If you’re in Chicago during November-Christmas, you’ll certainly want to stop at Daley Plaza in the Loop. Each holiday season, vendors set up shop, inspired by the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany. I’ve been going here each year for as long as I can remember and it never disappoints. I love strolling around browsing glass ornaments for sale or sipping on hot chocolate from a food vendor. Within this square, there’s a lot to take in, whether you’re shopping for a holiday gift or looking to try authentic German dishes and holiday treats.
There’s something rather magical about the Christkindlmarket of Chicago; it’s lively and puts the city in the holiday spirit. I’d recommend going during the day (especially a weekday) rather than at night time to avoid large crowds. Because this is in the center of downtown, there’s plenty of public transportation to get there. Perhaps one of the best experiences here is getting a cup of Glühwein, or spiced, hot German wine. It comes in a keepsake mug, decorated differently each year. Some have been in the shape of boots or hearts. Either way, the holiday wine is a must at the Market.
Look out for the status of Krampus, who’s said to punish “bad” children during Christmas, according to German folklore. He makes for a good photo-op. Depending on the day you visit, there are different events hosted by the Market, including live music. They also have a location next to Wrigley Field (pictured above).