Christkindlmarket: German Christmas in Chicago

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“Inspired by the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, which began in 1545, the Christkindlmarket Chicago brings a cherished German and European tradition with international flair and local charm to Chicago….Christkindlmarket Chicago is no longer just a German tradition, it has become a Chicago institution.” source

Last week, I finally made it over to Daley Plaza on my lunchbreak to see what all the Christkindlmarket hype was about. For a rainy day with a 60 minute restraint, I was not disappointed. In fact, I was more angry at myself that I had taken this long to finally visit I mean, I’ve lived in Chicago all my life and for the past two years I’ve worked right across the street!

Laziness and procrastination aside, I enjoyed my time at Christkindlmarket so much that I’m going to share my 3 favorite things about the experience, and of course, encourage you to visit if you’re ever in the area during the holidays!

1 – FOOD

Hello, my name is Lauren and I’m a fat ass. I love food, especially international dishes. There were so many vendors, so many options, so many smells that my head was spinning. Polish pancakes, French crepes, Swedish cheese, German curry, Austrian chocolates…and that’s just a tiny fraction of what was available that day. I hate making decisions. Why can’t I eat it all?! Well, I certainly tried, but my friend and I settled on making a main course out of a classic brätwurst and delicious döner kebab.


Christkindlmarket is a Christmas market  (cognate or nah) where dozens of vendors sell gifts and trinkets for the upcoming holidays. The items were just as diverse as the foods, and I was thoroughly impressed by the beauty of it all. Just about everything was handcrafted, including the ornaments, wooden statues, cuckoo clocks, beer steins and glasses, nativity pieces, toys, sleds, clothing, bath products…you name it! It was surely a sight to see, and if my family wasn’t equal to the population of a small village I could have done all of my Christmas shopping in that one visit!



Yes, there was German hot chocolate, pure Nepali tea, and Apfelstrudel apple cider, but I was most enamored by the Glühwein – a warm spiced wine. Yes, despite my youthful appearance and the frequency of which I’m asked what high school I’m currently attending, I’m fully legal – have been for quite some time. Though I don’t think there are any real losses for trying, it’d be a real shame if you visited Christkindlmarket and didn’t get the some of it. We went into the Lufthansa Festival Tent for ours, but there are more tents/vendors that offer it. To make it even more appealing, the drink comes in an adorable keepsake boot mug!



Christkindlmarket happens every year from mid-November to Christmas Eve!


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About Lauren Victoria 87 Articles
Lauren is a Chicago native and budget traveler obsessed with foreign languages, neuropsychology, dancing, and applesauce. She recently quit her full-time job in social services to be a human English dictionary in Madrid, Spain.