- One of the best holiday traditions in the world is the Christmas market, made famous by the Christkindlmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany.
- But there are plenty of amazing holiday markets throughout the US, too.
- The Great Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco, California, is inspired by “A Christmas Carol.”
- Enchant Christmas in Arlington, Texas, has the world’s largest Christmas light maze.
Nothing screams the holidays like grabbing some mulled wine and hand made gifts at a holiday market. And while Germany may be famous for its Christmas markets, there are plenty in the US that give them a run for their money.
We’ve rounded up 15 of the most merry and bright markets across the US.
The Christkindlmarket — Chicago, Illinois
The Christkindlmarket in Chicago is a traditional German Christmas market in Daley Plaza. The market has called Chicago home since 1996, and continues to be the city’s largest open-air Christmas festival.
The market opened on November 16, and will stay open through Christmas Eve, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on week days, and till 9 p.m. on weekends.
The Christmas City Christkindlmarkt — Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Bethlehem calls itself the Christmas City, and this market is one of the reasons why. It includes stalls from more than 150 artisans and ice carving and glassblowing demonstrations. Unlike some of the other markets, this one does require tickets. An adult ticket will set you back $US10.
The Christkindlmarket is open every weekend through December 23, and starting November 29 Thursdays will be added as well. The hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair — San Francisco, California
If you’re a “A Christmas Carol” fan, then the Great Dickens Christmas Fair at the Cow Palace Exhibition Halls is the place for you. The market includes “a world of music halls, theatres, pubs, dance parties, and charming shops overflowing with handmade holiday treasures,” plus 800 Dickensian characters wandering the streets, making this a truly immersive Victorian experience -at $US30 a pop.
The fair is open every weekend through December 23, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Christmas Village in Philadelphia — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Christmas Village is located inside the newly renovated LOVE Park this year, of LOVE statue fame. Inspired by European Christmas markets, this one features 80 wooden booths selling classic holiday treats such as gingerbread, mulled wine, and bratwurst.
The market is open every day until Christmas Eve, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on week days, and until 8 p.m. on weekends.
The Winter Village at Bryant Park — New York, New York
The holiday shops are open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. until January 2, 2019. The rink will stay open through March.
The Downtown Holiday Market — Washington, DC
This year marks the Downtown Holiday Market’s 14th season in DC. It takes advantage of its beautiful home city, making the Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery its backdrop.
In addition to handcrafted gifts and seasonal food, the market also boasts different live musical performances every day.
The Downtown Holiday Market is open every day until December 23, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Denver Christkindl Market — Denver, Colorado
Food vendors like Chocoidea, which creates structures made entirely out of chocolate, such as trains, shoes, and even Minions from “Despicable Me,” are what keep drawing people back to this Denver market.
The market is open daily until December 23 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Plus, starting December 17, the market will have extended holiday hours and will stay open until 9 p.m. every day.
Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt — Cincinnati, Ohio
Located at Fountain Square, the Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt is – as you might have guessed from the name – inspired by German Christmas markets. The market is part of the larger Macy’s Light Up the Square festival and will include “local artisans, traditional German fare, Glühwein (hot spiced wine), and more.”
You’ll have to act fast though – the market closes for the season on December 1.
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays — Orlando, Florida
Disney World goes all out for the holidays, but the International Festival of the Holidays at Epcot is a real treat. The Germany pavilion in particular transforms into an authentic German Christmas market with glühwein (mulled wine) and sausages aplenty.
The festival is on until December 30, and follows the regular Epcot hours of 11 a.m. to 9.30 p.m.
Enchant Christmas — Arlington, Texas
Forget corn mazes on Halloween – Enchant Christmas has the world’s largest Christmas light maze. In addition to food, drinks, and shopping, Enchant Christmas also has an ice skating trail and story-time with Santa Claus for the kids.
Enchant Christmas is held at Globe Life Park, and admission starts at $US19.99. It’s open through December 30, with special holiday hours going into effect on December 14, when it’s open Sunday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., and until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Canandaigua Christkindl Market — Canandaigua, New York
Paste Magazine rated the Canandaigua Christkindl Market the number one German Christmas market in North America. It’s located on the grounds of the Granger Homestead and Carriage Museum, and is in its 12th year.
Over 150 artisans come together to sell their wares, food, and drinks here, and the market also features holiday trolley rides.
While the 2018 market has already taken place, the 2019 dates are already up: November 8-10.
Atlanta Christkindl Market — Atlanta, Georgia
The German American Cultural Foundation is behind the Atlanta Christkindl Market, so you know it’s authentic. It’s also the city’s first and largest winter holiday festival. Just some of the items available are glass ornaments from Lauscha Thuringia in Germany, Christmas Pyramids from Seiffen Erz Mountains in Germany, snow globes, handwoven clothes, jewellery, wooden toys, wood carvings, nutcrackers, German incense smokers, and beer steins.
The market is open until December 23 from Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.
The Christmas Village — Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville’s Christmas Village was established in 1961, and has called The Fairgrounds home since 1968. Over 200 volunteers come together to create the market, which raises money for various philanthropic projects. In 2017, they raised $US623,000. You can learn more about their philanthropy here.
While the 2018 dates were from November 9-11, you can sign up to get an early look at 2019’s village.
Kerstmarkt — Holland, Michigan
The Kerstmarkt is a Dutch-inspired Christmas market that celebrates the city’s Dutch heritage. In addition to the market, the city’s Parade of Lights and Sinterklaas (Santa Claus in Dutch) procession march through town every year, adding to the festive atmosphere.
Located at the 8th Street Marketplace, the Kerstmarkt is open every weekend through December 8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays.
Christmas Village in Baltimore — Baltimore, Meryland
Since Baltimore can get pretty cold this time of year, their Christmas Village offers both indoor and outdoor activities. It promises to provide “thousands of lights, the big Holiday Tree, [and] the delicious smell of waffles, gingerbread, bratwurst and mulled wine.” The waterside location at the Inner Harbour also boasts a great view of the Patapsco River.
The village is open through Christmas Eve, seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and until 8 p.m. on weekends.