On Saturday, some friends and I braved the snow flurries and slushy cold to venture downtown to the Christkindlmarket, an outdoor European market that takes over Daley Plaza every December. As dismal as Chicago can be, it does get quite festive around Christmastime, and visiting the Christkindlmarket is always fun no matter how many degrees below freezing it is.
I stumbled upon the Christkindlmarket with a friend a couple of years ago. That time, it must have been 10 degrees outside–we took a quick look around, and I bought a beautiful paper star light, but it was after dark and not many people were there. But the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday? Yeah, it was crowded. But it was also easier to see the goods, and they were selling mulled wine (gluwhein) in keepsake mugs. (!!)
There’s a surprising air of authenticity about the market, too–apparently many of the vendors are flown in from Germany. At the very least, I can attest that the beer steins on sale at the Christkindlmarket closely resembled the ones I bought while in Munich. Somehow I ended up spending money only on food: mulled wine, a decadent apple strudel, and dark-chocolate-covered marzipan balls. Oh well. No regrets about that!
photo creds: green bulb, friend; dragons, me; strudel, friend; ornaments, me