As the weather starts to turn colder, many of us begin to think about holiday shopping. Although shopping on-line in the comfort of your own home has become more popular, there is nothing like bundling up and heading outside to a seasonal outdoor market in search of some unique holiday gifts. Here are some of the more popular markets around the country.
* 19th Annual Christkindlemarkt, Chicago, Illinois. This local favorite is open November 21st - December 24th, 2014. The market was inspired by the Christkindlemarkt market in Nuremberg, Germany, and includes vendors offering classic German items in addition to toys, clothing and jewelry. In addition to the vendors, there are nightly events, including a Tree Lighting Ceremony on November 25th and a Collegiate A Capella Evening on December 11th.
* The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park, New York City. Several years ago, I was able to spend the morning shopping at this wonderful outdoor boutique-style market. There are over 125 vendors from around the world at the shops, which are open October 21st - January 4th, 2015. Adjacent to the market is a free ice skating rink, so bring your skates if you have them (or you can rent them for a fee).
* Christmas Village in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Held in Love Park, in downtown Philadelphia, this traditional German market will be open November 27th - December 28th, 2014. Over 60 booths will be filled with vendors selling beautiful ornaments, traditional European food and other international gifts. Visit their website, which will be updated soon with a list of nightly events.
* Downtown Holiday Market, Washington, DC. Visit the 10th Annual Downtown Holiday Market, from November 28th - December 23rd, 2104. The market is located on F Street, between 7th and 9th Streets, N.W. Over 180 exhibitors will be there during the course of the market. Each day there will also be live entertainment and local food available to compliment your shopping experience. I can’t wait to visit this market with my family in December.
* 17th Annual Old World Christmas Market at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart, Wisconsin, from December 5th - December 14th, 2014. Shop in the grand heated tent for specialty items such as hand-blown ornaments, Russian nesting dolls and hand-carved nutcrackers. Bring the kids for a special reindeer brunch on December 7th and 14th, or enjoy a Holiday Hayride on select Saturdays in December. Visit their website for a complete list of activities.
Whatever you choose, enjoy this magical time of year with your family.