With Christmas approaching faster than ever, it's the perfect time to travel to some authentic holiday markets to get you and your family and friends into the Christmas spirit. Listed below are four of the best markets that America has to offer – they might be near your university. Happy shopping!
1. Christkindlmarket — Chicago, IL
As soon as you step into Daley Plaza, the smell of warm potato pancakes and spiced apple cider fills the air. With 50+ booths stocked with traditional German food, drinks and gifts, there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy at Chicago's Christkindlmarket. Before you leave, don't forget to buy the market's annual mug which features a new festive design every year.
2. Union Square Holiday Market — New York City, NY
If you're looking for something bigger, New York's Union Square Holiday Market boasts 150+ vendors and an average of 1 million shoppers each year. The food booths serve delicious and unique choices such as Wafels & Dinges, which offers an assortment of freshly-made waffles with toppings (AKA "dinges") ranging from Belgian chocolate fudge to real maple syrup. Along with food, this market also features a myriad of artisanal vendors, many of which are selling handmade and/or local goods. In a market of this size, you are certain to find gifts for the whole family.
3. Downtown Holiday Market — Washington D.C.
Similar in size to the Union Square Holiday Market, the Downtown Holiday Market in D.C. also features approximately 150+ vendors. Rather than having simply a European focus, this market features vendors and goods from all over the world. From Peruvian-style empanadas and churros to Migue's Magnificent Mini Donuts, there are a variety of options for every visitor's taste. The exhibitors and selection of goods rotate every day, so spend a weekend here to get the most out of the market.
4. Bryant Park Winter Village — New York City, NY
New York City just might be the most festive city in America during the holidays, as evidenced by this being the second NYC market on this list. Not only does Bryant Park Winter Village offer 125+ holiday shops, there is also a free ice-skating rink (free if you bring your own skates, $20 to rent) which makes it stand out from the rest. After you're done shopping and skating, there is a pop-up restaurant serving sandwiches and soups during the day, and dinner and drinks at night. A few hours isn't nearly enough time to spend in Bryant Park, head to New York City and spend the day there (or two, or three).
Christmas time truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Take advantage of everything the holiday season has to offer by visiting all five of these festive markets and finding gifts for everyone on your list. Happy Holidays!
Lead Image Credit: Pixabay