If crisp apple strudels, sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles are a few of your favourite things, then get on down to Christkindlmarket. Sound of Music lyrics aside, Chicago's largest open-air market is the perfect place to get into the festive spirit before St Nick rides into town.
Inspired by the Nuremberg original, founded in 1545, the market brings the traditions of Germany’s winter festivals to The Loop in downtown. Get your woolly mitts on fun Christmassy faddle and cockle-warming fare including sausages, sauerkraut, pretzels and potato pancakes to pair with beer or hot spicy Glüwein (served in a boot-shaped souvenir cup to get that holiday started!). Sweet treats span strudel, cakes, pastries, roasted nuts, candies and chocolate.
Still searching for that elusive present for your hard-to-buy-for dad? What guy doesn’t love a German nutcracker or beer stein? Gal pals will also go crackers for the cute cuckoo clocks, or pick out hand-blown, painted or crafted ornaments and decorations, exclusive to the market’s vendors, with live displays by skilled wood carvers. For stocking fillers you’ll find toys, jewellery, clothing and homewares, including iconic Steiff teddy bears, nativity sets, paper stars, Polish pottery and alpaca scarves.
Snaffle a selfie with the Christkind – a fab fairy-angel dressed in gold and white with goldie locks and a crown – who kicks off the Grand Opening Ceremony and will be spreading festive cheer. Prost!
18 Nov-24 Dec, 2016.
Christkindlmarket / Daley Plaza / The Loop / +1 312 494 2175 / 11am-8pm Sun-Thu, 11am-9pm Fri-Sat, 11am-4pm on 24 Dec / free entry / christkindlmarket.com
Photos © Jim Prisching, Eric James Walsh