READ TIME 2 MIN – Thirteen weeks left until we can finally say again: “Willkommen to the Christkindlmarket!” Our team’s countdown usually starts at the beginning of the new year. We figured this might be a little too early for our visitors who first want to enjoy Chicago Summer. However, with summer slowly coming to an end, we cannot wait to share our excitement with you anymore! In less than two weeks, you will find a countdown on our website – together with the announcement of our final locations and dates.
But until then, let us just share our appreciation and gratitude while giving you some more insight behind the scenes. We have been lucky enough to get the love and support of the hundreds of thousands of visitors that come to our markets each year; so much that we have had to open other markets to keep up with the demand of visitors wanting to attend.
Our first expansion market opened in Oakbrook in 2007. This market took place at Oakbrook Center Mall in 2007 and 2008, nestled between their stores and restaurants. When the Mall closed for renovations in 2009, we also closed the market, but were excited to return again in 2014 and 2015. By then, the Oakbrook market was such a hit that we actually outgrew the space and relocated the suburban market location to a larger space in Naperville for the 2016-2018 market seasons. The Naperville market, at Naper Settlement, saw the introduction of many new vendors and products, like first sips of the fan-favorite Bob’s Belgian Hot Chocolate!
In 2017, we also opened a location just outside Wrigley Field, in Gallagher Way. This location made it possible for visitors who prefer the neighborhood feel and atmosphere to experience the charm of the original market while still being able to buy from many of their most beloved downtown vendors. Not only that – each market has always offered something different and unique, so has the one in Wrigleyville. In addition to finding many of the Chicago downtown staple vendors, there have also been various international and local ones at the Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville at Gallagher Way. Additional activities include an 8,000-square-foot ice-skating rink, Santa’s Workshop, and special holiday décor. In 2019, a 30 feet tall light-up teddy bear right by the info booth offered an amazing photo opportunity.
Continuing even further north, we were very excited to open the first Christkindlmarket outside of Illinois in 2018 – the Christkindlmarket Milwaukee. Situated right outside of Fiserv Forum (oh yeah, the home of the NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks), the market was easily accessible in the heart of the Milwaukee entertainment district.