From recorded history, we know that the first Christmas holiday market, or Christkindlmarkt, dates back to the Middle Ages in Germany. Those markets featured food, treats, and ornaments of all kinds. About 700 years later, those fundamentals haven’t changed and the Christmas holiday market has expanded to all parts of the globe since, particularly in the U.S.
Here are five Christmas markets to check out in Pennsylvania this holiday season:
Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem
It’s no surprise that a Christmas market in a town named Bethlehem would have one of the biggest and most internationally-renowned Christmas markets in the Keystone state. From classic experiences like visiting Santa, ice carvings, and warm foods, Bethlehem’s Christkindlmarkt also contains a large array of artisan goods, such as bonsai trees, nutcrackers, ornaments, and more.
Christmas Village in Philadelphia
On top of music, entertaining light installations, and a giant holiday gift box over two dozens feet tall, what makes the Christmas Village special is the wide array of food vendors. From bratwurst to schnitzel to doner kebabs, there’s no shortage of foods to try. There’s also a beer garden for the adults.
Mifflinburg Christkindl Market
Themed after Vienna, this Christkindl market not only has magicians and jugglers as part of its attraction, but is also a learning experience for those who want to know more about the German and Austrian history of the Christmas market. For the kids, there is Kinder World, where they can build their own gingerbread houses.
Peoples Gas Holiday Market in Pittsburgh
Besides the typical festivities, like Santa, music, and vendors, the Peoples Gas Holiday Market is notable for its karaoke contest, which could net one confident, future “Voice” contestant $1,000 for their efforts. The artisan market is also filled with an array of products like Polish dolls and Nepalese handmade crafts.
The Annual WeihnachtsMarkt in Harmony
The Harmony Museum’s WeihnachtsMarkt is an annual Christmas market that’s become a regional attraction for its authenticity to its German heritage. From artisan crafts to home-cooked-style German food, this Christmas market has a lot to offer. Aside from food, the market has horse-drawn wagon rides, music, and dance.