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The best holiday markets and fairs to visit in December

As the holiday season approaches, there’s no better way to get into the spirit than by visiting a holiday market or fair. These events are filled with festive decorations, delicious treats, and unique gifts, making them the perfect way to celebrate the season. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best holiday markets and fairs to visit in December, as well as what to look out for and some dos and don’ts to keep in mind.

Why Go To Holiday Markets?

Holiday markets and fairs are a great way to celebrate the season and get into the holiday spirit. These events are typically filled with festive decorations, music, and food, making them a fun and festive destination. They are also a great way to find unique and handmade gifts for your loved ones, supporting local artisans and small businesses. And since many holiday markets and fairs are held in beautiful outdoor settings, they are also a great way to enjoy the winter weather and get some fresh air.

What To Look Out For

When visiting a holiday market or fair, there are a few things to keep in mind to make the most of your experience.

  • Check the schedule. Most holiday markets and fairs have a schedule of events and activities, so make sure to check it out before you go. This way, you can plan your visit and make sure you don’t miss out on any special events or performances.
  • Bring cash. Many holiday markets and fairs are held in outdoor settings, and not all vendors will accept credit or debit cards. So make sure to bring some cash with you, and be prepared to pay with cash for any purchases you make.
  • Dress for the weather. Since many holiday markets and fairs are held outdoors, make sure to dress appropriately for the weather. This means wearing warm clothes, hats, gloves, and scarves, as well as comfortable shoes that are suitable for walking on snow or ice.
  • Be prepared to wait. Holiday markets and fairs can be very popular, and they can get very crowded. So be prepared to wait in line for food, drinks, or other attractions. It’s also a good idea to arrive early to avoid the crowds and have a more relaxed experience.
dreamy woman in warm wear on square at new year night
Photo by Elina Fairytale on

Dos and Don’ts

To make the most of your holiday market or fair experience, there are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind.

  • Do try new foods. Holiday markets and fairs are a great opportunity to try new and delicious foods. Many vendors offer holiday treats and specialties, such as hot chocolate, gingerbread, or roasted chestnuts. So don’t be afraid to try something new and indulge in some holiday treats.
  • Don’t be afraid to haggle. Many holiday markets and fairs feature vendors selling handmade or unique items, and some of them are open to negotiation on prices. So if you see something you like, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount or try to haggle for a better price. This can be a fun and exciting part of the holiday market experience.
  • Do support local artisans. Many holiday markets and fairs feature vendors who are local artisans or small business owners. These vendors offer unique and handmade items that are often not available in stores. So by purchasing from these vendors, you can support local businesses and help contribute to the local economy.
  • Don’t forget to tip. If you are enjoying food or drinks at a holiday market or fair, don’t forget to tip the staff. Many vendors at these events are small business owners or independent workers, and they rely on tips to make a living. So make sure to tip generously, and show your appreciation for the service and hospitality you receive.

The 5 Best Holiday Markets And Fairs To Visit In December

Christkindlmarkt Alpine – Helen, Georgia

Helen, Georgia is a charming town with a strong German influence, which makes it the perfect location for the Christkindlmarkt Alpine. The town is known for its beautiful alpine scenery and its mild winters, which make it a perfect destination for holiday celebrations. The Christkindlmarkt Alpine is held in the heart of the town and features a variety of vendors selling traditional German Christmas items, such as hand-carved wooden ornaments and delicious sausages. The market is a great place to shop for unique gifts and enjoy some festive food and drink.

In addition to the Christkindlmarkt, Helen offers many other fun activities for visitors during the holiday season. The town is known for its German-themed restaurants, which offer a wide range of traditional dishes and tasty holiday treats. Visitors can also explore the many charming shops in town, which sell everything from handmade crafts to German souvenirs. The beautiful alpine scenery of Helen is another highlight, and the town’s picturesque streets are especially beautiful during the holiday season.

Overall, the Christkindlmarkt Alpine in Helen is a fun and festive way to celebrate the holiday season. It’s a great destination for families, couples, and anyone looking for a unique holiday experience. Whether you’re a fan of traditional German food and drink, or just looking for a beautiful place to celebrate the season, Helen is the perfect destination.

