For more than 600 years, communities in present-day Germany and Austria have celebrated the holiday season with Weihnachtsmärkte or Christkindlemärkte, translated as Christmas markets but more appropriately called holiday markets because of their cross-cultural appeal. Since 2011, the City of Arlington, Texas has sought to recreate the authentic feel of these holiday markets for residents of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex to enjoy. Efforts have been a success, and include the use of several authentic wooden holiday market huts straight from Nuremberg, home to one of the oldest and most well-known holiday markets in the world.
This year’s Christkindl market is the biggest and best yet, featuring:
Genuine German Cuisine
The holidays are a time for reveling. For many of us, this means taking delight in culinary treasures that we forbid ourselves to eat for the majority of the year. Traditional German dumpling noodles, schnitzel, sausages, potatoes, candied almonds, gingerbread, and fried dough desserts are available for purchase at the Arlington holiday market. Made by foodies with German heritage or a love for Central European cuisine, none of these delights will disappoint a hungry belly.
Cold-Busting Holiday Beverages
As central as food is to these German-inspired holiday markets, it still plays second fiddle to the granddaddy of all holiday market treats: spiced wine. Spiced wine, mulled wine, hot wine, glühwein–you may know it by any of these names–screams holiday season, with hints of cinnamon and clove and orange zest that work with the beverage’s warm temperature to give our chilled bodies exactly what they need to stay comfortable as we spend a few hours browsing arts and crafts or watching our children play holiday carnival games.
If spiced wine is not your cup of tea, hot chocolate and apple cider are also available for the same purpose of helping you beat the cold with a soul-warming beverage.
With handmade toys, books, ornaments, and other goods, Arlington’s Christkindl holiday market is the perfect place to do your holiday gift shopping. Some stalls are interactive, allowing visitors to personalize gifts for loved ones. Others store magnificent treasures made by skilled craftspeople who haven’t yet been “discovered” and thus still sell their wares at almost unbelievably low prices.
The holiday market in Arlington offers something for everyone, including children. Free for all children is a visit to the Santa Haus, which includes a great opportunity for photos with Santa in an authentic winterland setting. For , your children can feed and pet animals that could be found in the alps at the Bavarian-themed petting zoo. A marionette puppet show, which actually has a cross-generational appeal, is another big hit for children. If you would like for your child to have a truly exciting and memorable experience at the Arlington holiday market and you don’t yet have plans for this Wednesday evening, sign your son or daughter up to participate in the last Children’s Lantern Parade of the year.
In the Christkindlmarkt’s first year, it was a four day event. It has expanded steadily and grown into an event that this year started just after Thanksgiving and runs through December 22nd. For hours and information, visit ArlingtonChristkindl.com. The even is held at Rangers Ballpark, and parking and admission are free for guests of all ages.