We’re here to help you find the perfect spot for a day of Wintery Christmas fun.
When it comes to feeling that special holiday spirit, almost nothing beats enjoying the crisp winter weather, festive sights, and delicious food of an outdoor Christmas market. The tradition originated in Germany during the late middle ages but has grown into a worldwide staple of the yuletide season.
Pennsylvania’s history of German immigration has blessed the state with a wealth of historic markets to choose from, and we’re here to help you find the best!
Named one of the top Christmas markets in USA Today’s reader’s choice competition as well as one of the best in the world by Travel + Leisure, a holiday destination doesn’t get much better than this. Christkindlmarkt features over a hundred different vendors, an ice rink, and a wealth of food options ranging from artisan cheeseburgers to baklava. Of course, you can’t go wrong with the classic Bratwurst and roasted nuts which go well with the wide selection of German beers for the adult visitors. Before you leave, make sure to check out the performances and interactive demos like the ice carving event or the Artsquest hot glass experience, where visitors learn how to craft their own glass art with expert assistance. Christkindlmarkt is open on weekends until Dec. 18, so make sure to get there while you can.
Tinseltown Holiday Spectacular, Oaks
Tinseltown’s commitment to creating the most wondrous displays of Christmas lights and illuminated art make it an incredible experience, but it’s much more than just a light show. The festival spotlights local businesses and vendors, gives children a chance to take a picture with Santa Claus, and even has nights centered around Philadelphia Flyers mascotGritty. (Dressed to the nines in his holiday gear of course). There’s an ice rink, heated food court, and even a brand new 160 foot ice slide that’s sure to thrill. Make no mistake however, the Christmas light exhibit steals the show. With over 1.2 million lights arranged into walk-through sculptures, it’ll be a sight you won’t soon forget. The attractions will be open until Dec. 31 save for closures on Dec. 12 and 13, and Christmas Day.
Mifflinburg Christkindl Market
As the oldest authentic German Christmas market in the US, Mifflinburg’s Christkindl Market is more than historic. Originally conceived by Austrian immigrant Rudi Skucek, this year marks the event’s 33rd annual celebration. Each year the market highlights a different city in Germany in a tradition unique to Mifflinburg’s festival, with Munich as 2022’s choice. Alongside its impressive array of traditional foodstuffs, featured attractions include a live reindeer pen and nativity scene, a ten foot tall nutcracker, and the market’s centerpiece: a pyramid of candles over twelve feet tall. The event will be running Dec. 8-10 and while admission is completely free, make sure to leave your non-service animal pets at home.
Delco Holiday Village, Upper Providence Township
Centered around the lovely Rose Tree Park, Delco Holiday Village makes the perfect low-key holiday getaway. With a wide variety of food trucks and local Delaware County vendors, there really is something for everyone. Each night will feature different vendors and food trucks however, so you’re going to want to go multiple times to get the full experience. After you’ve filled your shopping bags and belly with Christmas goodies, you’re free to explore the park which has been decorated with dozens of lit trees and illuminated displays for visitors to walk through and admire. The Holiday VIllage is open Saturdays from 5-10 p.m. until Dec. 17.
Miracle on 24th Street Makers Market, Camp Hill
Held from 2-8 p.m. on Dec. 10, the Street Makers Market is a brand new community- focused event that’s sure to please. It truly is a local affair with over half of the vendors being Camp Hill residents. Visitors can peruse the selection of local crafts and food vendors before retiring to the beer garden and enjoying a fresh Christmas ale to live music. Santa himself is expected to make a visit, so make sure the little ones pack their Christmas lists and stay on their best behavior!
Holiday Craft Market, Sugartown
It’s hard to find a better location for a nostalgic Christmas village than an actual historic 19th century village like Sugartown. Preserved beautifully as a historical artifact by the Historic Sugartown Inc, the town provides a perfect backdrop for visitors as they visit 40+ vendors and truly get into the Christmas spirit. There’s a biergarten with selections from Locust Lane Craft Brewery, Chaddsford Winery, and Manatawny Still Works to sip as you shop or take home as a gift, and there’s warm donuts to dip into hot cocoa for the kids. The Market will be open from noon to 4 p.m. on Dec. 10.
Love Park German Christmas Village, Philadelphia
You didn’t think we’d leave this one off the list did you? Philly’s own Christmas Village is iconic for a reason. From the wafting smells of bratwurst and waffles to the beautiful wooden stalls vendors set up shop in, you’d be hard pressed to find a better atmosphere than this. The village presents an absolute smorgasbord of variety when it comes to crafts and gifts to buy. Each day brings new events and activities, from wine tasting to dog adoption events every other Friday. The festival itself runs through Dec. 24, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. Make sure to get a quick picture with Phil the reindeer and check out the Ferris Wheel before you leave!