Christkindlmarket in downtown Chicago

The German Christmas Market is back in person, providing a safe outdoor experience in Chicago for the whole family. The authentic Christkindlmarkets in downtown Chicago and at Gallagher Way in Wrigleyville are a unique Admission free experience.

The smell of roasted nuts, fresh pretzels, bratwurst and hot spiced wine, the sound of festive music, and the glimmer of sparkling Christmas ornaments, all in a cozy atmosphere – a visit to the market takes all  your senses on a journey!

Starting November 19th, visitors can explore vendor products from around the world, participate in special events, and enjoy the unique shopping experience. For those who prefer to bring the holiday feel to their homes, the Christkindlmarket offers its Online Marketplace where visitors can purchase gift boxes, mugs, ornaments, beanies, scarfs, hats, and much more. 

The history of the Cristkindlmarket in Chicago

The Christkindlmarket Chicago was first conceptualized in 1995 when The German American Camber of Commerce of the Midwest Inc. (GACC Midwest) was seeking alternative ways to promote bilateral trade between the USA and Germany. Peter Flatzek, former Vice President of GACC Midwest, and Ray Lotter, then Manager of Commercial Services for GACC Midwest, initiated the partnership with city officials of Nuremberg, Germany.

Mr. Lotter invited companies from Germany and the Chicago area to participate in the first Christkindlmarket Chicago in 1996. The market was an instant success and continues to flourish through the work of GACC Midwest’s subsidiary, German American Events, LLC. The inaugural event took place on Pioneer Court in 1996 for the first time. By special invitation of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, the Christkindlmarket Chicago moved to Daley Plaza in 1997 and has become a staple event on the plaza ever since. With the support of the City of Chicago and their Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), the Christkindlmarket Chicago has grown to become one of the most popular winter attractions for locals and tourists alike.

Opening times in Chicago November 19 – December 24, 2021

Sundays – Thursdays
11am – 8pm
Fridays – Saturdays
11am – 10pm
Special Opening Hours
Thanksgiving, November 25 & Christmas Eve, December 24
11am – 4pm

Chicago holiday downtown activities

  • Be Festive! The Christkindlmarket isn’t the only holiday tradition that’s celebrating an anniversary! For the 30th time, the BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival® returns to downtown Chicago in 2021, shining bright to kick off the holiday season the weekend before Thanksgiving. See all the details at
  • Hit the Ice! The Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon will be open for several months, starting the same day as the Christkindlmarket, November 19th. Located in the heart of the Chicago Loop, ice skaters can enjoy the city’s skyline as a backdrop while skating this ribbon of ice winds through a rolling landscape:
  • Admire Outdoor Holiday Dep Art! The beloved Art Institute Lions will be decked out in their festive holiday attire from November 28th through January 7th. Check them out, take some pictures, and then head inside to see some more awe-inspiring art:
  • See Things Larger-Than-Life! The largest permanent digital art projection in the world, Art on the Mart, will also show its versions of the holiday classic “The Nutcracker.” Starting on November 25th, the performance will run nightly at 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and can be viewed for free from the jetty section of the Chicago Riverwalk on Wacker Drive between Wells Street and Franklin Street.


Daley Plaza, 50 W Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602

Health and Safety during the christmas market Chicago

  • We kindly ask visitors to monitor their own health. If you or someone in your family or party is not feeling well or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or you have been exposed to someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, please refrain from attending the event.
  • All visitors are highly encouraged to wear masks at the market when not actively eating and drinking. Visitors must wear a mask in all indoor settings, especially inside all walk-in structures, regardless of vaccination status.
  • The market tables and high-touch surfaces will be sanitized daily before opening, frequently during the day, and at close.
  • Many vendors will have no-touch payment options available. ATMs will be available onsite as well.
  • Extra hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the market, especially near food and beverage booths. Hand wash sinks equipped with soap, hand towels and sanitizing stations are located in the bathroom tents.
  • Visitors are asked to maintain safe distance from other patrons. To ensure the safety of our visitors, attendance on the plaza will be monitored closely.
    • Weekdays (Mon-Friday at 4pm)
      • Visitors will be allowed to enter and exit through all gates of the market.
      • Attendance will be tracked through electronic monitoring systems and gates may close temporarily as necessary to ensure safe crowd flow on the plaza.
    • Weekends (Friday at 4pm- Sunday)
      • Visitors will only be allowed to enter through the Washington Street main entrance (on Washington St. in the middle of the block between Clark St. and Dearborn St.).
      • The entire block of Washington St., between Clark St. and Dearborn St. will be designated to pedestrians only and will accommodate by providing additional space for visitors waiting to enter the Christkindlmarket.
      • All other gates will be used as exits only.
      • Attendance will be tracked through electronic monitoring systems and entrance from the Washington St. gate will be regulated to ensure safe crowd flow on the plaza.
      • It is recommended that visitors arrive early as there may be a wait to enter the plaza.
  • Stammtisch Reservations:
    • Guests with Stammtisch Reservations can check-in within 2hrs of their reservation time at the Timber Haus on the Daley Center side of the plaza or at the main gate on Washington street without having to wait in line.
      • Detailed information on entry procedures can be found on your Stammtisch Reservation Confirmation email.
    • Only Stammtisch Reservation holders will be allowed inside the Grand Timber Haus.
    • Stammtisch Reservation can be made here.
  • General Safety Tips
    • Visitors are encouraged to make safety practices a part of all your daily routines to help keep you safe and protect your personal belongings from theft.
    • Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your personal items at all times.
    • If You See Something, Say Something! There are Ushers located at all entrances and exits throughout the event that have access to Security Staff. We highly encourage you to communicate suspicious activity with Event Staff, Ushers and Security Staff.

Please note that guidelines are subject to change according to city and state mandates.

To don’t miss any latest news about christmas market in Chicago follow the organizers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and the official website or subscribe Our Planet of Entertainment.

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