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Christkindlmarket Chicago
Photograph: Courtesy Christkindlmarket Chicago

The best Christmas markets in the U.S.

Shop for artisanal gifts and indulge in seasonal treats at the best Christmas markets in the U.S., where the holidays are magical

Clara Hogan
Lauren Mack
Written by
Clara Hogan
Lauren Mack

If you're looking to shop local over big box retail giants this year, look no further than the best Christmas markets in the U.S., where you're sure to get your crew unique gifts while getting into the holiday spirit.  

Christmas markets began in Europe centuries ago to celebrate and prepare for the season, and the tradition later spread to America. Each market has its unique set-up and vendors who sell everything from handmade decorations and ornaments to artwork to seasonal food and drink (mulled wine is the go-to choice to keep you cozy while you shop!) 

Bundle up and explore the expansive Christmas markets in cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Meander through the sparkling lights and aisles of wooden stalls selling custom gifts while listening to live Christmas music and indulging in festive fare like bratwursts, glühwein (mulled wine) and hot cocoa. The best Christmas markets in the U.S. have a little something for everyone. 

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Best Christmas markets in the USA

D.C.’s bustling Downtown Holiday Market turns F Street NW (right in front of the National Portrait Gallery) into a daily block party. In addition to the vendors, there are over 75 performances from local musicians. But of course, the main reason to go is for shopping. The Downtown Holiday Market features more than 70 Black-owned and minority-owned businesses from the D.C Department of Small and Local Business Development’s Made in D.C. program, six food vendors, and live entertainment by regional performers.

Nov 17—Dec 23 (noon-8pm). Closed Thanksgiving Day, Nov 23 and Mon, Dec 4, 2023.

F Street NW between 7th and 9th Streets NW, Washington, D.C. 

New York is a quintessential Christmas city, and the Union Square Holiday Market is NYC’s essential holiday market. This year’s market features over 160 vendors, so you can find something for all those hard-to-shop-for friends and relatives. Weave your way through the labyrinth of stalls and treat yourself to sweet and savory treats as a reward for crossing everything off your shopping list.

 Nov 16—Dec 24, 2023 (Mon–Fri 11am-8pm, Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 11am-7pm). Closed Thanksgiving Day, Nov 23, Christmas Day, Dec 25.

Union Square Park, New York 


The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is one of the most unique holiday markets in the USA. Organizers transform the Cow Palace arena outside San Francisco into Dickensian London with hundreds of performers and vendors dressed in Victorian costumes. Wander through music halls and festive shops filled with handmade goods, have a pint at Mad Sal's Dockside Alehouse, and sample festive foods like roasted chestnuts, fish and chips, and Christmas pudding. Interact with beloved Dickens' characters like Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, and Father Christmas. Spend a few hours here and you'll be laden with jewelry, leather goods, candles, ceramics, accessories, and an abundance of Christmas cheer.

Nov 18-19, 24-26; Dec 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 2023 (10am-6pm).

Cow Palace Exhibition Halls, 2600 Geneva Boulevard, Daly City 

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor comes alive with authentic German holiday spirit from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve. Covered in thousands of lights (including the gorgeously lit The Pyramid, a German wooden Christmas tower of glühwein), Christmas Village in Baltimore combines an indoor and outdoor holiday market with an amusement park and beer garden. Stay warm with a mug of glühwein and Belgian fries, or if the cold doesn’t bother you, grab a large stein of German beer on tap at the Hofbrau stall.

Nov 18–Dec 24 (Sun–Thur: noon-8pm, Fri–Sat: noon-9pm, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve: noon-5pm). Closed Nov 20-22, 27-28; Dec 4-5, 11-12, 2023.

West Shore Park, 501 Light Street, Baltimore


Elkhart Lake is a bit off the beaten path, but the annual Old World Christmas Market is worth the trip. The Osthoff Resort hosts regional and international artisans each year for their festive market. The giant heated tent contains unique treasures like glass-blown ornaments, fresh Christmas wreaths, handmade jewelry, and plenty more for your holiday shopping. You’ll also find horse-drawn wagon rides, ornament-making activities and tasty German food like sauerbraten and potato pancakes.

