Holiday shopping isn’t the only reason to visit Christkindlmarket Chicago. The marketplace is so filled with holiday cheer that just crossing its threshold is bound to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, maybe even inclined to sip on a cup of hot chocolate and make a few memories with friends or family.
The fresh-air market in Daley Plaza was inspired by a traditional holiday market that started in Germany in the 16th century. It was the largest of its kind, an open-air space where people could come to celebrate the season as they shopped local vendors. Chicago’s own Christkindlmarket features the same open layout, complete with cute booths lined with holiday lights and garlands. It also highlights local businesses and vendors, making their one-of-a-kind gifts easily available to the public (without shoppers having to run to boutiques all over the city). Since its inception in 1996, Christkindlmarket Chicago has become a staple of the holiday season with its handcrafted ornaments, hot food and drink, and wide variety of giftable goodies.