Yes, they’re famous for Christmas markets in Europe but you don’t need to hotfoot across the Atlantic to get into the festive spirit. From German glühwein to beachfront festivities, there are dozens of Christmas markets taking place this year up and down the country. With the help of our social community and editorial team, we’ve rounded up 25 of the best Christmas markets in the United States.
The United States’ Best Christmas Markets
1.Christkindlmarket Chicago – Chicago, Illinois
Dates: November 19-December 24 2021
Bringing a slice of Bavaria to the Windy City, Christkindlmarket is one of the oldest Christmas markets in America. It’s a real German-inspired affair, based on Nuremberg’s medieval Christmas market, so think steaming cups of glühwein, bratwurst and sugar-coated pastries. This year the market celebrates its 25th anniversary, so it’ll be a bumper edition of fun.
2. Koziar’s Christmas Village– Bernville, Pennsylvania
Dates: November 6 2021-January 22
Koziar’s Christmas Village tends to hit top spots when it comes to the big Christmas market roundups – quite rightly. It’s probably the most festive place to be in the country. The family-owned attraction has been running since 1948 when William M. Koziar decided to decorate his home and dairy farm. Today thousands of twinkling lights and Christmas decorations illuminate the attraction and over 80 stalls selling trinkets, souvenirs and Christmas decorations spill out into the village.
3. The Great Dickens Christmas Fair — San Francisco, California, USA
Dates: December 4-5/ 11-12/18-19 December 2021
For good old-fashion fun, you can’t beat The Great Dickens Christmas Affair. The market celebrates the life and work of Charles Dickens who, let’s face it, basically invented Christmas. It’s not just limited to one square either – the whole of San Francisco will be transformed with lamp-lit lanes, pop-up pubs and theatre performances. Don’t forget your top hat.
4. Christkindlmarkt – Leavenworth, Washington
Dates: November 26–28 2021
You’ll want to grab your lederhosen for this Bavarian-inspired Christmas market. Located up in Cascade Mountain, this German-style Christmas market is brimming with festive spirit. Dozens of independent stallholders set up shop offering a range of homemade toys, jewellery and games so you’re bound to find a few stocking fillers ahead of the big day. Even if you’re not in town for the market, it’s worth heading here in December. Since the 1960s Leavenworth has gained a reputation as the ‘Village of Lights’, boasting some of the most impressive outdoor Christmas decorations in the country, as well as a Gingerbread House competition and a month-long advent calendar giveaway.
5. Union Square Holiday Market – New York City, New York
Dates: November 18 – December 24 2021
Even the most committed scrooges will be charmed by New York’s most famous annual Christmas market. Over 100 wintry alpine chalets take over the square, selling all the best kinds of high-quality and affordable stocking fillers. If you’re not in it for the crats, come for the food which usually features at least a dozen booths dedicated to mulled wine, piping hot mince pies and the gooey raclette sandwiches.
6. Atlanta Christkindle Market – Atlanta, Georgia
Dates: November 26 2021 – January 2 2022
Do as the slogan says and ‘let yourself be enchanted’ –it really isn’t hard at Atlanta’s Bavarian-inspired Christmas market. It’s taking over a new location this year at The Buckhead Village, with over 50 stalls selling wooden toys, glass baubles and authentic German lace. As per tradition, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to sing along to your favourite Christmas carols with local choirs and bands. Come with an empty stomach too as you’ll want to have your fill on currywurst, meatloaf and sticky chimney cakes.
7. Christkindl Market– Arlington, Texas
Dates: November 18 2021 –January 2 2022
Arlington is one of Texas’ biggest cities, so it makes sense that it would put on one of the best shows in town. The Christkindl Market is actually one of the largest Christmas markets in the Southwest. This year the market will take over Choctaw Stadium, the former-home of the Texas Rangers. There’s plenty of family-filled fun to keep you occupied, from puppet shows to petting zoos. Don’t forget to make an appointment with Santa Claus either, who will be there in person warming up in his grotto. If you’re feeling particularly energetic, there’s an ice rink too.
8. Charlotte Christmas Village – Charlotte, North Carolina
Dates: November 24 – December 23 2021
One of the most magical Christmas markets in the United States, Charlotte Christmas Village is a relatively new addition to the festive calendar. Located in Truist Field, home of the Charlotte Knights, you’ll probably smell the fair before you see it thanks to its dozens of kiosks serving up bratwurst, glühwein and Austrian strudels. This year, the village has joined forces with the Light of the Knights, so that you can enjoy a charming stroll through illuminated trees, twinkling lights and snow before you even get to the Christmas market.
