It’s that time of year again, when the weather starts to turn colder, colored lights are twinkling and the sound of holiday music begins to fill the radio. What better way to celebrate the season then to stroll through an outdoor market while sipping mulled cider or hot chocolate. Luckily there are plenty of festive outdoor markets on the east coast, including several that are modeled after the famous Christkindlmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany. I think these markets are the perfect place to find unique gifts and handmade items for holiday shopping, and it’s a great alternative to fighting the crowds at your local shopping mall! Here are some popular markets to add to your list for 2016.
*This is an updated version of the 3 East Coast Holiday Markets to Visit in 2015, originally posted November, 2015
Union Square Holiday Market, New York City. The market will be open from November 17th through December 24th for the 2016 holiday season. Urbanspace is known for their pop-up markets all over NYC, and their holiday pop-ups are local favorites. With plenty of local vendors selling everything from jewelry and housewares to hand-crafted foods, you are sure to find some unique holiday or birthday gifts. Beginning this winter, Urbanspace will also operate The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park, open now through January 2, 2017. Along with festive holiday shopping, visitors can also enjoy ice skating, as part of the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park.
Christmas Village Baltimore, Maryland. Last year was my first year exploring this authentic German Christmas market in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, and I’m looking forward to visiting again soon. Open from November 24th through December 24th (closed November 29th and December 6th and 13th) with more than 50 booths to browse. Admission is free during the week, and hours vary. As an added bonus, you can spend some time exploring the area in and around the Inner Harbor.
Christmas City, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Visit the Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem, where you can shop at more than 125 vendors each week, grab a bite to eat and watch ice sculpting and glass blowing demonstrations. The market is open November 18th through 20th and 25th through 27th, and in December, Thursday through Sunday starting December 4th and ending December 18th. Be sure to check for online tickets, hours and special events before you go.
Christmas Village, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Visit the Christmas Village, which this year is located at City Hall in Center City, Philadelphia. Modeled after the Christmas markets found in Germany, you’ll find over 80 vendors selling unique gifts, arts and crafts, ornaments, and much more. Open November 27th through December 24th, with special hours on November 24th and 25th and December 24th.
Downtown Holiday Market, Washington, DC. The 12th Annual Downtown Holiday Market runs daily November 25th through December 24th. The exhibitors will rotate, so visitors will find a varying selection of gifts throughout the market. Be sure to try the mini donuts from Migue’s Magnificent Mini Donuts. It’s conveniently located in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery in case you need a break from the cold weather!
Atlanta Christkindl Market, Atlanta, Georgia. Starting December 2nd through December 24th, head to Atlanta Station in Midtown to visit this traditional German Christmas market. Enjoy delicious holiday desserts while shopping for authentic German goods. The market is open late every day except for Sundays, when they close at 8 p.m. Atlanta Station also has outdoor ice skating and a magical snow show each evening.
Single Weekend Markets
Christkindlmarket at the Heurich House Museum, Washington, DC. For one weekend in December, visit this outdoor market located near Dupont Circle. Over 40 vendors from DC, Virginia and Maryland will be on hand selling unique gifts and food items. Admission also includes entry to the museum. Open Friday December 2nd through Sunday, December 4th. Visit the website for more specific information about hours and admission prices.
Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market, Sparta, New Jersey. Help celebrate the 15th year of this festive German Christmas market for one weekend only, December 3rd and 4th. Located on the shores of Lake Mohawk, the market will feature over 110 vendors, along with a special guest all the way from Germany.
Whatever you choose, enjoy this magical time of year with your friends and family, and happy shopping!