What Is a Christmas Market?

It is a street market associated with Christmas celebrations. It is held during the four weeks of Advent. They are also known as Christkindlmarket, Christkindlesmarkt, Christkindlimarkt, Christkindlmarkt, or Weihnachtsmarkt.

The history of Christmas markets traces back to Striezelmarkt. This was the first official Christmas market in the world. It was held in Dresden, the capital city of Saxony, Germany.

After that, more markets sprout up across the world. From Germany to Austria to France, almost every town organized a Christmas Market.

The events were usually held in town squares. They signalled the beginning of the Christmas holiday season. Foods, drinks, and seasonal items sold in open-air stalls are always in plenty.

Today, Christmas markets have attracted millions of followers. The rustic and authentic designs are too brilliant to ignore. Almost every major city across the world has one.

Christmas is almost here! Looking for a place to celebrate Christmas? Or get gifts for your loved ones? Attending a Christmas market event is your best bet.

The Christkindl Experience.

This yearly street festivals basically turn city centres into magical fairylands.
You can take a stroll through the market to:
Enjoy the beautiful lights
Purchase handmade artisan gifts for your loved ones
Listen to live music
Taste mulled wine, or the noshing gingerbread
And do a lot more!
There is a lot you can do in a Christmas market!

Let’s take a look at some of the popular Christkindlmarkts in the world.

Cambria Christmas Market California

Cambria christkindl market is usually set up in Cambria Pines Lodge. It is located next to Cambria Nursery and sits on 6 acres. Each year, it hosts over 45000 people annually.

How did the Cambria Christmas market come to be?

After a brief visit to Germany, Dirk Winter was inspired to host a European-style Christmas market. He made his dream true in 2011, right in the middle of California.

The Market is registered under a family-operated parent company – Moonstone Hotel Properties.

How Does It Look & Feel?

Everything is designed to make you feel like you are in a regular German market.

There is a lot to make you have a great time from the open-air stalls selling glühwein (hot mulled wine) to traditional German foods and live entertainment.

The market also features two million LED light bulbs that cover over 30 miles! The intimidating but attractive views will make your jaws drop, literally.

Must see light displays include:

The Tunnel of Lights – it’s a pathway leading to the Christmas tree. It 100% leaves visitors in constant awe every time.
The Twelve Days of Christmas. Here, thousands of panels come to life with lights and animation as the song plays.
The Golden Gate Bridge. This is a beautiful replica of the actual Golden Gate Bridge.
The Grinch. A scary hairy, pear-shaped, pot-bellied, snub-nosed creature who reportedly stole Christmas! His greenish figure display is on full lights display at the Christmas market!
The Nutcracker and the Surfing Santa.

Things to Do In Cambria Christmas Market

Meet Santa!

If you’ve got kids, then this is a must! Santa exists in the Cambria market, and I promise you that the kids will never forget the experience! Every night from 6 pm – 8:30 pm, you and your family can meet and take pictures with Santa. With your own camera, each photo with Santa is about $5, but we recommend getting a framed photo for $10.

Live Carols

Music is good for the soul, especially if it’s Christmas carols. Every night carol singers perform Christmas melodies that get you in the mood for Christmas.

You will find yourself singing along! If you don’t know the lyrics, you can be sure you will la-la-along to whatever tune is playing 🙂 You can’t just help it!

From group choirs to soloists and acoustic performers, there’s something for everyone.

The Biergarten

There’s nothing like a good ‘ol cold beer. Cambria Christmas Market has its very own German-themed beer garden. You can grab a warm or cold beer, relax and enjoy live music.

Aside from beer, there are plenty of other warm alcoholic & non-alcoholic drinks. They include buttered rum, German mulled wine (glühwein), and eggnog, among others.

If your stomach starts rumbling, there are plenty of food stalls to grab a bite. Try out quick snacks such as the bratwurst, a warm German potato salad.

Twinkling Train Ride

The train ride is, perhaps, one of the best ways to enjoy the market. Catch a glimpse of the spectacular view of the two million lights illuminating the festival from a distance.

The sight is magical, and it’s breathtaking!

Explore the Artisan Market

Cambria Market reflects authentic traditional German Christmas activities that feature artisan items. Some of the top artisan stalls at Cambria Christmas Market include:

  1. The Love Story Project – Sells beautiful and personalized Christmas gifts such as trinkets and printed photos.
  2. Seaside Treasures – sells stunning handmade jewelry made of locally sourced sea glass.
  3. Aww Fudge – caters for everyone with a sweet tooth! They specialize in various delicious flavors. They include fudge, such as pumpkin, peppermint, Mexican hot chocolate, Guinness & coffee flavor.
  4. Yes Cocktail Co. – makes all-natural craft cocktail mixers and syrups.
  5. Lavender Oak Farms – makes handmade lavender products.
  6. LaBella Olives – sells food products.
    If you don’t like items from one shop, you can still browse and buy from the next shop. There are more than 25 vendors within the market.

Other items that you might find attractive include:

Wood ornaments, decor and toys, pottery, driftwood mobiles, wind chimes, handcrafted scarves, hats and much more.

