Christkindlmarket 2012 and Other Chicago Holiday and Cold Weather Fun
Despite the season, Chicago offers an endless to-do and to-see list year round. Whether it's a trip to the Windy City during the winter months, a bout of cabin fever, or a family holiday break outing that you're looking for, Chicago is never short of attractions and entertainment.
The Christkindlmarket is an annual, traditional German-American holiday market held in Daley Plaza that begins on November 21 and runs through Christmas Eve. Inspired by the Christkindlmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, which began in 1545, it was brought to life by The German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest and the City of Chicago in 1996 in Pioneer Court, and moved to its current location by the mayor's invitation the next year.
It has since been Chicago's largest outdoor Christmas festival and remains one of the city's most popular winter attractions, and features everything from a full calendar of festive and educational events and live German and American Christmas music to plays and parades, German history, and seemingly endless German and American merchandise and food vendors.
Just a few of the market's annual events include
- Chicago's 99th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, November 21, 4:30 p.m.
- The annual Children's Lantern Parade, which illuminates the market with colorful lanterns and German and American carols. This takes place on December 5 at 4:00 p.m. The event is patterned after the German St. Martin tradition that celebrates samaritan deeds.
- The Christmas Schooner, December 9, 12:00pm — A production based on a beloved German Christmas story.
- 7th Annual Consumer Travel Show on Saturday, December 10, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., hosted by the German National Tourist Office and its vendors.
- Children can visit Santa's House on dates and times available on the market's events page.
The market is also fun for all ages, and includes scavenger hunts, authentic German traditions, and all kinds of German history education. It is also an excellent opportunity for teachers and professors of the German language to bring their students to practice their skills, as the market features numerous German-speaking vendors.
Other Festive Opportunities
A review of Chicago's holiday offerings would not be complete without mention of the city's Thanksgiving Parade. An all-star cast including Santa Claus, Christkind, and bands march down State Street on Thursday, November 22. It's not too late to apply to participate or volunteer in the parade, which runs from Congress Parkway to Randolph Street from 8 – 11 a.m., with live coverage by WGN.
In the spirit of the season, Millennium Park's ice skating rink affords you a spectacular skyline view, skate rentals, festive music, and warmth at the Park Grill Restaurant.
If it's a mother-daughter day out, then consider making reservations for a holiday themed day on December 18 or 20 at American Girl at Water Tower Place on Michigan Avenue in the center of the Magnificent Mile.
Let Concierge Preferred Be Your Source for Chicago Entertainment Throughout the Winter Months
Whatever your holiday break and winter planning entails, use Concierge Preferred as your expert resource for festivals, parades, concerts, and family entertainment year-round.