The holiday season doesn’t truly begin until German-inspired Christkindlmarkets pop up around the world, selling seasonal food, drinks, toys and decorations. Whether you want to meet Santa, see twinkling lights or sip mulled wine, get your yuletide on at one of these four locations.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, London
Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, this holiday market takes over one of London’s largest parks until January 2. Book tickets in advance for the observation wheel, the circus and the UK’s largest skating rink, or meet Santa and his elves before wandering through more than 200 chalets in the traditional German market for free—grab some roasted nuts and hot cider while checking out handmade wooden toys and nativity scenes. End the night listening to the oom-pah band in the Bavarian village.
The Vancouver Christmas Market
Enjoy a bit of Bavaria on Canada’s West Coast at this authentic market in its new 50,000-square-foot seaside spot at Jack Poole Plaza. On until December 31, the market features 70 wooden huts filled with festive goods like nutcrackers and Herrnhuter Sterne star decorations, and dishes like spätzle and gulasch. Don’t miss Canada’s first Christmas Pyramid—a 23-foot, decoration-filled tower that doubles as a stand serving feuerzangenbowle (a flaming rum-soaked sugar cube melted over mulled wine).
Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston
Take in holiday cheer all month long at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Located near Boston’s waterfront, this marketplace is home to an 85-foot Christmas tree and Blink!, an hourly show with 350,000 LED lights that dance in time to holiday music. Head to shops like Christmas in Boston for Beantown-themed ornaments and LovePop for intricate pop-up paper sculpture greeting cards. Then, grab a hot chocolate and enjoy carollers, bell-ringers or a performance by the Boston Tuba Christmas show.
Toronto Christmas Market
Running Tuesdays to Sundays until December 22, this holiday experience transforms T.O.’s Distillery Historic District into a traditional European market. Stroll the Victorian cobblestone walkways while munching on Chimney Stax (European rotisserie bread covered with sugar) and sipping mulled wine or a hot toddy. The market, now in its seventh year, also includes a carolling competition, vendors selling Polish nesting dolls and a 14-foot heart sculpture, complete with mistletoe.