In Holiday Guide

Christkindlmarket is here!

10 reasons to get excited for the Christkindlmarket's Milwaukee debut

The Christkindlmarket has been a staple in Chicago for over two decades, and starting today Milwaukee will be able to join in on the festive fun. On Nov. 17, Fiserv Forum's entertainment plaza will transform into Nuremberg, Germany's classic holiday market for the Christkindlmarket's first out-of-state location at one of America's most German cities.

Whether you're looking to add some spice to your holiday shopping or your wine, or you just want to enjoy local performances and German holiday culture, there are plenty of reasons to bring the entire family to the Christkindlmarket's brand new location.

Here are 10 reasons to get excited over the Christkindlmarket's Milwaukee debut:

1. Celebrate Milwaukee's German culture

Milwaukee Bucks' Event Program Manager T.J. Sagen.

Milwaukee's German culture is as rich as a slice of delicious German chocolate cake. As recent as 1990, it was estimated that nearly half of Wisconsin residents had ancestors from Germany, which is no surprise given the number of German immigrants who arrived in Milwaukee during the nineteenth century.

With famous Germans like Frederick Miller, Frederick Pabst and the Usinger family playing huge roles in the city's history, plus German hangouts like Turner Hall still standing today, Milwaukee's German culture is beyond measure.

So it was a no-brainer for Milwaukee Bucks' Event Program Manager T.J. Sagen to help bring the famous German holiday market to the Brew City.

"Milwaukee is one of this country's biggest German cities, and this was a great opportunity to bring a German market to what I consider the best German city in the United States," Sagen said. "I think it's something that will give families a new holiday tradition."

2. You can get your Christmas shopping done

If you struggle at finding gifts that stand out and you're sick of just giving out gift cards, the Christkindlmarket is the place for you. The market offers a huge diverse selection of handcrafted gifts and Christmas ornaments that you won't find at your typical shop.

You can even visit the Christkindlmarket during its opening week and get all your shopping done before you dive into your Thanksgiving turkey.

3. It's the Christkindlmarket's first out-of-state location

For years, Wisconsin's most dedicated and festive have traveled to Chicago to experience the Christkindlmarket in person. But the NL Central isn't the only thing that Milwaukee stole from Chicago in 2018 because the German American Events, LLC, opted to move its third location from Wrigleyville for an inaugural year in Milwaukee.

4. Admission is always free

Did we mention that admission is always free? The holidays can be costly, so who doesn't like a cost-effective way to celebrate the season?

5. Treat yourself to a pretzel and spiced wine

Since there is no cover charge at Christkindlmarket Milwaukee, you can use that cash on gifts, food, German beer or a holiday beverage.

With nearly 30 vendors on site, including the Milwaukee Pretzel Company, Taylor, the Baked Cheese Haus, Bob's Belgian Hot Chocolate and more, you'll have plenty of European and local options to cure an empty stomach.

6. Bring your four-legged friend

If you're taking your dog out near Old World 3rd Street, or Fido wants in on the Christmas fun, you can bring your four-legged friend to the Christkindlmarket. Dogs must be kept on a leash and are not allowed in the inside areas, but even man's best friend can enjoy a holiday market.

You can even pay a visit to Annie's Pooch Pops and buy a gourmet dog treat for all the good boys out there.

7. You can enjoy local performances

Christkindlmarket Milwaukee doesn't want you to just visit once in 2018; instead they are providing fun for the whole family with a great schedule of local performances over the next two months.

The Milwaukee Children's Choir and the Lutheran A Cappella Choir of Milwaukee will both perform for visitors on opening day (Nov. 17), while the Milwaukee Circle Choir, the Dance Academy of Mexico and more will make appearances throughout December.

8. Save your gas money and treat yourself to a commemorative mug

Since locals are now relieved of making the trip down I-94, you can take your travel savings and put them elsewhere. May we suggest a Christkindlmarket commemorative mug, designed with our city's skyline and a traditional German gingerbread heart-shaped base?

9. It's good for the Milwaukee economy

In 2017, the Christkindlmarket welcomed over a million visitors and generated $170 million in economic impact for the Chicago area. And while we don't expect quite as high of numbers for Milwaukee, local businesses are definitely ready to welcome the market's visitors over the next two months.

Visitors will stay overnight at local hotels, shop at nearby stores and experience some of Milwaukee's best restaurants – which will all be great for Milwaukee's economy.

10. No need to clear your schedule

If any of the above sounds good to you, there is no need to take off work or clear your schedule to enjoy Christkindlmarket Milwaukee. Locals will have plenty of opportunities to see the German market in action.

With the exception of Christmas Day, the Christkindlmarket will run everyday from Nov. 17 until New Year's Eve, giving you no reason to miss out on the fun!

The hours for Christkindlmarket Milwaukee are:

  • Sunday-Thursday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

  • Thanksgiving (Nov. 23), Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) and New Year's Eve (Dec. 31): 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Christmas Day: Closed


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