Something we love about an off-season trip to Europe is its festive Christmas market scene. The twinkle of thousands of lights and aroma of roasting nuts, handcrafted tchotchkes, and of course glühwein are only a few of our favorite things about a visit to these winter wonderlands. Can’t make it across the pond this year? That’s ok! Here are a few options a little closer to home.
Bryant Park, New York City Beginning at the end of October, the Winter Village sets up shop in the heart of “Manhattan’s Town Square.” As it gets closer to Christmas, however the market really begins to come to life with ugly sweater parties, a winter carnival, ice skating, and food tastings.
Distillery Historic District, Toronto A troop of resident carolers, activities like walking tours and Ferris wheel rides, beer gardens, a long list of vendors, and so much more combine to make this Ontario’s premiere Christmas market. To boot, in 2015 Fodor’s ranked it the 5th best in the world. Pro tip: For weekend visits, buy your tickets ahead of time or go during the week when the crowds aren’t quite as large.
City Hall Plaza, Boston Compared to the rest of the markets on this list, Boston’s winter market is brand new. The attraction first opened its gates in 2016 and features a lineup of local artisans, food vendors, and businesses all housed in chalet-style booths. The main draw? The outdoor ice skating path that loops its way through the center of the complex.
Jack Poole Plaza, Vancouver This winter wonderland on the banks of Vancouver Harbour delivers on its promise to bring the traditional German Christkindlmarkt experience to western Canada. There’s something waiting for every member of the family in this charming winter village—mulled wine and an assortment of European beers for the over 19s, scavenger hunts and a Christmas carousel for the kids, plus performances, artisan stalls, and festive snacks for all to enjoy.
8th and F Street, NW, Washington, D.C. With more than 150 different stalls, live music, and freshly made treats (think piping hot donuts, churros, and empanadas), this holiday bazaar in central D.C. is the place to be if you’re feeling festive in the Mid-Atlantic. Here, the vendors are on a rotating schedule so no matter how many times you visit, you’ll never see the same market twice.
Don’t see your favorite Christmas market on our list? Tell us about it in the comments!