Friday, December 04, 2009

This Weekend Chicago a Two Christmas Market Town

In Europe, heading for the Christmas markets on December weekends is very popular, and in larger German cities there are multiple markets for fun. There you can enjoy hearty snacks and warming drinks in a festive atmosphere, and look at a wide variety of merchandise that might make good Christmas presents or be fun to add to your own stash of stuff. The larger and more important the city, the greater the likelihood that there will be more than one market to visit.

This weekend, Chicago shows itself off as a two Christmas market town. In addition to the main market at Daley Plaza, there is the addition of the Lincoln Square Christmas Market, which starts at noon today, and runs through 7:00 pm on Sunday. The market, which takes place at Leland & Western Avenue, features a large, heated tent which will be welcome in the sudden cold snap. Located in the heart of Chicago's old German neighborhood, there will be plenty of food and entertainment as well as ice sculptures!

Of course, one of the best thing about Christmas time in Chicago is the Christkindlemarkt. Since 1996, the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest has been hosting the largest traditional Christmas market outside of Germany in of Chicago's version of the European town square--Daley Plaza. More than 65% of the vendors travel all the way from Germany to participate in this popular event. While tourists to Germany comb the markets for traditional Christmas finds--incense smokers, wooden toys, charming tree ornaments, all of this can be found right downtown. Since there is always plenty of authentic food and drink, a visit is almost like a trip abroad. The outdoor location is a great way to visit with friends and family while shopping for Christmas presents. What better way to avoid stiflingly hot malls and enjoy the benefits of fresh air and a slower pace?

This is a great year to see Christmas markets in Chicago rather than take an early Winter vacation to Germany. With high airfares, a very weak dollar, and the recession long from over, don't miss the oppotunity to enjoy what we have here at home.


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