Christmas markets are one of the best places to feel festive. In this guide, we’re going to help you to find where you can buy unique gifts for your loved ones. Here, we’ll tell you the Best Christmas Markets in the US.
1. Washington, D.C.
The nation’s capital holds one of the biggest and best Christmas markets in the US. The market which is stored in the Chinatown neighborhood near the National Portrait Gallery offers more than 75 vendors who represent many international and local cultures. You have the opportunity to buy plenty of crafts, unique gifts, and different kinds of foods like traditional German baked foods, southern BBQ, South American specialties, and Indian food.
Not only that, but they also offer offers live entertainment, featuring live holiday music. Washington’s Christmas market starts Thanksgiving weekend and ends December 23. It is held daily from noon to 8 pm. If you visit there, you can the Christmas decorations on the National Mall and the nearby White House decorations as well.
2. Chicago, Illinois
Chicago’s Christkindlmarket is one of the best Christmas markets in the US. This classic open-air Christmas market is most famous for its bratwurst, the iconic German-style sausage. If you like to get an authentic European experience, Christkindlmarket is a place you should visit. You can buy many traditional gifts from there such as handcrafted Christmas tree ornaments, hand-carved wooden crafts, and German cuckoo clocks inspired by Munich’s Glockenspiel. Kids can have fun in the Kinder Club while their parents shop. It is a program that includes DIY crafts and a scavenger hunt. It’s super easy to find yummy treats like traditional Christmas goodies and German baked goods here.
- Official website: https://www.christkindlmarket.com/
3. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Bethlehem, nicknamed “Christmas City” have two excellent Christmas Markets. The first one is the open-air Christmas City Village downtown. It offers various things like international crafts, gifts, locally made handicrafts, warm beverages, and goodies. Christmas City Village is open during December on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
If you visit there, you’ll experience the European market. Christkindlmarkt is the second market in Bethlehem. It is an indoor market. It features a wide range of vendors as well. You will have to pay an admission charge for this event. Christkindlmarkt is open Fridays through Sundays during the last two weeks of November, and Thursday through Sunday in December until Christmas.
4. Arlington, Texas
If you like to get the experience of a traditional European Christmas market, you should visit Arlington’s, Christkindl Market. You can see cultural elements from Central and South America as well as traditions of German roots. You can find a variety of handcrafted and imported gifts, like Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas decorations. The market offers food vendors serving holiday treats as well. There is a family event that features visits from Santa and the Christkindl Angel. Also, you can join some other events like the petting zoo, puppet shows, and kids’ crafts stations. Christkindl Market is open from mid-November through the first weekend in January. Even late-comers can enjoy the festivities.
- Official website: www.txchristkindlmarket.com
5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
If you are a food lover, Christmas Village in Philadelphia is an ideal place for you. It offers different kinds of European foods, from savory specialties like raclette, Berlin Döner Kebab, Belgian Fries, and Flammkuchen to traditional desserts like pastries galore, fluffy waffles, and classic gingerbread. There are plenty of things for kids to do here. They can join in kids’ activities including a visit from Nuremberg’s Christkind, the Christmas angel, the Ferris wheel, a kiddie train, a two-story carousel, and kids’ craft activities. The market opens the weekend after Thanksgiving and last through Christmas Eve.
- Official website: www.philachristmas.com
6. New York City, New York
New York City has a large number of excellent Christmas markets. Therefore it’s hard to choose just one for you. The first market we will tell you about is the Christmas Market at Columbus Circle. You can easily find gifts and holiday foods from here.
Another best Christmas market in New York City is the Union Square Holiday Market. It offers more than 150 vendors. You can find a huge variety of gifts, including many that are recycled and upcycled creations, certified fair trade, organic, and locally made by craftspeople and artisans. The Union Square Holiday Market offers many items like artwork, décor, ornaments, toys, clothing, unique housewares, and jewelry. You can easily find a variety of food vendors, live entertainment, and kids’ activities as well.
Manhattan’s Bryant Park is home to several holiday shops as well as the Bank of America Winter Village, a European-style market with specially designed, themed kiosks for its variety of vendors. You can find almost everything from handcrafted gifts to unique imports here. There is a 17,000-square-foot ice-skating rink at the center of the village. The rink shows ice-skating performances and skate rentals are available as well. It is open and free to the public. You can also visit to see the iconic tree at Rockefeller Square and Christmas decorations in Central Park.
7. San Francisco, California
Every year from Thanksgiving through Christmas, the Cow Palace Exhibition Halls are changed into a recreation of Victorian London in honor of Charles Dickens and the characters he created. The Dickens Christmas Fair is filled with replicas of lamp-lit streets of London that are lined with stalls, shops, themed restaurants, and tearooms. Tourists frequently get into character and embrace the spirit, joining the many costumed actors who walk the streets. You can catch live theater shows and enjoy live music as well.
- Official website: www.dickensfair.com
8. Denver, Colorado
Denver Christkindl Market features a variety of craftspeople and food vendors stationed in wooden kiosks, theme nights, and entertainment events for the whole family like performances from the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, German polka, and choral performances. You can easily find traditional German Christmas wares, like wooden toys and blown glass ornaments. As well as the market offers handcrafted items from many Eastern European countries, including Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, and Russia. Not only that, but they also offer a variety of food like Viennese strudel, German knödel, Polish pierogies, Blinchiki, and French cheeses.
