Chicago’s Christkindlmarket opens tonight

Christkindlmarket draws crowds downtown in this photo from 2014. (Photo: True Shot Studios)

CHICAGO — There may not be any snow on the ground (yet), but a sure sign of winter arrives Friday when Christkindlmarket opens up once again on Daley Plaza.

Attracting over a million visitors every year, the 23rd annual market features dozens of vendors from Chicago, Germany and Austria, selling everything from ornaments to roasted nuts and traditional German fare. This year’s market runs from Friday, November 16 until Christmas Eve (December 24), and is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Christkindlmarket will not be returning to the park area outside Wrigley Field this year, although ice skating and other holiday events will be hosted there.

These mugs will be offered at Christkindlmarket in 2018.

Collectors will also be able to pick up the limited-edition mugs, which this year are inspired by traditional German gingerbread hearts. Three different designs unique to each of the cities which host their own Christkindlmarket will be sold in Chicago, Milwaukee and Naperville. There are also snowman mugs for kids.

The Naperville market runs from November 23 to December 24 in the Naper Settlement. The Milwaukee location was added this year, and will take place near the new Fiserv Forum from November 17 to December 31. Full hours are available on their website.

According to organizers, the market was originally inspired by the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, which began in 1545. While the first of the open-air Christmas festivals was held on Pioneer Court in 1996, it’s been located on Daley Plaza since 1997.

Christkindlmarket opens Friday night as the city’s tree is lit in Millennium Park.