By Elizabeth Czapski | Staff Writer
Since 1996, the Christkindlmarket in Chicago has been delighting visitors with holiday food and wares with European flair. Modeled after the famous Christmas market in Nuremberg, Germany, Chicago’s version hosts vendors from Illinois, Germany and even as far away as Bethlehem and Nepal. This year’s market offers a mixture of the familiar with some new additions.
Here’s what’s new this year, according to Kate Bleeker, director of expansion and market development for Christkindlmarket Chicago.
Christkindlmarket’s signature mugs have become a collector’s item over the years, and this year the market will offer three-packs of mugs representing each of the market’s locations—Chicago, Naperville and Milwaukee. Individual mugs are also for sale; fill one with Glühwein to warm yourself up. For kids, there’s a special “Oma” (Grandma) snowman mug.
More than 50 vendors from all over the world will be at the market selling handcrafted pieces, Christmas decorations, food and beverages. New this year is a pop-up booth that will rotate vendors every few days to give guests a unique experience every time they visit.
Cheese lovers rejoice! Food vendor Brunkow Cheese will be offering an indulgent new food item—Raclette sandwiches. Raclette cheese is melted, then spread onto fresh bread and finished with the toppings of your choice. Look for it at the Baked Cheese Haus booth.
This year, Christkindlmarket Chicago is partnering with Hannah’s Bretzel. The sandwich chain will have its own “Official Sandwich of the Christkindlmarket,” and the market’s souvenir mugs will be available for purchase at all Hannah’s Bretzel Chicago locations.
For a full list of vendors and events, see Christkindlmarket.com.