Winter at Tantora

Christkindlmarket Chicago

by Benjamin Kerns

Dec 27, 2018

Chicago © Benkrut | Dreamstime

Reviews / Entertainment

The Christkindlmarket Chicago is the city’s, and possibly the United States’, largest open-air Christmas festival. The namesake festival in Nuremburg, Germany, established in the 16th Century, served as the inspiration and the event brings a little taste of Europe to the city each year. It began in 1996 and has since given birth to smaller offshoots in the outskirts of the city and around the Midwest.


Every December, a village of huts is erected in Daley Plaza, housing dozens of vendors looking to sell handcrafted and delicious merchandise. Food, ornaments, clothing and more are available every few feet. German food tends to be the delicacy of choice here, but you’re likely to find a little bit of everything. Locals also provide a diverse array of entertainment in the form of musical performances and small shows. Whether you’re in the mood for Christmas caroling or an impromptu visit from Santa, you’ll find it here.


One of the highlights of the Christkindlmarket is the opening ceremony, a brilliant display of lights and sounds that also features the arrival of the Christkind herself. This fairy-like being is there to celebrate the season with a traditional monologue translated directly from German. For a full look at the events of the Christkindlmarket, including dance performances and a visit from the Christmas Elves, check out the website.


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