekends in December. Visitors can enjoy live holiday entertainment, horse-drawn wagon rides, sampling hot roasted chestnuts, appearances by St. Nicholas, Christmas Museum Tours, and browsing through the town’s outdoor European marketplace filled with handcrafted gifts. The Santa Lucia children’s procession takes place at noon on every day that the market is open.

13. Christmas Village – Philadelphia, PA. Stretching from Thanksgiving Day to the Sunday after Christmas, 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.

14. The Great Dickens Christmas Fair – San Francisco, CA. Taking place on weekends from November 23 to December 22, this special holiday event transports guests into the world of Charles Dickens’ London. The Cow Palace Exhibition Halls’ 120,000 square feet of space are transformed into winding lanes filled with Christmas shops, music halls, dance floors, pubs, street vendors and entertainment stages. Visitors enjoy shopping for artisan treasures, clothing, art and jewelry as well as sampling foods from England and around the world. Victorian costumed entertainers interact with visitors, and guests are encouraged to come in costume as well.

15. People’s Gas Holiday Market – Pittsburgh, PA. Modeled after traditional German Christkindlmarkts, the People’s Gas Holiday Market in downtown Market Square runs from November 22 to December 23. This holiday market features live entertainment, an ice skating rink, Pittsburgh’s Creche nativity scene, Santa’s House, and Alpine-style wooden chalets brimming with artisan-made gifts, ornaments, and traditional food and drink items.

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