An outdoor market in Chicago from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve may strike you as odd. But Chicagoans are hearty folks and won’t let potential weather extremes interfere with holiday fun inspired by the famous Nuremburg, Germany Christmas market. The Nuremburg market dates back to 1545!
Chicago’s version is hosted in Daley Plaza, right in Chicago’s Loop and central to transit, shopping, and commuters. Small “shops” are set-up to mimic a village to sell handmade gifts, crafts, unique ornaments, fabrics and textiles, woodcarvings, jewelry, cuckoo clocks, music, and toys. Most vendors travel from Germany for this special market. Considering the scents waft about a block away on some days, it is hard to forget the German treats to eat. Vendors offer fresh potato pancakes, baked goods, goulash, brats, roasted nuts, German chocolates, fritters, and other nuggets of goodness.
Ahh, the Glühwein . . . it is just the thing to warm you up while shopping and noshing. This warm spiced wine is served in a souvenir mug marked with the year, so be sure to collect yours each year you visit the Christkindlmarket. (You don’t have to go to Germany or Chicago’s Christkindlmarket to have a great spiced wine – see our recipe for Mulled Wine.)
At Christkindlmarket you will also find visits from Chicago’s own Christkind and holiday entertainment. Many folks make visiting the free market a holiday tradition and it’s a fun one.