4 Things to Know About Christkindlmarket, Chicago's Favorite Christmas Market

The famed Chicago Christmas market is back beginning Nov. 18

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There's 39 days until Christmas, 32 days until Hanukkah, 8 days until Thanksgiving and three days until a favorite Chicago Christmas market reopens: Chicago's 2022 Christkindlmarket.

Christkindlmarket, a marquee winter-time Chicago tradition, will soon swing into the area for its annual comeback. The famed-German-style market offers visitors the opportunity to buy handmade artisan goods and taste international foods while listening to festive tunes.

"The unique shopping experience, cheerful live entertainment and original food and beverages like the imported mulled wine from Germany, called Glühwein, make the Christkindlmarket a preferred and popular destination," organizers said.

Here are four things to know as one of the city's most loved holiday market gets ready to kick off for the 2022 season.

There are Three Christkindlmarket Locations

Christkindlmarket offers three Chicago area locations: Wrigleyville, Chicago, and Aurora, about an hour's drive from the city. Each location features different events, entertainment and musical performances. Hours of operation are below.

Read More: You Can Ice Skate Inside Wrigley Field This Winter — But That's Not All You Can Do There

RiverEdge Park: 360 N. Broadway, Aurora

  • Thursdays: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Fridays and Saturdays: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Sundays - 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Special hours Dec. 19 to Dec. 21: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Daley Plaza: 50 W. Washington St., Chicago

  • Sundays to Thursdays: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Fridays and Saturdays: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Special hours Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Wrigleyville: 3635 N. Clark St., Gallagher Way, Chicago

  • Mondays to Thursdays: 3 p.m.-9 p.m.
  • Fridays and Saturdays: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Sundays: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Special hours Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Special hours Dec. 26-29: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Christkindlmarkets Officially Open Friday

In addition to the 109th Annual Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, all Christkindlmarkets will open Friday, Nov. 18.

The locations at RiverEdge Park and Daley Plaza wrap up Christmas Eve, while the market at Gallagher Way goes on for a little while longer. Its last day will be New Year's Eve.

Admission is free. Food, beverages and events may cost extra.

Each Year, The Market Features a Special Souvenir Mug

Christkindlmarket-goers can always head home with a collectible souvenir: a holiday mug.

This year, the mug comes in a curved shape and features a scene of people holding hands, celebrating the wintertime at the market. According to organizers, it draws inspiration from Chicago's "Year of Dance" celebration, a city-wide focus on the industry that has been unfolding throughout the year.

In its skyline backdrop, the mug highlights iconic landmarks. Sites like the Marina Towers, Willis Tower, Hotel Zachary and Paramount Theatre can be spotted.

The market also rolled out its mug dedicated to non-alcoholic beverages. This year's character is a dancing penguin dressed in a traditional German dress.

It's One of the Top Christmas Markets in the Country

Global travel site Big 7 Travel last year named Chicago's Christkindlmarket No. 1 on its list of best 25 Christmas markets in the USA.

According to the list, Christmas markets were ranked on several factors, the travel site says, including vendor variety, entertainment, local traditions, social media popularity and Big 7 Travel writer suggestions and previous awards. 

Here's what markets round out the top 10:

  1. Christkindlmarket Chicago – Chicago, Illinois
  2. Koziar’s Christmas Village– Bernville, Pennsylvania
  3. The Great Dickens Christmas Fair — San Francisco, California, USA
  4. Christkindlmarkt – Leavenworth, Washington
  5. Union Square Holiday Market  – New York City, New York
  6. Atlanta Christkindle Market – Atlanta, Georgia
  7. Christkindl Market– Arlington, Texas
  8. Charlotte Christmas Village – Charlotte, North Carolina
  9. Victorian Christmas Market – Nevada City, California
  10. Peoples Gas Holiday Market– Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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