Denver’s annual Christmas Market, called Christkindl, is a free-to-enter holiday celebration and artisan market which takes its inspiration from European, in particular German, Christmas festivities.
The event has been running since 1998, and can be found in Downtown Denver at Civic Center Park, across from the Capitol Building, on the corner of Broadway and Colfax.
The word Christkindl means “Christ-child” in German. Like Santa (originally known as Saint Nicholas), Christkindl brings gifts to children in the Germanic cultures of Europe. A fairy-like woman with blonde hair and a white-gold dress, the Christkindl can be traced back to the protestant reformer, Martin Luther. Get there on opening day to hear her speak during the Grand Opening Ceremony, though you can also catch her wandering around the market on weekends enjoying the festivities and greeting the children. A traditional St. Nicholas will also be around for some truly unique holiday snaps, as will the German version of the Grinch – the Krampus!
Organized by the German American Chamber of Commerce and the German Cultural Foundation, Civic Center Park is transformed into a miniature German village during Denver‘s Christkindl Market, where musicians play, vendors dish up traditional German delights, and local and European artisans offer handmade treats for unique gifts and home decor.
Expect live musicians throughout the days of the season, bringing a special kind of magic to the market with traditional German polkas, waltzes, and marches. There will also, of course, be carolers and holiday music.
WHERE: Civic Center Park, 101 14th Ave, Denver, CO
OPEN: November 17 – December 23, 2023, Sunday – Wednesday 11am – 7pm, Thursday – Saturday 11am – 9pm, Festival Hall Hours: Thursday – Saturday open until 10pm. Exceptions: Thanksgiving Day 11am – 4pm, Last week (Dec 17-23) 11am – 9pm.
Christmas markets are a centuries-old tradition in Germany and throughout Europe, going right back to the 14th century. It’s a time when communities come together to enjoy the holiday season with carols, hot spiced wine called Gluehwein, handmade decorations, and wooden carousels. Traditionally, the markets open in late November and close on Christmas Eve. Denver’s homage to this unique German culture is well worth your time!
Let’s take a look at what’s on offer at the Denver Christkindl Market in more detail.
Stock Up On Christmas Gifts And Treats For Your Home
The open-air Denver Christkindl marketplace offers a twinkling landscape of up to 50 European-feeling decorated wooden huts to explore, housing local and international vendors with unique imported and handmade goods to gift to loved ones.
Think cuckoo clocks, beer steins, glass tree decorations and wooden children’s toys, knitted hats, clothing and accessories, candles, soaps, home decor, spices, chocolates, cheese, cookies, and more! And don’t miss out on the collectible Christkindl mug – different every year!
Eat & Drink Like A German!
Sip on Bavarian-style beers, spiced Gluehwein, hot cider, or European coffee and hot chocolate as you stroll around the stalls or warm up in the Festival Hall. For kids, you can buy non-alcoholic drinks in the signature festival “kinder mug.”
Feeling hungry? Hot snacks include Bavarian-style pretzels, knödel (dumplings), freshly smoked salmon, homemade Goulasch, charcoal-grilled sausages, and for those sweet-tooths among you, crepes, baked apples, cinnamon-roasted nuts, pastries, caramels and gingerbread biscuits!
Let The Kids Loose In The Kinder Wunderland
Children will adore the Kinder Wunderland, offering a range of age-appropriate games and a s’mores-making center.
Sundays are the designated Family Day, so head to the Festival Hall (a 4,800-square-foot heated and decorated Biergarten tent), packed full of entertainment for all ages.
For more festive vibes, head to the nearby Skyline Park Southwest Rink for some ice skating – it operates through February, depending on the weather. Admission is free, you just need to pay a little to rent skates.
The Denver Christkindl Market offers a unique, magical day out; an event that serves as an homage to the unique German holiday culture. Enjoy themed music, food, drinks and games, and shop for some one-of-a-kind products at the artisan market.
What Else Can I Do In Colorado?
A must-see this time of year is the Mile High Tree, the US’ tallest digital Christmas tree – you won’t miss it on Denver’s skyline. Walk inside and look up!
Then why not take the fun and games to Royal Gorge, with its bungee rides, children’s playground and canyon exploration – a great day out in dry weather! If you’re feeling the need to recharge after all that Christmas shopping, consider heading to a Colorado hot springs – stay at a hot springs resort a while, or opt for one of the state’s free natural hot springs to revive and rejuvenate in nature’s best minerals before you hit the town on New Year’s!
While we at Traxplorio do our very best to give you the most up-to-date information, we always recommend you do your own research before you travel to a particular area or visit a specific destination, and check conditions with relevant official authorities. Thanks for understanding, and enjoy your adventure!