By Melody Alderman
The Christmas spirit takes over every year with flowing eggnog, singing carolers and a little bit of magic. One of the best ways to celebrate the season is with a trip to a Christmas Market.
While it’s true that Christmas Markets originated in Germany, that hasn’t stopped Americans from getting in on the tradition. There are now Christmas markets all around the country. Some are a nod to German culture, while some celebrate with art and unique gifts you can’t find anywhere else. One thing they all have in common, though? They are sure to get you in the holiday mood.
This Bavarian city is magical on any day of the year, so add Christmas lights and sprinkling snow, and you have one of the most beautiful Christmas markets around.
Leavenworth, Washington has an advantage over Christkindlmarkt events in other cities. This is because it is a German-themed town all throughout the year. The businesses, apartments, hotels, and everything in between, are dressed up with Bavarian-themed architecture. You’ll feel like you should have grabbed your passport to enter.
Inside this Christmas market, there’s a place where children can make lanterns and parents can purchase crafts. There is also a welcome ceremony, a lantern parade, and lots of holiday music. It’s sure to soften even the Grinchiest of hearts.
Bank of America Winter Village
Bryant Park, New York
Imagine a Christmas Market where you can ride a carousel, gaze at a frozen water fountain, and glide along an outdoor ice rink. If you can make it to New York’s Christmas market in Bryant Park, you won’t have to imagine.
You can visit the majestic 17,000-square-foot outdoor skating rink. It’s free for everyone to enjoy. The only thing you’ll need your wallet for is the skate rental. There is also the lovely Josephine Shaw Lowell Fountain where when it’s cold enough, the water freezes over, creating the ideal holiday atmosphere.
This European-style Christmas Market boasts 125 custom-designed booths where you’ll find everything from handcrafted artwork to homemade jewelry. There is also a 360 degree view available on Le Carrousel, where children can look out for Santa.
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair
San Francisco, California
The work of Charles Dickens has become synonymous with the Christmas season. This is why San Francisco’s unique decision to create a Christmas Market based on the author’s work is nothing short of genius.
When you enter the market, you will be transported back in time to old town London. With lamp-lit lanes, pubs, restaurants, and quaint little shops, you will feel like you have stepped into “A Christmas Carol.” Especially when you find yourself in the middle of an impromptu street performance or a theater production. You will never again feel like saying “Bah, humbug!”
Another German-themed Christmas market takes place in Baltimore, Maryland. The festivities begin with the lighting of a giant Christmas tree, along with thousands of colorful lights. If you get hungry, there is gingerbread and bratwurst in the food court. Not to mention both outdoor and indoor areas, where vendors sell holiday goodies. There’s also a heated tent. So, even if the weather outside is frightful, there’s no excuse not to go.