9. Victorian Christmas Market – Nevada City, California
Dates: December 5 – 16 2021
If you don’t think California screams Christmas, you clearly haven’t visited Nevada City in December. On select Wednesdays and Sundays throughout the month, the city’s annual Victorian fair takes over downtown to spread some old-fashion Christmas fun. Set against the backdrop of the city’s historic buildings with the smell of hot chestnuts and open fires, it’s easy to imagine you’ve landed yourself a starring role in Charles Dickens’, A Christmas Carol. Save some of your Christmas shopping for the main event, when dozens of local vendors congregate to sell crafts and other goodies.
10. Peoples Gas Holiday Market– Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Dates: November 19 2021 – December 23 2021
Christmas is taken seriously in Pittsburgh. Now in its tenth year, this years’ market is set to be a blockbuster edition with more chalet stalls than ever. As well as picking up one-of-a-kind wares, there’s lots of live entertainment, including the Merry Karaoke Team Tournament offering up a hefty USD 5,000 prize. The season kicks off this year with the 60th annual Highmark Light Up Night. Don’t miss the world’s largest pickle ornament either, a 35-ft high structure located in the EQT Plaza.
11. The Denver Christkindl Market – Denver, Colorado
Dates: November 19 – December 23 2021
This year Denver’s Civic Center Park will transform into a miniature German village, with vendors dishing up mouthwatering German specialities including baked apples, gingerbread biscuits, charcoal-grilled sausages andplenty of gluhwein. As always, expect entertainment in all shapes and sizes, from Bavarian bands playing Christmas carols to the ever-popular Krampus Nacht and Trachten Nacht to Ugly Sweater Night.
12. Christmas Village – Baltimore, Maryland
Dates: November 20 – December 24 2021
They don’t do things by halves in Baltimore and their annual Christmas Village is a case in point. It’s a relatively new addition to the Christmas calendar but its fast become a beloved institution. Set alongside the Inner Harbour, this indoor and outdoor holiday market is modelled after the traditional Christkindle Market in Nuremberg. Dozens of wooden chalet-style booths set up from Thanksgiving selling traditional European food, sweets and drinks, as well as holiday gifts, ornaments and jewellery. When you’ve had your fill of Christmas shopping, hotfoot to the big Gluhwine Pyramid, for piles of waffles, gingerbread, bratwurst and mulled wine.
13. Kerstmarkt – Holland, Michigan
Dates: November 20 – December 11 2021
If it’s a taste of the Netherlands, not Bavaria, you’re after then you’ll love Kerstmarkt. Celebrating its Dutch heritage, this Christmas market started out with just ten booths in Centennial Park back in 1997. A quarter of a century later it’s a local institution, set up along the 8th Street Market Place from Thanksgiving through to mid-December. There’s a dedicated farmers market on Saturdays too.
14. Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt – Cincinnati, Ohio
Dates: November 5– 7 2021
If you know a thing or two about German Christmas markets, you’ll be happy to know you’re in good hands in Cincinnati. It’s the state’s largest Christmas market and it’s also run by the Germania Society, so it’s about as authentic as you can get in the United States. It’s part of the wider Macy’s Light Up the Square Festival, the city’s annual tree lighting celebration. Head to Fountain Square for German bier steins, cuckoo clocks, nutcrackers, glass-blown ornaments and rotating candle holders. Mr and Mrs Claus will be in attendance too.
15. St. Paul European Christmas Market– St. Paul, Minnesota
Dates: November 26 – December 19 2021
St. Paul’s beloved European Christmas market is set to return in 2021 – and it’s bigger and better than ever. You’ll find more than mulled here too, with a dozen traders serving up hearty fare and wares from across Europe, from German sausages to Eastern European souvenirs. Entertainment is suitably eclectic too, starting off with Norwegian dance performances and winding down with storytime from Santa.
16. EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays – Orlando, Florida
Dates: Until December 31 2021
If there’s one thing you can bet Disney will be good at, it’s Christmas. Don’t expect an ordinary Bavarian-inspired market either, this Christmas market takes its inspiration from the world stage. There’s entertainment from across the globe, from festive Mariachi music to the Italian Le Befana witch. Olaf, of Frozen, will be there to help you take a special festive expedition too.
