Where better to get in the festive spirit than a Christmas market? Wintry alpine-inspired stalls, twinkling lights, towering Christmas trees, and mulled wines aplenty are a much-loved festive tradition. Christmas markets as we know them originated in Germany in the 1300s, and like all good traditions, have stood the test of time – including three years of a global pandemic. And thankfully, they found their way across the pond to North America. Festivities might have taken a backseat for the past few years, but cities, towns, squares, and parks are transforming into fairytale winter wonderlands once again. Here are 25 of the best Christmas markets in North America.
Where are the best Christmas markets in North America?
25. Georgetown Christmas Market – Georgetown, Colorado
Dates: December 3 – December 11 2022
When you’re between the snowcapped Rocky Mountains, how could you not feel Christmassy? Nostalgia-tinged Georgetown really is like something straight out of a Christmas movie – The Christmas Gift was actually filmed here in the 1980s. So in such a quintessential town, it’s only right that their Christmas market is one of the best in North America. Dozens of markets line around Strousse Park, where the scent of pine, cinnamon, and smoky German sausages hangs in the air.
24. Carmel Christkindlmarkt – Carmel, Indiana
Dates: November 19 – December 30 2022
Carmel is just thirty minutes north of Indianapolis, but during the festive season, this small city feels a far cry from the state capital. The city centre is absolutely transformed into a Bavarian-style winter wonderland, with over 50 vendors selling traditional German foods, Christmas decorations, handicrafts, and other items. You might visit for the Christmas shopping, but you’ll stay for the warming mulled wines, ice skating, and live music.
23. Bethlehem Christkindlmarkt – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Dates: November 18 – December 18 2022
When a place is lovingly nicknamed Christmas City, it’s bound to have a fantastic Christmas market. Bethlehem actually has several, but its main Christkindlmarkt takes the (Christmas) cake. Visitors immerse themselves in the Yuletide fun – singing along to iconic Christmas songs, marvelling at artisan handmade crafts, and of course, tucking into an obligatory Bratwurst. Join in the fun yourself – there’s even a stall offering glass-blowing demonstrations, so you can take home an everlasting Christmas memory.
22. Toronto Christmas Market – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Dates: November 17 – December 31 2022
Christmas is big in Toronto and its fun-filled market is the epicentre of the festivities. After rebranding from the Toronto Christmas Market to the Winter Village in 2021, the people of Toronto are thrilled that the Christmas Market is coming back to the historic Distillery District. The cobblestone streets make for a fairytale winter wonderland setting, with help from the 65+ Bavarian-style stalls and twinkling lights. With plenty of live entertainment and tasty traditional food stalls, it’s fun for all the family.
21. Leavenworth Christkindlmarkt – Leavenworth, Washington
Where better to experience a Christmas market than a Bavarian-inspired village? Leavenworth is only home to around 2000 people, but after reinvesting itself as a Bavarian village in the 1960s, it’s become a hugely popular tourist destination during the holiday season. Nestled in the snowy Cascade Mountains, the wintry location adds to the cosy ambience. Over 1 million twinkling lights create a magical setting, which is spread across an indoor and outdoor market. While you’re in Leavenworth, a mulled wine in a Bavarian pub, a visit to the Nutcracker Museum, and a stop at the Gingerbread Factory is a must.
20. Christkindlmarkt – Helen, Georgia
Dates: November 26 – 27 & December 3 – 4 2022
Helen is another Bavarian-style town, known for its charming storefronts, pubs, cobblestone streets, and of course, its Christkindlmarkt. While you can pick up Bavarian treats all year round in this town, it’s during the festive season that alpine lodges take to the cobbled streets, selling plenty of handmade gifts, beautiful ornaments, and other treasures. Catch a family-friendly show, enjoy the romantic mountain location, and warm yourself up with a hot chocolate.
19. Cambria Christmas Market – Cambria, California
Dates: November 25 – December 23 2022
This seaside Californian village might not be where you’d expect to find one of the best Christmas markets in the USA, but this artsy place has a few tricks up its sleeve. Despite the mild weather, Cambria transforms into a cosy alpine village every year, with over 2 million twinkling lights setting the scene. Stalls sell everything from wooden ornaments to local artwork, along with tasty German specialities. To really embrace the Bavarian spirit, head to the biergarten and gather around the cosy fire pits, enjoy the live music, and sip on a mulled wine.
