Top US Live and Virtual Christmas Markets in 2020

With great gift and food options from destinations around the world, as well as top-notch outdoor recreation set in a bustling festive environment, the country’s big Christmas Markets offer up some of the best holiday fun to be found anywhere. This year, many holiday events have been canceled due to COVID-19, but some of the country’s most popular markets will still be happening – with plenty of precautions in place to keep attendees safe and sound as they browse. Other stellar holiday markets and events are going virtual in 2020 and though they’ll be quite different from their typical in-person iterations, they’re still sure to boost the holiday spirit of participants with wonderfully curated collections of products and joyful interactive experiences.

Whether you attend a holiday market in person or tap in from your screen, you’ll likely feel you’ve traveled to another part of the globe – and come away with special gifts for everyone on your list (yourself included!). Below is a roundup of both in-person and virtual 2020 Christmas Markets you’ll love visiting.


CHRISTMAS MARKETS

The skating rink in Bryant Park.
Skaters in Bryant Park during the holidays.

Bryant Park Winter Village – Bryant Park in New York City, NY

Also known as Holiday Shops at Bryant Park
October 10, 2020 – January 3, 2021

This open-air winter wonderland located in Manhattan’s Bryant Park, in back of the iconic 42nd Street New York Public Library, offers a free ice skating rink, numerous holiday shops (this year there are fewer of them, as well as a reconfigured layout to provide spacious walkways and eliminate congestion) and tons to eat and drink.

The Holiday Shops are housed in custom-designed kiosks that are European-inspired and feature works by artisans from New York City and destinations the world over. Stock up on special crafts, jewelry, folk art, foods and other gifts. See the list of sellers here.

Ice skating is one of the most special things you can do in the Winter Village. The rink is open daily, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.Reserve your time to skate here.

COVID-19 safety measures include: sanitization of high-contact surfaces throughout the day; contactless payment; required advance online booking for rink reservations with timed skate sessions; required mask-wearing; handwashing stations throughout the park.

Downtown Holiday Market – Washington, DC

November 20 – December 23

Now in its 16th year, this renowned winter marketplace launches the holiday season in DC with an outdoor shopping village stocked with goods from small businesses and entrepreneurs, and reconfigured to have a larger footprint that maximizes the safety of vendors and customers alike.

The 2020 market features more than 70 exhibitors (artisans, crafters and boutiques), including Black-owned and minority-owned businesses. Their wares make for perfect holiday gifts, but shopping isn’t the only reason to visit the market – come hungry! There’s a a wide array of mouthwatering foods representing the cuisine of foreign lands like Peru, India, Mexico and Germany, as well as local barbecue and candy.  A new highlight of this year’s market is a stage with live music performed by more than 40 musicians – everything from blues, rock and jazz to soul, country and contemporary, not to mention holiday standards.

See the list of Downtown Holiday Market exhibitors here.

Check out the diverse array of musicians playing on the Market Screen here.

COVID safety practices include single entryway check-in; streamlined one-way and distanced foot traffic; required mask-wearing; and hand sanitizing dispensers placed throughout the market.


VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS MARKETS AND EVENTS

Christkindlmarket Chicago

November 1 – December 31

This year, enjoy everything this German-style market has to offer from the comfort of your own home. Christkindlmarket Chicago has a vibrant online marketplace and family-friendly events and interactive activities. Inspired by Nuremberg’s 16th-century Christmas market, the Chicago market offers a vast array of gifts and foods from 47 different vendors. Shop to your heart’s content and participate in various events, ranging from German cooking demos to holiday crafting sessions. There are even dedicated virtual activities for kids.

Macy’s Santaland at Home

November 27 – December 24

For many people in the U.S. and abroad, bringing the kids to a flagship Macy’s store to walk through the festive Santaland and get a photo taken with Santa is an unmissable annual tradition. This year, Macy’s Santaland at Home has been reimagined to provide a personalized journey through the North Pole, a visit with Santa and even selfie snaps – all online.

Texas Christkindl Market

November 27 – December 23

This year, the Texas Christkindl Market has an immersive digital version of Arlington’s famed German market that provides recipes for crowd-pleasing holiday classics such as mulled wine, German potato salad, German red cabbage and Linzer cookies with spiced jam. Click into their playlist of tunes to amp up the holiday atmosphere as you shop for gifts from a huge number of vendors.


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