Dec 1–10 (10am-5pm)

Osthoff Resort, 101 Osthoff Avenue, Elkhart Lake

Chicago’s German-style Christmas market is so popular that it has three locations this year. Inspired by the 16th century Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, Christkindlmarket Chicago has exclusive vendors selling whimsical gifts, Christmas ornaments, and handmade wooden nutcrackers, plus savory and sweet treats like roasted nuts, fresh pretzels, bratwurst and hot spiced wine.

Daley Plaza location: Nov 17–Dec 24, 2023. (Sun–Thur: 11am-8pm, Fri–Sat: 11am-9pm, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve: 11am-4pm).

50 W Washington St., Chicago

Wrigleyville location: Nov 17–Dec 31, 2023. (Mond–Thur: 3pm-9pm, Fri–Sat: 11am-10pm, Sun: 11am-7pm, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve: 11am-4pm; Closed Christmas Day; Dec. 26-28: 11am-9pm).

Gallagher Way, 3635 N Clark St., Chicago

Aurora location: Nov 17–Dec 24, 2023. (Thur: 11am-7pm, Fri–Sat: 11am-9pm, Sun: 11am-6pm, Dec 18-20: 11am-7pm, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve: 11am-4pm).

RiverEdge Park, 360 N. Broadway, Aurora 



Travel the world without ever leaving Philadelphia. Christmas Village takes over Philly’s LOVE Park from late November through Christmas Eve. Shop for gifts from all over the world. In addition to shops and holiday foods, there are rides for the kids, plus beer and wine tastings for the adults. The Christmas Village is one of a quartet of holiday happenings in Philadelphia, which include the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market and the Ice Rink at Dilworth Park and the municipal Christmas Tree on North Broad Street.

Nov 18–Dec 24, 2023. (noon-8pm).

LOVE Park 1500 Arch Street, Philadelphia

As you might expect in a town called Bethlehem, this Pennsylvania town is a big Christmas destination just like its Biblical namesake (it even calls itself The Christmas City). The annual Christkindlmarkt covers 10 acres (about the size of 7.5 football fields) with shopping, food, and live music. Check off everything on your Christmas shopping list with more than 100 vendors coming from as far away as Texas to help you find everything from art to home goods. Feast on traditional German treats like strudel and pretzels, plus modern street food favorites like poutine.

Nov 17-19, 24-26, 30, Dec 1–3, 7-10, 14-17, 2023. PNC Plaza at SteelStacks, 645 East First Street


Many cities have German-style markets around the holidays, but Holland, Michigan, celebrates its Dutch heritage with Kerstmarkt (similar to traditional markets that pop up across the Netherlands every December). Held at 8th Street Market Place in front of the Civic Center, Kerstmarkt features 18 wooden booths. Special market events can also pop up, so make sure to check the calendar.

Nov 18 (9am-6pm) 2023, Nov 24  (11am-8pm), Nov 25 (9am-6pm), Dec 1 (3pm-8pm), Dec 2 (9am-6pm), Dec 8 (3pm-8pm), Dec 9 (9am-6pm), Dec 15 (3pm-8pm), Dec 16 (9am-6pm).

8th Street Market Place, 150 West 8th Street, Holland

You will find plenty of festive gemütlichkeit (friendliness) at the three-day Tomball German Fest. Browse the 150-plus stalls for arts and crafts, Christmas baubles and German souvenirs in the expansive open-air market. The German heritage festival features a variety of music and dance acts performed on four stages, and tempting holiday treats made by local vendors.

Dec 8, 2023 (6pm-10pm), Dec 9 (10am-10pm), Dec 10 (10am-6pm).

201 S. Elm Street, Tomball


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