Christkindlmarket Chicago in Brief:
- November 24: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- December 24 (Christmas Eve) "Last Day": 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- Sunday - Thursday: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
- Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
All other days:
- Santa's House Hours:
- November 23, 2011: 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
- November 24, 2011 (Thanksgiving Day): 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
- November 25 - December 18, 2011: Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday - 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
- December 19 - December 23, 2011: Every day - 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
- December 24 (Christmas Eve): 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
(all dates and times subject to change)
Christkindlmarket Chicago Description:
Christkindlmarket Chicago started in 1996, and has grown tremendously in popularity with over half a million people attending every year. It's the largest German market of its kind in the country, and it tries to stay true to its German roots -- over 70% of the market's vendors speak German as well as English.
Christkindlmarket offers a unique shopping experience unlike the department stores in the area, as many of the items are handcrafted and incredibly unique. Wares range from hand-blown glass ornaments, nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks, jewelry, toys, clothing, and more. Many of the vendors also offer demonstrations of the making of their items.
As it's important to keep a full belly to stay warm in Chicago's winter chill, Christkindlmarket has a number of food and drink vendors on site as well -- these are especially popular with the office dwellers surrounding Daley Plaza as a nice break from the usual lunch fare. German sausages, sauerkraut, and potato pancakes are all on tap. Sweets, pastries and candies help provide a nice finish to your meal. To drink, there are German beers on hand as well as the traditional "Glühwein", a hot spiced wine that is served around the holidays.
So if you happen to be traveling downtown this Christmas season, you owe it to yourself to swing by Christkindlmarket Chicago for a one of a kind holiday experience -- outside of Germany, that is.