Denver Christkindl Market opens at Skyline Park along the 16th Street Mall — Photo courtesy of German American Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Chapter / Denver Christkindl Market
Downtown Denver cranks into its high season of holiday shopping when the popular Denver Christkindl Market opens on Friday, Nov. 21, at Skyline Park, just off the 16th Street Mall. This year, an additional three days have been added to the market, which last year drew 95,000 merry shoppers.
Modeled on Old World German markets, Denver Christkindl Market brings the sights, sounds and tastes of the old country to the Rocky Mountains. The market is as authentic as it gets on this side of the Atlantic, which isn't surprising given that it's hosted by the Colorado Chapter of the German American Chamber of Commerce.
And it's not just a place to shop, though there are beautiful imported European crafts and goods sold by local German and Austrian vendors that you won't find anywhere else.
In addition to being the place for primo holiday shopping, the Denver Christkindl Market is a 33-day cultural event. Visitors are treated to a cornucopia for all the senses, including the songs, music and dancing of Germany and Europe.
There are also appearances by the traditional German Christkindl (Christ angel) and Santa. And, as befitting a traditional German holiday market, food and drink are front and center.
Among the items sold in booths at Denver Christkindl Market are handcrafted goods such as these bright paper lanterns from Paper Star — Photo courtesy of German American Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Chapter / Denver Christkindl Market
Patrons will find European and locally made chocolates and other candies, German food hot off the grill and, naturally, beer. Wander through the market to try Austrian-style bread and pretzels, soups, Danish pastries and roasted nuts, among other goodies.
You can't leave the market without sipping a little Gluehwein, a delicious hot-spiced wine best enjoyed in your very own Gluehwein mug. For a hot holiday deal, bring last year’s mug and enjoy this year’s refill for just $3.
The heated America It's Time Holiday Tent is the perfect spot for holiday shoppers to relax and refuel with lunch and a beer — Photo courtesy of German American Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Chapter / Denver Christkindl Market
America It’s Time – a business-focused organization dedicated to providing resource solutions and education to benefit businesses and their local communities – is a major sponsor of the 2014 Denver Christkindl Market. If you’re looking for a warm, convivial spot to relax with friends or grab a bite and a beer in between shopping, duck into the heated America It’s Time Holiday Tent.
For an energizing jolt of holiday fun, catch some of the music and dance performances throughout the month. This year’s entertainment includes German and Austrian performers, polka and a zither player. Local school bands will also take the stage, and the Denver Philharmonic performs at the grand opening ceremonies on Nov. 22.
There are cultural opportunities, too, including a chance to brush up on your German language skills when German Stammtisch meets. And do take advantage of the market's solid business networking opportunities, made all the better with good food and drink! Just check the market website for all the details.
Surely you need your own traditional stein to enjoy German beer throughout the year; happily, you can find one at the booth of aptly named German Steins & Souvenirs — Photo courtesy of German Food and Gifts
Be sure to check out the giant, seven-foot advent calendar with 23 days of gifts to raffle off to market visitors, sponsored by the Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail, Colo. Gifts include free dinners, theater and comedy club tickets and more.
All 33 days of the 2014 market are packed with things to buy, see and do. Not surprising, weekdays are less crowded and more relaxed, giving shoppers a chance to more easily peruse all the goods and to snag a table for a bite in the heated tent.
But whatever day you choose to visit, the Denver Christkindl Market will put you solidly in the holiday spirit.