While Chicagoland has SO many fun Christmas traditions to choose from (Walnut Room, Zoo Lights, checking out Candy Cane Lane), there is nothing as quintessential as savoring the sights and smells of the German-themed Christkindlmarkets set up around Chicagoland. The only problem? Just about EVERYONE in Chicagoland (and the tourists, too) want in on the fun. So here are some tips for visiting the Christkindlmarket:
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Visit during an “Off” Time. While you might want to kick off the holiday season as the Christkindlmarket the day after Thanksgiving, it is one of the WORST days to visit because it is SO crowded. If you plan ahead and visit during an “off” time, you won’t have to wait in massive lines for food and you might even be able to claim one of the highly coveted tables. Your best bet is to visit right when they open or visit in the late afternoon on weekdays when people are still at work or in school.
Leave the stroller at home. Due to the crowds, it simply isn’t safe for your little ones to be in a stroller–and I guarantee they will be happier (and warmer) cozied up to you in a baby carrier. Ergo is my go-to and here are some wrap options.
Dress warmly. No matter which location you chose, the Christkindlmarket is open air, inspired by German and European tradition. So dress in layers, wear a warm (yet stylish) winter coat, pack some hand warmers if necessary, and get cuddle up while enjoying your Bavarian treats!
Try the Wrigleyville location. Much less crowded than its Daley Plaza counterpart, Winterland at Gallagher Way is a great option for families since there is still delicious food to be had AND there are kids’ activities, such as the ice skating rink. You can check out my detailed review on what to expect from Winterland at Gallagher Way here.
Order something in a boot. Whether you prefer mulled wine or hot cocoa, you MUST get a keepsake Christkindl market boot to commemorate your experience!
Be sure to check out my growing list for all things holiday-themed in Chicagoland!