Family Guide to Chicagoland’s Christkindlmarket

Get into the holiday spirit at these festive outdoor markets.

The Christkindlmarket is a beloved holiday tradition in Chicagoland. Find tasty German-inspired food, warm beverages and, of course, plenty of holiday decor and gifts from unique vendors at these festive open-air markets. 

Chicagoland families can visit three Christkindlmarket locations — Aurora, downtown Chicago and Wrigleyville — for holiday cheer and merrymaking. Here is all you need to know to start making cherished family memories this holiday season at the Christkindlmarket. 

Happy holidays! 

Locations

Visit the Christkindlmarket location closest to your family, or venture to a market that’s further out and make new holiday memories and traditions. Each location has its own unique history and winter activities for families to enjoy. 

Christkindlmarket

Photo credit: Eric James Walsh

  • Dates: Nov. 17-Dec. 24
  • Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Parking: Find discounted parking with SpotHero, or park at a discounted rate at Millennium Garages. You must purchase parking online to enjoy the discount. 

Since 1996, the downtown Chicago Christkindlmarket has been one of the city’s most popular winter attractions. Check out this map of Christkindlmarket to start planning your holiday adventure. 

Holiday pro tip: Visit this location on select Wednesday afternoons to meet and take photos with the Christkind, a holiday fairy who is the German Bearer of Gifts (think Santa Claus for German-speaking children!). 

Christkindlmarket Aurora

Photo credit: Eric James Walsh

  • Dates: Nov. 17-Dec. 24
  • Hours: Thursday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 
  • Parking: Find free street parking at Lot W, 309 N. River Street. Parking at the Aurora Transportation Center Main Parking Lot is $10. Find more information on parking at Christkindlmarket Aurora

The newest Christkindlmarket in Chicagoland is at RiverEdge Park in downtown Aurora. This year’s market includes 54 holiday vendors, a photo booth and plenty of festive photo opportunities, outdoor seating, a heated food and drink tent and much more. Use this handy map of the market to plan your family’s holiday outing. 

Holiday pro tip: Visit Christkindlmarket Aurora on Thursdays for face painting, typewriting poetry, glassblowing, scavenger hunts, contests and more family fun. 

Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville

Photo credit: Troy Mairs

  • Dates: Nov. 17-Dec. 31
  • Hours: Monday-Thursday 3-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m. 
  • Parking: Limited street parking is available. Use of public transportation is encouraged. 

The Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville is part of Winterland at Gallagher Way, an outdoor winter wonderland experience with plenty of seasonal activities for families. In addition to food, drink and holiday vendors, families can ice skate, visit Santa Claus, make holiday crafts and more. Keep this map of the Wrigleyville market handy, and check out our family guide to Winterland at Gallagher Way for more details on this exciting holiday attraction. 

Tips for families

  • Give your child a Kinder Club passport to keep them focused and entertained. The activity passport has riddles, on-site activities and more for each Christkindlmarket location. 
  • Plan your visit around a family-friendly event, such as the annual Lantern Parade.
  • These bustling holiday markets can be overwhelming, even for adults! If your child has sensory needs or is easily overwhelmed by crowds and noises, make sure you explain the environment to them beforehand and have an exit strategy if you need to take a break. 
  • Big crowds make it easier for kids to get separated from their parents. Make sure your child knows your phone number or has some kind of identification so they can quickly be reunited with mom and dad in the event they get lost.

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Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts is the assistant editor on the Chicago Parent team. She is always on the lookout for the coolest and trendiest new attractions, restaurants and events for Chicagoland families. Her newsletters, online family guides and exciting digital content keep families informed on all the latest happenings around town.

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