Best Traditional Christmas Markets in the USA

When the winter rolls in, it's time to wrap up warm and enjoy the festive season. Nothing puts you in a Christmas mood more than a traditional Christmas market. Check out this guide to the best markets in and around the USA, and be merry with all the food & drink you'll be trying.

Leavenworth’s Christkindlmarkt (Leavenworth, Washington)

Set in the faux-Bavarian town of Leavenworth in Washington, this Christmas market takes on a true traditional approach to its festivities. The authenticity of this market is what makes it truly magical!

From the Alpine style buildings to the people dressed in traditional German clothing, Leavenworth is like an enchanted village. Christmas truly comes alive here with over 500,000 lights, carolers, roasting chestnuts and live entertainment.

Indulge in hearty Bavarian delicacies such as; sausages of all kinds, Bretzl (Pretzels), Glühwein (hot mulled wine) or, take this market as the perfect opportunity to do some Christmas shopping. Purchase some hand crafted ornaments or candles!

  • Where? Leavenworth’s Christmas Market is located at Front Street Park and also in the Leavenworth Festhalle
  • When? Hosted every year from Friday to Sunday on Thanksgiving weekend

Georgetown Christmas Market (Georgetown, Colorado)

If you’re in Colorado, head over to the Georgetown Christmas Market and re-wind the clock by experiencing Christmas festivities the way they were 100 years ago! Spread over two weekends in December, this re-enacted Yuletide market is bound to make you feel merry!

Walk through the winter wonderland that is this market, with the streets covered in snow, the buildings lined with twinkling lights and gorgeous holiday decor on every building.

This market sends you back in time with old-time holiday traditions. Sights such as horse-drawn wagons and carolers in Victorian costumes will greet you. Alongside the performances from the carolers, St Nicholas makes a special appearance too! In addition to the fabulous themed entertainment, browse the outdoor marketplace and purchase handcrafted gifts for your loved ones. From Victorian items for the home to, Colorado wine, this market has something for everyone!

  • Where? Strousse Park on 6th and Rose Street,Georgetown
  • When? The first and second weekends in December
  • How much? Admission is FREE

Great Dickens Christmas Fair (San Francisco, California)

Next up, head over to San Fransisco, California where you will find the Great Dickens Victorian-style Christmas Fair.

Festivities resemble that of the ones that would have taken place back in Charles Dickens’ London town! From costumed performers to lit up music halls, this market is all about history and literature!

Immerse yourself in the true traditional Victorian culture and dig into the delicious food and drink from the British Empire. Enjoy some fish and chips, roasted chestnuts or even English High Tea! Then make your way over to a traditional pub and sip on an ale or an Irish coffee.

  • When? The end of November to mid December (Schedules vary yearly)
  • Where? Cow Palace Arena, Daly City
  • How much? Admission for adults (13+) is $32 & admission for kids aged 5–12 costs $14

Christkindlmarket (Chicago, Illinois)

Fancy visiting one of the longest-running Christmas markets in the states? Well the Christkindlmarket in Chicago, Illinois is just that! Argued to be one of the most beloved holiday traditions in Chicago, this needs to be added to your bucket list!

The market is a German-inspired village filled with numerous activities, eateries and shops. Enjoy their take on the European style festivities or grab a table at The Stammtisch in the Heated Timber Haus and tuck into their famous glühwein (mulled wine) and schnitzel.

The market is inspired by the 16th-century Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, one of the first outdoor markets of its kind. Its popularity is a result of the vendors that attend every year with their high quality and delicious wares. In addition to this, fantastic German entertainment and activities such as; Alpine brass bands dressed in Bavarian outfits and, the ‘Kinder Club’ for children to immerse themselves in German traditions and cultural differences.

  • Where? Daley Plaza, Chicago
  • When? September 19th - December 24th
  • How much? Admission is FREE

Downtown Holiday Market (Washington, District of Columbia)

Located outside of the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum, this open-air market features 70+ exhibitors. Browse a wide and varied range of crafts, food, drinks and live entertainment.

DC’s holiday market is ranked among some of America’s best Christmas fairs. With different delicacies such as; BBQ, candy, doughnuts and German-inspired food, alongside the main stage in which live performances take place, you can see why!

The market screams festive with its festive decor and lights and live performances of Christmas classics! Christmas shopping is a must, with vendors offering; art, crafts, jewelry, pottery, clothing, and lots more.

  • Where? Downtown Washington
  • When? Mid November through to the 23rd December (excluding Thanks Giving weekend)
  • How much? Admission is FREE

Columbus Circle Holiday Market (NYC, New York)

Situated next to the entrance of the iconic Central Park, this ranks high in one of the best and most traditional Christmas markets in the USA. If the view wasn’t picturesque enough around you, it only gets better when looking at the individual stalls at this market.

Wonder through the glittering aisles of art, jewelry, home goods and delicious eats from local artisans and designers. Enjoy your Christmas shopping in one of the greatest cities of the world, with some of the most iconic landmarks only a taxi ride away. The buzz of the ‘city that never sleeps’ is replicated throughout this fabulous Christmas market, with over 150 vendors attending each year!

  • Where? The entrance to Central Park, at 59th street and Central Park West
  • When? End of November - December 24th

Starting from Skratch? Here’s a Few Tips to Get You Started:

Facts before you go

💰 Currency

$ US Dollar

🕒  Time Zone

UTC -10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4

📝  Tipping

Tipping is always expected and generally 15% in restaurants.

🎄 Christmas traditions

Picking a tree

Make a gingerbread house

Advent calendars

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Imogen Kemp
August 30, 2023

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