For a full list of vendors, check out cambriachristmasmarket.com.

How To Get There

Carpooling is encouraged as there isn’t enough parking space in the neighborhood or at the event site.

For free parking, use the free shuttle services from Coast Union High School. You can find shuttle services on Santa Rosa Creek Road, Cambria Grammar School on Main St. and Brambles in East Village.

To find out more about parking and shuttle details, check cambriachristmasmarket.com for all details.

This coming Christmas, take a step away from the ordinary celebration.

Take your entire family to experience and revel in the sights, light, and sounds of the season.

Feel the festive ambiance that makes Christmas time in a delightful tradition.

Christkindlmarkt Carmel Indiana

Indiana holidays are ever magical in Hamilton County, Indiana. The Carmel Christkindlmarket breathes life to this lovely quiet little town. It can be found at Center green, between Tarkington theatre and Palladium concert hall. The locals named it Carmel Farmers Market as it’s one of the favorite markets for farmers and residents around.

Oh, and by the way, you might get stuck behind a tractor. Yeap, it’s legal, and it’s quite common to find yourself behind the one that’s driving at 10 miles per hour, just like that!

But hey, one muddy tractor and a laid back cowboy with dirt and boots is a much better view. I’d take that compared to the massive traffic any day!

As with other Christmas markets, the Indiana Christmas Market is also covered and surrounded by thousands of lights.

Once you walk into the market, your first view will be of little wooden huts/stalls. The stall vendors sell authentic products both from local artisans and others imported from Germany.

If you are shopping for gifts and souvenirs, plan to get there early and get a cup of glühwein. The weather is usually a little bit chilled plus; you need the energy for all the activities will be doing. Only something warm with some spike-like glühwein will keep you active!

Some of the collectable items you might find include boot mugs, Bierkrüge, wooden toys, nutcrackers, music boxes, ornaments, and more.

In case you opt for quick snacks, you can always try out the German pretzel, Raclette (melted cheese served on bread), Lebkuchen (German cookie), Stollen (dried fruit bread) or the Germans favourite, bratwurst.

Things to Do:

Ice Skate at Center Green

A lot of memories have been made on Carmel Christkindlmarkt Ice skating rink at Center Green. You can have fun and enjoy tripping, literally over each other! Bring or hire skates (for about $3) on-site and glide through the winter wonderland. Each session is charged $6 on Wednesdays and Thursdays for all ages. On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, ice skating costs $9 for adults and $6 for children under ten years. For accurate & updated pricing, check the Carmel Christkindl market official website:

A Visit to the Kulturecke

Kulturecke is a German history museum that is set in a 12-by-30-foot hut just south of the Palladium. The cultural center mainly displays German traditions. Indiana’s deep-rooted German-American heritage and it’s impact on Hoosier’s society are also showcased.

Glühwein Pyramid

This traditional decoration is one of a kind and the only one in the United States! The Glühwein Pyramid stands over 33-feet high, is decorated with over 3000 lights, and weighs about 10 tons!

Do you know how much it cost the City to get it built? $250,000!

I say it’s worth it! You can enjoy more than ten varieties of beverages. There’s beer, mulled wine with a very wintery and Christmas German spin, non-alcoholic drinks, and children punch.

If you love wine, we recommend red wine. The cinnamon, orange, and lemony German flavours will wake your taste buds 🙂

Belgian hot chocolate

Hands down, Bob’s Belgian Hot chocolate is about the best cup of hot cocoa you could have.

It’s made with only pulverized Belgian chocolate, sweet cream, and milk. Nothing else.! This gourmet hot chocolate is a must-have.

  • Raclette cheese
  • The Purdue and IU steins

Other Things to Do Nearby

Want to have more fun? You can explore more of Carmel.

The Carmel Arts & Design District, local shops, and galleries are quite attractive.

Quick bites from local restaurants in Main Street or in Midtown Plaza are to die for. Some of the popular restaurants include The Pint Room, the new Cake Bake Shop, Bazbeaux Pizza, or Sun King Spirits.

For extra shopping and dinner, head out to Carmel City Center.

Experience a heartwarming evening at The Center for the Performing Arts for live performances.

Is There Parking Space?

Yes. There’s free parking available around the areas surrounding the Christkindl market. They include surface lots and covered garages. We recommend:

The Veteran’s Way Parking Garage on Rangeline Road just south of Carmel City Center, &

The Booth Tarkington Civic Theater Garage on 3rd Avenue.

Christmas Market Chicago

Let’s be honest, once the Christmas mood sets in, nobody wants to do a lot of heavy lifting. Everybody wants a good time with their family. A lazy afternoon stroll through a Christkindl market is the answer. There’s no better way to make lifetime memories!

Walk around as you listen to Christmas carols play in the background. Take in the fresh smells of roasted nuts, bratwurst, fresh pretzels, and hot, spiced wine, or gaze at all the sparkling Christmas lights.

You can explore products from across the world. If you love collectibles, you will love the traditional and authentic items. From nutcrackers and beer steins to everything in between, there’s something for everyone.

