It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas season is here and the US has many Christmas markets where you can stroll around browsing for gifts and enjoying some seasonal treats. Together with other travel bloggers we have put up a list with the best Christmas markets in the United States. From the classic markets in New York to a village founded by germans in Iowa, these markets will definitely get you into the christmas spirit.
These are the best Christmas Markets in the United States:
- Christkindlmarket in Chicago by Choosing Figs
Christkindlmarket is Chicago’s annual Christmas market, held every December at Daley Plaza downtown. Originally inspired by Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, Chicago’s fete now attracts more than 1 million visitors each year. The cozy European-inspired village makes for a welcoming contrast to the bustling city and towering skyscrapers that surround the market.
I love wandering the festive wooden huts over a lunch break from work or on a weekend excursion downtown, window shopping for traditional ornaments and knick knacks, and savoring a warm bowl of thick goulash or a plate of crispy potato pancakes dipped in sweet apple sauce. You can’t go to Christkindlmarket without purchasing a miniature souvenir mug filled with rich hot chocolate or spiced glühwein (mulled wine): it’s tradition. Chicago’s Christkindlmarket is a fun stop for visitors of all ages and is a must-do holiday excursion in the city.
Planning a trip to Chicago? Read Tips for planning a trip to Chicago
SoWa Winter Festival in Boston by The Roving Fox
Winter in New England—what could be more quintessential? Boston has several winter holiday markets
for people of all ages to enjoy. Check out the SoWa Winter Festival (Nov. 30-Dec. 9, 2018) for the largest
shopping village in the South End where you can mingle with local artisans, shop for handmade gifts, take
in ice carving demonstrations, or sip on winter cocktails and brews. For those closer to Downtown, the
pop-up Downtown Holiday Arts Market (Nov. 23-Jan. 6) offers live music, hot food options, and the
chance to shop for holiday goods.
Visiting Boston? Read What to do in Boston in 3 days
Union Square Holiday Market in New York
New York is magical during Christmas season: the christmas lights, Central Park covered in snow, the ice-skating… everything is just like in the movies. If you’re in NY during the holiday season you must definitely visit Union Square Holiday Market. You will find more than 150 vendors showcasing handcrafted goods and also live music performances and activities for kids. Open from 15th November to 24 th December. If you’re spending New Year’s Eve in New York read: How to spend New Year’s Eve in New York.
- Pittsburgh Holiday Market by Everywhere Forward
During the holiday season, Pittsburgh’s Market Square District comes alive with festivities! One
of our favorite things to do is visit the Holiday Market. This public square is full of local artisans
selling a wide range of seasonal items including Old German Christmas decorations, European
folk art, Himalayan wool, and Christmas ornaments. You can also visit Santa’s House and with a
donation to the food bank, you can get photos with Santa himself. Throughout the season,
music events and activities are held at a holiday market.
The best part about visiting the holiday market is that during the evenings, a square one block over becomes an ice skating rink! We love visiting Pittsburgh’s Holiday Market because there is so much to do, it benefits local business, and most importantly: the community comes together.
The Amana Colonies in Iowa by Daises and Chalk
There is a place in Iowa where it is Christmas all year long! It is a hidden gem that you just happen to discover if you visit the Amana Colonies. The Amana Colonies is a treasure all its own taking you back to the days when settlers from Germany first came to the area. Inside the quaint little General Store, you will see a sign above a threshold that simply reads “The Christmas Room.” Walk inside and you enter a land of magic and wonder where every corner is brimming with holiday cheer. Have you been searching for Christmas Inspiration? Do you have an insane idea about a unique Christmas Tree Design? They probably have it! Want to know where your favorite tourist stop found that amazing ornament? Here. Best Part, Santa stops in throughout the year to make sure all is well. Keep an eye out… you just might see him (even if it is July).
Christmas Village in Philadelphia by Reverberations
Every holiday season for more than a decade, Philadelphia’s iconic LOVE Park comes alive as an authentic German-style Christmas market. The spot sits in the shadow of city hall and Robert Indiana’s famous sculpture, from where the park gets its name. Over 80 stalls line the park selling everything from warm clothes to Christmas decorations and handmade toys for children. And that’s before you get to the tasty treats, like mulled wine using locally made wines, gingerbread, and Belgian waffles.
Visitors can grab a bite to eat and keep warm and happy as they explore everything on offer on what will inevitably be a cold winter day. The Nuremberg Christkind even makes an appearance for the opening weekend to kick off the festivities. Meanwhile, there are other live performances, music and a visit from Santa himself. The Christmas market has brought that European charm to the City of Brotherly Love.
Christkindlmarkt in Helen, Georgia by Adventure Dragon
Nestled against the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the United States, a little Bavarian-style mountain village hosts one of the best Christmas markets I’ve ever attended. Helen, Georgia contains just 430 residents but consistently remains the third most visited city in the state, and it’s all due to its festive spirit and quirky charms. To kick off the town’s Christkindlmarkt, an annual parade winds its way from downtown Helen to the Festhalle on Edelweiss Street, where kids can enjoy a bonfire with s’mores while meeting Santa. Then, for the first few weeks of December, the Downtown Marketplatz fills its stalls with unique holiday decorations, gifts, and candy treats.
You can’t go home without first sampling some fudge from the Hansel and Gretel Candy Kitchen. They make over 20 different flavors, including my favorites–Chocolate Raspberry, Amaretto Almond, and Peanut Butter. Gorgeous wreaths and Christmas trees also light up the town for weeks before finally going home with the highest bidders just in time for Christmas. If you’re a fan of small towns and lesser-known Christmas markets, then you’ll absolutely love the German-inspired Christkindlmarkt of Helen, Georgia.
- Bryant Park’s Winter Village in New York
Bryant Park in New York City is definitely one of the places where you can really feel the Christmas spirit of the city. Winter Village at Bryant Park opens at the end of October and you can enjoy the shops and the rink (free admission). You can buy not only christmas crafts but also items from regular shops. Winter Village at Bryant Park is a must visit if you’re visiting New York during winter. I loved this place when I was there for Christmas 2017. The Holiday Shops are open through January 2, 2019.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the post and visit some of these awesome Christmas markets to get you into the spirit! Thanks to all the bloggers who’ve contributed 🙂
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