Chicago Christmas Market

Authentic German Christkindlmarkt Imported to Windy City

Chicago’s Daley Plaza is transformed into a winter wonderland for the month leading up to Christmas, complete with a giant Holiday Tree and a German Market.

Christmas Markets have been a treasured tradition in Germany for hundreds of years. The Old-World Markets are well worth the trip. Chicago, Illinois hosts an authentic Christkindlmarkt at Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago.

Daley Plaza in the heart of Downtown Chicago becomes a winter wonderland for the month of December, leading up to Christmas. The festivities start on November 27, with the opening of Christkindlmarket.

Tree Lighting Ceremony

The Holiday Season is kicked into high gear by the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, which will take place on December 2, 2008. The 95th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is a highly anticipated Holiday tradition that commences at 12 pm on Monday afternoon. Note that the tree lighting ceremony has changed. The ceremony used to take place on the Friday following Thanksgiving but has been changed to Monday. Plan to arrive early, as crowds gather. While waiting for the tree lighting, browse through the German Christmas Market. There are always good German delicacies to eat, along with hot spiced glogg wine.

The gigantic Christmas Tree is the centerpiece of downtown Chicago during the holiday season. The massive tree is actually comprised of over 130 Balsam Fir trees, The light switch is turned on and thousands of lights begin to sparkle on the decorated tree, signaling the official beginning of the Holiday season. The Mayor speaks and harmonious Christmas carols are sung.

Santa House at Daley Plaza

Santa House will be open every day from November 27 to December 24, so the Jolly Old Eff can visit with children in his cozy cottage at the base of the massive Christmas Tree.

The 13th Annual Christkindlmarket starts on November 27 and continues through December 24. The Chicago Market is inspired by the Nuremberg Christmas Market which dates back to 1545. Vendors from Germany display their wares from huts with pointed roofs on the plaza near the Christmas Tree.

In addition to the Christmas Tree and the Christkindlmarket, there is a large layout with a model train display and a beautiful creche. The market is a festive, entertaining mecca of Holiday spirit for adults and children.

Eat, Drink and Shop at Christkindlmarkt

The air surrounding Daley Plaza is filled with the fragrance of cooking sausages, potato pancakes, and Gluhwein, which is a hot spiced red wine. Warm-up in the large tent, where people gather to eat, drink, and enjoy the sights and entertainment. The large tent serves beer and wine to a festive crowd that seats themselves at long tables. There is also a smaller building perfect for enjoying a warming brew while getting out of the Chicago wind.

Christkindtlmarkt is the perfect place to shop for unique German gifts, such as carved wood, unique glass ornaments, blown glass vases, European fabrics and textiles, toys, and much more. Treats, such as German cookies, chocolate, and stollen, are great gifts to enjoy over the Christmas holidays.

Windy City Celebrates the Holidays

The weather can be brisk to cold in the Windy City in the month prior to Christmas, so dress warmly. Admission to the German Christkindlmarket is free.

The City of Chicago gets all decked out for the Christmas Holiday Season. There are many holiday sights and festivities downtown that are free of charge. Visit Chicago and be delighted by the sparkling lights and festive Christmas Holiday atmosphere. While in Chicago, be sure to take in the Holiday Lights, especially on the Magnificent Mile of Michigan Avenue and the Navy Pier Winter Wonderland.

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