At Christkindlmarket Chicago, experience a traditional German Christmas inspired by the famous Nuremberg Christmas market dating back to 1545. It's a 4-week holiday shopping extravaganza, complete with food, drinks and entertainment to get you into the spirit of the season.
Amid the downtown skyscrapers and office buildings, you'll find the open-air "village" set up shop. Chicago's iconic Picasso sculpture is surrounded by red- and white-crested wooden huts glowing with warmth and overflowing with curios. Twinkling tree lights and lively music add to the Old World magic.
PLAN YOUR TRIP
The charming scene takes places in the heart of the downtown Loop on Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington Street) and is open daily November 21 - December 24, 2014. Admission to the outdoor market is FREE and visitors of all ages are welcome to join in the tradition, so bundle up and plan your trip today!
For your parking convenience, reserve your space near Daley Plaza in advance through the official Christkindlmarket partner, Park Whiz. Browse garage locations and compare rates online here.
Stroll through Daley Plaza or zip through on a shopping spree. You'll find the most unique gifts with over 50 vendors, and over half travel directly from Germany each year just for Christkindlmarket Chicago. Just a sampling of what you'll find:
- Exquisite glass-blown ornaments in every shape and color
- Handmade wood crafts, from intricate cuckoo clocks to bright-eyed nesting dolls
- Seasonal décor such as whimsical nutcrackers, pewter nativity sets and handcrafted clove & spice wreaths
- Home furnishings like delicate lace tablecloths, ceramic coffee sets and German beer steins
- Handcrafted accessories including knit sweaters and gloves, silk scarves and jewelry from around the world
TRADITIONAL FOOD & DRINK
Prost! Warm up with a glass of glühwein, a traditional German hot spiced wine. You'll see many raising a toast with the souvenir cup shaped like a boot. Fill up on German delicacies like brats, goulash and potato pancakes. Stock up on sweets, from classic cakes and pastries to European chocolates and candied nuts. Or just grab a giant pretzel and continue on your perusing.
EVENTS & SCHEDULE
Christkindlmarket is open daily Sundays to Thursdays from 11am-8pm, and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am-9pm. Live music entertainment — from traditional German tunes to holiday sing-alongs — dancing and a special lantern parade are sprinkled into the schedule.
- November 21
With hours from 11am-9pm, it's a first day full of holiday cheer!
- November 25
Join in on the festivities with the Opening Ceremony of the Christkindlmarket at 5:00pm with the Nurnberg Christkind's famous decree, live music and special guests on the main stage in front of the Grand Timber House.
- November 27
On turkey day, catch the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade along nearby State Street from 8am-11am, then walk over for special Christkindlmarket hours from 11am-4pm.
- November 29 – December 24
Don't miss the special appearances by the Christkind, the mythical fairy-like being dressed in a gold and white robe with a crown atop her golden locks, who serves as an official representative of the city of Nuremberg. She will be greeting children from 2:00-4:00pm on Wednesdays/Saturdays.
- December 24
In a flurry to check off everything from your shopping list, stop into the Christkindlmarket on its final night, with special Christmas Eve hours from 11am-4pm.
Get the full calendar of Christkindlmarket events and a listing of vendors at christkindlmarket.com.
For more holiday celebrations across the city during the festive November and December months, check the featured Events at choosechicago.com or browse the Events Calendar to find out what's happening during your stay.