- Official website: www.christkindlmarketdenver.com
9. Atlanta, Georgia
The Atlanta Christkindl Market is held in the Centennial Olympic Park. It starts with a visit from the Christkind from Nuremberg, Germany on the first weekend of December. After doing the traditional ceremony, she stops by to take photographs with the kids and tells them about German Christmas legends as interested shoppers take in the festive ambiance and upbeat live music. You can find a variety of German crafts and items like hand-carved wooden toys and trinkets, fine laces, and delicate Christmas tree ornaments. Also, you can enjoy hearty German dishes like currywurst, bratwurst, leberkäse, and many other traditional foods.
- Official website: www.christkindlmarket.org
10. Leavenworth, Washington
The town of Leavenworth is a year-round Bavarian town nestled right in the mountains of the northwest. Leavenworth features month-long celebrations with lighting ceremonies, caroling, and special events. Leavenworth’s Christkindlmarkt is held both indoors in the Leavenworth Festhalle and outdoors at Front Street Park. Therefore you can have fun here in any weather. This has been the central event for over two decades in Leavenworth and it opens on the weekend after Thanksgiving with a lantern parade and continues through Christmas Eve. You can find live music and kids’ craft activities as well.
- Official website: www.christkindlmarktleavenworth.com
11. Georgetown, Colorado
If you visit this small Colorado mountain village in the first two weekends of December, you can see a lively Victorian town that is completed with horse-drawn carriages and costumed performers. The Christmas Market features numerous craft vendors, local artisans, and creators. You can buy a verity of items like decorative items, handmade clothing, Christmas decorations, and other unique gifts from here. They feature events like appearances from Saint Nicholas, caroling and dancing, and the Santa Lucia Children’s Procession. You can have traditional goodies like hot cocoa and freshly roasted chestnuts from their food vendors.
- Official website: www.historicgeorgetown.org/christmas-events
12. Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Christkindlesmarkt which is held at the Osthoff Resort is one of the best Christmas markets in the US. It is held in a giant heated tent, looking out over Elkhart Lake, and open each year from Thanksgiving weekend through mid-December. Each vendor sells their goods from beautiful wooden kiosks surrounded by lights and evergreens. They offer different kinds of traditional German handicrafts and Eastern European items. You can find food from German sausages to sweet strudels as well.
13. Cincinnati, Ohio
Cincinnati is home to two Christmas markets. The Germania Society Christkindlmarkt is one of the best Christmas markets in the US. This outdoor market is held as part of the German society’s efforts to expose the culture and traditions of Germany to the people. It is held over a three-day weekend just before Thanksgiving. You can buy traditional crafts, items, and authentic German food from here.
They also offer family activities like a petting zoo, a kids’ parade, horse-drawn carriage rides, and live music. The Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt is the second one and it is held in Fountain Square. This European-style market opens the weekend after Thanksgiving. It features vendors in wooden timber shelters and sells German food, German gifts, locally made gifts, and holiday decorations. The square also features a skating rink, and each holiday season is opened with the lighting of the tree and fireworks.
14. Baltimore, Maryland
The Christmas Village in Baltimore is one of the best Christmas markets in the US. The market is located at West Shore Park in Inner Harbor and operates daily from late November through Christmas. It offers more than 50 vendors in an outdoor setting featuring a heated tent and wooden stalls. There is a large wooden Christmas tower with a fan-like topper at the centerpiece of the space. At Bicentennial Plaza, the market offers festive rides for children and the young at heart, including a charming vintage carousel and a brightly lit Ferris wheel.
- Official website: www.baltimore-christmas.com
14. Frankenmuth, Michigan
The ChristKindlMarkt which is operated by the Frankenmuth Farmer’s Market is one of the best Christmas markets in the US. It is open Friday through Sunday on the last weekend of November, all of December, and the first weekend of January. You can buy items made by local artisans. There are food vendors which sell food products like local specialty herbs, honey, and maple syrup, several bakeries, homemade dog confections, hand-knit items, canned goods, and more.
Official website: www.frankenmuthfarmersmarket.org/christkindlmarkt
16. Boston, Massachusetts
Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace is not a traditional Christmas market. But we give it a spot on our list of best Christmas markets in the US because it is an iconic Christmas shopping destination. The market is held from Thanksgiving through the New Year. Visiting there, you can see the historic Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market filled with lights, garlands, and festive music. Also, you can find live entertainment and many photogenic spots outside the market. You can find vending carts and shops filled with tchotchkes to handcrafted cards and clothing inside the market. There are several food vendors as well.
- Official website: faneuilhallmarketplace.com
Frequently Asked Questions
Which American Christmas market is the largest?
In the United States, Chicago has the largest Christmas market. Every year, it attracts more than a million people. This is the next best thing if you can’t make it to the renowned German Christmas markets.
How long should you spend at the Chicago Christmas Market?
Food and gift shop lineups can be very long. Even when it’s not busy, you need at least an hour to see everything. The whole process typically takes 1-3 hours. Sunday evenings are typically peaceful as well as weekdays.
Do American cities have Christmas markets?
There are Christmas markets in America, but they differ significantly from their European counterparts while being inspired by them. One is that because of stricter rules about public drinking, you can’t walk through them with mulled wine.
What products are available in christmas markets?
People enjoy going to modern Christmas markets to look at interesting products that they may offer as presents to family or friends or as home decorating. Handmade candles, wax melts, jewelry, pottery, traditional toys, Christmas decorations, and other items could be included.