According to their website, over 60 per cent of the food, drinks, and merchandise vendors hail from Germany.

Are you looking to spend some time at Christkindl Chicago this festive season? Here’s everything you need to know.

The History Chicago Christmas Market

The German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest Inc. (GACC Midwest) suggested the creation of Chicago christkindl market in 1995. It was formed in an effort to promote bilateral trade between the USA and Germany.

Peter Flatzek, and Ray Lotter, the then Vice President and Manager of Commercial Services for GACC Midwest, respectively, initiated a partnership with Nuremberg city officials to form the market.

Companies from Germany and the Chicago were then invited to participate in the first ever Christkindlmarket in Chicago. The inaugural event which took place on Pioneer Court was an instant success.

In 1997, former Mayor Richard M. Daley sent a special invitation. The move facilitated the move of the market to Daley Plaza, which is still the current location to date.

Since then, the market has been opened every Christmas.

The Folklore. Who is Christkind? Who is Krampus?

The Christkind is pretty much Santa Claus. You never get to see the Christkind, but once you hear a bell ring, you know that gifts are waiting for you. The Christkind folklore dates back to the 1500s.

During parades in the holiday season, people believed they were guided by one “grand” angel, the Christkind. To date, Christkind is considered the bearer of gifts to most children in German-speaking countries. He is pretty much like Santa Claus.

The Krampus folklore is somewhat of a contrast. Krampus was considered to be an anthropomorphic figure. He is described as a horned “half-goat” and half-demon who punishes disobedient and misbehaving children. This scares the kids and makes sure they are always lovely all year round.

When is Christkindlmarket Chicago?

The Christmas Market in Chicago usually starts from Nov through to the end of December. The market is open daily at set times. You can check the schedules on their official website :

Parking Space

Always get there early or use public transportation. There is minimal street or metered parking available around the market. As per their official website, you can book convenient and affordable parking in advance through SpotHero.

One of the other parking options is getting your parking ticket to one of InterPark parking garages. They have multiple locations near the Christkindlmarket Chicago.

The Tradition. Why Should You Attend the Next Chicago Christkindl Market event?

It’s really magical, to be honest. Imagine a little German village tucked away downtown Chicago, apart from the skyscrapers.

Every time you look around the breathtaking decorations and the lovely people, you outright forget that you are in the City of Chicago.

You can even say it’s somewhat romantic and mind relaxing. A visit to the market will definitely get you into the Christmas mood.

Things to do in Christkindlmarket Chicago

See the holiday lights

Lace-up some skates

Experience the top local traditions

Shop charming holiday stalls

Explore the winter wonderland with the kids

Catch a festive show

Explore a holiday exhibit

Grab some gifts

Embark on a winter tour

Warm-up with hot cocoa

Bryant Park Christmas market NY

Bryant Park is a privately managed public park located in New York City, Manhattan. The park sits on 9.6-acres of land.

It is located between Fifth & Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) and between 40th and 42nd Streets in Midtown Manhattan.

Half of the park to the eastern side hosts the Main Branch of the New York Public Library (NYPL). The other half to the west contains a lawn, shaded & manicured walkways, and amenities such as a carousel.

The park is home to various events every year. The main one is the “Winter Village event” which happens during Christmas. The park transforms into a magical wonderland with an ice rink and shops during Christmas.

While there are other activities in the park all year round, it feels really magical during Christmas time. Why?

The frozen fountain and the Christmas lights are Superb.

The artificial ice-skating rink comes to life in the Christmas season.

Authentic European collectables and delicious exotic foods are also brought in from across the world.

How Is It Compared To Other Christmas Markets In New York?

There hasn’t been a lot of buzz around this New York Christmas Market, but you will be surprised at how fun it is!

The common misconception people have is that the park is overcrowded. Well, I’m here to tell you it’s not. While it’s right in Midtown Manhattan, a few steps from Times Square and within five subway lines, there’s still enough space for everyone.

Actually, the market is far from overcrowded. Even when it gets busy, you can still have room to walk around without stepping on people’s toes freely.

The Winter Park atmosphere is excellent and festive. Everyone is just there to have a good time. It’s new York City anyway!

In over 170 stalls in the market, you will get the most authentic items like you would from any other Christkindl Market across the world. Not just the cheap “touristic” souvenirs you might expect.


Evenings might be slightly crowded. But they are magical with all the lights!

For peak seasons, go during weekdays. There are no long lines, and the skating arena is less congested.

Things to do In Bryant Park Christmas market NY

Relax, and people watch

Ride on Le Carousel

Go ice-skating

Play games: Chess and backgammon, ping pong, or petanque.

Read a book or magazine at the Bryant Park Reading Room.

Have a drink in the Southwest Porch. Many seats are swings so you can relax while you have a snack or beverage.

PRICING (All prices are based on 2019 Bryant park Christmas market NY)

Admission: FREE!

Skate Rental (if you don’t have your own): $18 off-peak, $23 mid-season, $33 holiday season. Helmet Rental: $6

Skate Aids for Kids: $22 an hour

Bag check: $12.

Locker fees: Free.

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