America's Best Christmas Markets for 2017
Posted on 11/17/2017
Christmas is a time for giving, get-togethers and gluhwein. (What do you mean, you don’t know what gluhwein is?)
Europe has been celebrating the advent season with traditional Christmas markets for years—sometimes even centuries—but the USA is slowly starting to catch on to the tradition.
These markets often feature a host of traditional stalls or wooden chalets selling gifts, homemade food, hot spiced wine (the aforementioned gluhwein) and decorations. They are the perfect way to really get into the Christmas spirit, and here are just a few of America’s best:
Christmas Village: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Based around a traditional German Christmas market, this “village” features over 80 different vendors selling their wares from traditional chalets and is opened each year by the traditional Nuremberg Christkind (the angelic female spirit of Christmas).
The market is located at LOVE Park, and visitors can savor a range of German cuisine (think bratwurst, lebkuchen, stollen and gluhwein), as well as some other international specialties. Live music and appearances by Santa are peppered throughout the event calendar.
Dates: November 23rd - December 24th
Christkindlmarket: Chicago, Illinois
The Chicago Christmas market has been running since 1996 and has grown in popularity until it is now spread across three different sites around the city (Daley Plaza, Naperville and the Park at Wrigley).
Fusing European charm with Chicago flair, the market features vendors selling German sausage and pancakes, pretzels, strudel and roasted nuts as well as a variety of gifts, trinkets and beer steins.
Dates: November 17th - December 24th
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair: San Francisco, California
You can step back in time to Victorian London at this delightful themed Christmas market, which features winding “alleyways” of old-time shops and celebrates all-things Charles Dickens.
Full-costume actors, live entertainment stages and replica British pubs help set the scene for what is bound to be a unique holiday experience. You can even take part in a polka at Fezziwig’s dance party!
Foods on offer include roasted chestnuts, fish and chips (naturally), meat pies and scones, while the “historic” shops can help you check off your shopping list with artisan jewelry, toiletries, trinkets, candles and ceramics.
Just don’t tell Mr. Scrooge how much fun you have.
Dates: November 18th - December 17th
Union Square Holiday Market: New York City, New York
Located in the heart of the city, this market is famous for its local, artisan vendors who sell everything from home goods to artwork, clothing, jewelry and grocery items like olive oil and honey.
Feast on an international roster of street food delights, such as coconut macaroons, warming soups, hot chocolate, Asian bao and Spanish churros, all while meandering through the 100-plus stalls.
Dates: November 16th - December 24th
Texas Christkindl Market: Arlington, Texas
This extensive market features over two acres of Christmas light displays (apparently one of the biggest in the world), along with an ice skating rink, Santa palace (for meet-and-greets, naturally) and a market that hosts around 85 different stalls.
Food and drink come in the form of 21 different food trucks, each serving up their take on traditional Christmas sweets and snacks, while the background music is provided by live singers and entertainers each night of the week.
Dates: November 24th - December 31st
PHOTO: Christmas markets fuse European and American traditions, like this one in Chicago. (photo via Flickr/Marcin Wichary)