17. Old World Christmas Market – Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Dates: December 3 – 12 2021
Perhaps one of the most picturesque Christmas markets in the country, this Old World Christmas Market takes place on the grounds of the Osthoff Resort. It’s been serving up some serious Christmas joy for the past 23 years, with dozens of vendors showcasing Russian hand-painted Santas, Turkish pashmina scarves, German hand-carved smokers and just about everything in between. Head to the Old World Food Court for mouthwatering German-inspired fare, like glühwein, sauerbraten, dumplings, schnitzel, potato pancakes, red cabbage, pulled pork and apple strudel. If that’s not festive enough, there are horse-drawn carriage rides too.
18. Christmas Village – Nashville, Tennessee
Dates: November 12 – 14 2021.
For sheer scale, it’s hard to compete with Nashville’s Christmas Village. Every year, over 250 vendors set up shop for three days to transform Nashville into a twinkling fairyland. It takes over 200 volunteers to run the event, which generates around USD 2.5 million for charity. Around 30,000 shoppers flock here from across the country every year, and once you’ve seen the village you’ll no longer question why. You’ll find a staggering variety of seasonal and gift items including toys, jewellery, pottery and collectables. The website promises you’ll even find a gift for the ‘person who has everything’ (we all know one) so it’s well worth the trip.
19. Christkindlmarkt – Salt Lake City, Utah
Dates: December 1–4 2021
This Christmas extravaganza packs in four days of family-filled festive fun. It launched in 2012 and is still going strong, almost a decade later. Today the annual event, which is inspired by Frankfurt’s world-famous Christmas markets, features wooden booths set against the fairytale backdrop of ‘This is the Place Heritage Park’. Their slogan – ‘putting the KIND in ChristKINDlmarkt’ –rings true too, since proceeds are reinvested in the local community. It’s particularly popular with little ones, who can’t get enough of the Gnome Fest, Kinder Treasure Hunt and appointment with Santa himself.
20. SoWa’s Christmas Market– Boston, Massachusetts
Dates: December 3–12 2021
Bringing together Boston’s best traders, SoWa’s annual festive winter shopping village is the biggest holiday market in Boston. It boasts more than mince pies and mulled wine too, with live ice sculpting along Thayer Street, festive DIY workshops and Christmas carols by the BU Bostons on Friday and Saturday. This year there will be 100 different vendors to peruse, selling cool and quirky gifts. Pick up a winter cocktail or a seasonal craft brew and sip while you shop.
21. Winter Wonderfest– Lewes, Delaware
Dates: November 19–January 2 2021
If you’ve got a car, why not treat yourself to a festive drive-thru market experience? This year’s Winter WonderFEST will take place at Hudson Fields near Milton and is set to be more spectacular than ever. There are several new coastal-themed displays, as well as hayrides and food and drinks vendors dishing out indulgent wintertime snacks. Kids can drop off their wish lists and meet Santa at the grand finale too.
22. Downtown Holiday Market – DC, Washington
Dates: November 19 – December 23 2021
Washington’s much-loved holiday market will return for the 17th time this year. And with over 70 stalls it’s bigger than ever. There will be all the usual favourites like crepes and churros, German Gluhwein, traditional Bratwurst and homemade gifts, as well as a dedicated stage for live performances.
23. Natchitoches Christmas Festival – Natchitoches, Louisiana
Dates: November 20 2021 – January 6 2022
Set in the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase Territory, this Christmas festival is one of the oldest community-based holiday celebrations in the country. What began as a one-day festival back in 1927 has since expanded into a sprawling, six-week-long Christmas Season. It kicks off on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and winds down after New Year on Ephiphany. As well as its delicious festive food offering, the market is famous for its 300,000 twinkling light displays, Christmas parade, Christmas fireworks and the Miss Merry Christmas pageant.
24. Solvang Julefest –Solvang, California
Dates: November 27 2021 – January 1 2022
Solvang has officially been declared as one of the nation’s most Christmas-y towns, so it follows that they would put something extra special on for Christmas. That they do. The Santa Ynez Valley wine country town’s annual celebration features Santa’s Village (complete with Santa), a tree lighting ceremony on December 3 2021, a nativity pageant on December 11, 2021, and candlelight tours every Saturday leading up to Christmas.
25. Cambria Christmas Market –Cambria, California
Dates: November 26 – December 23 2022
Who said you can’t have Christmas on the coast? Cambria’s much-loved Christmas market is one of the region’s most popular spots during December. The whole town is transformed with more than two million twinkling Christmas lights, themed vignettes, cosy fire pits and an authentic German market. If you’re looking for the full immersive experience, make sure you book a seat at the German Buffet Dinner – a three-course meal – in the Peacock Room.