18. Banff Christmas Market – Banff, Alberta, Canada
Dates: November 18 – December 4 2022
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more Christmassy location than Banff in Alberta. Nestled between mountains carpeted in snow, over 100 vendors sprawl across Warner Stables, selling everything from seasonal treats to wellness products. After a spot of shopping, cosy up in the outdoor fire lounge while nursing a heisse schokolade (hot chocolate). The little ones can pay Santa and his reindeer a visit, while the grown-ups will love the live music. It’s so popular that tickets are required to come along – you can snap them up online or at the door.
17. Frankenmuth ChristKindlMarkt – Frankenmuth, Michigan
Dates: November 25 – December 11 2022
You might have guessed by the name, but Frankenmuth is well known for being Michigan’s Little Bavaria. You’ll find Bavarian-style architecture here year-round, not just in the food and gift vendors that pop up on Main Street. Frankenmuth pulls out all the stops for their much-loved Christmas market, including horse-drawn carriages, free music and light shows, nativity shows, and Santa visits. When you’re not enjoying the entertainment, the artisan handicraft vendors are sure to tempt you.
16. Byrant Park Holiday Market – New York City, New York
Dates: October 28 2022 – January 2 2023
The festivities that descend upon Bryant Park every year are more than a Christmas market, the Manhattan park transforms into a twinkling Winter Village. The celebrations go on for several months, making the most of the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. You could spend hours exploring the 170 alpine-inspired stalls, which in true New York fashion, feature prints, jewellery, fragrances, and more, made by local proprietors. And with the city’s only free ice skating rink, it’s certainly worth the visit. Now in its 20th year, Byrant Park has earnt its place as one of the best Christmas markets in North America.
15. German Christmas Market – Québec City, Québec, Canada
Dates: November 14 & December 31 2022
When Québec City is considered to be one of the most European cities outside of Europe, it’s no wonder that its Christmas market is one of the best in North America. If you’re looking for a gift for that special someone (or yourself!) then Québec City’s German Christmas Market is the place to be with over 200 local artisan vendors ready and waiting. The wooden chalets draped in twinkly lights are sure to get you in the Christmas spirit, and if that doesn’t work then the pop-up performances certainly will.
14. Old World Christmas Market – Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Dates: December 2 – December 11 2022
Reminiscent of the original Christkindlesmarkts of Germany, Elkhart Lake celebrates a time gone by with its Old World Christmas Market. If you’re looking for unique and specialty gifts, this is the place to be. Turkish pashmina scarves, stained glass artwork, alpaca products, Plauen lace, Czech blown-glass ornaments, and German hand-carved smokers are just a taste of the artisanal products on offer. The huge tent at the Osthoff Resort not only keeps in the warmth but also the tantalising scents of roasting chestnuts and fresh evergreens.
13. Christmas Market – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Dates: November 12 – December 24 2022
Vancouver’s Christmas Market is a seriously impressive fair. Not only is there over 80 stalls selling everything from locally made handicrafts to traditional German treats but there are endless activities to keep you and the little ones entertained. Thinks scavenger hunts, a holiday carousel, a love lock installation, a photo hut, craft igloos, and more. After all of that excitement, the cosy alpine lodge with views across the North Shore is the perfect place for a warming apple cider.
12. Christmas Village – Baltimore, Maryland
Dates: November 19 – December 24 2022
Stretched alongside the Inner Harbour, this indoor and outdoor holiday market is modelled after the first traditional Christkindle Market in Nuremberg. Dozens of wooden chalet-style booths are set up to sell traditional European food, sweets and drinks, as well as holiday gifts, ornaments and jewellery. When you’ve had your fill of Christmas shopping, treat yourself to German Schnitzel with latke, Bratwurst and a few Hofbräu beers imported from Munich.
11. Christkindl Market– Arlington, Texas
Dates: November 25 – December 23 2022
Considering that Texas has two Christmas markets in the Top 11, we would have to agree that everything is bigger in Texas. Arlington’s Christkindl Market is actually one of the largest in the southwest, taking over the North Plaza at Globe Life Field. There’s plenty of family-filled fun, including Santa visits, petting zoos, puppet shows, and more. Don’t worry, the grown-ups aren’t left out – the mulled wine is served up nice and hot, and you may even be tempted to join in with the Christmas carols after a few.
10. The Denver Christkindl Market – Denver, Colorado
Dates: November 18 – December 23 2022
Denver’s Christkindl Market is consistently ranked as one of the best Christmas markets in North America. Maybe it’s the romantic, mountainous setting, or maybe it’s the Mille High Tree, America’s tallest digital tree. Either way, thousands flock to experience the miniature German village that takes over the city’s Civic Centre Park each year. Vendors sprawl across the park, dishing up mouthwatering German specialities. As always, expect entertainment in all shapes and sizes, from Bavarian bands playing Christmas carols to the ever-popular Krampus Nacht and Trachten Nacht.
9. Charlottetown Christmas Festival – Charlottetown, Canada
Dates: November 18 2022 – January 2 2023
Charlottetown certainly doesn’t do things by halves. Each year, this small city transforms into a bustling Christmas Town. Their Christmas Festival is a mix of a Victorian-style Christmas market, a Whoville-inspired Village on the Plaza, the Indigenous Artisans Market, the Christmas Parade, and much more. Embrace the enchanting storybook setting and be swept up in the twinkling lights, the Yuletide scents, horse and wagon rides, Santa visits, and plenty of opportunities for shopping.
8. Downtown Holiday Market – Washington D.C
Dates: November 18 – December 23 2022
Washington D.C’s beloved Downtown Holiday Market is returning for its 18th year, with an emphasis on supporting small businesses and local entrepreneurs. Sprawling across two blocks, there’s ample opportunity for some responsible Christmas shopping – get in the festive spirit while browsing the 70+ twinkling stores, including Black-owned and minority businesses from the Made in DC program. Visitors love to end their market trip with a warming drink and some live entertainment.
7. Longueuil Christmas Market – Longueuil, Québec, Canada
Dates: November 25 – December 18 2022
Longueuil might be a small city, just outside of Montreal, but it holds one of the best Christmas markets in North America. Steeped in French Canadian tradition and German folklore, it’s one of the most authentic Christmas markets in the province. Embrace the European festive spirit with traditional musicians and folk dancers, while enjoying confit duck and pretzels straight out of the oven. Many of Québec’s finest craft makers and artists set up shop here for the season – perfect for loading up on last-minute stocking fillers. The little ones love the wooden train, which twirls through snowdrifts, too.
6. Atlanta Christkindle Market – Atlanta, Georgia
Dates: November 25 – December 24 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 as you’ll want to have your fill of currywurst, meatloaf and sticky chimney cakes.
5. Tomball German Festival and Christmas Market – Tomball, Texas
Dates: December 9– 11 2022
Munich’s Oktoberfest has some competition with this one. This German Festival and Christmas Market in Tomball, Texas is a fully-fledged Bavarian event. Think lederhosens, hair in pigtails, fun folk music, and plenty of steins. Throw in 160+ independent stallholders, Bratwurst-slinging vendors, and charming twinkly lights, and you’ve got a market bursting with festive spirit.
4. The Great Dickens Christmas Fair — San Francisco, California
Dates: November 19 – December 18 2022
Charles Dickens might have brought us A Christmas Carol, but San Francisco brought us the Great Dickens Christmas Fair! For five weekends across November and December, Cow Palace Exhibitions Halls will transform into the winding lanes of Victorian London with proprietors and visitors in their Victorian get-up. Experience a taste of what Dickens did in his heyday and fall just as much in love with Christmas as he was. The hall is bursting with pubs, theatres, and handicraft stores to get you in the spirit. Trust San Francisco to do something a bit different, eh?
3. Koziar’s Christmas Village– Bernville, Pennsylvania
Dates: November 5 2022 –January 1 2023 –
Everyone loves a good story, and the one of Koziar’s Christmas Village is a particularly heartwarming tale. When William M. Kozier first decided to decorate his home and dairy farm in 1948, he probably had no idea that it’d grow into the huge, beloved affair that it is today. What started out humble eventually developed into one of the best Christmas markets in North America. The family still run the markets, and the dazzling decorations and lights are still the main attraction. There are plenty of wintry stalls selling trinkets, souvenirs, and serving up traditional treats, of course.
2. Union Square Holiday Market – New York City, New York
Dates: November 17 – December 24 2022
New York City is the pinnacle of good-spirited, Hallmark-style Christmases. Just walking around the lit-up city will charm even the most committed of Scrooges. There are several Christmas markets across the city, but the festivities that grace Union Square are the most iconic. Over 150 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 crafts, come for the food. This year, there will be at least two dozen booths dedicated to serving all your mulled wine, piping hot mince pie and the gooey raclette sandwich needs.
1. Christkindlmarket Chicago – Chicago, Illinois
Dates: December 18–24 2022
Chicago’s Christkindlmarket has recently been named the third best in the world, so we think it’s safe to say it’s one of the best Christmas markets in North America! The Windy City comes alive with a huge Bavarian affair, based on Nuremberg’s medieval Christmas market. You’ll find hundreds of vendors across the city, namely in Daley Plaza and Wrigleyville. Pick up locally-made handicrafts before settling into a cosy alpine chalet, nursing a warming mulled wine.