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Happy Yuletide Commerce! The Best U.S. Christmas Markets

Written by Suzy Guese

This blog post was updated on December 6, 2022.

You’re sipping hot mulled wine out of a collectible mug as chestnuts roast on a nearby open fire. And Jack Frost really does seem to be nipping at your nose. You might swear you’re in some romantic European city enjoying one of its deeply rooted holiday traditions — the Christmas market.

With roots in Germany in the late Middle Ages, the Christmas market has jumped over the pond to the United States, with many cities and towns offering up quaint wooden stalls filled with holiday wares and artisan goods as scents of hearty Yuletide food fill the air. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in experiencing, then head to one of these U.S. cities and towns for a taste of Christmas cheer…and maybe a Stroopwafel or two!

Christkindlmarket – Chicago 


Image via Flickr – CC BY 2.0 – Marcin Wichary

Melding both German and general European traditions, this outdoor market in the Chicago Loop has been a fixture of the holiday season in the Windy City for years. Held in three different locations across the greater Chicago area — including Daley Plaza and Wrigleyville — Christkindlmarket runs from mid-November all the way up to December 24. Not only can you find hand-blown ornaments, classic German nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks, and beer steins, but you can sample foods like strudel and pretzels, and partake of such cold-weather libations as glühwein (hot mulled wine) and Bavarian hot chocolate. Christkindlmarket is accented by other events like a Children’s Lantern Parade and live bands. .

Christmas Village – Philadelphia


Image via Flickr – CC BY 2.0 – Opeyemi

Located at City Hall in Philadelphia, Christmas Village takes place from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve. Offering the authentic charm of a real European Christmas market, this outdoor holiday celebration welcomes vendors to more than 80 wooden booths and two large tents. You can expect to find authentic European food, holiday ornaments, and arts and crafts from all over the world for purchase. Partnering with the City of Nüremberg in Germany, home to one of the world’s oldest Christmas Markets, Christmas Village in Philadelphia has plenty of bratwurst and mulled wine sloshing about. The village is also located close to several other holiday attractions, including the Rothman Ice Rink and the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market.

Georgetown Christmas Market – Colorado


Image via Flickr – CC BY-S.A – Amy Aletheia Cahill

For over 55 years, the Colorado mountain town of Georgetown has held its own notable Christmas market called the Georgetown Christmas Market. Spanning two weekends, the event features plentiful Christmas lights and usually a fine blanket of snow. Lording over 6th Street in town, the market features an abundance of festive foods, holiday shopping, horse-drawn wagon rides, and appearances by St. Nick himself in traditional dress. The event also includes a daily procession of Santa Lucia, carolers in Victorian costume, and plenty of Victorian-style items for sale.

Related: Festive Yet Budget-Friendly European Cities to Visit Over the Holidays

Old World Christmas Market – Wisconsin


At the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, you might have to blink twice to realize you aren’t at a real German Christmas market. Taking a note from its inspiration in Nüremberg, the Old World Christmas Market takes place in a grand heated tent accented by boughs of fresh evergreen. You’ll find stalls offering unique and specialty items from international and regional artisans, so you can finish off (or start) your holiday shopping with Czech blown-glass ornaments and German hand-carved nutcrackers, all while satisfying your appetite for German bratwurst. Father Christmas also roams the market throughout its 10 days.

Great Dickens Christmas Fair – San Francisco


Image via Flickr – CC BY-S.A. – alijava

If you want to step into a Charles Dickens novel for Christmas, you just need to head to San Francisco for The Great Dickens Christmas Fair. Set in the world of Dickens’ Victorian London, the Christmas fair presents over 750 performers interacting with patrons as they feast on hearty food and drink. Located the Daly City, not far from Candlestick Park, the event sprawls across three acres of vintage exhibition halls, transformed into lamp-lit streets, theaters, and shops offering one-of-a-kind items. A Bay Area tradition, the Great Dickens Christmas Fair spans five weekends beginning in November.

Have a favorite Christmas market in the U.S.? Share your pick with us in the comments below!

About the author

Suzy Guese

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at

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