10 Top Christmas Markets In North America

10 Top Christmas Markets In North America
Christmas markets river cruises offer opportunities to visit enchanting holiday markets in a number of Europe’s most beautiful cities and towns. While it might not be possible for you to enjoy a Christmas markets cruise this year, it's also possible to enjoy this festive yuletide experience closer to home. Strolling through Christmas markets in the United States and Canada is a wonderful way to test drive the Christmas markets river cruise experience and get in the holiday spirit.

Here are ten top holiday markets taking place in North America this year:

1. Christkindlmarkt: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Often known as The Christmas City, Bethlehem celebrates the holiday season with a large Christkindlmarkt. The Bethlehem Christkindlmarkt was twice named as one of the best holiday markets in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure. Christkindlmarkt vendors stock their stalls with a wide range of gifts including jewelry, pottery, candles, art, handcrafted ornaments and collectibles, gourmet food and more. There’s plenty of live Christmas music, food and entertainment at this Christmas market as well. It’s wise to purchase advance tickets for Bethlehem’s Christkindlmarkt online on the event’s webpage. While you’re in Bethlehem, check out the downtown Christmas City Village holiday market located along Main Street as well. Admission to the Christmas City Village Christmas market is free of charge.

2. Québec City German Christmas Market: Québec City, Québec
Old Québec is a magical destination and it’s even more special during the weeks before Christmas when the city’s German Christmas Market takes place. Designed to closely replicate the European Christmas market experience, the market features more than 90 traditional wooden huts with exhibitors from Québec, Germany and across Europe. Christmas Market vendors offer a wide variety of products including handmade crafts, imported merchandise, items made by local artisans, mulled wine, tasty foods, traditional holiday cookies and sweets, and much more. Guests can also enjoy puppet shows, musical performances and other activities.

3. Christmas Village: Baltimore, Maryland
Located in Baltimore's popular Inner Harbor area, Christmas Village features over 50 wooden booths with local and international vendors such as Kathe Wohlfahrt selling Christmas ornaments, handmade jewelry, toys, apparel, and arts and crafts from around the world. There's plenty of delicious European food, too. Christmas market 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 beer flight tastings, wine tastings and other activities are also held throughout the holiday season.

4. Cambria Christmas Market: Cambria, California
The Cambria Christmas Market is modeled after the open air “Weihnachtsmarkts” that are held in Germany and Austria. The festive event features over two million Christmas lights, vendors selling locally made artisan gifts and imported German handcrafted items, musical entertainment, visits from Santa, German dinners and holiday treats. Sanitation stations are located throughout the property. Special overnight Cambria Christmas Market packages with local hotel partners are available.

5. Union Square Holiday Market & Columbus Circle Holiday Market: NYC, New York
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 products, 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.

6. People’s Gas Holiday Market: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Modeled after traditional German Christkindlmarkts, the People’s Gas Holiday Market in downtown Market Square runs from November 19 to December 23. The People’s Gas Holiday Market has been voted the Best Holiday Market in the U.S. in the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. This holiday market features live entertainment and Alpine-style wooden chalets brimming with artisan-made gifts, ornaments, and traditional food and drink items. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the Christmas market features an ice skating rink, the world’s only approved replica of the Vatican’s Nativity Scene, and a Holiday KidsPlay Selfie Garden and a Santa Zoom experience for kids.

7. Carmel Christkindlmarkt: Carmel, Indiana
Designed as an authentic open-air German Christmas market, the Carmel Christkindlmarkt has been visited by over half a million people since its opening. The Carmel Christkindlmarkt was named the Best Holiday Market in the 2019 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. The Christkindlmarkt features wooden huts with vendors selling products and handcrafted gifts sourced from Germany and other German-speaking European nations. German mulled wine, German beers and delicious foods are also served. The Carmel Christkindlmarkt also traditionally hosts renowned woodworkers from the Ore Mountains region of Germany who provide demonstrations of their craft. Character appearances and special events are also held at the Carmel Christkindlmarkt throughout the yuletide season.

8. Christkindl Market: Denver, Colorado
Organized by the German American Chamber of Commerce and the German Cultural Foundation, Denver's Christkindlmarket has been operating for more than 20 years. This 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.

9. Downtown Holiday Market: Washington D.C.
Each year, this holiday market brings the Christmas spirit to the heart of Washington, D.C. Stretching along F Street NW 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 more than 70 different exhibitors.

10. Vancouver Christmas Market: Vancouver, British Columbia
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. The Vancouver Christmas Market also features entertainment and activities such as the free HolidayLife Carousel, scavenger hunts, and a walk-in Christmas tree.

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