If you’re a Chicagoan, or just visiting the city around the holidays, you should know all about Christkindlmarket. This annual event celebrates German culture with unique shopping, plenty of fun new things to look at, diverse entertainment, and traditional cuisine like giant pretzels and sausages.
Did I mention admission is completely free?!
Another awesome part of Christkindlmarket is the collectible mugs that are filled with hot cocoa and mulled wines every year. While it may be cold out there in the Chicago winter, these festive mugs, which have been part of the event since 1996, make anyone drinking from one feel all kinds of warm and fuzzy.
Here are some of the most ornate Christkindlmarket mugs out there. You’ll love sipping from any of these this holiday season:
#1: Traditional Boot
The classic boot-shaped mugs have been alive and “kickin’” for many years. However, the 2019 Christkindlmarket stepped it up with not just one, but three mugs to choose from! Each boot was adorned with a quaint German landscape and came in your choice of 3 interior colors, red, black, or yellow for the German flag.
Fun Fact: The boot-shaped mugs, also known as Gluehweinmugs, are a staple of Christkindlmarket. They’ve been the keepsake for 9 of the 23 years that collectible mugs have been part of the event.
#2: Seasonal Snowman
There’s nothing like sledding, making a snow angel, or having an epic snowball fight. Warm up after the wintery fun by drinking from these adorable snowman mugs. The first snowman mug melted our hearts in 2014, and since then, this festive drinkware has been part of Christkindlmarket an additional four times.
#3: Heart-Shaped Mug
Feel the love with heart-shaped Christkindlmarket mugs. This design, which made its debut at the 2018 festival, was referred to as “Leukuchen Herz” or “Gingerbread Heart.” It’s a delicious little trinket that was a huge hit with guests and is still available for purchase on the Christkindlmarket website.
#4: Penguin Peppermint
Christkindlmarket is a kid-friendly event all the way! Santa sometimes makes an appearance, and there are plenty of vendors with toys and candy galore! For the young at heart, there’s hot chocolate to be served in “Penguin Peppermint.” This little guy waddles his way right into your heart!
Fun Fact: 65% of all displays at Christkindlmarket contain merchandise from Germany and Europe. The remaining 35% represent products from the Americas, Asia, and Africa.
#5: Upside Down Hat
This maroon mug, which is called “The Upside Down Hat,” was the souvenir for guests who visited Christkindlmarket in 2008. The color, texture, and unique handle look just as cozy and warm as a pair of mittens or a nice beanie hat. It’s a simple, but irresistible piece of drinkware that you’ll love looking at in your kitchen!
#6: Ball-Shaped Mug
The Chicago winters can be pretty brutal. You’ll warm right up with this round mug, whether it holds warm coffee or piping hot soup. Ironically enough, this souvenir was released for the 2017 Christkindlmarket, where the weather was unusually high at 54°. If only it was always that way in the Windy City…
#7: Classic Beer Stein
The stein originated in Germany in the 14th century. Today, it’s still found in pubs and bars across the country and is also part of many celebrations and festivities. Take for instance the stein-shaped mugs that were handed out to visitors at Christkindlmarket in Chicago and Naperville, Illinois in 2016.
Stay in the loop when it comes to Christkindlmarket! Your Chicago Guide, a Chicago publication, releases a handy annual guide you can check out. It’s full of everything you need to know, including which hotels are nearby, where to park, and the exact times and locations of the event.
On average, you can expect to see over 1 million visitors at Christkindlmarket every single year. The event has taken on a life of its own, and is now so popular, that it’s spread to Wrigleyville, a few Chicago suburbs, and even Milwaukee.
Christkindlmarket is always a winter wonderland. See this magical time in action!
Take a little tour of German and American history by visiting the Christkindlmarket. It’s a fusion of both cultures where the food is delicious, the atmosphere is insanely fun, and you have a lot of cool merchandise to browse as holiday shopping looms near. Plus, you’ll get a pretty cool commemorative mug out of the deal.
Nunzio, M. (2019, November 5). 2019 Christkindlmarket Mugs Revealed – the Boot is Back. Retrieved from, https://chicago.suntimes.com/entertainment-and-culture/2019/11/5/20948212/christkindlmarket-mugs-chicago-2019-christmas-holidays-daley-plaza
Stein Center. A Brief History of Steins. Retrieved from, https://www.steincenter.com/stein/pc/viewcontent.asp?idpage=21
Time and Date. Past Weather in Chicago, Illinois, USA – December 2017. Retrieved from, https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/usa/chicago/historic?month=12&year=2017 Brewer, C. (2011, December 5). Chicago’s Christkindlmarket: Ten Things You Need to Know. Retrieved from, http://www.chicagonow.com/show-me-chicago/2011/12/chicagos-christkindlmarket-ten-things-you-need-to-know/