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Enjoy Chicago's Christkindlmarket 2012

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About the Christkindlmarket 2012:

The Christkindlmarket is Chicago's largest open-air Christmas festival and includes European arts and crafts, as well as brats, spiced wine, and other German specialties. It is also where the city's Christmas tree is located. This year's tree comes from Prospect Heights, Illinois. The tree was donated by Barbara Theiszmann and is a 64-foot-tall Colorado Spruce and has 15,000 lights. This is the fourth straight year Chicago is using a single tree rather than a series of smaller trees that are put together to make one large tree formation. Good news is that year's 12,000 pound tree is a roughly nine inches taller than last year's tree, another Colorado Spruce, from Western Springs, Illinois.

The Christkindlmarket is open daily through December 24, 2012 at Chicago's Daley Plaza.

(Also worth reading: Christkindlmarket in Munich l Holiday Recipes l December 2012 Events in Chicago l History of Christmas)

Christkindlmarket 2012 Location:

The Christkindlmarket is located at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington (north side of Washington between Dearborn and Clark Streets).

Christkindlmarket 2012 Hours:

November 21, 2012 through December 24, 2012. Hours are Sunday - Thursday: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2012: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Christmas Eve, December 24, 2011: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m

Admission to the Christkindlmarket 2012:

Admission to the Christkindlmarket 2012 is free. (Also worth reading: January 2013 Events in Chicago and Taking Public Transportation in Chicago

Santa House at the Christkindlmarket 2012:

The Christkindlmarket includes a Santa's House where kids can visit with Santa. Dates and times for the Santa House are to be determined. As a guide, last year's dates included: November 23, 2011 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m., November 24 (Thanksgiving Day) 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., and then November 25 - December 18, 2011 every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. and December 19 - December 23, 2011 everyday from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Food at the Christkindlmarket 2012:

Come hungry to the Christmkindlmarket, which includes German sausages, potato pancakes, sauerkraut, roasted chestnuts, cookies from Dinkel's, hot spiced wine, and hot chocolate. (Tip: The cookies from Dinkel's bakery sold at the market come in a nice silver tin and include an assortment of some of Dinkel's delicious buttery cookies. The cookie tin is more of my favorite holiday gifts to give to friends and family. You can also buy the tin at Dinkel's bakery on Lincoln Avenue.)

Shopping at the Christkindlmarket 2012:

The Christkindlmarket has several booths where vendors sell handcrafted items, including ornaments, nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks, jewelry, toys, clothing, beer steins, and more.

More on the Christkindlmarket:

The name "Christkindlmarket" originates from the mythical tale of the Christkind - a fairy-like being, dressed in a gold and white robe with a crown atop her golden locks. Depending on region and family tradition, either the "Christkind" (pronounced Kristkint) or the "Weihnachtsmann" (Father Christmas or better known as Santa Claus) will be the bearer of gifts. The tradition of the Christkind is known among German-speaking countries including Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, as well as in the Czech Republic, Italy, Liechtenstein, and some South American countries.

Inspired by the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, which began in 1545, the Christkindlmarket Chicago brings a German and European tradition with local charm to Chicago. Chicago's largest open-air Christmas festival was first held on Pioneer Court in 1996. By special invitation of Mayor Richard M. Daley, Christkindlmarket Chicago moved to Daley Plaza in 1997 and has become a stable event on the plaza ever since.

Suggested Reading: Christkindlmarket in Munich and Winter Holidays in Italy.

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