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7 Great German Christmas Markets Around the U.S.

'Tis the season for savoring mulled wine, picking up handmade gifts and admiring bright light displays.

U.S. News & World Report

7 Great German Christmas Markets Around the U.S.

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 04:  Visitors shop at Christkindlmarket Chicago on December 4, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. Christkindlmarket Chicago is a German-themed outdoor market open during the Christmas shopping season in Daley Plaza in the Chicago Loop. Vendors sell gifts, crafts, ornaments and traditional German food at the market.
Credit

(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Check out festive German-style holiday markets across the country.

Every Christmas season, towns and villages across Europe set up grand holiday markets during the four weeks of Advent in a tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages. With bright lights, handmade crafts and mulled wine, the Christmas markets of Europe lure travelers far and wide to celebrate the annual holiday. And while you may not be able to make it overseas this holiday, there are plenty of recreations here in the U.S. Read on to discover some of the most charming European-inspired Christmas markets from coast to coast.
Next:Chicago
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 04: Wayne Wietbrock, a retired farmer from Lowell, Indiana shops for Christmas ornaments at Christkindlmarket Chicago on December 4, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. Christkindlmarket Chicago is a German-themed outdoor market open during the Christmas shopping season in Daley Plaza in the Chicago Loop. Vendors sell gifts, crafts, ornaments and traditional German food at the market.
Credit

(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Chicago

While strolling through The Loop, holiday shoppers may happen upon a beautiful scene on an open-air lot in the heart of the city. Live music and carolers wander about while shoppers fill their mugs with hot chocolate and mulled wine, indulging in schnitzel at the city's Christkindlmarket, a Chicago tradition. Unique gifts such as cuckoo clocks, nativity sets and glass ornaments fill each charming roofed booth. Visitors can even reserve a spot at the Stammtisch, a private table in the new Americaneagle.com Grand Timber Haus on site as a home base for a group of eight or more. Visit at night for the ultimate Christmas scene.
Next:

Check out festive German-style holiday markets across the country.

Every Christmas season, towns and villages across Europe set up grand holiday markets during the four weeks of Advent in a tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages. With bright lights, handmade crafts and mulled wine, the Christmas markets of Europe lure travelers far and wide to celebrate the annual holiday. And while you may not be able to make it overseas this holiday, there are plenty of recreations here in the U.S. Read on to discover some of the most charming European-inspired Christmas markets from coast to coast.

Chicago

While strolling through The Loop, holiday shoppers may happen upon a beautiful scene on an open-air lot in the heart of the city. Live music and carolers wander about while shoppers fill their mugs with hot chocolate and mulled wine, indulging in schnitzel at the city's Christkindlmarket, a Chicago tradition. Unique gifts such as cuckoo clocks, nativity sets and glass ornaments fill each charming roofed booth. Visitors can even reserve a spot at the Stammtisch, a private table in the new Americaneagle.com Grand Timber Haus on site as a home base for a group of eight or more. Visit at night for the ultimate Christmas scene.

Indianapolis

St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in downtown Indianapolis hosts an annual Christkindl Village to celebrate the holiday that gives a nod to the city's German heritage. At this beautiful Catholic landmark, festival-goers will find a live nativity scene with animals, a beer and gluhwein garden, a canopy of lights, an alpine slide and a traditional Christmas market with produce and arts and crafts all mixed with the delicious smells of German food. The Christkindl Village is open the evening of Dec. 16 and 12-9 p.m. on Dec. 17.

Denver

Local residents and vendors all the way from Europe bring their wares to this annual German Christmas market now in its 16th year. Located at downtown Denver's Skyline Park and running through Dec. 23, Denver hosts the only authentic Christkindl market in the state. Don't miss the 7-foot Advent calendar filled with gifts that are raffled daily and the plethora of culinary delights from roasted nuts and apple strudel to Bavarian salt pretzels with beer cheese dip and Christmas stollen (fried fruit covered in powdered sugar). St. Nikolaus, the Christkind and Krampus will also make special visits to the market.

Helen, Georgia

In Helen, Georgia, located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, step into a recreation alpine town with Old World buildings and cobblestone alleys. It's only fitting that Helen would host a Christkindlmarket that's seemingly plucked out of a scene from Bavaria. The city's Christkindlmarket is open Dec. 3-4 and Dec. 10-11 and offers traditional German gifts and decor, as well as authentic German cuisine and beverages. For a stay to remember, opt for a bed-and-breakfast in town or in a cozy cabin with mountain views.

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

While it may not be home to the actual Christ child, Bethlehem (also dubbed as Christmas City) bears the name of the city where Mary gave birth to Jesus in a manger. Bethlehem's Christkindlmarket recreates this tradition in grand fashion, making it one of the most popular in the U.S. with more than 125 vendors setting up shop. Modeled after the open-air style markets in Germany, visitors will find glass-blowing demonstrations, St. Nicholas and plenty of wursts, strudel, lebkuchen (gingerbread) and gluhwein (wine). The event is open on weekends through Dec. 18.

Arlington, Texas

One of the largest holiday markets in the Southwest, the Texas Christkindl Market is open through Dec. 23 next to Globe Life Park. Arlington's sister city, Bad Königshofen in Bavaria, Germany, inspired the Texas-sized version of this alpine tradition. St. Nicholas has his very own "haus" at this market, and kids are welcome to stop by anytime for a visit. Events unique to the Texas Christkindl Market include a 200-foot-long tubing run that replicates snow tubing, as well as the Children's Lantern Parade. Peppermint Park is a special attraction just for kids where youngsters can enjoy crafts, puppet shows, carnival games and a holiday train ride.

Philadelphia

Located at city hall, Philly's Christmas Village runs through Christmas Eve and is modeled after the most famous Christkindlmarket in Nuremberg, Germany. The Nuremberg Christkind (think: Germany's version of Santa Claus), opens the market after reciting a traditional prologue. Wander through quaint wooden booths decorated in lights with stars alight overhead and take in the smells of gingerbread, brats and mulled wine. Load up on traditional beer steins, wooden toys and unique ornaments for holiday gift-giving, and buy a Christmas Village mug to keep refilling with gluhwein.
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