The Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza

The Christkindlmarket, or German Holiday Market, has been in Chicago for the past 13 Christmas seasons. The market officially opens following the Annual Tree Lighting in Daley Plaza.

The Christkind from Nuremberg, Germany visits Chicago for the Christkindlmarket holiday market

The name "Christkindlmarket" originates from the mythical tale of the "Christkind".   She is a fairy-like being, dressed in a gold and white robe with a crown.  The tradition of the Christkind is known among German-speaking countries including Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as well as in the Czech Republic, Italy, Liechtenstein, and some South American countries.  (Johanna Heller, above, who was the Nuremberg Christkind between 2009 and 2010, is the official Christkind of the Christkindlmarket Chicago 2011-2012.)

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The market is usually bustling, but the best time to go, if you are fortunate enough, is during the week.  The crowds are so much less!  I have also seen it and avoided it because it is so packed on the weekend, but I also don't do Disney during Spring Break either.  So you might really like the sea of humanity.  And pigeons.

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Thankfully those in charge of the market have figured out that pigeons like bonfires!  So they have kindly made a cozy play pen for them to enjoy the warmth and leave us humans alone.

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The are completely oblivious to the fact that this is an evil trick to keep them reined in.  This keeps them away from the fabulous stuffed pretzels...

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and strudel...

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and toffee...

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and beer...

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and pickles!

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Another great thing on a cold cloudy day is the warm rush of heat you get when walking into the beer tent.   So cozy and a terrific atmosphere.

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And the final essential thing to have is a few friends with that are willing to have fun and take goofy pictures.

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There are so many booths with hand-painted ornaments and hand-carved trinkets, Cuckoo clocks and sweaters, scarves, bags, and candy, hot cider and of course the freshly sugared roasted nuts that you can smell from many booths away.  It can be a lovely leisurely day to spend browsing or to get what you want and get out.  Below are a few shots of the detailed gifts available.

The market lasts until December 24th and the hours are Sunday - Thursday: 11:00 am - 8:00 pm Friday & Saturday: 11:00 am - 9:00 pm

 

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