Christmas Market

If you think that to shop at the German Christmas market you have to take an expensive international flight to Germany and cross the Atlantic you are wrong. You can capture the festive Christmas spirit that German holiday markets have to offer in the U.S. as well. Although the tradition of holding Christmas markets dates back to the 16th century, when a big market was organized annually in Nuremberg, Germany, such events are held in the U.S. as well. There customers can purchase a range of traditional crafts and foods and feel the spirit of the coming holiday. The aroma of the spices and roasted almonds pervade the air tempting visitors to splurge.

Christkindlmarket Chicago

For the most authentic Christmas market experience visit Christkindlmarket, one of the oldest German holiday markets that draws over a million visitors during its holiday run. This year the market held at the downtown Daley Plaza location celebrates its 20th season. It features a special Kinder Club with tons of fun activities for kids like a scavenger hunt and life-size advent calendar. Open daily through Dec. 24.

Columbus Circle Holiday Market, New York

The New York Christmas market is quite large. It features over 100 vendors offering for sale a variety of crafts from around the world. It is located at the southwest entrance to Central Park and has already become popular among holiday visitors. Open daily through Dec. 24.

Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

The Walt Disney World park boasts the Germany Pavilion that offers the truly authentic spirit of the Christmas market which is hard to find elsewhere. Great many German products that you won’t find in regular stores can’t but impress. In addition the pavilion employs young German workers and this adds authenticity to the whole festivity.

Christmas Village, Philadelphia

This Christmas market that runs for a whole month draws large crowds to JFK Park, where the iconic statue spelling out L-O-V-E is erected. The event features daily concerts, a heated garden offering mulled wine, and a German grill with all time popular bratwursts, Belgian fries and strudel. Open daily through Dec. 27.

Downtown Holiday Market, Washington

Held for 11th year in a row, the D.C. market offers a variety of fine crafts and imported snacks, including traditional German foods and sweets. On a weekend this event usually attracts about 100,000 shoppers. Open daily through Dec. 23.

Denver Christkindl Market

More than175,000 people are expected to attend this daily market located at Skyline Park at the city’s 16th Street Mall. This season will be its 15th year and the market will have a skating rink with a warming tent, offering warm wine and hot chocolate. Traditionally there are also numerous appearances from St. Nikolaus. Runs through Dec. 23.

Alpine Village Christmas Faire, Torrance, Calif.

During the holidays this year-round shopping, dining and entertainment venue brings the best traditions of German Christmas to sunny Southern California. The market is held the first three weekends of December and impresses its visitors with beautiful decorations, authentic crafts, a train ride and snow.

Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt, Cincinnati

The Ohio River city has been known for its traditional Oktoberfest. Now it also features a Christmas market that has become an indispensible part of the city’s holiday scene. The market is held Friday through Sunday downtown in Fountain Square. It has a look of a traditional European village with half-timbered homes where traditional holiday sweets, hot spiced wine and German beer are served. There are also numerous crafts offered for sale, plus entertainment. Held through Dec. 20.

Tomball (Texas) German Christmas Market & Festival

The event includes all the traditional German market favorites associated with Christmas festivities, such as mulled wine, bratwurst and Christmas stollen bread. The typical fair foods like corn dogs and barbecue are also served there. There is the Kinderfest children’s play area, plus four music stages for German-style musicians performing on the stage and in the crowd. Run Dec. 11-13.

Christkindlmarkt, Helen, Ga.

Thousands of visitors come to this town in the Blue Ridge Mountains to enjoy the breathtaking alpine village scenery and Marktplatz held the first two weekends of December. The event draws a number of crafts and food vendors, and there is a spectacular Christmas parade on Dec. 12.