The festive German Christmas Market returns to Chicago to light up the holiday season with the atmosphere of a European holiday village from Nov. 21-Dec. 24, 2014. The magical Christkindlemarket, which recreates the popular market in Nurnemberg, Germany, is at Daley Plaza for its 19th year and is worth a visit during the holiday season. Admission is free, so visitors are free to browse and enjoy the entertainment.
Daley Plaza is transformed into a European holiday village with candy cane striped wooden huts and twinkling lights that hark back to the traditional holiday market in Nuremberg, Germany, a market that has taken place since the 1500s. This season, the market hosts over 50 vendors, about 65% of which travel from Germany to share German culture and traditions. Visitors can brush up on their German language skills while shopping at the market, which offers a number of unique items that are destined to become treasure gifts and keepsakes.
Hundreds of thousands of people travel from around the greater Chicagoland area, from around the nation and from around the world to delight one of the largest traditional Christmas markets outside of Europe. Visitors to the Christkindlmarkt find themselves in the center of the city, so they can easily walk to Macy’s on State Street and to a number of other popular destinations in Chicago.
The vendors’ are houses traditional wooden huts, just like the markets in German. The huts are filled with holiday ornaments of all colors, materials and sizes, nutcrackers, cuckoo-clocks, beer steins, wooden toys, jewelry, wood carvings and other types of unique items. The air is filled with the smells of tantalizing holiday spices. Enjoy the European style treats and sweets,delicacies including: sausages, chocolate, pretzels, stollen, strudel, roasted nuts, potato pancakes and schnitzel. Adults can quench their thirst with a refreshing imported German beer or warm up with a cup of Glühwein (hot spiced wine), which is served in a unique collectible souvenir mug. There is a warming house where people can gather to enjoy their beverages and socialize while warming up.
Christkindlmarket hosts live entertainment and performances throughout the 30 day event, including school groups, professional singers, and dance groups. The roaming Alpine Brass band plays popular German holiday music in the Festival Tent and Grand Timber House on weekends.Special events include appearances by the German Christkind, the namesake and symbol of the market, and the annual Children’s Lantern Parade celebrating St. Martin’s Day..One of the most popular events is the daily Advent Calendar starting December 1st. One lucky visitor gets to open a door on the larger-than-life 6 ft. tall Advent Calendar, featuring a different gift from one of the market’s vendors each day.
The popular “Kinder Korner” boasts fun activities geared towards the youngest visitors. Ornamental paper crowns are handed out and the Christkindlmarket Passport, which includes passport stamping stations, coloring pages, riddles, a scavenger hunt, and much more, gives children and the young at heart the opportunity to explore the market, interact with the vendors, and learn more about German holiday traditions.
The market at Daley Plaza will be open daily from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m/ Sundays through Thursdays, and until 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. On Thanksgiving Day November 27, and Christmas Eve December 24, the market will close at 4 p.m. Admission is always free.