Every year, my husband and I hop on the red line to the loop for a visit to Daley Plaza’s Christkindlmarket. The charming recreation of a German Christmas market, complete with food vendors, entertainment, beer and Glühwein, a traditional hot spiced wine, transports us to Bavaria for the afternoon. German crafts abound and many artists offer demonstrations of their skills. Crowds are large around the noon hour when office workers take a break to enjoy the cheery scene. The market stays open until 8 pm Sunday through Thursday and 9 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
But you don’t have to go downtown this year for Christmas markets. For the first time, Lakeview is host to its own Christmas Market, just a few blocks west of the Old Chicago Inn on Belmont , between Greenview and Ashland. This market is produced by the folks at Chicago Special Events who bring us many great summer street festivals, so you know there will be plenty of food vendors, libations and good bands. In addition, there will be holiday craft vendors, activities for kids and a tree farm. The festival begins tonight and continues through Sunday. Your innkeeper, David, can provide you with a complete band schedule and event details.
If shopping is your raison d’être for your visit to Chicago this season, you’ll of course be going to the Magnificent Mile, but a stroll through our neighborhood will lead you to lots of unique stores. To get a taste of area merchants, start at Central Lakeview Merchants holiday “pop-up” store, located at 3309 N. Clark St. The holiday store, open through December 22, features 20 local merchants all under one roof, and it’s just around the corner from the Inn.
After shopping, take a break and enjoy some hot chocolate in the lobby by the fireplace. If you need to wrap a gift while you are here we have complimentary wrapping paper, ribbons and bows available for our guests. So whether you venture far or near during your stay with us this holiday season we hope you’ll enjoy the many Christmas markets in Chicago!