Christkindlmarket Chicago’s isn’t just one of the city’s favorite Christmastime traditions. It’s also consistently ranked as one of the best Christmas markets in the nation — and the world.
A newly released list from the Global travel site Big 7 just ranked the “The 25 Best Christmas Markets in North America,” weighing factors like vendor variety, social media popularity, food, entertainment, local traditions, attendance and more.
Coming at No. 1 on the list? Chicago’s very own Christkindlmarket, an accolade the market also celebrated last year.
Chicago’s Christkindlmarket, with two locations in the city and one in the suburbs, also recently made Big 7 list of “The 50 Best Christmas Markets in the World,” coming in at No. 3.
“Bringing a slice of Bavaria to the Windy City, Christkindlmarket is one of the oldest Christmas markets in America,” the entry reads. “It’s a real German-inspired affair, based on Nuremberg’s medieval Christmas market, so think steaming cups of mulled wine, bratwurst and sugar-coated pastries.”
“This year the market celebrates its 26th anniversary,” the post continues, “so it’ll be a bumper edition of fun.”
Only a few other midwestern markets made Big 7’s North America list, including Elkhart, Wisconsin’s Old World Christmas Market, and Carmel, Indiana’s Carmel Christkindlmarket.
This year, Chicago’s Christkindlmarket — which includes traditional German and European live music along with festive shopping, food and drinks — has three Chicago-area locations: Wrigleyville, Chicago, and Aurora, about an hour’s drive from the city. Each location features different events, entertainment and musical performances.
And every year, Christkindlmarket-goers can always head home with a collectible souvenir: a holiday mug.
For 2022, the mug comes in a curved shape and features a scene of people holding hands, celebrating the wintertime at the market. According to organizers, it draws inspiration from Chicago’s “Year of Dance” celebration, a city-wide focus on the industry that has been unfolding throughout the year.
In its skyline backdrop, the mug highlights iconic landmarks. Sites like the Marina Towers, Willis Tower, Hotel Zachary and Paramount Theater can be spotted.
The market also rolled out its mug dedicated to non-alcoholic beverages. This year’s character is a dancing penguin dressed in a traditional German dress.
Here’s which North American Christmas markets round out Big 7’s top 10 list:
- Chicago Christmas Market — Chicago, Illinois
- Union Square Holiday Market — New York City, New York
- Koziar’s Christmas Village — Bernville, Pennsylvania
- The Great Dickens Christmas Fair — San Francisco, California
- Tomball German Festival and Christmas Market — Tomball, Texas
- Atlanta Christmas Market — Atlanta, Georgia
- Longueuil Christmas Market — Longueuil, Quebec, Canada
- Downtown Holiday Market — Washington DC
- Charlottetown Christmas Festival — Charlottetown, Canada
- The Denver Christmas Market — Denver, Colorado
See the full list here.