Christkindlmarket Chicago 2021: Everything you need to know

The beloved holiday tradition is returning this winter, with markets in Daley Plaza and Wrigleyville.

Christkindlmarket
Photograph: Grace DuVal

Yes, the windows at Macy's are festive and the ZooLights are beautiful, but we'd argue that the most beloved holiday tradition in Chicago is the annual Christkindlmarket. The German-inspired village filled with vendors selling food, beverages and gifts returns in 2021 after taking a year off—and you'll be able to visit the original location in Daley Plaza or a Wrigleyville location at Gallagher Way, the plaza by Wrigley Field.

Ready to sip glühwein, devour some schnitzel and shop for ornaments? Here's everything you need to know about Christkindlmarket Chicago.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Christmas in Chicago

When is Christkindlmarket Chicago?

Both the Daley Plaza and Wrigleyville editions of Christkindlmarket open on September 19. The Daley Plaza market will remain open through December 24, while the Wrigleyville market will remain open through December 31. Both markets are open seven days a week, through hours vary.

Where is Christkindlmarket Chicago?

The Christkindlmarket in the Loop will take up residence in its usual location in Daley Plaza, while the Wrigleyville edition will take over a portion of Gallagher Way, the plaza adjacent to Wrigley Field on Clark Street.

How much does Christkindlmarket Chicago cost?

Admission to both Christkindlmarkets is free and prices for food, beverages and gifts vary based on the vendor and location.

Christkindlmarket Chicago 2021

What to eat, drink and buy at Christkindlmarket 2021
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What to eat, drink and buy at Christkindlmarket 2021

We've rounded up the best treats at the Daley Plaza market.

Sadly, this year’s Christkindlmarket mug is not a boot
News

Sadly, this year’s Christkindlmarket mug is not a boot

You'll have to settle for a flute or a penguin who is "ready to party."

Christkindlmarket is officially returning to Chicago
News

Christkindlmarket is officially returning to Chicago

In-person glühwein sipping and gift shopping is back!

Christkindlmarket
Things to do

Christkindlmarket

The holiday market returns to Daley Plaza.

Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville
Shopping

Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville

You can also experience the market outside Wrigley Field.

A look back at Christkindlmarket

Chicago holiday tradition Christkindlmarket has been canceled
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Chicago holiday tradition Christkindlmarket has been canceled

Bad news for anyone who was still holding out hopes of sipping spiced wine from a boot mug in Daley Plaza this winter: Christkindlmarket, the annual holiday market usually hosted downtown and in Wrigleyville, has officially been canceled. In place of the the in-person event, vendors that usually participate in the German-themed Christmas market will sell their products online beginning on November 1. The announcement, which was first reported by the Chicago Tribune, isn't surprising—large events are still banned under Phase 4 re-opening rules—but deals a blow to Chicago's holiday tourism, as the market typically draws more than one million visitors each year. While we can't see a full list of vendors or online events yet, organizers promised a virtual experience that attempts to match the holiday spirit of the in-person market.  “This year, people from all around the nation will be able to enjoy the beloved tradition from the comfort and safety of their homes through the first-ever virtual Christkindlmarket 'Home for the Holidays,' featuring an online marketplace, family-friendly events, and fun interactive activities,” organizers wrote on the website. Are you already dreaming of whipping up Glühwein and spiced nuts at home? Pre-ordering for the market opened today—you can take a sneak peek at some gift packages available here.  Most popular on Time Out - City of Chicago shares new rules for outdoor dining this winter- This Lincoln Park arcade bar is hosting a drive-thru haunted house in its alley- ZooLights will still illuminate Lincoln Park this year, but you’ll have to pay admission to get in- Two award-winning chefs are opening a nostalgia-driven sandwich shop in a former Logan Square bar- 6 places in the Midwest that look like they could be in Europe

It’s a Christmas miracle! Boot mugs return to Christkindlmarket for 2019.
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It’s a Christmas miracle! Boot mugs return to Christkindlmarket for 2019.

The boot is back, baby!

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

Christkindlmarket unveiled its latest lineup of souvenir mugs

2018: 14 treats you need to eat, drink and buy
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2018: 14 treats you need to eat, drink and buy

Enjoy stollen, snowballs and schnitzel

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Archive Christkindlmarket stories

Things to do around Christkindlmarket
Things to do

Things to do around Christkindlmarket

The annual open-air, German-flavored holiday market in Daley Plaza is a top seasonal attraction. Whether it’s tourists, parents with kids on the weekend or Loop workers after 5pm, Christkindlmarket swarms with people seeking out this year’s souvenir mug or getting their fill of sauerkraut and potato pancakes. But once you’ve stocked up on ornaments and warmed up with Glühwein, it can be hard to know what to do next. Check out these other events and venues worth visiting within a few blocks. RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Christmas in Chicago

Christkindlmarket reveals its 2016 mug
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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
News

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.

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