Since we are finally seeing some dry weather in Chicago, the hubby and I hopped on the train and headed downtown this afternoon for one of our favorite holiday traditions: exploring the Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza.
In case you didn’t know, Chicago’s German roots run deep, and this annual outdoor market, which takes after the one in Nuremberg, has been getting Chicagoans into the Christmas spirit for nearly twenty years. If you are looking for some unique holiday gifts, this is definitely the place to visit! Each of the little shops offers something different, from hand-painted ornaments and nutcrackers, to candied nuts and knit scarves. My favorite booth this year was Dom itp, which displayed dozens of glass-blown replicas of some of Chicago’s most famous landmarks.
There are a number of food vendors at the market, selling delicious, authentic sweet and savory German treats. The lines can be long, but they tend to go fast and it’s well worth the short wait. We found a little crepe stand from Paris and indulged in the memory of our recent trip. My raspberry mascarpone crepe was so delicious I gobbled it up without any time for a photo, and Eric enjoyed his ham and cheese, as well as the bratwurst he’d been craving.
We wanted to get out of the cold, so we popped into one of the ornament houses to browse through the hundreds of beautiful, festive decorations. I like to buy a new one for our tree each year, but Eric usually needs to rein me a little. I had a hard time deciding which one to choose until we stumbled upon an adorable little elephant. Knowing how much I love them, and that I am ridiculously indecisive when given too many choices, Eric made an executive decision and bought it for us while I was ooh-ing and ahh-ing over an awesome shark!
Missing from Daley plaza this year was Chicago’s Christmas tree, which moved back to its original location in Millennium Park a few blocks away. I will admit, I actually was pleased with the change since the market can get incredibly crowded and the tree itself would take up a good bit of space. We’d intended to head to the park afterward to check it out, but on the way there I got distracted by the windows at Macy’s (i.e. Marshall Fields) so we stopped there instead to see the tree in the 7th floor Walnut Room.
Initially, we were just going to go look, but the line for a table was surprisingly short and, after a day in the cold, I had a craving for hot chocolate, so we decided to sit and enjoy the view for a bit. It was the perfect end to a wonderful day.
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?