Experience holiday magic at Christkindlmarket Chicago

Grab a mug of Glühwein, peruse the handmade gifts and get acquainted with Chicago's favorite holiday market

Christkindlmarket
Photograph: Grace DuVal

No matter how many twinkling lights or decorated trees you encounter, the holidays in Chicago don't really start until Christkindlmarket arrives. The annual holiday market draws inspiration from winter festivals in Germany and fills Daley Plaza with a village of huts that house vendors selling food, handmade gifts, clothing, ornaments and more. Attendees flock to the Loop to sip Glühwein (served in a souveneir mug), do holiday shopping and sample German food like konckwurst and potato pancakes. Get ready to browse, eat and drink your way through the beloved seasonal event with our guide to Christkindlemarket Chicago.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Christmas in Chicago

When is Christkindlmarket Chicago?

Christkindlmarket runs from November 16 to December 24, 2018. The market is open Sunday through Thursday 11am–8pm, Friday and Saturday 11am–9pm.

Where is Christkindlmarket Chicago?

Chirstkindlmarket takes over nearly the entirety of Daley Plaza, under the gaze of the Picasso sculpture. If you're traveling by train, just take the Blue Line to Washington or the Red Line to Lake.

Christkindlmarket 2018

What to eat, drink and buy at Christkindlmarket 2018
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What to eat, drink and buy at Christkindlmarket 2018

Ornaments, curry fries, cozy socks, steaming mugs and more wonderful stuff

Take a look at this year’s heart-shaped Christkindlmarket mugs
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Take a look at this year’s heart-shaped Christkindlmarket mugs

You have to drink all of that spiced wine and cocoa out of something

Things to do around Christkindlmarket
Things to do

Things to do around Christkindlmarket

Bring your mug along to some of the best attractions near Daley Plaza

The best stuff at Christkindlmarket

2016: The 14 best things to eat, drink and buy
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2016: The 14 best things to eat, drink and buy

Hot chocolate, nutcrackers and ornaments

2015: 15 best things to eat, drink and buy
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2015: 15 best things to eat, drink and buy

Candles, wiener schnitzel sandwich and teapots

2014: 11 best things to eat and buy
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2014: 11 best things to eat and buy

DönerMen, snowballs and a tiny version of the Bean

What to do in the Loop

Best restaurants in the Loop
Restaurants

Best restaurants in the Loop

Still hungry? Hit these tasty spots next.

Best bars in the Loop
Bars

Best bars in the Loop

Even if you've had a couple mugs, you could probably use another drink

Best attractions in the Loop
Things to do

Best attractions in the Loop

Ice skating, museums and even more cool stuff to see

Chicago theater in the Loop
Theater

Chicago theater in the Loop

Go see a show after you're done shopping

Archive Christkindlmarket stories

Christkindlmarket reveals its 2016 mug
News

Christkindlmarket reveals its 2016 mug

We're counting down the days (14) until Christkindlmarket opens and with the signature wooden houses popping up in Daley Plaza this week we could practically start to taste all of our favorite German food and drinks. The big question on everyone's mind: What would this year's Christkindlmarket mug look like? For over a decade a collectible boot was the signature drinkware of Christkindlmarket before the switch to a more traditional mug in 2012. The boot made its triumphant return last year to celebrate Christkindlmarket's 20th anniversary, but it looks like we'll be drinking our glühwein out of a regular mug again this year.            The city's largest open-air holiday market opens November 18 and runs through December 24, with tons of free events, musical performances and the best food, drinks and shopping. This year suburbanites can join in on the festivities with a new market in Naperville that opens November 20. Enjoy all the celebrations at Christkindlmarket through December 24, and check out the full schedule of events here.  Sure, we'll miss the boot, but the good news is glühwein tastes just as delicious in a regular mug.  Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.  

Only one month until Christkindlmarket opens
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Only one month until Christkindlmarket opens

While today's toasty temperatures might not make you feel like it, we're only one month away from our favorite holiday market setting up shop in Daley Plaza. Christkindlmarket returns on November 18 and we're counting down the days until we can eat and shop for all of our Christkindlmarket favorites. The massive open-air market is always a must during the holidays in Chicago, with great food, drinks and gifts—including handcrafted ornaments, wooden clocks, nutcrackers and more—from Germany and beyond.  And there's good news for suburbanites, as Christkindlmarket launches in Naperville this holiday season. You'll have to wait an extra week though; the new market doesn't open until November 25. Until November 18, we'll just be over here dreaming about boots full of Glühwein and a sweet plate of Germknödel. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know. 

Christkindlmarket will come to Naperville this year
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Christkindlmarket will come to Naperville this year

July is right around the corner and we all know what that means. We're halfway to Christmas season. It will only be a few more months until Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" mysteriously dominates the playlist in every department store, coffee shop and iPhone. To make sure you haven't forgotten about the joys of the holiday season, Christkindlmarket has just announced a new location in Naperville. The beloved Christmas market will bring more than 40 wooden stalls filled with glittery ornaments, warm strudel and handmade gifts to the suburb, beginning on November 25. There will be heated structures where visitors can enjoy German beers or glühwein in adorable collectable mugs (hopefully in the shape of a boot). Guests can also look forward to live musical performances and a visit from the Christkind herself every Sunday. Naperville residents won’t have to make the trek all the way to Daley Plaza in order to experience one of the largest and most authentic German markets outside of Europe. Just like the Loop-based market, Christkindlmarket will be free and open to the public Thursdays through Sundays with special extended hours leading up to Christmas Eve from November 25 to December 24.

Christkindlmarket announces vendors and mugs
News

Christkindlmarket announces vendors and mugs

If you've walked by Daley Plaza recently, you may have noticed a small village being erected in preparation for this year's Christkindlmarket. The annual Chicago holiday tradition dates back to 1996 and is inspired by the long-running Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany. Visitors to the open-air market can drink a mulled wine called Glühwein and sample German cuisine while shopping for gifts like ornaments and mittens. Recently, Christkidlmarket released the vendor list for this year's event, which includes returning favorites such as Dinkel's Bakery and Pretzel Haus in addition to newcomers like the DönerMen food truck, which will serve curry wurst and döner kebab. Attendees will be able to drink Glühwein and cocoa out of souvenir mugs (pictured above, including a special snowman mug for the kids). Unfortunately, the popular boot mug (which was featured at the market from 2005–2012) will not be returning this year, much to the chagrin of the vocal boot mug enthusiasts on Twitter and Facebook. This year, Christkindlmarket will expand to a second location in the western suburb of Oakbrook, offering up a similar selection of gifts and umlaut-ridden food (and hopefully reducing the crowds at the Daley Plaza market). You can grab a mug full of Glühwein and dig into some schnitzel when Christkindlmarket opens in Daley Plaza on November 21.

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