Europe is known for its picturesque holiday markets, where outdoor vendors sell everything from ornaments to handcrafted toys, and steaming mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, and traditional candies and chocolates are savored by all. Thankfully, many U.S. cities have started their own Christmas market traditions, making holiday shopping a more outside-of-the-big-box experience. Here are five Christmas markets across the U.S. that you’ll want to check out this holiday season.
Every year, Chicago’s Christkindlmarket, a traditional German outdoor market, sets up for the holidays on downtown’s Daley Plaza. You’ll find everything your family needs to trim your tree at this stroll-worthy market, as well as fine chocolates, wooden Santas, hand-knit scarves, and more. Save room for a giant hot pretzel and Glühwein, a hot, spiced German wine, sold here in a collectible, boot-shaped mug.
Union Square Holiday Market, New York City
If you’re in the Big Apple during the holidays, a visit to the Union Square Holiday Market is must-do. Over 100 vendors sell the most unique gifts in town, all created by local craftsmen and artists, with special sections like Little Brooklyn and Urbanspace Provisions offering locally-crafted goods you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Roughly 1 million shoppers make this one of the busiest holiday markets in the world.
Downtown Holiday Market, Washington, D.C.
Our nation’s hub features a delightful holiday market, where you’ll find over 150 artists and crafters selling a variety of gift-worthy goods. Be sure to arrive with an empty stomach, as the treats for sale here go the extra gourmet mile. Located on the F Street sidewalk in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery between 7th & 9th Streets, NW, this festive holiday village within the capital will open Friday, November 25, and will run through Friday, December 23, from noon to 8 pm each day.
Great Dickens Christmas Fair, San Francisco
Travel back in time to merry old Victorian England at San Francisco’s Great Dickens Christmas Fair, a lively holiday market inspired by Charles Dickens’ classic seasonal tale, A Christmas Carol. Over three acres of the Cow Palace’s vintage exhibition halls are transformed into old London: think lamplit lanes, raucous pubs and theaters, dance floors and music halls, tearooms and shops, with costumed characters adding to the authentic ambiance. The quaint shops sell everything from pewter jewelry to handmade ornaments. The 2016 Season kicks off on Nov. 19, and the fair runs weekends through Dec. 18, including the Friday after Thanksgiving. Be on the lookout for Father Christmas and everybody’s favorite grouch, Ebenezer Scrooge!
Denver Christkindl Market
Even the Christkind—the traditional German Christmas fairy—pays a visit to Denver’s Christkindl Market, making this market one of the most traditionally German markets in the country. You’ll find all your German faves here, from Wiener schnitzel to a fine selection of imported German beer on draft. Local and international artisans sell an amazing selection of fine gifts, from handcrafted wooden watches to nutcrackers. Musical entertainment promises to get you on your feet and dancing to the ooompa band beat.