Six Christmas Markets That Bring a European Flair to the Holidays

You may not be able to travel to Europe this year to visit their acclaimed Christmas markets. The spirit won’t be lacking, nonetheless, as US cities host their own Christmas Markets to help you with your holiday shopping.

Top US Christmas Markets

Oklahoma City

You’re invited to embrace the love, warmth and community of the holidays in Oklahoma City during Downtown in December, a winter wonderland of festive experiences with outdoor ice skating, performing arts, family activities and virtual events, all surrounded by glittering light displays and decorations. A beloved part of the event is The Holiday Outdoor Market in Midtown, returning for its ninth year through December 20. You can make your list but not need to check it twice as you’ll easily fill all your gift-giving needs from stalls offering handicrafts from knickknacks to winter accessories, funky flower arrangements, folk art, custom textiles, one-of-a-kind jewelry and ceramics. You’ll be fed well, too, with sweet treats and warm beverages.

This year Savannah’s Christmas Market is set up at the Plant Riverside District | WhereTraveler
Plant Riverside District (Courtesy Visit Savannah)

Savannah

This year Savannah’s Christmas Market is set up at the Plant Riverside District. The Christmas Market blends European and Southern holiday traditions in the entertainment-focussed area overlooking the Savannah River. A wide range of holiday-themed events, live performances, seasonal food, beverage specials and family-friendly activities are planned through January 3, 2021. Booths of holiday market vendors along the Savannah riverfront offer myriad handicrafts and other items from Georgia artisans.

The Christmas Market blends European and Southern holiday traditions in the entertainment-focussed area overlooking the Savannah River | WhereTraveler
Savannah Christmas Market (Courtesy Plant Riverside District)

Washington, DC

The annual Downtown Holiday Market has expanded its space this year to account for social distancing and one-way directions. Now in its 16th year, the market is centrally located in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery and stretches across two blocks. Scope out eclectic wares from dozens of pop-up tents with handicrafts certified as “Made in DC, all for sale through December 23.

Ongoing entertainment includes faux snow flurrying, life-sized nutcrackers and gift boxes, festive light installations, seasonal music, ARTECHOUSE’s mixed-reality surprises, a Jumbotron with pre-recorded performances and holiday film, and lots of holiday treats. Performers include Howard University’s famed jazz singers Afro Blue, King Street Bluegrass, Jazz Trotters and the Washington Youth Choir. Bringing a European sensibility, food and drink will keep you merry with Taste of Germany treats including non-alcoholic Gluehwein Cider and the Capital Candy Jar’s chocolate-wrapped pretzels rods. Locally roasted coffee and crafted-before-your-eyes treats from Migue’s Magnificent Mini Donuts are returning crowd-pleasers.

The annual Downtown Holiday Market has expanded its space this year to account for social distancing and one-way directions | WhereTraveler
Washington DC Christmas shopping (Courtesy Downtown Holiday Market)

Denver

Enjoy an après-ski vibe paired with a European holiday market in the heart of Denver’s LoDo district with the AF Holiday Market at Dairy Block through December 20. Inspired by a European ski village, the Christmas market features 12 vendors offering clothing, home goods, sports gear and more, representing both local Colorado businesses and top national retailers, along with food and drink specials. Popular Colorado vendors include coffee by Kicco Koffie, dog treats and apparel by Chews Happiness, vegan candles by Keystone Inspired, and handbags and jewelry from Fleetful Collective. Carolers will set the holiday tone. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, pre-registration is required to limit the number of people and signage will be placed throughout the Holiday Market to ensure proper foot traffic flow and social distancing.

Enjoy an après-ski vibe paired with a European holiday market in the heart of Denver’s LoDo district with the AF Holiday Market at Dairy Block | WhereTraveler
Denver Christmas Market (Courtesy AF Holiday Market at Dairy Block)

Kennebunkport

When it comes to merrymaking, few towns in America can hold a candle to Maine’s Kennebunkport. While Christmas may look a little different this year, Kennebunkport continues its annual Christmas Prelude, an 11-day bash for its 39th year with a variety of safe and socially distanced in-person and virtual activities. Dress warmly for the outdoor Christmas Market, tree lighting, carol singing, Santa reading, hat parade, and costume contests. Kennebunkport's Christmas Prelude Outdoor Market is hosted at the Old Vines Wine Bar. From jewelry to home decor and kitchen and bath products, everything is locally crafted, with New England items to please all ages. This year, instead of having one large tent, the market will have smaller open-air stalls reminiscent of a true European Christmas Market.

Through December 23rd, everyone is invited to experience the German tradition of the Texas Christkindl Market | WhereTraveler
Texas Christkindl Market (©Peter Mayer)

Texas

The Texas Christkindl Market has opted to go virtual this year. Through December 23rd, everyone is invited to experience the German tradition of the Texas Christkindl Market. The relationship between Arlington, Texas and its German sister city, Bad Königshofen, inspired the creation of the market which also works directly with its partner Christmas city, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, to bring the European magic to Texas. Scrolling online, you’ll discover holiday cheer, decorations, recipes and one-­of-­a-­kind finds and gifts. There will also be video demonstrations for how to create German holiday treats with authentic recipes, live performances from local choirs and dancers. Children (and adults, too) will get surprise messages from St. Nick throughout the duration of the Market.

Scrolling through the market online, you’ll discover holiday cheer, decorations, recipes and one-­of-­a-­kind finds and gifts | WhereTraveler
Texas Christmas Market (©Peter Mayer)