Two weekends ago, the family and I took the train into the city and enjoyed an evening of German food, music, and traditions. We went to one of my favorite Christmas time events, the Christkindlemarket! When I heard that there was a traditional German Christmas market in Chicago, one that is designed to look like the markets found all over Germany, Austria, and Switzerland this time of the year, I knew I had to go. For over 10 years now, I've enjoyed the experience of visiting Christmas markets around Europe. They are absolutely my most favorite holiday activity. With that said, living in the US and not traveling to Austria for Christmas can pose a problem for Christmas market seekers like myself. And let me be honest, my expectations for the American spin on a German tradition was quite high. Let's just say, my expectations were met, as I felt as though I had been transported to Nuremberg, Germany for a holiday party.
When we were living in Switzerland, I swear we drove to and visited, like, 10 Christkindlmarkets around Southern Germany, Northern Switzerland, and Upper Austria... and Vienna, too. I've seen super tiny markets in small little villages, to the giant markets that take up whole city centers. The Christkindlmarket here in Chicago wasn't as big as I had thought based on what I had seen online, but it was bigger than some I had been to in actual Germany. It had everything one could want for a traditional market... yeah, the food was on par and according to my Austrian hubs, just like the motherland. We enjoyed bratwurst, gluhwein (hot wine) and soft pretzels, along with the music and little tchotchkes only Europe can offer. It was magical and a perfect way to start our holiday season. Not to mention, it was soooo super cold, temps dropping to the 20s that night!
If you're in the Chicagoland area over the next month, I highly recommend visiting one of the two Christkindlmarkets in the area! You won't be disappointed.
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