Christmas Markets You Can’t Miss

Christmas is unlike any other time of the year. Magnificent lights illuminate the streets, shops are transformed into winter wonderlands, and the spirit of giving comes alive. It's the perfect time to take a break from your routine and do something different. Whether you decide to stay local or venture off to other parts of the country this season, here are some Christmas Markets and experiences you don't want to miss.

From November 23rd to December 24th, Romare Bearden Park in the Queen City is transformed into a European-inspired market called Charlotte Christmas Village Christkindlmarkt. Open daily from Tuesday through Sunday, visitors can enjoy Austrian strudels, bratwurst with sauerkraut or roasted nuts as the aroma of specialty foods drifts across the village. Some choose to sip on hot cocoa, hot mulled wine, or cider as they stroll and shop. Handmade arts and crafts and holiday decor will be available. A variety of entertainment is also planned.

If you want to witness hundreds of Christmas trees decorated with thousands of ornaments and lights, visit the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. Candlelight Christmas Evenings is a magical experience that takes place from November 3rd to January 6th. Head up for the day or stay overnight to witness the soft glow of luminaries and live performances of traditional Christmas music. Your self-guided Candlelight visit includes daytime admission to Antler Hill Village & Winery, gardens, shops, and restaurants.

More than one hundred red and white booths fill Union Square Park for its Holiday Market in New York City every year. The Union Square Holiday Market is a must-visit destination for unique gifts created by local artisans and popular vendors. From delicious gourmet treats to original artwork and live music, the Holiday Market has something for everyone. Open daily from November 16th to December 24th, you'll have plenty of time to shop for everyone on your list.

Known as the Christmas City, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania celebrates the season with Christkindlmarkt, a holiday marketplace. Stroll the aisles, in one of the heated tents, and look for unique gifts from dozens of local vendors. Don't forget to stop for a photo opp with St. Nicholas. Located in SteelStacks, a ten-acre campus dedicated to arts, culture, family events and community celebrations, Christkindlmarkt takes place for six consecutive weekends beginning November 17th and ending, November 23rd. Check out these hotels with AAA discounts for the best deals near Bethlehem.

The 13th Annual Downtown Holiday Market returns to Washington D.C. from November 24th to December 23rd. This event boasts one of the most impressive outdoor shopping environments in the region. Located on the F Street sidewalk in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, the market will feature more than 150 regional artisans, crafters, and boutique businesses of ethnically produced goods. Enjoy live entertainment and festive treats while you shop, then unwind back at your hotel. AAA recommends one of these options near the market.

Inspired by the Christkindlemarkt in Germany, Christkindlmarket Chicago brings a well-known European tradition to the area. The outdoor market in the Chicago Loop offers unique shopping, German food, and diverse holiday entertainment. Open daily from November 17th to December 24th, guests can purchase classic German products like nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks, and beer steins, hand-blown and hand-painted ornaments, and a wide variety of toys, jewelry, clothing, and home decor. Admission is free for all. Stay in nearby lodging when you book with AAA.

If you're heading to the West Coast for the holidays, get your tickets now for the Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Holiday Party in San Francisco. At the Cow Palace Exhibition Halls, you will enter a world of Charles Dickens' London on a magical Christmas Eve. Lamplit streets, boisterous pubs, theatres, music halls, dance parties, and tea rooms boast one-of-a-kind experiences, while shops offer unique treasures. The fair is open for five weekends from November 18th to December 17th, from 10 am to 7 pm. Book now with AAA to get the best rates.

Before you get swept up in the festivities of the season, make your plans now to visit a Christmas market. Whether it's a quick flight to a different city or a drive to a local venue, AAA Travel can help you plan a memorable trip. We give exclusive deals for members with added value versus booking on your own. Call 1-800-463-8646 or visit a local AAA Travel office to find out more.


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