Chicago’s Christkindlmarket: A Month-Long Taste of Christmas

By Luca Hatzopoulos, Jessica Palmer, and Aubrey Nguyen

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The holiday lights and the Christmas decor of the Christkindlmarket bring the Christmas joy straight to you. This market makes an appearance every year in downtown Chicago located in Daley Plaza with locations in Wrigleyville and Milwaukee, as well.

The Christkindlmarket has been making an appearance in Chicago and bringing joy to families since 1996. This market is well known for its German roots and classic German-style Christkindlmarket. Along with its German roots, it is commonly associated with the hot chocolate they serve and their yearly collectible mug. 

The collectible ceramic mug that the market gave out this year was a boot with the design of the market on it, which was a big hit.

“My favorite thing is the mug and ornaments you can buy in the ornament store,” said Megan, a shopper at the market. For adults, the wine and the mug was an option that most enjoyed.

The ornament store that is admired by many is located in the further corner of the market right by N Dearborn Street. The small store features glass ornaments from Germany with Christmas ornaments and flags from around the world in mini ornament form. The products are sparkled and very detailed and are a perfect addition to your Christmas tree.

“The only two things I get here is the wine in the boot along with a pretzel,” said Jennifer Clark, a regular customer at the market.

“The hot red wine,” answered Cory, when asked what her favorite purchase was. Every year, people look forward to collecting the mug and getting their favorite drink inside of it. Other beverages that go inside the ceramic and decorative mug that are available at the market include hot chocolate and apple cider.

With the cold weather hitting everyone in Chicago, the market was still able to be extremely busy, with lines that’ll make you wait 45 minutes plus and crowds that you can barely walk through. However, that didn’t stop people from attending.

“My favorite thing about the Christkindlmarket is that, when you’re walking through, everyone has a smile on their face, and it just feels like the air of Christmas joy,” said Tammy, a fellow Chicagoan who also went to the market.

“It’s so festive and so fun and family-oriented, and it’s definitely a great tradition,” said Rosanne, another person who attended the market. The atmosphere of the market makes it warm and welcoming to all who stop by for a taste of the Christmas traditions common in Germany. 

The setup of the market is the main factor of all the crowdedness that takes place. It’s almost in a maze-like format that occupies a small block of downtown. Besides the crowdedness, there are many shops and places to get food. They have numerous international shops that sell handmade goodies and yummy pastries from around the globe, but more specifically, Germany.

You can get traditional German foods like large pretzels, bratwurst, strudels, and other delicious foods and desserts. Some of the small shops include hand-blown and painted ornaments, nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks, wood carving demonstrations, and many other festive and international crafts. Above each shop or vendor is a sign indicating what city and country each food or craft are from, letting each customer know how diverse the market is.