Old World Christmas Market – Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

The Christmas season in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin is a truly magical time. The Old World Christmas Market, held at the Osthoff Resort, is the perfect place to get into the holiday spirit. The heated tent is filled with all sorts of German goodies, from crafts and apparel to nutcrackers and gingerbread houses. You’ll also find gift ideas inspired by Russian and Czech traditions. The market typically lasts for about 10 days in early December, so be sure to stop by and check it out!

One of our favorite things about the market is the delicious food. You can’t go wrong with a bratwurst or a warm apple strudel. And be sure to try the dumplings and potato pancakes – they’re absolutely delicious. We always look forward to visiting the market each year and can’t wait to see what’s in store this time around. It’s a great way to kick off the holiday season!

Downtown Holiday Market – Washington, D.C.

The Downtown Holiday Market in Washington, D.C. is a festive and delicious place to celebrate the season. Foodies will love the selection of fresh donuts, ice cream, and other holiday treats that are available under cozy tents. In addition to traditional offerings, you can also find non-traditional and ethnic foods like churros and empanadas.

The market is located near the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, making it an easy walk from some of the city’s most popular attractions. The market is open daily and features lots of musical performances on the Market Stage. One of my favorite memories of the market is sipping on hot cocoa and listening to a talented musician play a beautiful holiday song. It’s the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit!

Texas Christkindl Market – Arlington, Texas

The Texas Christkindl Market in Arlington is a true Christmas wonderland. With over 100 vendors selling unique handmade crafts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. From beautiful pottery to cozy garments made with alpaca wool, the market is a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind gifts.

But the market isn’t just about shopping – there are plenty of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. My personal favorite is the puppet show, which is always a hit with the kids. And who could resist the adorable petting zoo, where you can get up close and personal with some of your favorite farm animals?

One of the most memorable moments of the market is the lantern parade, where dozens of glowing lanterns light up the night sky. It’s a magical sight to behold, and one that will stay with you long after the market has closed for the evening.

Overall, the Texas Christkindl Market is a must-visit for anyone who loves Christmas and the joy of the season. It’s a true celebration of community, creativity, and the spirit of giving.

Union Square Holiday Market – New York City, New York

The Union Square Holiday Market is a must-visit destination for anyone in New York City during the Christmas season. Located in the heart of Union Square, this market attracts over a million visitors each year and offers a unique and festive shopping experience.

As you approach the market, you’ll be greeted by the sight of over 150 red and white striped tents, each one filled with unique and handmade goods. You’ll find everything from handcrafted jewelry and wearables to children’s toys and Christmas ornaments. Many of the vendors at the market sell certified organic and fair-trade goods, as well as recycled and locally made products.

One of the best things about the market is the variety of goods on offer. Whether you’re looking for a new pair of gloves to keep you warm during the winter months, a beautiful piece of artwork to hang on your wall, or a candle to add a festive touch to your home, you’ll find it at the Union Square Holiday Market.

One of my personal favorite memories of the market is the smell of freshly baked gingerbread cookies wafting through the air. It’s impossible to resist the temptation to grab a warm, gooey cookie and enjoy it as you continue to browse the stalls.

Another highlight of the market is the chance to meet and support local artisans and small businesses. Many of the vendors are from the New York City area, and it’s a great opportunity to learn about their work and the stories behind their creations.

If you’re in New York City during the Christmas season, be sure to add the Union Square Holiday Market to your list of must-visit destinations. It’s a festive and unique shopping experience that you won’t want to miss.

shop showcase with red and green christmas decoration
Photo by Markus Spiske on

In Conclusion

Holiday markets and fairs are a fun and festive way to celebrate the season and get into the holiday spirit. They are a great opportunity to try new foods, find unique gifts, and support local businesses. And by following our dos and don’ts, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience at these events.

So if you’re looking for a fun and festive way to celebrate the holiday season, make sure to visit a holiday market or fair near you. You won’t be disappointed!