Every year I look forward to visiting the Christkindl German Christmas Market located in downtown Chicago's Daley Plaza. It's a miniature version of the famous German markets and it hosts 50 vendors and the city's official Christmas tree.
Today marked the third year in a row that I've visited the market, surprisingly I didn't make it there the first two years I lived in Chicago. While it can get RIDICULOUSLY packed during the weekend, I recommend going on a week night, early in the month of December if possible as the market gets more crowded the closer it gets to Christmas.
As I'm half German I appreciate all the tasty treats on offer including warm sugared pecans, baked apples, soft pretzels, potato pancakes and bratwurst (sausage). Of course no trip is complete to the market without a ceramic boot shaped mug full of Glühwein, a spiced mulled wine. It's warm so makes you feel cozy on a chilly winter evening.
Besides delicious street food, the market stalls sell gorgeous blown glass ornaments, Black Forest cuckoo clocks, wooden nutcrackers, knitted items like mittens and nesting dolls. In the past I've bought Christmas presents here but this year I'm doing a 100% thrifted and vintage Christmas so only purchased food at the market.
The ornament house is the most popular stop in the market, it's always packed with people! Their best selling ornament is the traditional German pickle shaped ornament.
I'm a big fan of the new TV series, "Once Upon A Time" so photographed this Snow White ornament in tribute to the show.
Charlie Chaplin ornaments!
Super adorable sheep ornaments at the Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks and Gifts booth. The next photo is from the same booth, they had my favorite items of the entire market.
Cuckoo clock ornaments that double as magnets.
Traditional soft style pretzels, I regret not trying that Pizza flavored one!
A wooden candle holder featuring a nativity scene above and a choir below.
Blown glass ornaments, the lighting was a little odd in this booth so I didn't get a shot of the marvelous ornaments in the shape of birds, animals and Santa.
Nativity scene at the front of the market.
Chicago's official Christmas tree, this year it's a 55-foot tall Colorado Spruce.
What are your holiday traditions every year? I'll be baking cookies (gingerbread, chocolate chip and chocolate crinkle!) tomorrow night and then I'll be heading home to Arkansas to visit my family next weekend.