After you’ve wrapped up your shopping and decorating on Black Friday (or schwarzer Freitag as one would say in German), you can enjoy the delights of the season at the grand opening of Christkindlmarket Naperville, a traditional German Christmas market that features all the sights, sounds, smells and fun of the season in one fun spot.
If you go
Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville
Thursdays through Sundays Friday, Nov. 24 to Sunday, Dec. 24
Thursdays 11 a.m.- 7 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.
Sundays 11 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Special dates: Monday, Dec. 18 to Thursday, Dec. 21 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. Christmas Eve (Sunday, Dec. 24) 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.
In addition to the one in Daley Plaza, this year the second Christkindlmarket is opening in at Naper Settlement in Naperville, where it will occupy 15,000 square feet of space.
Here are our favorite ways to enjoy family fun at Christkindlmarket Naperville.
Snap a photo with the Christkind
In Germany, the Christkind is part of centuries-old folklore and, like Santa Claus, she is responsible for delivering the presents to children. Dressed in gold and white, she wears a crown and wanders the market periodically stopping for pictures. Her first visit is November 27 from 2 to 4 p.m.
Go crazy on Kinder Tag (Children’s Day)
Dec. 10 is Kinder Tag, a day featuring activities and performances for kids from noon to 4:30 p.m., when a lantern parade begins. The lantern parade is a traditional celebration on St. Martin’s Day. There are a few lantern options: you can make one onsight for free, purchase a lighted lantern there for $10 or bring one from home.
Be sure to stop by the Chicago Parent booth that day for a fun ornament craft and the chance to win a ski vacation in Vermont!
Pick out an ornament
The vendors at Christkindlmarket offer a wide assortment of items for purchase, but we are always drawn to the gorgeous ornaments. Consider giving your children a small budget and allowing them to select an ornament for your tree, or to give as a gift to a special relative or friend.
Catch a performance
From Victorian carolers to barefoot Hawaiian dancers and an acapella group, a wide variety of performers will take the stage at Naperville Christkindlmarket. There’s something for everyone. You can find the schedule of performers here.
Enjoy some delicious treats and sip hot chocolate
Hot chocolate is sure to keep the chill away. Glühwein is a big hit with many of the adults, and there is a non-alcoholic version called Kinderglühwein, as well as hot cider.
Some of the tasty food offerings include bratwurst, pretzels, potato pancakes, roasted nuts, pierogis, baked cheese, strudel and fresh donuts. Also, the Sweet Castle sounds like a holiday dream come true.
Good to know:
Cost: Free; Food and drink is available for purchase. If you wish to explore Naper Settlement, museum and building tours are available at standard fees.
Parking: Free parking is available in the Naper Settlement parking lot at the southwest corner of Porter Avenue and Webster Street, as well as on the upper level of the Municipal Center parking lot at 400 S. Eagle Street after 5 p.m. and on weekends.
Find more information at christkindlmarket.com/naperville.