Best U.S. Christmas Markets This Year

Best U.S. Christmas Markets This Year
Christmas markets river cruises along Europe's waterways have become popular in recent years. Visiting these markets is a fantastic way to celebrate the season. This year though, many holiday markets in Europe and the United States have been cancelled and travelers are staying home due to the current health crisis. In the United States, several Christmas markets have gone virtual while others have set up a socially distanced way to enjoy the outdoor experience in accordance with current state and local guidelines.

If you’re seeking ways to get in the holiday spirit, here are eight U.S. Christmas markets to visit virtually or in person this year:

Virtual U.S. Christmas Markets

Several of the country's largest Christmas markets have moved online this year, allowing those who love holiday markets to enjoy the European Christmas markets experience from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Check out what these three virtual Christmas markets have to offer:

Christkindlmarket Virtual Christmas Market Chicago - Chicago, IL
This large open-air Christmas market was launched in 1996 and has become a popular Chicago tradition. This year, the Chicago Christkindlmarket has gone virtual with its “Home for the Holidays” website featuring an online shopping marketplace, fun activities for kids and families, and interactive activities. Online visitors can shop for gift boxes, mugs, bath and body items, handmade ornaments, clothing and accessories, toys and games, home décor, beverages and other items from 47 Christkindlmarket vendors. Children can join the Kinder Club and have fun downloading coloring pages and going on scavenger hunts. Special events take place through December 20 as well. For more information, visit https://www.christkindlmarket.com.

St. Paul Virtual Christmas Market – St. Paul, MN
St. Paul’s European Christmas Market will not be taking place in person during the 2020 holiday season, but will be offered virtually instead. Visit the Market’s website to browse products from local crafters, artisans and vendors selling handmade gifts. A special beverage gift box is available as well. European holiday entertainment is offered via video through December 24. For more information on this year’s virtual market and to access shopping and events, visit https://stpaulchristmasmarket.org.

Texas Virtual Christkindl Market – Arlington, TX
This German-inspired holiday market is designed to be similar to the Christkindlesmarkt in Rothenberg ob der Tauber, Germany. While the market will not have a physical location this year, Christmas Market lovers can still find unique holiday gifts from vendors, find recipes for German holiday treats, enjoy live performances, and listen to holiday music on the Christkindl Market website. There’s a special KinderClub with activities for kids on the site, too. For more information on this year’s virtual market and to access shopping and performances, visit https://www.txchristkindlmarket.com.

Socially Distanced Outdoor U.S. Christmas Markets

While many U.S. Christmas markets have been cancelled this year, a few have carefully moved forward with their outdoor events in ways that allow for social distancing, enhanced safety and sanitizing measures, and contactless payments. These outdoor Christmas markets also help support small businesses and artisans who have been significantly impacted by the current health crisis and allows them to showcase their wares. Capacity is limited at these outdoor events, masks are required, and a variety of safety and social distancing protocols are in place. If you feel the time is right to enjoy an outdoor holiday market experience, here are some of the socially distanced U.S. Christmas markets taking place this year:

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, a wide variety of craft vendors, 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 event is located in Civic Center Park this year, which allows for social distancing in two zones of the market. Following current state of Colorado guidelines, each zone has a maximum capacity of 75 people. Masks are required and hand sanitizer is provided throughout the market. Make sure to check the Christkindl Market's website for current conditions and updates before visiting. For more information, visit https://www.christkindlmarketdenver.com.

Downtown Holiday Market - Washington DC
This year, the 16th annual holiday market brings the Christmas spirit to the heart of Washington, DC. This much loved Christmas shopping village features artisans, businesses, crafters, and more. Offerings include textiles, jewelry, pottery clothing, gifts and delectable food items from 70 different exhibitors, including small businesses badly impacted by the current health crisis. The market opened on November 20 and runs continuously through December 23. This year’s outdoor market has a significantly expanded space, allowing for social distancing meeting the current guidelines. Masks are required and hand sanitizer is widely available. Make sure to check the Downtown Holiday Market's website for current conditions and updates before attending. For more information, visit https://downtownholidaymarket.com.

Charlotte Christmas Village – Charlotte, NC
Charlotte’s Christmas Village takes place at Truist Field this year, allowing for a social distanced event. Guests can enjoy shopping for unique handmade items and gifts from around the world, live entertainment and beautiful holiday decorations. European foods and drinks including bratwursts, schnitzel, strudel, gluhwein, beers, hot cider, and hot chocolate are available for purchase. Light the Knights, a stroll through holiday experience featuring thousands of lights, decorated Christmas trees and holiday displays, is also offered at Truist Field. Timed tickets are required for admission to the stadium, temperatures are taken, and masks must be worn at all times. Make sure to check the event's website for current conditions and updates before visiting. For more information, visit https://www.cltchristmasvillage.com.

Christmas Village, Socially Distanced Edition – 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 over 60 vendors set up in socially distanced booths at least 10 feet apart 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 a variety of German foods and delicacies are also served. Masks must be worn, social distancing is required and hand sanitizer is available throughout the park. Make sure to check the Christmas Village's website for current conditions and updates before attending. For more information, visit https://www.philachristmas.com.

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 27 to December 23. This holiday market features live entertainment and Alpine-style wooden chalets brimming with artisan-made gifts, ornaments, and traditional food and drink items. The market features a Santa Zoom experience for kids as well. Masks are required and booths are spread out for social distancing. Capacity is limited and hand sanitizer is available throughout the market. Make sure to check the event's website for current conditions and updates before visiting. For more information, visit https://downtownpittsburghholidays.com/peoples-gas-holiday-market.






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