Christmas markets are one of the highlights of the holiday season in Europe. Cities like Dresden, Germany, Prague, and Vienna are known worldwide for the atmosphere and traditions of their traditional Christmas markets.
However, not everyone can get over to Europe to experience these long-standing traditions for themselves. The good news is that there are several U.S. cities that are gaining popularity for their Christmas markets and striving to create the special atmosphere of their European counterparts. Here are a few:
Columbus Circle Holiday Market – New York, NY
New York City is Christmas central in the eastern U.S. It’s no wonder that the city is one of the leaders in recreating a traditional European Christmas market. Columbus Circle holds one of the finest each year from the end of November through Christmas Eve. The market is set up in a circular fashion to encourage strolling. And, the market is held right next to Central Park so you can continue your Christmas stroll through the trees.
Christkindlmarkt – Denver, CO
Denver’s Skyline Park is home to the city’s celebration of the season with food, music, holiday lights, and vendors selling everything from stocking stuffers to hand-made crafts to food. The market even invites vendors from Europe to add to the air of authenticity. There is also plenty of beer and family friendly entertainment to get everyone in the holiday spirit.
Christmas Village – Philadelphia, PA
Thanksgiving marks the opening of the Christmas Village at City Hall in Philadelphia. The charm of an authentic German Christmas market bring flocks of people to Center City Philadelphia for traditional European food, sweets, and drinks like gluhwein. You can shop for international holiday gifts and ornaments, and high-quality arts and crafts. The lights, the huge Christmas tree, and the smell of good food will put you in the holiday mood.
Christmas Market at Epcot – Walt Disney World Resort, FL
Disney celebrates the traditions of Christmas in Germany with its Christmas market at the German pavilion. You can smell the sausages cooking, join in the fun of drinking traditional gluhwein, and shop for German-made Christmas decorations and gifts. The surroundings of the pavilion can make you forget that you are in Florida instead of Dresden, but you might be thankful that you are wearing shorts instead of layers of down and fleece.
Christkindlmarket – Chicago, IL
Chicago hosts its open air Christmas market on Daley Plaza. The event includes something for everyone with family entertainment. You can hear holiday choirs, watch short plays, and see the traditional Christmas lantern parade. The market is open from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve.