Best Christmas Markets in the USA
Bryant Park-New York City
Winter Village at Bryant Park in Manhattan is one of the best outdoor, European-inspired Christmas markets in all of New York City. Using the New York Public Library as a dramatic backdrop, the market features open-stall shops full of artisan goods and holiday gifts. Combine this with a fantastic array of mouth-watering eats and treats and it’s no wonder that Bryant Park is one of the best Christmas markets in the United States!
A unique feature of Bryant Park’s Winter Village is that it offers the city’s only ice skating rink with FREE admission. That’s right, there is no cost to skate in the now all-outdoor rink and it provides a beautiful romantic, holiday setting to get into the spirit!
One of the best treats during Winter Village is the Eastern European Kürtőskalács or “Chimney Cakes”. Originating in Hungary, the sugary, butter dough takes a cylinder shape and can be filled with many different choices like ice cream and decorative toppings. Another favorite is a Belgian waffle from Wafels & Dinges. I highly suggest the Nutella option!
Due to its accessibility near Times Square, Bryant Park is fairly easy to walk to from most midtown hotels particularly this Hilton Garden Inn. With a wide calendar range from the end of October to the beginning of January, there is plenty of time to celebrate the season at Bryant Park and fulfill all of your holiday needs and desires!
Leavenworth Christkindlmarkt-Leavenworth, Washington
Contributed by Sara from Mindful Travel By Sara
Photo by Sara Rodriguez
Leavenworth, in Washington State, is a Bavarian-style village located in the stunning Cascade Mountains. If you’re looking for a unique Christmas vacation with a European feel, you’ll love this town!
There are so many things to do in Leavenworth during Christmastime, but visiting its beautiful Christmas Market is a must. Located in Front Street Park, the Leavenworth Christkindlmarkt typically begins on Thanksgiving weekend.
This Bavarian-style Christmas market features Christmas lights, traditional Bavarian music and food, artisan crafts, a lantern parade for children at 5 pm, and lots of Christmas-themed entertainment for the whole family.
Trying the Glühwein (mulled wine), Germany’s favorite Christmas drink, and bratwurst sausages are extremely popular at the Leavenworth Christmas market. If you are looking for an enchanting Christmas experience, Leavenworth is perfect and definitely one of the best Christmas markets in the USA!
Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market-Philadelphia
Contributed by Derek & Mike from Robe Trotting
Photo by Derek Hartman
One of America’s best Christmas markets is located in the shadow of Philadelphia’s historic City Hall building. The Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market is an annual event located on the west side of City Hall in Dilworth Park. This festive market features local artisans and designers selling their handmade crafts and holiday items. It’s perfect for gift shopping and meeting local merchants during Christmas in Philadelphia.
The market does have vibes of a traditional German Christmas market in Philadelphia style. You can try classic Philadelphia foods like a cheesesteak or a soft pretzel. One of the most unique things about the Christmas market is the outdoor ice skating rink and pop-up Winter Garden refreshment cabin.
To beat the crowds, visit the market on weekdays or early afternoons on weekends. The best place to park is in the LOVE Park garage and you can pay $12 for discounted parking by visiting the Made in Philadelphia website.
Contributed by Kirsten from Kids Are A Trip
Photo by Kirsten Maxwell
Chicago’s Christkindlmarket is one of the best Christmas markets in the USA. Having visited several markets in the US and Germany, I can easily say the German-inspired Chicago market gets high marks for authenticity.
The Chicago holiday season typically kicks off right before Thanksgiving and runs through the end of the year. Located in Daley Plaza in the heart of downtown, the market provides a welcome scene during the holiday season with its wooden kiosks and festive decor.
I would highly recommend visiting Christkindlmarket on a weekday at the start of the season due to crazy crowds on weekends, especially as it gets closer to the holidays.
Although admission is free, be sure to bring plenty of money to buy treats. Some of our market favorites are the roasted nuts, the Käthe Wohlfahrt ornament store, and the annual Christmas mugs you can fill with the drink of your choice. The Chicago Christkindlmarket is the perfect way to celebrate the holidays with friends and enjoy a taste of Europe in the Midwest!
Columbus Circle Holiday Market-New York City
Contributed by Christine from Christine Abroad
Photos by Christine Wedberg
Located at the southwest corner of Central Park, the Columbus Circle Holiday Market is one of the city’s most popular Christmas markets for shopping and food.
Although quite small, it’s a festive Manhattan Christmas market with an authentic European feel. This market in Columbus Circle is beautifully decorated and has lots of small stalls selling everything from locally handcrafted goods and Christmas decor to delicious holiday treats. As several local artisans and designers sell their products here, you can expect excellent Christmas shopping.
The easiest way to get to the market is by metro. Just take the subway to 59 St – Columbus Circle, and walk 2-3 minutes to the festivities.
The Columbus Circle Holiday Market has been operating for 15 years and usually runs December 4th through Christmas Eve.
Royal Bavaria Christkindlmarkt-Oklahoma City
Contributed by Melissa from Parenthood and Passports
Photo by Melissa Smuzynski
If you want to feel like you are in Europe for the holidays, there is a small corner of middle America where you’ll find a Christkindlmarkt as authentic as any holiday market in Europe.
Tucked away in the Royal Bavaria beer garden in Oklahoma City, Christkindlmarkt is a small yet charming Christmas market making it the perfect place to spend a crisp evening. Sip on mulled wine or homemade hot apple cider and shop for crafts, jewelry, or trinkets at the little wooden booths.
Each booth is operated by a school, educational organization, or team that is raising money for various needs. The large trees that provide shade for the beer garden during the summer months are all beautifully wrapped in white lights. This gives the Christkindlmarkt an extra magical glow!
If visiting Oklahoma City with kids during the holidays, be sure to check the German beer garden’s calendar. One special night in December, Santa makes a stop by the Christmas market to meet with kids, hear their holiday wishes, and even gives each child a toy. To see Saint Nick, you must have a dinner reservation at the German restaurant which makes this experience an exclusive one. The reservation itself is well worth making as the German food is just as fabulous as the Christmas market!
Contributed by David from Awesome Traveler
A delightful mix of food, drinks, and shopping, Christkindlmarkt offers a nearly endless list of entertainments. These include the entrance of Santa Claus and the Christ child (spirit of Christmas) along with over twenty booths containing different merchandise.
Food is a part of every Christmas event, and Christkindlmarkt brings a lot to the table. Baked German Christmas treats, Glühwein (mulled wine), Christstollen bread, Lebkuchen (cookies), Nurnberg sausage dinner, and other tasty dishes are available for your delight.
Each year Christkindlmarkt promises to be more interesting and more German than ever, thanks to the fresher elements of German culture.
Union Square Holiday Market-New York City
Contributed by Candy from Boogie The Pug
The Union Square Holiday Market is located in its namesake, Union Square, which is in the heart of New York City. This sprawling, outdoor European-style market features over 150 artisan booths making it one of the best Christmas markets in the USA. Some of these sell one-of-a-kind gifts while others focus on delicious snacks.
The market is so large that it’s divided into sections such as Little Brooklyn and Urbanspace Provisions. It also features extras including a Warming Station and Lounge, the Kid’s Arts Studio, and live music. There are even fun, themed events like Happy Pawlidays for our four-legged pals!
Grab a mulled wine or hot cocoa and wind your way through lanes of handcrafted goods, art, jewelry, home accessories, and food. This is a great, festive way to get into the holiday spirit. While there are plenty of local vendors, they also come from far and wide to cater to both New Yorkers and tourists alike. The market opens in November and stays open for over a month of winter fun and shopping.
So, where will you go to get your sugar, spice, and everything nice? I said it before but I’m very ready for Christmas and celebrating Christmas market style sounds both festive and fantastic! Hopefully, one of these Christmas markets in the USA can be found near you or the family you will be visiting for the holidays.
Have you been to any authentic, European-style outdoor Christmas markets in the USA? If so, I would love to know which one and your experience!
‘Til next time…