After last year’s disastrous trip to the Christkindlmarket in Chicago, I learned one thing: it’s never a good idea to do anything in Chicago the weekend after Thanksgiving. (I relearned that lesson this year since our post-Thanksgiving plans were foiled again due to heavy crowds. But that’s a story for another day.) This year, our experience was much better. Instead of going to the Daley Plaza, we decided to try the Naperville Christmas market.
12-acres of historical buildings make up the outdoor museum called the Naper Settlement. The historical buildings at the museum show the progress of life from the mid to end of the 19th century. Built in 1969, the Naper Settlement is the site of the Naperville Christmas Market.
About the Naperville Christmas Market
The Naperville Christkindlmarket is located about 45 minutes southwest of Chicago on the corner of Webster St and Aurora Ave. Over 40 vendors from around the Midwest, Canada, Europe, and even Bethlehem mix with historical buildings creating a more festive feel than the Christmas market at Daley Plaza in Chicago.
There is something so perfect about wandering around a Christmas market to get you into the holiday spirit. The market was busy-we did go on a Saturday after all. But we weren’t packed in like sardines with no room to move.
The first thing we did when we arrived was walk through the aisles to see what beautiful items were for sale. We found vendors selling mittens and hats from Canada, glass ornaments from Germany and wooden nativities from Bethlehem and more. We bought a small wooden ornament of a nativity inside a bell as our ornament for this year.
You can’t got to a Christmas market without sampling the food. The food at the Naperville market does not disappoint. Bratwursts are sold in one booth while Polish pierogis are sold in another. Chestnuts and gingerbread cookies fill another booth. To drink, there is an assortment of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks. I highly recommend the apple orange cider. For an extra $5, you can get it in one of two commemorative mugs you can keep. I only wish that I had bought more than one cup of cider since Ladybug and Buddy drank most of it. Although, cute and festive, the mug was not nearly big enough to share.
The great thing about the Naperville Christkindlmarket is the space. Though busy, I found that there was space to move around. A small field, located between the booths and the children’s playground is perfect for anyone needing a break from the crowds. You can sit down and eat if the grass is dry while you let the kids run wild and get their wiggles out.
On select days, kids can enjoy a visit from the Christkind. We barely missed his visit by just an hour but the kids still had fun even without seeing him. Check the schedule for the dates and times of his visits.
The Naperville Christkindlmarket runs from now through Christmas Eve. Hours are from 11am-7pm on Thursdays, 11am-9pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 11am-6pm on Sundays. I recommend visiting around sunset so you can see the market in daylight and after dark. The whole market lights up with lights, including a giant Christmas tree.
Getting to Naperville Christmas Market
The most convenient way to get to Naperville from Chicago using public transportation is to take the Metra. Get on at Chicago Union State and get off at the Naperville Station. Naper Settlement is about a mile walk from the station.
For those who prefer to to drive, two free garages directly across the street from Naper Settlement provide convenient parking for guests of the Christkindlmarket. They do fill up fast so you may have to drive around for a bit before you find a spot.
I can wholeheartedly say that our experience at the Naperville Christkindlmarket was a good one. Ladybug even put her stamp of approval on it when she said that she loved it so much that she was sad to go home. This Christmas market is a must for anyone visiting Chicago during the holidays.
Would you visit the Naperville Christkindlmarket?
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